Helpful votes received on reviews: 96% (26 of 27)


Top Reviewer Ranking: 501,976 - Total Helpful Votes: 26 of 27
CÚzanne: A life by Alex Danchev
CÚzanne: A life by Alex Danchev
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
At times I seemed to lose my way in this book. That might have been due to my lack of attention, but some sections read like little discrete essays and these sometimes seemed to derail the narrative of Cezanne's life. The section on pages 328 to 330, for example, is like a small essay on Cezanne's relationship with trees. However, this is a small criticism. As W.H. Auden observed, a shilling life will give you the facts and Alex Danchev's marvellous biography will give you far more than that. His motivation for writing the book appears to have been a burning desire to understand Cezanne's genius, and I doubt that there is a better reason for doing so. Towards the end of the book, and… Read more
To the River: A Journey Beneath the Surface by Olivia Laing
18 of 18 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Riverrun, 5 July 2011
I suspect that this book will eventually garner a one star review. It will probably be along the lines that the book did not provide enough factual information about the River Ouse in Sussex. This would be a pity. The book is beautifully written and the descriptions of the river - its landscapes, birds and plantlife - are superb; there's a real sense of being out and about in the countryside on a hot summer's day. I particularly liked the author's account of the 'average residence time of a single water molecule' in a river of the Ouse's size, which is factually interesting and also provides a nice modern take on the classical idea that one cannot put one's foot in the same river twice… Read more
John Fowles: Naturalist of Lyme Regis by Robert Huffaker
1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent introduction, 20 Jan 2011
I hesitated to buy this book as it was originally published some time ago and does not deal with the subject's later work. However, it is an elegant and thoughtful introduction to John Fowles' most important work, and contains a useful bibliography. An added boon that is that the author made use of, and gains insights from, what appears to have been a lengthy correspondence with Fowles in the 1970s. I only wish that Robert Huffaker had revised and updated the book to cover Fowles' later writings!

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