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JC (Oxford)

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I'm Not Scared
I'm Not Scared
by Niccolò Ammaniti
Edition: Paperback
Price: £8.99

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars An antidote to Chiantishire, 1 May 2007
This review is from: I'm Not Scared (Paperback)
The cover of this particular edition may be charmingly rustic, but the rural Italy of this short novel is entirely devoid of charm. It is flat, largely featureless, impoverished and peopled by people on the edge of criminality. Criminal or not, all its inhabitants dream of escaping to the tower blocks and diversions of the big city.

The story is narrated by a young boy who makes an alarming discovery outside an old abandoned house. Being very young, he does not immediately comprehend the meaning of his discovery, but as the days and weeks go by he is forced to confront a series of disturbing truths about all those around him.

This is short, a pacy read. The boy's voice is authentic and the setting believable. A bundled-up ending spoils what is otherwise a very good book.

Reportedly, the Italian film version (2003) was not bad either.


The Interpretation of Murder
The Interpretation of Murder
by Jed Rubenfeld
Edition: Hardcover

3.0 out of 5 stars Quite impressive if a little convoluted, 3 Feb. 2007
If you like brain-teaser mysteries in an interesting historical setting, this book is definitely for you. The period is well evoked and it is interesting to see the historical characters (Freud, Jung and co.) brought to life more-or-less credibly. However, the cleverness if the plot, which involved a lot of jumping around from one perspective to another (with accompanyiong changes of tense) upstages everything else. This is a puzzle of a book, not one that goes very deeply into its characters. As a result it can be heavygoing at times.


Come Closer
Come Closer
by Sara Gran
Edition: Paperback

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Short but pleasingly done, 2 Feb. 2007
This review is from: Come Closer (Paperback)
This is a supernatural novel, or at least it seems to be. It is short and does not develop its plot line very far, that of a young woman who comes to believe (with plenty of good reason) that she is being possessed by a demon. But it tells the tale with such disarming frankness and simplicity that it manages to be very compelling. A good quick read.


The Abortionist's Daughter
The Abortionist's Daughter
by Elisabeth Hyde
Edition: Paperback

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Competent but a little 'ordinaire', 2 Feb. 2007
This is quite an easy read: a conventional enough murder mystery with some examination of difficult family relationships woven around it. The writing it solid American, a little too folksy for my taste, but unobtrusive. What the book lacked was any real edge. The victim's profession, though not incidental, is not in any way the 'subject' of the book, which promises to be controversial, but turns out not to be. All in all, there are many better mysteries coming out of America, and I'm surprised this one has been so heavily promoted.


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