The Man from the Ministry

Top Reviewer Ranking: 778
Helpful votes received on reviews: 87% (2,183 of 2,507)
Location: Sussex



Top Reviewer Ranking: 778 - Total Helpful Votes: 2183 of 2507
1914 : A Novel by Jean Echenoz
1914 : A Novel by Jean Echenoz
2.0 out of 5 stars A Pity, 26 Jun 2014
I'm a big fan of Jean Echenoz and salute the publisher - a not-for-profit organisation - for making an English translation available, so the last thing I want to do is write a negative review. However, this short book is very disappointing and reads a little like the first draft of an unfinished novel, with a sudden, unsatisfactory ending that leaves you wondering if the last chapters are missing.

I'm not quite sure what the author was trying to achieve, as '1914' tells us little about the First World War, but also fails on a more intimate level. It's a great pity, as Echenoz's novels like 'I'm Off' and 'Big Blondes' sparkle with wit and intelligence. He was clearly have an off… Read more
The Rise and Fall of Great Powers by Tom Rachman
0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Sir Thomas Beecham once advised conductors to start well and end well - "the public doesn't care what's in the middle". In the case of this novel, it started well but halfway into the narrative, looked as if it was in danger of descending into some sub-Austeresque Magical Realism. It's a great tribute to Tom Rachman that he managed to avoid this pitfall and carefully steered the novel towards a successful, satisfying conclusion.

Set in 1988, 1999/2000 and 2011, the narrative alternates between the three periods. I have read that some people found this frustrating, but I enjoyed putting the pieces together and felt that this structure made the story all the more… Read more
Brahms: Four-Hand Piano Music, Vol. 18 <a href="">Christian Kohn</a><span class="byLinePipe"> | </span><span class="byLinePipe">Format:</span> MP3 Download
5.0 out of 5 stars Highly Recommended, 29 May 2014
Why would anyone want to listen to a piano arrangement of Brahms's orchestral works? I couldn't see the point, until I heard an extract from this CD.

I love these two-piano arrangements because for me, they breathe new life into music that I thought I knew backwards, allowing me to really hear the notes without the distractions of orchestral timbre. The performances are first rate and the recording quality manages to avoid the extremes of a soulless studio or a reasonant public building, creating an acoustic that feels natural and intimate, as if it is being performed in your room.

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