Helpful votes received on reviews: 80% (187 of 233)
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Top Reviewer Ranking: 2,634,119 - Total Helpful Votes: 187 of 233
Pontoon: A Lake Wobegon Novel by Garrison Keillor
Pontoon: A Lake Wobegon Novel by Garrison Keillor
4 of 8 people found the following review helpful
Hmmm. I think Keillor's schtick is getting old. Either that or he's writing too much and the quality control suffers. Maybe he has bills to pay. Whatever, this was a most disappointing book. Keillor's schtick, for those who don't know, is to chronicle the doings of people in a dull hick town in Minnesota, wringing comedy from their very ordinary lives with sharp observation and dry wit. Remove the laughs, as in this book, and what you have is a litany of rather depressing life stories, each one a born loser. After about three of these, and only half a laugh in the lot, I got the feeling that this was not one of Mr. Keillor's best. Worse was yet to come, because, as was apparent almost from… Read more
The Ladies of Grace Adieu: and Other Stories by Susanna Clarke
8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
I have had cause to speak of Miss Clarke's writings before, in connexion with her work Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell, and therein the chief critickism I had to make was as to the length of that novel, which I judged to be some two hundred pages (out of eight hundred) too long. No such cavil attends the remarks I wish to make of this present collection, which consists of a number of shorter tales, set within the same fantastickal and fascinating other-England of the longer book. Each and all are nothing less than a delight from beginning to end. Miss Clarke has a remarkable facility for evoking the strange and alarming world of Faerie, and creates a truly enchanting atmosphere when writing… Read more
First Among Sequels by Jasper Fforde
First Among Sequels by Jasper Fforde
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Jasper the heir to Adams, 17 July 2007
Jasper Fforde is rapidly becoming the true heir to Douglas Adams: DNA was essentially a sketch writer, and could write sparkling little skits based round ideas, but had trouble stringing them together in a coherent story. Fforde is similarly ideas-driven, and will bend his plots to accomodate them, but he is much better at plotting than DNA ever was. Readers of TN 1- 4 will find TN 5 absolutely stuffed with ideas, many of them mind-bendingly brilliant, hung on a pretty nifty plot; the characterisation suffers a little as a consequence, but, hey, nobody's perfect. In short, it's business as usual in Thursdayverse, complete with some very funny jokes, a rare crop of vile puns, a whole… Read more

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