Antenna

(TOP 500 REVIEWER)
Eleanor Clare
Top Reviewer Ranking: 132
Helpful votes received on reviews: 87% (3,957 of 4,569)
Location: UK
In My Own Words:
Writing book reviews has proved a useful way of remembering what I've read - then I extended this habit to films.

Membership of several book groups (in both English and French) dictates my reading to some extent, and has certainly led me to enjoy or admire many books I would have rejected out of hand.

Otherwise, I use book award shortlists and newspaper/radio reviews to guide my choice of read… Read more

Interests
On the book front: modern literature, historical fiction, crime and psychological thrillers, biography, the classics, travel, current affairs - political, economic, social issues, French fiction. Although wary of books in translation, I have realise… Read more
 

Reviews

Top Reviewer Ranking: 132 - Total Helpful Votes: 3957 of 4569
Redeployment by Phil Klay
Redeployment by Phil Klay
A dozen often bleak and brutal stories carry an authentic ring based on the author’s first-hand experience as a marine in Iraq. Although it is deliberate in the case of “OIF”, some are too cluttered with military acronyms, either meaningless or distracting if you pause to work them out or look them up. Others which focus on the fighting have nowhere to go after ramming home the way young soldiers are trained as unquestioning killing machines, kept in this state by psychopathic officers, then swear, take drugs and get drunk to blunt their fear, guilt and confusion.

What held me more were the issues raised by the “redeployment” of the title : how these men might deal with the… Read more
Russia in Revolution, 1900-30 by Harrison E. Salisbury
Russia in Revolution, 1900-30 by Harrison E. Salisbury
This provides an engrossing photographic record of the period from the disintegration of the last Tsar Nicholas ll's rule, through the often farcical chaos of revolution, and Lenin's inability to practise what he had preached, to Stalin's ruthless establishment of dictatorship and the collectivisation of agriculture on a huge scale. The mainly black-and-white prints, many still of great clarity show not merely the leading political players and artists but the life of the peasants, and a sense of the gulf between the wealth of the few and the muddy vastness of the countryside. We see the range from Rasputin posing with a prince and a colonel, to an unnervingly handsome and harmless-looking… Read more
The Clearing by Tim Gautreaux
The Clearing by Tim Gautreaux
Dutiful younger son Randolph Aldridge agrees to work as manager as Nimbus, the mismanaged but potentially profitable sawmill his wealthy father has just purchased in the remoteness of the Louisiana swamps. His perhaps unlikely motivation is to bring back to the fold his elder son Byron who has been located working as a "lawman", or security guard, at the site. He has returned from the First World War in a shell-shocked state that leaves him by turns aggressive and depressed, certain only that he no longer wishes to take over his father's business. Byron's resolve to restrict the opening hours of the local casino-bar embroils him in a bitter feud with the Sicilian mafia boss Buzetti who… Read more

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