Top Reviewer Ranking: 1,725
Helpful votes received on reviews: 79% (404 of 511)


Top Reviewer Ranking: 1,725 - Total Helpful Votes: 404 of 511
The Temporary Gentleman by Sebastian Barry
The Temporary Gentleman by Sebastian Barry
4.0 out of 5 stars When Jack met Mai., 10 July 2014
Quite a lot may be gleaned from the title of Sebastian Barry's latest novel i.e. The Temporary Gentleman as it is a pejorative term reserved for somebody who may be classed as a gentleman by virtue of rank for the duration of a war. The narrator of Barry's eighth novel is Jack McNulty, an Irishman from Sligo who enlisted as an engineer with the British during the second world war. While McNulty is somewhat proud of his stint with the British army he is aware that his compatriots would not share his sentiments.

The novel opens with a ship being torpedoed off the African coast during the Second World War; Jack is standing on the deck drinking from a bottle of Scotch.

We… Read more
The Woman Upstairs by Claire Messud
The Woman Upstairs by Claire Messud
1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars The Furies., 11 Jun 2014
"How angry am I? You don't want to know. Nobody wants to know about that." The opening of this novel grabs one by the throat as it is, of course, meant to do. The narrator is Nora Eldridge, a 42 year-old single lady who has until recently, been a teacher at Appleton Elementary in Cambridge, Massachusetts. We learn that Nora's mother's nickname for her daughter was "Mouse" hardly conducive to confidence building in a young person.

The major part of Nora's story takes place 5 years earlier when she is still employed as a teacher although she had harboured dreams of becoming a famous artist. She lives alone and is an attentive daughter to her elderly father, a widower. Her life is… Read more
The Truth about the Harry Quebert Affair by JoŽl Dicker
8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Much-Hyped Twister., 10 Jun 2014
This is a cleverly constructed thriller written in French by Swiss author Joel Dicker and benefits from a first-rate translation. It has been hugely successful, has been translated into 32 languages, and in France has won several literary prizes and Ron Howard has bought the movie rights! So given all the hype surrounding this novel I suppose I expected a lot more than the book actually delivered.

The story is set in New Hampshire and revolves around a murder investigation which has been reopened following the discovery of the body of a 15 year-old girl, Nola, in the eponymous Harry Quebert's back garden. Nola had disappeared 33 years earlier and her abductor had never been… Read more