Shop now Shop now Shop now  Up to 70% Off Fashion  Shop all Amazon Fashion Cloud Drive Photos Shop now Learn More Shop now Shop now Shop Fire Shop Kindle Shop now Shop now
Profile for Huck Flynn > Reviews

Personal Profile

Content by Huck Flynn
Top Reviewer Ranking: 4,657
Helpful Votes: 2182

Learn more about Your Profile.

Reviews Written by
Huck Flynn "huckleberry" (northern ireland)
(VINE VOICE)   

Show:  
Page: 1-10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14 | 15 | 16 | 17 | 18 | 19 | 20 | 21-25
pixel
The Sea
The Sea
by John Banville
Edition: Paperback
Price: £8.99

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A bit of an effort but ....., 26 Jun. 2009
This review is from: The Sea (Paperback)
... probably worth it. The plot - recent widower Max Morden returns to the seaside town where once he developed a adolescent crush on a girl called Chloe until something happened - but what ???? Banville's narrator is a self confessed "dilettante" art historian who appears to be trying to retrace his life and justify its course. The prose is rich and dense and maintains an impressive intensity in portraying the inner turmoil of a not particularly sympathetic character. The vocabulary is challenging - i've never grabbed so much for my dictionary while reading a novel - maybe it says a lot for the book that I felt it was important! The style is quite similar to some Barbara Vine books in terms of the psychology (Chloe and her brother make an interesting study) and unravelling of the story although its plot is a bit thinner. The final resolution is a bit sudden, brief and anticlimactic and I agree with some other reviewers that perhaps other writers might have achieved the effect with less words in a short story. Some interesting characters nevertheless and Banville captures well the hormonal turmoil of puberty and the nostalgia of long ago summer holidays. 3 and a half stars. I'll certainly try another Banville, but maybe not for a few months.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Nov 18, 2009 9:36 PM GMT


When Will There Be Good News?: (Jackson Brodie)
When Will There Be Good News?: (Jackson Brodie)
by Kate Atkinson
Edition: Paperback
Price: £7.99

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The Prime of Mr Jackson Brodie, 25 Jun. 2009
Ms Atkinson's books are hard to classify. They won't satisfy the hard boiled detective story reader, heavyweight literature student or holiday rom com browser. And, yet, they are fascinating and entertaining reads, tighly plotted, feature memorable characters and great dialogue. This is her third starring private eye Jackson Brodie - i've just read them all serially, maybe not a good idea in retrospect - and it is probably the best although One Good Turn is also great and Case Histories worth reading too. In Good News the lives of our three co-stars, Brodie, Louise Munroe and Reggie Chase all become interlinked in a series of unbelieveable coincidences as they try to protect their clients and loved ones from some very menacing characters who have opened up old wounds, including a woman whose family were massacred 30 years before and who may be the victim of the murderer who as been released from prison. However there are so many complicated sub plots that the threads could get completely tangled if it weren't for the skill of the author to keep the plot (if not the train Jackson travels on) on track, and keep the reader amused and perplexed. The will they/won't they relationship of Brodie and Munroe is a delight, the dialogue and thoughts hilarious, although the book at times sinks (or soars, depending on your taste) into farce and slapstick. Atkinson attempts a very difficult balancing act between tragedy and comedy and it sometimes wobbles but never collapses. There are weaknesses and many times in Good News i felt i'd heard enough about Reggie's mother (deceased) or read enough favourite poetry quotations; neither did i think the David Needler episode served any useful purpose in terms of the plot. I also wondered why all her characters seem to have had tragic lives, losing their parents and siblings in the most horrible circumstances - perhaps autobiographical? However, a shame to quibble as the writing is intelligent, witty and fluent, the characters charming and humorous and the plot well paced. I'll be looking out for the next Jackson Brodie case.


The Tenderness of Wolves
The Tenderness of Wolves
by Stef Penney
Edition: Paperback

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Talented writer, excellent debut, 13 May 2009
Thoroughly enjoyed the book. Many points to admire
- great characters, real, sympatehtic characterisation, thoughts and dialogue, eg Donald, Mrs Ross, Sturrock, the Knoxes
- well paced with different threads all being interwoven/unwoven to create tension and resolution
- interesting location and context, well researched details lightly applied to create a vivid and convincing picture
- ingredients of thriller, romance, adventure, history made it a well rounded read
- flowing prose
I only give it 3 stars because i felt the ending wasn't as tightly resolved as i'd have liked - eg the Knox girls faded out a bit quickly and some episodes eg the bone tablet and escape by Line and her children felt like loose ends that the author failed to tie up. There were also just a few too many coincidences - the lost sisters and Maria's accidental meeting with Kahon'wes and sighting of Mr Ross.

I look forward to further books by this author


When We Were Orphans
When We Were Orphans
by Kazuo Ishiguro
Edition: Paperback

4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars The Unreconciled Detective Story, 27 Mar. 2009
This review is from: When We Were Orphans (Paperback)
Ishiguro is undoubtedly a masterful prose writer and usually a very sharp painter of character. In Orphans the narrator Christopher Banks is a fascinating, if somewhat delusional hero, who frustratingly remains unresolved and enigmatic. Maybe that was the author's intention but compared to Stevens, the butler in the flawless masterpiece Remains of the Day, I found him an annoying, over analytical and inconsistent voice. The central theme of different kinds of orphanhood and exile permeate the story, with many of the characters being outsiders and aliens - the British imperial setting of the pre-War International Settlement in Shanghai central to Banks' feeling of rootlessness. I found fairly early on that I didn't like Banks and this is never a good sign. We hear he is a famous detective but have no evidence of his exploits. His thoughts and motives have an air of unreliability and his self awareness is called into question by the disparity between his opinions and his memories of the reactions of others to his conversation or actions. His memory is generally questionable and not to be trusted - many episodes and dialogues he recalls do not seem credible. In fact he is rather ludicrous in his relationships; the rivalry with childhood playmate Akira whom he seems either to idolise or sneer at, and his blatant but rather suppressed attraction to Sarah Hemmings mirrors Stevens the butler from the previous book. On the other hand he seems particularly avuncular, sensible and sympathetic with his adopted "niece" Jennifer and rather unexpectedly shows creditable humanity at other times. The solution of the search for his lost parents comes as a relief rather than a satisfying finale and I finished the book thinking that the entire plot was a red herring and I hadn't been told the interesting truths. Maybe that was also the author's intention - there are lots of clues that the famous detective "hero" fails to unravel but rather misleads the reader. Towards the end I was reminded of several other better books including Great Expectations or Farrell's Singapore Grip. A puzzling and unfulfilling book then, leaving this reader perplexed and more than a bit dissatisfied.


The Whaleboat House
The Whaleboat House
by Mark Mills
Edition: Paperback
Price: £7.99

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars More than a detective story, 6 Mar. 2009
This review is from: The Whaleboat House (Paperback)
Even judged purely as a detective thriller this book is an excellent read. However it's a lot more than that with a more profound, universal resonance at times thanks to some very good writing and great characterisation by Mark Mills, in that respect reminiscent of Guterson's "Snow Falling on Cedars". The geographic backdrop of Amagansett, Long Island, the convincing 1947 social context of the multi-cultural fishing community and historic background of "hero" Labarde's World War 2 experiences in Italy create a rich and complex tapestry wherein is played out the resolution of a gripping murder mystery.
As a character Labarde is perhaps a bit too Rambo-esque at times but his psychological motivation is persuasive and for the most part believeable. The other main character, policeman Tom Hollis is a great creation with a sympathetic inner voice and some great dialogue. His relationship with photographer Abel is hilarious and the tension in his relationship with Mary genuinely engaging. How the two "partners" take on the social elite, scheming politicians, bungling senior officers, hired killer and unearth clues about the past is captured in a well paced narrative that I found hard to resist. By the end of the book you feel you know the main characters and I'd certainly like to meet them again. Yes, you also find out a lot about sea fishing, the WWII campaign in Italy and the local history of Amagansett but expertly interwoven into a sharply focussed story. Well done Mr Mills.


Matachin (Deluxe Hardback Edition)
Matachin (Deluxe Hardback Edition)

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not as good as Burlesque, 21 Jan. 2009
Matachin suffers, IMHO, from too many cooks. Where Burlesque was very strongly directed by Spiers and Boden, this one seems to be a truly democratic and communal offering and as a result ends up just muddled at times. Pity, because the opener Fakenham Fair is as good as anything you'll ever hear. Stunning musicianship and harmonies, brass, strings and rhythm re-energizing a tuneful old folk song. Thereafter the song choice is not as consistently strong. Roll Her Down The Bay is repetitive and boring, Cholera Camp too long and meandering, Spectre Review and Widow's Curse unexceptional and cluttered, and the half minute Vignettes fairly pointless. In the other stronger moments, I Drew My Ship, Bruton Town and Trip to Bucharest, the arrangements seem more focused but the album lacks the lingering, catchy melodies of its predecessor and I suspect, sadly, that I won't listen to it very often. Another point, in terms of mixing and arrangement, Jon Boden's voice is often overpowered, and sometimes the original rhythm or theme of the track is lost amidst the complex counter orchestration, where less might be more. Unlike Burlesque then, Matachin veers perilously close to becoming a hybrid musical form and losing touch with its folk roots. It is perhaps trying to be just a bit too clever, but my feeling is that the material chosen isn't strong enough to support the huge weight of instrumentation and ideas. Still very good, mind.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: May 4, 2010 4:23 PM BST


A History Of Violence [DVD]
A History Of Violence [DVD]
Dvd ~ Viggo Mortensen
Offered by DVD Overstocks
Price: £2.25

1 of 8 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Glamorization of Violence, 7 Jan. 2009
This review is from: A History Of Violence [DVD] (DVD)
I suppose I could have given this 2 stars because i watched it right to the end but that was in the hope that it could redeem a promising start. It didn't. From an interesting premise of a ordinary storekeeper becoming a have-a-go hero and shooting two professional mob hitmen to the tantalising possibility of his having a secret identity and hidden past, all is well enough. Thereafter everything falls apart and descends into a series of cliches, predictable scenes and unrealistic action. It's not just the fact that Mortensen then turns into a Rambo like invincible killing machine - that's laughable enough, it's the repeated glamorization of macho violence, physical and sexual that is so disappointing. The parallel of the son being bullied at school and then retaliating is just too corny and hackneyed to believe and the standard of acting is appalling. Maybe it's the script - it's weak, lacks any sort of substance or humour, and there are gaps - eg why isn't he investigated or arrested when he "deals with" ed harris and his chum in his back yard. The moral (if there is one) seems to be that "a man's gotta do what a man's gotta do" and that usually means with a gun in american films. I suppose i should have suspected the worst early on with all of the family kissing and hugging each other and saying "love you sweetie" (or similar). It was always going to to be too good to be true. But it should have been better and ed harris and william hurt deserved that.
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Feb 7, 2012 3:40 PM GMT


Serif Internet Design Suite 2009
Serif Internet Design Suite 2009

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Time Saver, 30 Dec. 2008
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
The new Serif Suite has just about everything you need to get your first websites up and running and is a fraction of the cost of packages like Frontpage. The interface is reasonably easy to use although perhaps it is best to have previous experience of creating websites. The supplied templates and graphics are pretty good and there are a number of more powerful tools to add functionality and dynamic features to your site - eg shopping trolley and blogs. Ideal for the hobbyist if perhaps a bit limited for serious business use. It would be interesting to see some professional websites using this to show off its full potential. Good manual included and online help works well. I look forward to learning more about the many features. Great value for money.


Windward Away
Windward Away
Price: £13.46

10 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Greatest living (and singing) Scotsman, 29 Oct. 2008
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Windward Away (Audio CD)
What an honour to be the first reviewer of an album i've awaited eagerly for 3 or 4 years. First things first - it's absolutely brilliant. Glad to get that out of the way in case i forget to tell you later. The CD is actually 2 albums - one recorded and lost in the 70's, the other a more recent work. Many of the songs therefore i've already heard either on Sunsets or Off the Map, or at the rare live gig. The later work (the main body of the album) is mostly just archie on vocal and guitar, which is just fine - in fact perfectly uncluttered and allows his voice, his great playing AND his fantastic lyrics to shine out. It's a mellow recording, Stan Rogers after half a bottle of scotch, the sentiment worldly wise, wistful or wry to soothe the listener. Difficult to pick outstanding tracks - favourites are Borderlands, Ontario Dust, Every Man's Heart and Windward Away but every one's a winner. Of the older stuff the arrangements and even the singing has little changed in 30 years, masterpieces like Ashfields and Brine, Cuillins of Home, and Joy of My Heart aren't just songs - they're Scottish Anthems and there's the catchy Eire Lingers that reminds me of the late Jake Thackray's rhythms. Lyrics are top class, poetic, honest, emotive, intense and inspired by archie's native borderlands, but also clever and playful eg "i'm so easy going, I'll be gone before you know it".
If that's not enough reason to buy this indispensable CD, it is incredibly cheap at Amazon at the moment - in fact quite sinfully so. Which leaves you enough change to order one of his other albums as well.


A Quiet Belief In Angels
A Quiet Belief In Angels
by Roger Jon Ellory
Edition: Paperback
Price: £7.99

0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Over ambitious but interesting, 1 Sept. 2008
I was gripped by the first quarter of this book - it is well written and original as it describes the effect on the hero Joseph and his community as young local girls are found brutally murdered. The contrast between the ordinariness of their everyday lives with the horror of the killings and their affect on the impressionable boy promises much.
Sadly it loses its way. Some reviewers have compared it to Steinbeck, Harper Lee, even J D Salinger. I don't thinks so - those books resonate universality - they touch you and make you think about your own life. Ellory's story becomes swamped in Vaughan's self-obsessive fatalism but can't make up its mind whether to be great prose tragedy, an insightful coming of age novel about an "artist" or a serial killer mystery. Ultimately it fails on all counts - the metaphors start to become repetitive or obscure, the plot becomes unsatisfactorily compressed when Joseph goes to New York and the final denouement is sudden but anti-climactic. Where Ellory scores is his study on the effects of the girls' murders, the power of blood ties, small town xenophobia in wartime. I'd recommend Guterson's "Snow Falling on Cedars" as a much better attempt at a "serious" murder mystery. In terms of serial killer not even a master of the genre like Thomas Harris wouldn't attempt 29 victims !


Page: 1-10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14 | 15 | 16 | 17 | 18 | 19 | 20 | 21-25