Helpful votes received on reviews: 88% (91 of 104)


Top Reviewer Ranking: 4,769,288 - Total Helpful Votes: 91 of 104
Under the Dam by David Constantine
Under the Dam by David Constantine
18 of 21 people found the following review helpful
This is one of the best short story collections I've read in a long time. David Constantine - one of our foremost poets, and prize-winning translator of Holderlin and Goethe - deserves a place alongside such masters of the genre as Gogol and Chekhov, V.S.Pritchett and William Trevor. He chronicles the ordinary yet extraordinary lives of secret desperation most of us lead in prose of an intense, barbed, mythic quality. The short story is the most perfect missile with which to do this. After all, the poem as a literary form is, well, ultimately about itself; and the novel has its sights set on "grander" themes and objectives. These stories are about unique individuals and about us all. Read,… Read more
Taking Leave by Hubank Roger
Taking Leave by Hubank Roger
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Knowledge of Foxes, 29 Aug 2004
Hardman, in his youth, was never a hard man as a climber. As some climbers are hard men. But since then he's hardened himself against the terrible beauty, the fiery darts of real human life. Once, absorbed in the intricacies of the rock face, he experienced transcendent moments of freedom. Now, escaping from a job-marriage-life crisis, he revisits the landscape of his past, the millstone grit and peat hags of Derbyshire's Dark Peak, in a bid for a simpler, more elemental lifestyle. Soloing out of existential angst, he gradually learns how to top out on the plateau of Kinder Surprise. An academic, divorced from the lifeblood of real emotion, Hardman slowly begins to rediscover what reality's… Read more
Mountains of the Mind: A History of a Fascination by Robert Macfarlane
31 of 33 people found the following review helpful
This stunning, magnificent, elegantly written book is one of the best books I've read this year. Some reviewers are entirely missing the point. Yes, of course it's about mountains and mountaineering - at its basic level. But its real concerns resonate so much more broadly and deeply. It's about history and geology, natural history and philosophy, literature and poetry; and it's about culture and psychology and self-discovery. And ultimately, after a meticulously woven argument bringing all these threads together, it's about tragedy, and about knowledge and about love. As another reviewer acutely observed, Macfarlane, like Hopkins, encounters the particular nature of things, and celebrates… Read more