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Bad Bear "Phil" (England)

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The Fiction Class
The Fiction Class
by Susan Breen
Edition: Paperback
Price: £7.99

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Not for me, 3 July 2008
This review is from: The Fiction Class (Paperback)
I found it difficult to engage with either the book or the characters - perhaps it would read better if written in the first person? The classroom scenes were so-so (why were so many of Arabella's students' questions left unanswered?), the nursing home scenes simply depressing. Shame, as I wanted to like Arabella, but the opaque writing style made it diffcult to do so. And has nobody ever told Arabella that romantic liaisons between teachers and students are a recipe for disaster?


AA Truckstop and Roadside Cafe Guide (AA Lifestyle Guides)
AA Truckstop and Roadside Cafe Guide (AA Lifestyle Guides)

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Update needed, 24 May 2008
A useful book. During my travels round the country I've tried some of the roadside cafes featured in this book. Some are excellent, some not so good. At least two have now closed down, so an updated edition is urgently required. Frustratingly, the cafes are listed alphabetically by name, rather than geographically, so it's sometimes hard to find the entries for cafes within a particular locality. This is something else that a revision should address.


The Perk
The Perk
by Mark Gimenez
Edition: Hardcover

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Poor start, but stick with it, 29 April 2008
This review is from: The Perk (Hardcover)
Having thoroughly enjoyed Mark Gimenez's first two novels, both of which were thrillers in the John Grisham/Lee Child mould, I had high expectations of this one too. Unfortunately, it's initially as plodding as life in the small Texas town it portrays, but stick with it and around page 300 it finally gets into gear and starts moving. A few nice twists in the latter part of the book, and a satisfying - but totally unpredictable - ending.


Blood River: A Journey to Africa's Broken Heart
Blood River: A Journey to Africa's Broken Heart
by Tim Butcher
Edition: Paperback
Price: £7.99

10 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A gripping read, 29 Jan. 2008
Journalist Tim Butcher sets out to cross the Democratic Republic of Congo in the footsteps of the famous explorer Stanley. Even by African standards Congo is clearly a basket case with its shattered economy and smashed infrastructure. As a war correspondent the author is clearly accustomed to difficult and dangerous situations, but the problems of crossing the Congo clearly tax even his resourcefulness. I don't generally read books of this nature as I've found that the best explorers are not always the best of writers, but Mr Butcher has written an interesting and gripping story which skilfully teaches us Congolese history as we travel with him. I highly recommend this book, at the end of which you'll realise that Trans-Congo fly/drive holidays are not likely to be offered anytime soon!


You Are Here
You Are Here
by Steve Horsfall
Edition: Paperback
Price: £11.99

4 of 9 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not exactly quality writing, 22 Jan. 2008
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This review is from: You Are Here (Paperback)
Four thirtysomething single men go on a birds-and-booze package holiday to the Med. Hardly breaking new ground, but, if you can get beyond the amateurish writing - it reads like a feature-length third form essay with its spelling mistakes, appalling grammatical errors and clumsily constructed sentences - you'll find it's quite an absorbing tale. Fine for the beach or a long train journey.


Narrow Dog To Carcassonne
Narrow Dog To Carcassonne
by Terry Darlington
Edition: Paperback
Price: £7.19

8 of 13 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Good story badly written, 17 Nov. 2007
I can't believe that the writers of the glowing reviews here read the same book as I did. I didn't enjoy it at all. In the interview printed at the end of the book the author tells us he was not taught how to write, and I'm afraid it shows. The tragedy is that I sense there is a good story here, but it's so poorly written that it's impossible to read. What a shame!


Don't Get Me Started
Don't Get Me Started
by Mitchell Symons
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £9.99

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Please Don't Get Finished!, 17 Nov. 2007
This review is from: Don't Get Me Started (Hardcover)
You know those little things in modern life that get you mildly irritated - and those not-so-little things that get you really, really annoyed? Mitchell Symons has been there too, and has chronicled all these annoyances in this hilarious book, which progresses from (mild) annoyance to raging fury. You'll love it, and it'll make an excellent stocking-filler for anyone from nine to ninety.


Temptation
Temptation
by Douglas Kennedy
Edition: Paperback
Price: £6.39

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Don't judge this book by its cover, 31 Aug. 2007
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This review is from: Temptation (Paperback)
A struggling Hollywood screenwriter gets a lucky break. This (initially) rags-to-riches story is about the fickleness of Hollywood and the ephemeracy of fame. Strange choice of title - temptation isn't a major feature of the book - but the main problem is that glaringly inappropriate cover which suggests a slushy romantic novel. The publishers would do well to preprint the book with a cover more relevant to its content and its target audience. Fans of Kennedy's earlier works, such as The Job and The Big Picture, will probably enjoy this book, but fans of his more chick-lit recent stuff may not. There are some errors which should have been picked up by the proofreaders: Los Angeles' Wilshire Boulevard is several times referred to as "Wiltshire Boulevard", and the name of minor character McHenry is suddenly changed to McHale for no apparent reason. The bahaviour of the main character is irritatingly naive in places, and some of the plot twists strain credibility somewhat, but overall it's a readable enough page-turner.


Michael O'Leary: A Life in Full Flight
Michael O'Leary: A Life in Full Flight
by Alan Ruddock
Edition: Paperback

15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars More Ryanair than O'Leary, 22 Aug. 2007
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Wrting a biography of Michael O'Leary, the notoriously combative boss of Irish low-cost airline Ryanair, was never going to be an easy task. O'Leary apparently had no interest in the book and did not co-operate with the project, though he did grant the author a few interviews in his capacity as a newspaper journalist. Perhaps for this reason, this is more a book about Ryanair than about O'Leary himself. His childhood and education are covered in the first few pages, and references to his private life (his country home, his cattle breeding, his marriage) are few and far between. But we learn a lot about his accountancy background, his obsession with cost-cutting, his relentless battles with all authorities that obstruct his airline's development, his brilliant manipulation of events and situations to maximise publicity for Ryanair, and his general ruthlessness. Surprisingly, the impact of other low-cost airlines hardly features at all - even Easyjet is barely mentioned. But it's the best book on Ryanair I've seen so far.


Ryanland
Ryanland
by Philip Nolan
Edition: Paperback

6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Planes, trains and automobiles, 16 Aug. 2007
This review is from: Ryanland (Paperback)
Irish-based motoring journalist Philip Nolan must have been exhausted after researching this book. Not only has he clearly spent more time on Ryanair flights than some of their pilots, but he has also put in a fair milage by train and hire car travelling from and between the airline's various far-flung European destinations. I loved the book. Mr Nolan's gentle wit shines through; in general he does not waste time pontificating about the history of the places he visits (that's all available in guidebooks); he tells us what he did, what he saw, and the people he met. Well worth reading.


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