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The Stranger's Child: Picador Classic
The Stranger's Child: Picador Classic
Price: £6.64

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The equal of Brideshead, 31 July 2012
I really enjoyed this novel. Its sense of loss and the haunting power - if not reliability - of memory is conveyed beautifully. The brilliance with which Hollinghurst writes sexual frisson doesn't falter here either, for both gay and straight pairings.
The tiniest criticism I would have is that there was not quite enough of the beginning and a little too much of the end, as the earlier characters are more vivid than the later characters. Other than that, a truly perfect book that stands equal to one of my other favourites, Brideshead Revisited.


A Dangerous Method [DVD]
A Dangerous Method [DVD]
Dvd ~ Keira Knightley
Offered by best_value_entertainment
Price: £4.70

1 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Quietly Violent, 12 July 2012
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This review is from: A Dangerous Method [DVD] (DVD)
I was transfixed by this film. The contrast between its visual beauty and the uglier side of the psyche was masterfully done, highlighted with occasional Cronenberg touches such as a close up of blood, or a sudden attack. Despite the trailer, which took all the most dramatic moments of the film to give an impression of a quite different piece of work, A Dangerous Method is mostly quiet and focuses on thought and conversation. The dialogue was intelligent without being impenetrable and I was gripped by its tension. The acting is excellent... I know Keira Knightley has been criticised by some, but once the surprise at the hysterical opening scene and her initially jarring accent subsides, I felt deeply involved with and sympathetic towards her character. A brilliant film.


The Virgin Suicides [DVD] [2000]
The Virgin Suicides [DVD] [2000]
Dvd ~ Kirsten Dunst
Price: £5.81

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Does the book justice, 5 July 2012
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Eugenides' novel is easily one of my favourite books, and this film (which I have just watched for the first time) really does it justice: dreamlike, surreal and infused with longing for the lost past. The acting is understated and masterful, while the soundtrack by Air is the perfect companion to the 1970s music loved by the Lisbon sisters. I felt genuinely bereft at the ending.


Shame [DVD]
Shame [DVD]
Dvd ~ Michael Fassbender
Price: £5.46

7 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Haunting, 1 Jun. 2012
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This review is from: Shame [DVD] (DVD)
This examination of the character of Brandon, a sex addict, and his relationship with his troubled sister is an incredibly well made film. Despite the frequently graphic, unerotic sexual scenes, this is a subtle film, leaving the viewer to fill in the blanks in Brandon and Cissy's past. The shots of New York - big, bright and cold - reinforce the sense of Brandon's isolation, functioning in the same way as the interior of his sterile apartment. The acting is astonishingly, wincingly, good. This isn't a sexy film but a powerful one - at times hard to watch, and lingering on in my mind for a while after I'd seen it.


At Last (The Patrick Melrose Novels)
At Last (The Patrick Melrose Novels)
by Edward St Aubyn
Edition: Paperback
Price: £7.99

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars As good as I expected, 1 Jun. 2012
I read this a while after I read St Aubyn's preceding Melrose novels - I ought to have reacquainted myself with the first ones but I was in too much of a hurry to read At Last! Most of the characters are horrendous in their own unique ways, with only a few (Patrick, Mary, the children) possessing any sort of empathy or understanding. Without these characters, and the sense of hopefulness that runs through the narrative, the novel would have been too dark and bleak for me - but as it is, it is by far the funniest of the sequence. St Aubyn's wit shines brighter the more his protagonist gains in emotional stability. I must add - though by now it almost goes without saying - that the writing is beautiful and perfectly controlled. The novel is also masterfully constructed, taking place in a single day and occupying the minds of several characters.


A Single Man [DVD]
A Single Man [DVD]
Dvd ~ Colin Firth
Offered by DVDBayFBA
Price: £2.84

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Style and substance, 21 May 2012
This review is from: A Single Man [DVD] (DVD)
I really loved this film. The acting was brilliant, the cinematography classy, and the dialogue moving without ever being sentimental or melodramatic. The beauty of this film makes an immediate impact - without taking over and replacing genuine feeling. I'm going to buy the book now and am looking forward to reading it!


The Forgotten Waltz
The Forgotten Waltz
by Anne Enright
Edition: Paperback
Price: £8.99

4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great book about not so great people, 17 May 2012
This review is from: The Forgotten Waltz (Paperback)
I loved this book. A less harrowing read than The Gathering, which I felt rather traumatised by! Gina is not an easy or lovable character, but she is coolly witty and self aware, which I appreciated. Other reviewers have complained that they can't empathise with her or the other main characters, but I don't see this as a minus. I don't need to be friends with a narrator, I just need to find them interesting. The emergence of Evie into a more prominent role is beautifully done. I'd recommend anyone who enjoyed this to read The Good Soldier(one of Enright's inspirations, I think). Both beautiful, subtly tragic novels.


Wolf Hall
Wolf Hall
by Hilary Mantel
Edition: Paperback
Price: £7.99

4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Very rewarding, 17 May 2012
This review is from: Wolf Hall (Paperback)
I'm currently waiting for Bring Out The Bodies to arrive (hurry up Amazon!) so I thought I'd review this in the meantime. I absolutely loved this book. It's a testament to Mantel's skill that the reader knows what's coming but she makes it feel surprising and fresh. I'd advise time-poor or short attention-spanned readers that it's not a book to put down then pick up after a couple of weeks and expect to instantly get back into it. It's heavyweight (literally), densely written - and richly rewarding. Clear your schedule!


Fish Tank [DVD] [2009]
Fish Tank [DVD] [2009]
Dvd ~ Katie Jarvis
Price: £8.07

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Mesmerising, 26 April 2012
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This review is from: Fish Tank [DVD] [2009] (DVD)
I absolutely loved this film. It tells the story of Mia without once being patronising or pitying, a difficult task when the heroine who is raised on a particularly bleak council estate by an uninterested and at times cruel mother. Michael Fassbender plays Connor, the new arrival into Mia's life, and does it exceptionally well: he is an enthralling and disturbing presence. All the acting is fantastic, the script is natural and emotionally engaging, and the directing is subtle and beautiful. Thoroughly recommend.


V.
V.
by Thomas Pynchon
Edition: Paperback
Price: £9.98

2 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Worth the attention, 26 April 2012
This review is from: V. (Paperback)
I bought V a couple of months ago and have only just found time to give it the attention it deserves. The ideal opportunity for this was a recent long-haul holiday. V is a complex, intricate and densely detailed novel which requires the reader to remember a large number of plotlines, characters and backstories. I had a similar feeling about the first episode of Boardwalk Empire and the film Gosford Park - at first it seems a bewildering amount is being thrown at you, but it doesn't actually take long to get properly acquainted with the worlds being presented. I enjoyed V very much and was still thinking about it the day after reading. It is in places hilarious, disturbing and sad, and overall a very satisfying read.


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