Mark Ramsden

Top Reviewer Ranking: 8,519
Helpful votes received on reviews: 92% (127 of 138)


Top Reviewer Ranking: 8,519 - Total Helpful Votes: 127 of 138
All the Devils are Here by David Seabrook
All the Devils are Here by David Seabrook
The diseased underbelly of Kent - more darkly glamorous than that may sound.

David Seabrook has a fresh theory on the genesis of The Mystery of Edwin Drood, and a glorious putdown for that scrofulous dump Chatham. A ramble through the coastal Kent undergrowth unearths Lord Haw haw and his daughter, John Buchan and the 39 steps, the British Union of Fascists, the drunken decline of Charles Hawtrey and other compulsive predators, TS Elliot, Freddie Mills, and much more.

Full of arcane knowledge and well written, with occasional poetic flourishes. An absorbing page turner that will repay repeat reading.
Kill Your Darlings by Terence Blacker
Kill Your Darlings by Terence Blacker
Funny, perceptive, a satisfying plot with a few surprises along the way. This is good therapy if you've ever tangled with toffee-nosed twits in publishing, or if you've ever been exasperated by Martin Amis. It's also a fitting tribute if you love his best work or have been following his career for some decades.
The portrait of a dying marriage is very moving.
Can't agree with the critical view of Elmore Leonard but it's to the narrator's credit that he's swimming against the tide and the point is well made. And that's a few sentences out of a very good book indeed. High class, as ever from Blacker.
Watching War Films With My Dad by Al Murray
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Worth it for '90s Tory bad boy' Alan Clarke being dubbed a 'grimly louche chancer'. History graduate from a military family Murray is an entertaining and illuminating host throughout. If you are obsessed with exactly what tanks or airplanes look like this will be indispensable. I'm not but there is plenty of psychological insight into stiff upper lip chaps like Monty and distilled wisdom from very wide reading into various wars, their genesis, chaotic cock ups, how the verdict of history changes and much more. The chapter on benefits of war informed me MDMA was invented by Merck for battlefield surgery - like many people I thought it had been intended as an appetite suppressant… Read more