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Helpful votes received on reviews: 95% (37 of 39)
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Reviews

Top Reviewer Ranking: 4,060,263 - Total Helpful Votes: 37 of 39
A Voyage Round John Mortimer by Valerie Grove
A Voyage Round John Mortimer by Valerie Grove
7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars wonderfully clever, 20 Nov 2007
It must be difficult to write the biography of a living 'national treasure' - the temptation to eulogize must be enormous! But Valerie Grove does something very clever. She gives us the familiar image of John Mortimer, all Rumpolean and Rabelaisean, but all the time she subtly undercuts it so that you are aware of Mortimer's serious shortcomings. She isn't judgmental, but nor is she deceived. Her book has a truly adult understanding of how and why people behave as they do - why, for instance, Mortimer had so many love affairs! - and I really liked that. Above all, though, this biography is an incredibly good read, full of jokes and entertainment. The sheer vitality of Mortimer and his set… Read more
Agatha Christie: An English Mystery by Laura Thompson
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
I LOVED this book. Was slightly dubious about reading it (it was bought for me because I like detective fiction etc) as I've always thought that Agatha herself was a bit of an old bore - ! This biography cracked the nice middle-class lady facade and showed somebody passionate, vulnerable and not cosy at all. Like other reviewers I disagreed with some of the things in the book but it was good to find opinions in a biography, rather than just a lot of facts. Next time I watch a 'Poirot' on TV I shall certainly be thinking of Agatha Christie in a very different way.
GORSE TRILOGY, THE - The West Pier; Mr Stimpson an&hellip by Patrick Hamilton
27 of 27 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars bleak genius, 24 Oct 2007
I totally agree with Nemo about 'Mr Stimpson and Mr Gorse'. It is funny beyond belief and so wonderfully cynical - or realistic, in my opinion - about human nature. No redemption possible for these characters - ! which is incredibly refreshing and, somehow, adult to read. Having read pretty much all his work I think that Hamilton is one of the great stylists of the twentieth century. Hard to recommend him highly enough.