SW One

Helpful votes received on reviews: 65% (42 of 65)
Location: UK


Top Reviewer Ranking: 4,365,643 - Total Helpful Votes: 42 of 65
Mr Dixon Disappears (The Mobile Library) by Ian Sansom
0 of 3 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Disappointed, 29 Dec 2007
I knew little of Ian Sansom when I bought this, although I had read a few of his Guardian columns. And that is the problem. Sansom is primarily a columnist - a good one, who can churn out the sort of witty, epigrammatic prose that characterises the frothier weekend broadsheet supplements. What he most certainly is not is a natural storyteller.

This is an autobiographical whimsy - I hesitate to call it a novel - telling of a young, literate London Jew's arrival in backwater Northern Ireland, in a series of quite amusing sketches of scenes of provincial life. There is no plot to speak of, dialogue is unconvincing, characterisation mostly ghastly parody. And as there is no true… Read more
The Risk of Darkness: Simon Serrailler Book 3 by Susan Hill
21 of 26 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Twist, what twist?, 26 Oct 2007
Without wanting to give too much away, I too think this book is misplaced in the 'suspense/psychological thriller' section. I did read it in a couple of days - Hill is a competent if unexciting writer, adept at creating suspense - but I found the ending unsatisfactory, and the promised twist never came. Nor was the villain's motivation explained in any way. Please God that there is not yet another sequel/marketing opportunity in the offing.

One thing that really irritates me about this author are her stock character types. You know the sort : foul-mouthed single mother; sainted GP; working-class copper with heart of gold and the verbal range of Phil Mitchell. On the dustjacket… Read more
The State of the Prisons by Sinead Morrissey
The State of the Prisons by Sinead Morrissey
2 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent collection, 2 Jun 2007
Sinead Morrissey is one of the new generation of young Irish poets who has emerged in the wake of Heaney, and I think that some of these poems bear comparison to his. Like Heaney, she is not afraid to touch on subjects like darkness within the family and personal relationships, there is one very moving poem called 'Sea Stones' about domestic violence. While there is a lot of free verse here, she has also gone on record as saying that form can be useful, and indeed there are fine examples of sonnets and villanelles here, showing that there is room for both in modern poetry.