Helpful votes received on reviews: 73% (91 of 124)
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Top Reviewer Ranking: 594,257 - Total Helpful Votes: 91 of 124
The Pregnant Widow by Martin Amis
The Pregnant Widow by Martin Amis
Amis must be doing something right - I managed to read this book to the end, and found I just about continued to care about some of the characters, even the relatively minor ones.

I found myself laughing out loud at the "one-liners" in the early part of the book, but thereafter the wit faded. The main "Italian holiday" section had plenty of potential for amusement, intrigue and sex, and yet Amis only partially delivers - although there's obviously some clever irony in the fact that the reader (and the main protagonist Keith) is never quite satisfied, and never reaches the spectacular sex scene - at least, not in the way we (and Keith) imagine it.

Where the novel mainly… Read more
Jew by D.O. Dodd
Jew by D.O. Dodd
0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
I won't spoil the plot, but there are certain key references placed throughout this clever and daring story which lead the reader toward a much more precise understanding of the events depicted than most reviewers seem to have grasped. These references are certainly sparingly - and carefully - deployed, but relatively unambiguous (once you have checked out the meaning of one religious term in particular).

A second reading is probably required (if you can bear it) to draw out the ultimate clarity of the plot (I read parts of the text a second time immediately after I had finished it). In the current political environment, the story - once fully understood - certainly delivers a… Read more
The Lessons by Naomi Alderman
The Lessons by Naomi Alderman
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
This novel's main achievement is that it manages to be enjoyable and engaging despite our lack of sympathy for the majority of the characters. And that's not the only parallel with Brideshead Revisited (the classic "Oxford novel" in which unsympathetic people do unsympathetic things, yet people queue up to read about them): the relationship between James, Mark, Jess, Mark's mother and the monk with the dodgy cassock clearly makes much more than a nod in the direction of the Charles/Sebastian/Lady Marchmain/Samgrass/Julia nexus at the heart of Waugh's novel. I won't go into the structural similarities in the respective relationships, but the references to Mark's "trouble", and the various… Read more