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JonW "JonW" (England)

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The Great and Calamitous Tale of Johan Thoms
The Great and Calamitous Tale of Johan Thoms
Price: £2.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Truly superb, 20 July 2014
Remarkable!

Brilliantly written throughout. Quirky. Original. Thought-provoking, moving, funny. Genuinely one of the very best books I've read in recent years.

This is the sort of book that deserves to become a word-of-mouth bestseller. Buy it! Give it to friends! Tell people about it!


How To Be A Heroine: Or, what I've learned from reading too much
How To Be A Heroine: Or, what I've learned from reading too much
by Samantha Ellis
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £13.59

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant: original, sharp, poignant, 19 Jan 2014
What a brilliantly clever format for an autobiography-to-date: the author takes the fictional heroines who've inspired (and sometimes infuriated) her and weaves them into the story of her life. Simply fascinating, and with numerous stop-you-in-your-tracks brilliant thoughts and sentences. I read it cover to cover in less than 24 hours, and recommend anyone else to do the same.


Fifty Shades of Grey: 1/3
Fifty Shades of Grey: 1/3
by E L James
Edition: Paperback
Price: £3.50

0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Very entertaining, 24 April 2012
After seeing all of the hype, I thought I'd try this - and loved it. It's not classic literature, but it is a good read, and her erotic journey is entertaining.

I've read much better kinky stuff, though, if that's what attracts you - particularly "The Punishment List" or "Dances with Werewolves".


How to write your first novel
How to write your first novel
Price: £6.70

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent, 22 Jan 2012
Excellent. Full of really useful, practical guidance - particularly worthwhile given that it draws on the author's own experience of getting published.


Gold
Gold
by Dan Rhodes
Edition: Paperback

4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent, 14 Sep 2007
This review is from: Gold (Paperback)
OK, so I was biased in favour of the author before starting reading: I adored 'Timoleon Vieta Come Home'.

I read this literally from cover to cover in one sitting. It has wonderful pace, draws you in, and is laugh-aloud funny in many places. But beneath the humour is some real depth and poignancy: the description of a character's declaration at University of her love for the heroine is quite wonderful and touching, for example. And it's one of those books that leaves a real impression.

Is it as good as 'Timoleon Vieta'? Not quite, but it's a wonderful book in its own way, and confirms Rhodes for me as an author in the premier league.


The Reluctant Fundamentalist
The Reluctant Fundamentalist
by Mohsin Hamid
Edition: Hardcover

4 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fabulous, 14 Sep 2007
This is a truly wonderful book - superbly written, original, evocative, challenging, extremely thought-provoking. The best thing I've read in several years (and I'm an avid reader) - I've already given copies to numerous friends. I sincerely hope that it wins the Booker, so that it commands the wide readership that a novel of this stature deserves.

Some have criticised the somewhat ambiguous ending. That, for me, is part of the book's strength; I'm enjoying the arguments with the friends who've also read it!


Imperial Life in the Emerald City: Inside Baghdad's Green Zone
Imperial Life in the Emerald City: Inside Baghdad's Green Zone
by Rajiv Chandrasekaran
Edition: Hardcover

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Astonishing, 14 Sep 2007
Another reviewer used the phrase 'jaw-dropping', and I have to agree. A quite remarkable, eye-opening account of the US attempts to rebuild Baghdad after the invasion/liberation (choose your own phrase!).

I can understand why it's won awards. My only reservation is that - although it's immensely readable - it feels rather poorly edited, with some repetition that makes one think it was published rather too quickly. But, overall, a fascinating book and well worth reading.


Sulphuric Acid
Sulphuric Acid
by Amélie Nothomb
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £9.11

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Shockingly brilliant, 14 Sep 2007
This review is from: Sulphuric Acid (Hardcover)
This is an incredible novella. Think Albert Camus meets Primo Levi, writing about 'Big Brother'.

The book's very premise is so horrifying, so obscene that I stopped for about ten minutes on page 12 to decide whether to continue, or whether to fling it into the wastebin. But the latter simply wasn't an option.

But as a comment on humanity, and on certain aspects of the times in which we live, it is amazing.

One minor gripe: the UK publishers use a quote from Dan Rhodes (himself an excellent novellist) talking about reading Nothomb as being 'fun'. That's the last word I'd use to describe this piece, despite its overall cynicsm and the occasional moment of astonishingly black comedy.

An absolute must-read.


Encyclopedia of an Ordinary Life: 1
Encyclopedia of an Ordinary Life: 1
by Amy Krouse Rosenthal
Edition: Hardcover

8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant, original and witty, 27 Feb 2005
You'll either (a) love this completely and buy copies for all of your friends, or (b) miss the point entirely. Like, I'd hope, about 80% of readers, I'm in camp (a). This description of the author's life is cleverly structured, superbly written, and made me laugh out loud more than anything I've read in years. Oh, and there are more than a few poignant moments too. It's an outstanding book, which deserves immense success.


The Dream Room
The Dream Room
by Marcel Möring
Edition: Hardcover

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A wonderful little book, 29 Sep 2002
This review is from: The Dream Room (Hardcover)
Beautifully written - this marvellous novel brings its characters to life superbly, and manages to be entertaining, moving and though-provoking - all in about 120 pages.
Very highly recommended indeed.


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