Helpful votes received on reviews: 94% (30 of 32)


Top Reviewer Ranking: 24,198 - Total Helpful Votes: 30 of 32
Thomas Hardy: The Time-torn Man by Claire Tomalin
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Torn-up Subtitle, 2 Dec 2013
Claire Tomalin is already an established literary biographer; Dickens, Austen, etc.
This one is different. The key might be in the subtitle. For Dickens and Austen, 'A Life' was sufficient. Not for Hardy. He is the 'Time-Torn Man'. Already a hint that the Hardy project was different, special, and I think it shows.
It starts with a paradox. Why did hardy's life change so fundamentally the the day his (almost totally estranged) wife died, and why, when he could have been free (he did remarry) did he choose to shackle himself to his wife's memory for the rest of his long life? Everything in the book works backward and forward from that point and is beautifully handled.
To be a… Read more
Trent's Last Case by E. C. Bentley
Trent's Last Case by E. C. Bentley
5.0 out of 5 stars An antidote to Holmes?, 23 Oct 2013
EC Bentley (d.1956), journalist, humorist, popular historian and inventor of the Clerihew not to mention father of the cartoonist Nicolas Bentley, seems to have made an unlikely novelist. Trent's Last Case (1913) is his only full-length novel. A sequel, published over 25 years later was co-written, then followed only
by a series of short stories.
Bentley, while a great admirer of Conan Doyle, considered Holmes to be impossibly perfect and lacking in most human attributes. Bentley was convinced he could do better in this respect and Trent's Last Case is the result.
What of this particular edition, published by Amazon? Its first impression is one of strangeness. No proper title… Read more
Clochemerle by Gabriel Chevallier
Clochemerle by Gabriel Chevallier
Anyone seeking to understand why France is the way it is now should have a quick look at the way it was - 90 years ago!
Incredible as it may now seem, all the events of Clochemerle took place in 1923! Everything in village life is there.
Starting with the social-political dynamic of every French village (the Mayor, the Schoolteacher, the Priest), and the cultural dynamic between the generations, and how this idyllic world can, as a result of a series of incidents for which no-one is personally responsible, will turn to a nightmare 'storm in a teacup' for a whole administration.
A 'butterfly effect' - or a 'Clochmerle-effect', and all of this over a simple urinal!
This is… Read more