M. D. Holley

Top Reviewer Ranking: 761
Helpful votes received on reviews: 84% (882 of 1,055)
Location: Kent, UK


Top Reviewer Ranking: 761 - Total Helpful Votes: 882 of 1055
The Summer Book by Esther Freud
The Summer Book by Esther Freud
5.0 out of 5 stars Strong emotional pull, 27 July 2014
A life enhancing read, this little book. There is no plot as such - more a series of short stories about life on a tiny island in the Gulf of Finland over one summer.

The two main characters (Grandmother and Sophia) are exquisitly drawn. They are both incredibly real - I can't remember reading any other book where the characters are so believable. They are each quirky, argumentative and highly attractive too.

The language is rather unusual, in that it is extremely economical and understated, yet powerfully conveys the landscape as well as the unfolding emotions of the protagonists. There is not a word out of place, or which is superfluous.

The Moomin… Read more
Look Who's Back by Timur Vermes
Look Who's Back by Timur Vermes
5.0 out of 5 stars Subtle and subversive, 20 July 2014
A very powerful novel this. Extremely clever. Subtle and subversive. Hilariously funny too.

Making Hitler himself the narrator is a good idea, because you as the reader get drawn in and feel some sympathy with him. How weird and distressing is that? It feels like the author has crawled inside your head and is messing about in there.

The book is not afraid to confront really difficult issues head on. In particular there is the scene where one of Hitler's closest friends, his secretary, brings out a photo of her dead Jewish family. I was wondering where the author would take this scene. Suffice to say the path the scene takes is pretty disturbing.

Comedy… Read more
The Master and Margarita (Alma Classics) by Mikhail Afanasevich Bulgakov
The Master and Margarita (Alma Classics) by Mikhail Afanasevich Bulgakov
5.0 out of 5 stars Boundless imagination, 20 July 2014
What an incredible imagination! This book has a breathtaking originality. It is like nothing I ever read before. It is utterly unpredictable. The humour is pretty dark. And it has a strongly, and highly attractive, Russian flavour.

It is easy to read and difficult to put down. The settings, in Moscow and Jerusalem are beautifully captured. It leaves you deep in thought for a long time afterwards. I understand this is a cult novel in Russia. Some become obsessed with it. I can see why.

Highly recommended!