Most helpful critical review
26 of 34 people found the following review helpful
on 25 June 2006
Although this book is not without a certain charm, I was baffled by the fulsome praise it received from the press, much of which was, in my eyes, unjustified.
The narrative is in the present tense, which is presumably intended to convey that the story was written as events happened, but is surprisingly distracting and prevents any real rhythm from emerging. Even diaries, which are of course written in the present, aren't exclusively or even mainly written in the present tense. There is also a kind of staccato, disjointed element to the writing which I found to be annoying.
The photographs are charming and help create an authentic atmosphere of the period. There are also quite a lot of isolated desciptions of places, people and objects that are delightful. Overall though, unusual as the book is, nothing saves it from being lightweight and hard to get involved in.