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Reviews Written by
G. L. Haggett "glynlhaggett" (UK)
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J: A Novel
J: A Novel
by Howard Jacobson
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £12.91

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Wasted opportunity?, 12 Sep 2014
This review is from: J: A Novel (Hardcover)
One of the other reviewers has described this book as "arduous". Another preferred "opaque". I think I know what both of them are getting at.

For all his undoubted authorial flair, Jacobson can be a self-indulgently literary writer at times, intent on admiring the brilliance of his own ideas and far more interested in method than substance. That is of course likely to make him appeal to a certain breed of Booker Prize judge.

This book starts from an interesting premise, all the better for its apparent enigma, the trick being that the reader thinks he/she has a pretty good idea of what lies behind "what happened, if it happened". Unfortunately, Jacobson does not go very far with the idea, concentrating instead on the minutiae of the lives of ultimately uninteresting characters, with the customary tropes of identity, perception and (not) fitting in.

Something of an opportunity wasted, I fear.


Merrell Unisex-Adult Hilltop Vent Waterproof Trekking and Hiking Shoes J099977C Gunsmoke/Black 12 UK, 47 EU
Merrell Unisex-Adult Hilltop Vent Waterproof Trekking and Hiking Shoes J099977C Gunsmoke/Black 12 UK, 47 EU
Price: £56.00

4.0 out of 5 stars Good value, 3 Sep 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Good value low-level walking shoe, suitable for use around town and on light rambles.


The Blazing World
The Blazing World
by Siri Hustvedt
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £17.28

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Interesting but flawed, 3 Sep 2014
This review is from: The Blazing World (Hardcover)
Hustvedt brings the art world to vibratnt life. She has a great ear for different voices but the self-consciously literary nature of the book makes for a tough read at times. For all the wit of the piece and although she has much to say about interpretation, perception and prejudice, the welter of footnotes and references comes across as a little too clever clever and the book runs the risk of disappearing in a fog of the same pretentiousness it sets out to satirise.


Do No Harm: Stories of Life, Death and Brain Surgery
Do No Harm: Stories of Life, Death and Brain Surgery
by Henry Marsh
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £13.59

5.0 out of 5 stars Searingly honest, 28 Jun 2014
A searingly honest account of the ups and downs of the life of a brain surgeon.

Marsh pulls no punches in telling his tale, and is not scared to reveal his own doubts and sadness and distress about the cases where the patient did not enjoy the outcome sought. He is a fine writer and the fact that he is prepared to reveal his own weakness makes, as other reviewers have said, for a humane book.

It would be a cold fish indeed who could come away from this book without a sense of admiration and even awe for the surgeon, his colleagues, family and most importanlly his patients.


GARDMAN MINI BIRD BATH AND SUPPORT RING FOR WILD BIRD FEEDING STATION NEW
GARDMAN MINI BIRD BATH AND SUPPORT RING FOR WILD BIRD FEEDING STATION NEW
Offered by Outdoor Value
Price: £2.95

5.0 out of 5 stars Does what it needs to, 1 Jun 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Item does exactly what it is intended to do; it is the appropriate item for the bird feeding station and meets the requirements.


Nokia 1100 - Pay As You Go (discontinued by manufacturer)
Nokia 1100 - Pay As You Go (discontinued by manufacturer)

5.0 out of 5 stars Great value, 13 May 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Great value basic telephone, ideal for calls and texts. Does not do what more expensive models can, but does not claim to do so either.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: May 29, 2014 2:08 PM BST


Karrimor Mens Bodmin Mid 3 Weathertite Trekking and Hiking Boots K603-BLC Black Sea 12 UK, 46 EU, 13 US
Karrimor Mens Bodmin Mid 3 Weathertite Trekking and Hiking Boots K603-BLC Black Sea 12 UK, 46 EU, 13 US
Price: £33.98

4.0 out of 5 stars Good value, 13 May 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Straightforward walking boots which do what they are supposed to; not the greatest quality, but all that can be expected for the price.


Red Love: The Story of an East German Family
Red Love: The Story of an East German Family
by Maxim Leo
Edition: Paperback
Price: £6.29

4.0 out of 5 stars Absorbing, 13 May 2014
An absorbing account of the llives of several generations of one family on both sides of the Berlin Wall, which manages to relate the individual experiences to the wider social history of modern Europe.

There are unfortunate lapses in the translation, in particular in terms of unnatural shifts of tense, but that does not detract from what is an interesting and well-told story.


Luck: A Fresh Look At Fortune
Luck: A Fresh Look At Fortune
by Ed Smith
Edition: Paperback
Price: £6.29

4.0 out of 5 stars Elegantly insightful, 5 April 2014
An elegant and eminently readable take on the part luck plays in our lives.

Ed Smith reviews the eternal nurture v. nature dilemma to reveal the futilify of planning in many contexts.

The book's ending shows the happy outcome of circumstance and is a fitting conclusion to a book which stays upbeat throughout.


Last Trains: Dr Beeching and the Death of Rural England
Last Trains: Dr Beeching and the Death of Rural England
by Charles Loft
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £16.00

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Measured and dispassionate, 5 April 2014
A measured, forcefully argued review of the Beeching proposals, their (non-) implementation and the aftermath.

Loft is very good on the social implications of the shift from rail to road; while he makes it clear that the railways of the past were not the wonderland the rheumy-eyed romantics might like to believe, his conclusion is clear evidence of the strength of his feelings.

One for the bookshelves of anyone with an interest in modern social history.


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