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George Stevenson (London)

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Painted Ladies
Painted Ladies
by Siobhan Parkinson
Edition: Paperback
Price: £10.62

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Non-Fiction Fictionalised, 11 May 2013
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This review is from: Painted Ladies (Paperback)
This is a good, excellently written read about people who led interesting lives. It is, however, not completely satisfying simply because, as the author herself says, a true story has received a fictionalised treatment. Certain things are there, for example the hurried marriage between the artists P. S. Kroyer and Marie Triepcke to prevent the former having to wed the lame (and pregnant)Helen Christiansen but Marie's sad and lonely death in 1940 doesn't appear to be. The chilling (and prophetic?) end of the book,however, when Marie's daughter tears up her mother's letter into such tiny pieces that it resembles confetti, sends shivers down the spine and I have no hesitation in recommending this novel.


The Wig My Father Wore
The Wig My Father Wore
by Anne Enright
Edition: Paperback
Price: £7.05

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Shades of Myles, 5 April 2013
This review is from: The Wig My Father Wore (Paperback)
The Wig My Father Wore Alliteration always works, and this is a cracking title. But in the world today the anatomical also works very well when it comes to selling books: and anything Irish is popular at present. Brian O'Nolan ('Myles na Gopaleen') managed to be Irish, highly entertaining, fey and clever but not in the least anatomical. Is this why he never sold so well as this particular author?


All the Beggars Riding
All the Beggars Riding
by Lucy Caldwell
Edition: Paperback
Price: £8.22

2 of 10 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Hardly Fit For 'Book at Bed-time' BBC, 23 Mar 2013
This review is from: All the Beggars Riding (Paperback)
All the Beggars Riding
Rawalpindi is a place, not a surname. Discovering one is gay is old hat. So much 'He said', 'I said' is irritating - and excessive mention of classes for would-be writers boring. Bring back literature!


By Grand Central Station I Sat Down and Wept
By Grand Central Station I Sat Down and Wept
by Elizabeth Smart
Edition: Paperback
Price: £6.39

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Sex Alone Isn't Enough, 19 Mar 2013
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ASIN:0586090398 By Grand Central Station I Sat Down and Wept]]
The best thing about this book is its title. Redolent with sex on every page, it nevertheless strongly reminded me of what Ruskin said about Whistler.


A Street Cat Named Bob: How One Man and His Cat Found Hope on the Streets
A Street Cat Named Bob: How One Man and His Cat Found Hope on the Streets
by James Bowen
Edition: Paperback
Price: £6.29

3 of 6 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Not What I Expected, 17 Mar 2013
A Street Cat Named Bob: How One Man and His Cat Found Hope on the Streets
I have the greatest admiration for whoever wrote this book. (It has been suggested but not made absolutely clear that it wasn't James Bowen) but whoever did so obviously has his eye on television and/or a film. More to the point here, he has managed to stretch very little into a full-length tome. It may be of interest to anyone who knows nothing of sheltered housing, drug addition and the pains of withdrawal, street life and violence (low-key here)or the logistics behind The Big Issue, but to have managed to make it popular enough to sell so well and be in every public library is no mean achievement given such a thin read.
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Mar 19, 2013 11:44 AM GMT


Sherlock Holmes and The Case of The Bulgarian Codex
Sherlock Holmes and The Case of The Bulgarian Codex
Price: £5.99

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars An Original Idea, 28 Dec 2012
Sherlock Holmes and the Case of the Bulgarian Codex Symonds, Tim ( Author ) Nov-22-2012 PaperbackCall me an old grouch, but I found the dialogue in this book somewhat too lively, and it was difficult to enthuse over a work which has an (almost) full-length photograph of the author at the front of it - as well as a dedication "To My Beautiful Partner." That said, "Sherlock Holmes and the Case of the Bulgarian Codex" is an original idea which brings in real-life personages convincingly and paints the fictional ones well. A good plot and a good read.


The Boleyn Inheritance
The Boleyn Inheritance
by Philippa Gregory
Edition: Paperback
Price: £7.19

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Just Too Much?, 21 Dec 2012
This review is from: The Boleyn Inheritance (Paperback)
The Boleyn InheritanceThis book, as one would expect from such a successful author,is very easy to read but reminds one of Sir Thomas Browne(1605-1682)when he said, "What song the Syrens sang, or what name Achilles assumed when he hid himself among women, although puzzling questions, are not beyond all conjecture." This is what happens here, at inordinate length. The characters may have spoken as they do, but, on the other hand, they may not. What is certain is they went on for a long time, as if Gregory were determined to make her book as thick as possible. Her picture of Katharine Howard is reasonably convincing, and Anne of Cleves comes over as perhaps more interesting than she actually was - along with the reasons why she was chosen as a wife for Henry. But a great deal of stamina is needed, and the trick of having first-person narratives palls after a while. This is the first book I've read by this writer and by page one hundred and two I'd thrown in the towel. The explicit sex, which seems mandatory these days and helps to sell books, was also a turn-off. If an author can use his/her imagination so too can the reader.


Monsieur Pamplemousse and the Carbon Footprint (Monsieur Pamplemousse Mysteries)
Monsieur Pamplemousse and the Carbon Footprint (Monsieur Pamplemousse Mysteries)
by Michael Bond
Edition: Paperback
Price: £7.99

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Difficult, 9 Dec 2012
Monsieur Pamplemousse and the Carbon Footprint I have tried hard to read this book but been put off by the sleasy asides, broken paragraphs - and a confusing use of pronouns. It may perhaps be entertaining for readers who persevere and have fond memories of 'Paddington'. But the purpose of a book is to get the reader interested not to make everything so difficult that he/she gives up in dispair after about twenty pages.


On Wheels
On Wheels
by Michael Holroyd
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £8.78

6 of 9 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Short and Sweet?, 21 Nov 2012
This review is from: On Wheels (Hardcover)
On Wheels At first this little book looks and feels very appealing, with a most attractive and interesting cover design. But, short tho' it may be, it's not easy to dip into - even though the blurb promises great finds. The drawings are on the whole rather depressing and, unless Mr. Holroyd is well on the way to his 'second childhood' (something belied by the clarity of the text)the wheelchair is a definite turn-off. The book, however, has been brought out well in time for Christmas and, for most people, will make an ideal present.


The Help
The Help
by Kathryn Stockett
Edition: Paperback
Price: £3.85

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars A Missed Opportunity?, 27 Aug 2012
This review is from: The Help (Paperback)
The Help I am continually surprised by the number of books published by authors who are in the trade, something which must be galling to those who aren't and which possibly biases the issue. The amount of help given to such fortunates can also cause those writers who have to 'go it alone' to grind their teeth. Here, people are thanked for 'their tenacious editing and diligent advice'and as great 'copy editors'. Putnam is thanked for 'hard work', presumably in promoting the book, apparently turned down by 40 other houses who must be crying all the way back from the bank at the size of their overdrafts. I must confess that I didn't have any difficulty in understanding the southern speech, but I question it's accuracy and the overwhelming amount of it. My own experience is of a black girl coming from downtown Pittsburgh to clean for a woman living in an all-white suburb. I knew that my hostess hated 'blacks', but she was always polite to her 'help'. However, she used her first name (I never knew her surname)while the cleaner was careful to give her her full title.This, of course, could be a formality between employee and employer but there was no doubt that the employer enjoyed the distinction. As for the book, it's readable but very repetitive, and I couldn't slog it out to the end. But since I picked it up for 33p in a charity shop and brought it home because I remembered seeing it in a 'bestseller' list this was no great loss.


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