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Fat books and old films

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Top Reviewer Ranking: 1,116 - Total Helpful Votes: 1041 of 1287
The Outcast Dead: A Ruth Galloway Investigation by Elly Griffiths
I haven't been very kind to Elly Griffiths in the past, but I keep coming back to these books so she must be getting something right.
I loved the premise of the series - forensic archaeologist and single mother Ruth Galloway solving mysteries while sorting out her tangled love life - and, like all the others, this is an easy read. There's a cast of credible characters, the settings are interesting and evocative (with the supernatural elements just stopping this side of cheesy), and there's enough information about Ruth's work and social life to make her seem current and real.
If it's a successful formula, does it matter that every book is more or less the same? This is perhaps the… Read more
Bridget Jones: Mad About the Boy by Helen Fielding
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Epic Fail, 28 May 2014
This is one of those books that should never have been written.
It must be very tempting for an author to return to something so successful - and so lucrative. Everyone loved Bridget, and carrying on with her story just about worked in The Edge of Reason (which was basically the first book all over again).
But this is a disaster. The main reason Bridget was so popular was that her world was so recognisable. We laughed at her, but we also identified with all those crises in her love life and at work. But now Mark has died (big mistake, surely?) leaving her so well-heeled that she can live in Chalk Farm and employ a full-time nanny without having to get a real job, this has become… Read more
The Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver
The Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver
For once the blurb hits the nail on the head: this is "one family's journey into the heart of darkness", reminiscent of both the Conrad novel and of other clash of civilisations stories like The Mosquito Coast. The wife and four daughters of a misguided Baptist missionary take it in turns to tell the tale of what happens after he drags them all from Georgia to the Belgian Congo in 1959.
It's been expertly researched and it's beautifully written, with some lyrical passages describing the jungle scene. But it's also predictable, repetitive and rather self-indulgent in places - and it's almost 200 pages too long. It would have been just as effective if the author hadn't stretched it out… Read more

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