Neil Curry

Helpful votes received on reviews: 91% (21 of 23)
Location: Cumbria, England


Top Reviewer Ranking: 1,245,027 - Total Helpful Votes: 21 of 23
Necessary Things: A Historical Novel for Today by Anthony Fowles
It is inevitable that anyone writing an historical novel today will be compared with Hilary Mantel, and the astonishing thing is that Anthony Fowles can bear the comparison.
In some respects, the task he set himself here was more difficult. In writing of Tudor times Hilary Mantel could feel sure that the events and her list of characters were already known to us, but "Necessary Things" takes place in the London of Charles II. Fowles' main protagonist is Samuel Pepys and while most us know that he wrote a diary we probably know little else. Even less knowledge can be assumed about the Earl of Shaftesbury or Titus Oates. Fowles has to establish these characters for us and he does so… Read more
Horace: A Life by Peter Levi
Horace: A Life by Peter Levi
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
I was so looking forward to reading this, but it is very nearly unreadable. I have rarely seen such a badly produced book. The print is miniscule and the lines go so deeply into the gutter that it is hard to follow them. I expect it to fall apart at any moment. I wrote to the publisher a few weeks ago and asked them what they thought of their product. I have not had the courtesy of a reply. I suppose they are not bothered as they have got my money. I would advise others to think twice before parting with theirs.
Mudbound by Hillary Jordan
Mudbound by Hillary Jordan
20 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A gifted debut, 9 Mar 2008
Early in the second chapter of Hillary Jordan's brilliant new novel Mudbound, one of her leading characters, Laura, says, "I suppose the beginning depends on who's telling the story. No doubt the others would start somewhere different, but they'd still wind up at the same place in the end." And this is the key to the book's whole structure. We have just seen the end. In Chapter One we saw Laura's husband and his younger brother digging a grave on their farm, a grave seven feet deep in what seems to have been total mud. They were burying their father, who did not, it is hinted, die from natural causes. How this end came about we are told in the following chapters, each of which is… Read more

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