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The Cambridge Bookman
Helpful votes received on reviews: 77% (143 of 185)
Location: France
 

Reviews

Top Reviewer Ranking: 76,914 - Total Helpful Votes: 143 of 185
NW by Zadie Smith
NW by Zadie Smith
2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Unfinished, 10 Oct 2012
This reads like chapters from an unfinished novel which needs adding to, and the redundant modernist bits taken out. Then you would have something Zadie Smith is supremely well qualified to write: a multi-layered state of the nation account of London life packed with characters of differing ethnicity and social standing and backgrounds.

A diagram of the plot would show a cross with two lines running through it: Natalie and Leah who were friends at school and are both upwardly mobile, Nathan Bogle, who also attended the school and touches their lives but is an outcast from their society, and Felix Cooper who straddles the main action without ever becoming part of it. The real… Read more
Sweet Tooth by Ian McEwan
Sweet Tooth by Ian McEwan
7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Varieties of Fake, 9 Oct 2012
Sweet Tooth is a lightweight conventional novel set in the Intelligence world without ever becoming spy fiction. As with Atonement its sole post-modern component is a gimmick, revealing the material that frames it to be wholly fake: a plausible imitation of something with no real heart. Those who wish to defend it may counter that it is a fake autobiography dealing with appearance and reality, but for this to be true it would have to contain a convincing element of felt life. If this is the case I have failed to detect it.
The Casual Vacancy by J. K. Rowling
The Casual Vacancy by J. K. Rowling
12 of 18 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Feelbad Territory, 28 Sep 2012
I reviewed this book when it first came out, but my review was based on the first twenty or so pages, which I downloaded from Kindle. I have now bought the book in Tesco (8.00; pretty cheap when you consider how long it is) and can provide a more informed review.

Unfortunately further acquaintance with the book has not made me any fonder. In spite the success of the Harry Potter series, Rowling seems to lack some of the most basic attributes of a novelist. The characterisation lacks depth; the material is thin and poisoned by narrow prejudices -- against fat people, against sexually needy women, and so on. The endgame revelations which should illuminate the events which take… Read more