A. Brown

Me with a manic grin (c.June 2006)
Helpful votes received on reviews: 83% (45 of 54)
Location: Bristol
Birthday: 18 Nov


Top Reviewer Ranking: 134,750 - Total Helpful Votes: 45 of 54
Stonemouth by Iain Banks
Stonemouth by Iain Banks
12 of 15 people found the following review helpful
I am a big fan of Iain Banks' work; he is just about the only author whose books I get when they are released in hardback, rather than wait on the paperback publication. I've also started reading his Science Fiction works, published as Iain M Banks, but for the sake of clarity references to his oeuvre in this review are specifically to the "non-M" books.

After a number of books which failed to reach the heights of his previous works, his last book, Transition, was something of a return to form. It was with some anticipation and trepidation that I embarked upon Stonemouth. Would I be disappointed? Was Transition's improved quality partly because it was border-line science fiction… Read more
Cosmology: A Very Short Introduction (Very Short I&hellip by Peter Coles
This is the first book I've read from Oxford University Press' A Very Short Introduction series. Launched in 1995, there are now over 300 in the range covering topics as diverse as Advertising and Wittgenstein, Christianity and Witchcraft. Each volume is reassuringly thin which must make even the more daunting topics seem accessible even before one starts reading.

The book on Cosmology is written by Professor of Theoretical Astrophysics at Cardiff University, Peter Coles. His previous works include textbooks on the subject as well as popular science books on both Einstein and Stephen Hawking.

A Very Short Introduction to Cosmology is not the same as Cosmology Made… Read more
The Hobbit by J. R. R. Tolkien
The Hobbit by J. R. R. Tolkien
I'm not terribly sure how to review The Hobbit. It's a book to which I return again and again and know so well, it's hard to read it with a critic's eye - or to want to do so. It's also a book that's so well known (even ahead of the new films) that providing a synopsis seems to be of limited value.

This time through I was struck by two things, though. First I was reminded how much of a book for children it is: something I tend to forget. As narrator, Tolkien makes a number of asides to reader over and above the expository sections. The second thing that struck me this time is where the story hints at it's darker edge.

The first of these things has long been considered… Read more

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