Helpful votes received on reviews: 90% (63 of 70)
Location: Shropshire, UK


Top Reviewer Ranking: 4,068,394 - Total Helpful Votes: 63 of 70
The Good Plain Cook by Bethan Roberts
The Good Plain Cook by Bethan Roberts
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Workmanlike, 1 Jun 2009
The Good Plain Cook has a good attempt at a character driven story but unfortunately does have a 'short story' feel about it. The lack of any real plot or any perceivable change in any of the characters means it would have suited more as a slice of life segment rather than a novel length story.

Like Jodi Picoult and many other modern female writers the story creaks under the framework of worthy research and formulaic character studies. Perhaps trying to make modern writing into more a serious 'job' and less an 'art' is increasingly creating books like this one. The result is an interesting perfectly readable book but the characters can appear somewhat clichéd and the… Read more
The Devil's Larder by Jim Crace
The Devil's Larder by Jim Crace
5.0 out of 5 stars Ingenious, 15 Mar 2008
Sometimes you don't need a traditional narrative of beginning, middle and end. Sometimes an insightful commentary on a character's actions in two paragraphs will do.

Jim Crace's ingenious collection of situations, characters and stories are neat, potted commentaries and descriptions which use the theme of food to illustrate bigger ideas. He often doesn't complicate the issue by building up a story and character when this is not required, but he will drop us right in the middle of a situation, with no loss of atmosphere and detail, and draw out a brief and effective allegory.

Crace plays with the format of the short story in a way which matches the way we deal with… Read more
The Moment You Were Gone by Nicci Gerrard
The Moment You Were Gone by Nicci Gerrard
7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
Writers should seek to make the ordinary seem extraordinary and unique. Unfortunately Nicci Gerrard seems to have the British writer's tendency of making the extremes of life rather ordinary, like we all find out life-changing, startling revelations and secrets while chopping peppers for dinner and just carry on chopping and regarding the wallpaper. Gerrard seems to have an obsession with what her characters are eating for meals, including telling us how it was prepared and how characters eat it. She also is fond of making lists (listing the full contents of shelves, the inside of cupboards, medicine cabinets, belongings in the car etc) and I also picked up on a strange need to describe… Read more

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