Top Reviewer Ranking: 653
Helpful votes received on reviews: 86% (956 of 1,109)
Location: Kent
In My Own Words:
I welcome constructive comments on my reviews and often change what I have written when someone makes a good point.

I believe the purpose of reviews is to help people to distinguish the good from the bad and you can't do that by saying only positive things. I therefore give criticism whenever I think it is due. I have discovered that not everybody appreciates this approach but I prefer to be ho… Read more

Reading, classical music, keeping fit, computing, computer games and, these days, my PhD research.


Top Reviewer Ranking: 653 - Total Helpful Votes: 956 of 1109
White Tribe Dreaming: Apartheid's Bitter Roots as &hellip by Marq De Villiers
This is a history, of the Afrikaner people told from a personal angle but with an honest perspective. There is no attempt to justify or excuse what they did. He sets out their struggles and aspirations and is honest about what they did. I found it fascinating as we always hear about the history of South Africa from an English perspective which is biased to the view that the English they were the force of morality and restraint upon their more racist Afrikaans compatriots. The book shows the hypocrisy of this as the English, often capitalists with roots and connections back home, took much of the benefit, and often took it home, while the Afrikaners were poorer, mostly farmers, and had no… Read more
The Behaviour Of Moths by Poppy Adams
The Behaviour Of Moths by Poppy Adams
5.0 out of 5 stars A first rate novel, 12 July 2014
An old lady, daughter of a man who knew a lot more about moths than the mental health of his children (or even of himself), lives on her own in a crumbling mansion, surrounded by moths and things to do with the science of moths. She tells the story of her family history through a veil of her obsessive interest in moths, warped by her autistic tendencies and coloured by her disappointment in failing to match her father's brilliant career. It is a skilfully written book which reveals the truth in little bites scattered backwards and forwards in time.

It is also an interesting character study for the narrator is clearly deserving of both sympathy and condemnation at the same time… Read more
Oscar and Lucinda by Peter Carey
Oscar and Lucinda by Peter Carey
5.0 out of 5 stars A masterpiece, 12 July 2014
I am surprised this has an average of 4 stars only. In my view it is a masterpiece. It is structured in a strange way so that we don't understand the history of the family. The author managed to keep me guessing for a few hundred pages, with clues that only added to the puzzlement and when it was revealed I just laughed with delight. That is genius writing. The description of the trip into the hinterland is also masterful.

The writing is very dense, which some might call hard work to read. He also has a cynical observation of humanity, which I particularly noticed in the sections on city society in Australia and the austere religious upbringing in England, but the insight is… Read more