Helpful votes received on reviews: 92% (11 of 12)


Top Reviewer Ranking: 85,703 - Total Helpful Votes: 11 of 12
Stay Where You Are And Then Leave by John Boyne
Writing firmly for the readership that made 'Boy in the Striped Pyjamas' such a success, John Boyne's book will similarly educate and inform year 7 students upwards about the impact of the first World War on ordinary people. In it a typical East End working class family - the Summerfield's - living in a row of identikit back to backs, sees the father Georgie Summerfield enlist at the outbreak of the war, much to the chagrin of his wife Marjie, while their nine year old son Alfie can only look on helplessly, little knowing what will await him. Their story is like thousands of others, and they function as templates rather than fully realised characters. To an adult reader this reliance on… Read more
The Toymaker by Jeremy de Quidt
The Toymaker by Jeremy de Quidt
4.0 out of 5 stars Like Clockwork!, 5 Feb 2014
With it vaguely Mittleuropean, and unspecified 19th century setting, 'The Toymaker' is a dark adventure, a gothic yarn, that comes across like a Hammer Horror for young people. Featuring a gallery of grotesques, most notably a sadistic dwarf that refuses to die and a marionette that can distinguish truth from lies, a young boy Mathias is pursued by the sinister Dr Leiter after his grandfather is murdered in the circus where he worked as a conjuror. But what is the secret on the piece of paper bequeathed to him? Teaming up with a teenage girl Katta, a maid at a nearby tavern, rescued by a smuggler Koenig, who may or may not be on their side and aided by the gypsy- like youth Stefan who… Read more
Through it All I've Always Laughed: Memoirs of Cou&hellip by Count Arthur Strong
5.0 out of 5 stars Stamps!, 7 Jan 2014
For the first time ever in my reviewing career I have taken the unprecedented step of submitting a review of a book even though I am barely a quarter of the way through it. Quite simply this is one of the funniest fake showbiz biographies ever, a laugh out loud series of set piece, littered with grammatical errors and typos, non sequiters, pointless asides and random stream of consciousness meanderings that make no sense whatsoever. I have just finished reading the 'Whodunnit' piece, Arthur's hilariously bad attempt at penning a Raymond Chandler noir type story which is worth buying the book for alone, and which frankly could be used as primer in creative writing classses on how not to… Read more