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heidelberg (UK)

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Rafferty Rises
Rafferty Rises
Price: 3.01

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Nicely judged romp & a great start to a series, 11 Jan 2014
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This review is from: Rafferty Rises (Kindle Edition)
As a prolific yet discerning reader, I am delighted that "Rafferty Rises" is just the first in Chas Tuchel's proposed series of stylish and darkly-comic romps around the Edinburgh underworld.

Rafferty is a highly appealing hero with all the flaws of all great heroes - and a bunch more. He's surrounded (often with malicious intent) by a cast of excellently-drawn secondary characters as he tries and fails to do his best not to get into too much trouble. Or is he really trying? Trouble dogs him so doggedly that he must be feeding it a tin of Pedigree Chum every now and again.

I would venture to mention Irvine Welsh except that that would just be lazy national stereotyping - and in any case, Tuchel is more fun.

It's a quality literary page-turner with crime, grime, and perhaps, possibly, maybe, a bit of love interest too. What more could you want?


Even the Dogs
Even the Dogs
Price: 4.12

5.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful, hard-going, 19 Sep 2013
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This review is from: Even the Dogs (Kindle Edition)
This is a slim novel which nevertheless makes a "full meal" as a reading experience, and takes a lot of time to read - you can't skim, due to the emotional and stylistic density of the prose.

It's very beautiful and, I thought, written with real emotional/psychological acuity. This makes it a difficult read in places, as we spend most of our time down in the real rough edges of life, with people who live "outside the remit" of everything. It's not a bleeding-heart book, though; it's unwavering in its commitment to be true to the characters and to the difficulties in questions of victimhood, "life choices", and addiction.

There are no easy answers (much as we would like to think there are) and this book stares the difficulties of Life full in the face.

I couldn't help but admire the depth of research the author must have done, and yet it never comes across as "look at all my research".

Really brilliant & different.


Love, Life, Loss and Leaving: A Collection of Twenty New Short Stories
Love, Life, Loss and Leaving: A Collection of Twenty New Short Stories
Price: 1.99

4.0 out of 5 stars Two unusual imaginations, 31 Mar 2013
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This is a varied and interesting collection of short pieces (mostly prose) by two writer-friends, both of whom have unusual and entertaining imaginations which come through in their work. They are writers who clearly write with *readers* in mind - not always the case with this form, especially with self-published collections - but these pieces are easy to read and the book as a whole is rewarding to dip into.

Refreshing and intriguing, often funny, sometimes dark.


Six Shorts - The finalists for the 2013 Sunday Times EFG Private Bank Short Story Award
Six Shorts - The finalists for the 2013 Sunday Times EFG Private Bank Short Story Award
Price: 1.95

9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Would a proofread kill them?, 7 Mar 2013
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These are very good stories - as you'd expect. Turned out I'd read four of the six before, but I'm a glutton for contemporary short stories so it's not a great surprise. Junot Diaz should win the competition.

The only trouble is that as with so many ebooks, there are errors. There were typos and punctuation problems (and missing words) that tripped up my reading, in every one of the stories. Publishers, we are paying for these products; do you think you could do readers - and the writers, for that matter - the courtesy of proofreading? Thanks.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Mar 25, 2013 1:28 PM GMT


Tenth of December
Tenth of December
Price: 4.12

33 of 36 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Certainly *a* master of the short story..., 16 Jan 2013
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This review is from: Tenth of December (Kindle Edition)
I have to write here to balance out the inexplicable one- and two-star reviews this brilliant work has so far received on UK Amazon.

Though I would take issue with the publishers' claim that George Saunders is "the undisputed master of the short story" - how can ANYONE be the undisputed ANYTHING? There'll always be dispute! - he is definitely "at the height of his powers" (to use another overused back-of-book phrase) and certainly *a* master of the form.

I laughed out loud at some of the stories in this collection. His dialogue in particular is priceless. People who call these "grim and depressing" ought perhaps to stick to the stories in Take A Break magazine. The humour is dark, but it's not inhumane; in fact a deep humanity runs beneath all these stories.

They are gripping, beautifully structured, original and often hilarious; one of the best collections I've read in the last few years - and I have read many.


Food Addicts: Top 10 Tips to Stop Compulsive Overeating
Food Addicts: Top 10 Tips to Stop Compulsive Overeating
Price: 4.14

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Must be some mistake, 31 May 2012
Having downloaded a sample of this book, it appears to be a word-for-word copy of Patricia Bacall's book "Loving Yourself Thin".

I'm not sure whether Felicity Garver is a nom-de-plume of Patricia Bacall, or whether Amazon have mixed up the text of the two books, or what.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Oct 29, 2012 3:57 AM GMT


Freeport, Grand Bahama Uncensored: 11 Things to do in Freeport, Grand Bahama
Freeport, Grand Bahama Uncensored: 11 Things to do in Freeport, Grand Bahama
Price: 2.50

3.0 out of 5 stars Missing pictures, 28 Feb 2012
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This little book is a nice introduction to Freeport, with the friendly tone that is exactly what you'll find when you come to Grand Bahama. It gives the reader some ideas for things they might do while visiting the island which would deepen their understanding and experience of the real place.

It's just a shame that pictures don't translate to Kindle (since this is a Kindle edition) - there are quite a lot and they are referred to in the text.


How to Write a Short Story that Works
How to Write a Short Story that Works
Price: 6.16

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Very helpful, 27 Feb 2012
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This is a very practical book, helpful for those who like a step-by-step structure to help them organise their writing.

The author even provides a section on "finding material" if you're someone who struggles to think of initial ideas, but even if this isn't you - if you're full of ideas but tend to wade into treacle while actually writing (like me) - you'll certainly find this book a boon. Simple but effective tools are laid out in a no-nonsense way so that you can apply his organising principles to work already in progress or work you haven't yet begun.

I only objected to the tone, which was in places incredibly condescending, but perhaps I'm missing the author's seasoned-old-grump sense of humour. That aside, it's genuinely worth buying and is an excellent price for the content, which is substantial, even if the whole thing could have benefited from a good edit (he can repeat himself a bit).


Speedo Futura Ice Plus Goggles Unisex
Speedo Futura Ice Plus Goggles Unisex

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not ideal for smaller face, 19 Jan 2010
These work fairly well but they DO leave marks. After swimming laps for 45 mins I had awful marks for about 6 hours. As I have a smallish bone structure (I am female) I have to adjust them to fit tightly otherwise they let water in; it may be because of this that I get the marks. I know others - with larger heads - who swear by them, though.


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