Helpful votes received on reviews: 73% (32 of 44)


Top Reviewer Ranking: 61,542 - Total Helpful Votes: 32 of 44
The Truth Commissioner by David Park
The Truth Commissioner by David Park
This is a timely book in view of the difficulties that Dr. Richard Hass has experienced in developing a framework on which to build peace and reconciliation in Northern Ireland. It, and the work of Richard Hass, shows that reconciliation is more than delivering on the lowest common, agreed denominator.

The story is build around the background of the main protagonists as a hearing into the disappearance of a young, gullable teenage police informant approaches. The Truth Commission seems a logical way to address the yearning's of the young boy's family to find out what happened to him. But the process has been subverted and has been allowed to become a ritualistic exercise in… Read more
The Casual Vacancy by J. K. Rowling
The Casual Vacancy by J. K. Rowling
1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
JK Rowling is an excellent story teller and this book moves along with the pace of a thriller.

A casual vacancy on a parish council in the south west of England is unlikely to make it to the floor of the UN but this novel shows how local prejudice, snobbery and vested interest underpins bigger picture politics. The hostility of Pagford's "elite" towards The Fields and its residents resonates with the Osborne / Cameron anti-welfare rhetoric of today. And the arguments they use are part of the everyday wider political debate.

The books displays a good feel for local parish politics -- its almost as if JK Rowling spent many a weary hour serving on such worthy local fora… Read more
Crystal Spirit by Roger Granelli
Crystal Spirit by Roger Granelli
There were over 150 Welsh volunteers in the International Brigades, about three dozen of whom lost their lives.

The Spanish Civil War exposed the ambiguous position of many Western democracies to the rise of fascism and Nazism. But while democratic governments twiddled their thumbs and prevaricated, tens of thousands of volunteers for all parts of the world made their way to Spain to fight Franco and his allies from Hitler's Germany and Mussolini's Italy. It was a gallant but unequal struggle.

This is an account of how one such volunteer from south Wales decides to join the International Brigades. The story is not one of blind heroic idealism but of a combination of… Read more

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