Helpful votes received on reviews: 81% (26 of 32)
Location: Manchester UK


Top Reviewer Ranking: 404,447 - Total Helpful Votes: 26 of 32
Black Ice: Life and Death of John Curry by Elva Oglanby
3.0 out of 5 stars Ludicrously maligned, 22 Jun 2014
Just why this book was withdrawn is a mystery. Although journalistically suspect - Oglanby seems to have a photographic memory for verbatim quotes - it all rings very true. Curry's own brutal analysis of his childhood is followed by an insider's account of the brilliantly fruitful years which climaxed at the Royal Albert Hall and New York Met in 1984. More of a memoir than a biography, it's to be hoped that the Bloomsbury biography of Curry - due out some time in 2014 and called ALONE, I hear - finally delivers the fitting book which this genius of the ice deserves.
In One Person by John Irving
In One Person by John Irving
4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
After the return to form of Irving's last novel, this is a sad disappointment. Discursive is JI's middle name, but usually there's a pay-off which makes you want to start over all again. This time, alas, there isn't even the saving redemption of a bravura climax. Billy (the lead character) tells us his story, but seems no more rounded or credible by the end of it, than he did 500 or so pages before. And once again, the editing is sloppy. The same phrases and words crop up far too often (preternaturally)and Irving's famously idiosyncratic syntax is done no favours by the publisher's lazy (or fearful) approach to their star performer. All in all, a very sad letdown, nothwithstanding the… Read more
The Beginner's Goodbye by Anne Tyler
The Beginner's Goodbye by Anne Tyler
1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Not persuaded..., 7 May 2012
Of course, the writing is impeccable. Likewise, the detail and the dialogue. However, the central character neither speaks, nor thinks like a man in his mid-30's. Instead, he sounds like a tired and weary man in his dotage. There's no spark of youth in the way he articulates his situation, and for this reason, and his reaction to is too wise and worn to be completely plausible. That said, it's a beautifully worked little story and still the best thing I've read all year.

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