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Profile for Zaida Rahman > Reviews

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Zaida Rahman (UK)

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The Tenth Circle
The Tenth Circle
by Jodi Picoult
Edition: Paperback

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Groan, 7 May 2010
This review is from: The Tenth Circle (Paperback)
First thing's first, I (usually) love Jodi Picoult. I think her books are absorbing, gripping, thought provoking and relatively well written.

However, with The Tenth Circle, she seems to be straying into James Patterson territory (i.e. favouring quantity over quality). The similies which I usually find sweet and evocative were so contrived, it seemed as though they were written by some sort of automatic generator, sometimes making no sense at all. Just flicking through it now, I can see:

"Trixie's face - a white oval that bled at the edges" (How exactly does an oval bleed? What does this even mean?)
"The examination room was runny at the edges like a breakfast egg that hadn't been cooked quite long enough." (Speaks for itself.)
"Her hair fell like a gash around her shoulders" (Again, what does this even mean?)

These became so jarring, I found myself playing "spot the stupid similie" before long. Overall, it was trite, cliched and utterly disappointing. In fact, the quality is so poor compared with The Pact, My Sister's Keeper, Salem Falls, Perfect Match and so many of her other books, I really do wonder if they publishers have some sort of Picoult 'helpers' factory going on a-la-Patterson.

The White Tiger
The White Tiger
by Aravind Adiga
Edition: Paperback

5.0 out of 5 stars Highly readable and genuinely interesting, 6 Feb. 2010
This review is from: The White Tiger (Paperback)
I have to admit I picked this book up purely because I was jumping on the Booker bandwagon, but I'm glad I did! I was expecting it to be quite dense and political, but was surprised by how readable it was. It was a genuinely good story, which is rare for Booker winners who are usually more concerned with flowery language and philosophical hand wringing. While Adiga can and does do the flowery language part, it never gets in the way of the actual story, which is the main reason why I enjoyed this book so much.

Definitely recommended!

Madhur Jaffrey Indian Cooking
Madhur Jaffrey Indian Cooking
by Madhur Jaffrey
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £27.09

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An absolute Godsend!, 15 Dec. 2009
Any modern Asian woman will tell you that she struggles to uphold the culinary excellence of the generation of women before her. I'm generalising here but our mothers largely focused on running a home whereas our generation of women work full time, have social lives, try to look good, keep up to date with current affairs, all while trying to look after the family and do the dreaded cooking.

Without any natural flair for cooking, I always struggled with it, finding it a mundane and tedious task, particularly because the end result was always so mediocre. BUT Madhur has changed all that. I'm kicking myself for not buying into her domestic Goddess thing a whole lot earlier. With both easy and complex recipes set out in idiot-proof steps, this is an almost 100% guarantee that your dishes will be tasty and impressive. My first attempt at keema (minced lamb) was met with amazement from my family. This book has convinced me there may be some culinary potential in me after all. If you struggle like I do (did?), get this book. It is invaluable!

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