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Jay (London)

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Lost and Found
Lost and Found
by Tom Winter
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £12.99

44 of 45 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Funny, yet heartbreaking novel, 21 Feb. 2013
This review is from: Lost and Found (Hardcover)
Lost & Found is about two lost souls - Carol, unhappily married, and Albert, a widower who lives in a grim council estate with only his cat Gloria for company. Carol starts writing letters to the universe about her life and Albert, nearing retirement age at the post office and sorting undeliverable mail, begins to read them.

I loved this novel. It's not a love story, or a romance. Instead it's about friendship, loneliness and family. It made me snort with laughter on several occasions and also left me in tears. The author is really skilled at writing in a bittersweet style that keeps you turning the pages as you want to know how things turn out for both of them.

I really recommend this for anyone who likes a heartfelt novel which is a bit quirky and different. I finished the book with tears streaming down my face and will be eagerly recommending it to all of my friends.
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jun 16, 2014 6:16 PM BST


Held Up
Held Up
by Christopher Radmann
Edition: Paperback

3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Incredibly powerful, 12 July 2012
This review is from: Held Up (Paperback)
This is a beautifully written book, full of powerful imagery and a character - Paul - that you continuously root for. The novel grips from the beginning when you realise what Paul has unwittingly allowed to happen and it's a horrifying moment - how do you tell your family and friends that you have lost your daughter in such a way? Paul's quest for redemption, and the discovery of violence within himself, is also very well portrayed as you realise how far a father will go to find his child. The backdrop of South Africa is fascinating, especially when you consider that in this country such a crime would be shocking but over there e police hardly bat an eyelid. The style is punchy and overall I really recommend this as a read that doesn't let you go til the resolution!


How To Be a Woman
How To Be a Woman
by Caitlin Moran
Edition: Paperback
Price: £11.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Very good, mostly, 19 Jan. 2012
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This review is from: How To Be a Woman (Paperback)
I have always been a firm believer that the 'humourless feminist' is an oft-peddled sexist trope so I was thrilled to be proved right by this book which made me laugh, and laugh, and laugh. I was cringing with embarrassment and empathy throughout her depictions of growing up, falling in love, working, etc and I agree with a lot of what she says about feminism and feminist issues. The problem for me is that I think in places the book is TOO personal (e.g. Her burlesque = good, stripping = bad spiel seemed based on no research or knowledge) and I also think it's slightly disingenuous. How did a socially awkward home-schooled girl become an award-winning journalist? How did she get her first job? This is glossed over which I fond frustrating, and odd, given how personal other sections are. Overall though, smart, sassy and made me snort with laughter regularly.


The Slap
The Slap
by Christos Tsiolkas
Edition: Paperback
Price: £12.99

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Overrated, 19 Sept. 2010
This review is from: The Slap (Paperback)
I read this book based on the conceit which I still think is a very strong one. However, what I hoped for was very different to what I got. I wanted an examination of corporal punishment and parenting, tied in with some social analysis of Australia. What I got was a book was a book that skirted around the ethical issues tied up in the moment Harry hit Hugo, and a whole host of deeply, deeply unpleasant characters. I finished the book with one thought and one thought only: every character featured in it deserved a slap.


The Crimson Petal And The White
The Crimson Petal And The White
by Michel Faber
Edition: Paperback

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Breathtaking, 15 Jan. 2010
It takes a lot for me to give a five star review but this is one novel which truly deserves it. In Sugar Michael Faber has created a truly original, intriguing heroine, and the other characters which populate the novel are as complex and fascinating as she proves to be. There are no black and white, 'good' and 'evil' characters here; instead Faber creates believable, flawed people that are all the more interesting for it.

The social context of the novel is fantastically portrayed, it is historically accurate throughout and so vivid it is as if you are in Victorian England. I raced through the book, which is no mean feat at around 800 pages, and have since pressed it on family and friends - all of whom have enjoyed it as much as I did.


Turning Angel
Turning Angel
by Greg Iles
Edition: Paperback

3 of 5 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Left me feeling uncomfortable, 11 Jan. 2010
This review is from: Turning Angel (Paperback)
I really loved 'Blood Lies' so was very excited to read this, but I found there to be something unsavoury about the plot that kept me from becoming fully immersed in it. The way 16-18 year old girls are portrayed as the predators and the middle-aged men they have affairs with their 'victims' felt to me to be playing into an old sexist trope. There is also one really awkward moment where Penn's girlfriend asks him why, if he finds her attractive, isn't he 'raping' her? It made me profoundly uncomfortable and this, alongside the graphic depictions of rape, stopped me enjoying what promised to be an entertaining, fast-paced read.


The Innocent Mage: Kingmaker, Kingbreaker Book 1
The Innocent Mage: Kingmaker, Kingbreaker Book 1
by Karen Miller
Edition: Paperback

21 of 22 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Entertaining but lacks depth, 15 Aug. 2009
I really enjoyed the book for the first third - I liked the reluctant hero Asher, and I thought that the author had a good eye for dialogue. However, I felt that the book definitely lacked depth. The characters were one-dimensional and fairly dull. I didn't like Gar, despite his plight which, in the hands of a better writer would have rendered him the emotional heart of the novel. I thought that the villains of the piece weren't evil enough - their bad actions felt halfhearted and I couldn't summon the energy to dislike them. The other problem with the book is its pacing. The middle chunk of the novel really dragged and I saw the 'twist' coming a mile off!

However, I have to say that two of my friends have read this and really enjoyed it because they found it easy, addictive reading. I think that there are many, many better writers out there (George RR Martin, Robin Hobb, Joe Abercrombie) but if you want something quick and fun, it's worth a look.


American Wife
American Wife
by Curtis Sittenfeld
Edition: Paperback
Price: £8.99

4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The best book I've read in years!, 13 Aug. 2009
This review is from: American Wife (Paperback)
This is a moving, evocative portrayal of a woman's marriage. Yes, politics is involved, of course, but at heart it's a story anyone can relate to - about the sacrifices one makes for love. Curits Sittenfeld has a real grasp of the politics of love and this book is filled with keen observations and achingly real dialogue. Some of the passages from the book have stayed with me, weeks on from reading it.

I know that some people didn't enjoy the last section of the book, because it is more political, but I found it a fitting ending. Not because of the politics, but because of Alice's growth as a person, and how she is finally forced to confront the sacrifices she has made throughout her life.

At last count I've loaned this book to 6 people, and another 4 have bought it on my recommendation! And all of them have felt the same way I felt about it - that it's a gripping read by an intensely talented writer.


Drood
Drood
by Dan Simmons
Edition: Paperback

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Needed a more ruthless editor..., 13 Aug. 2009
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This review is from: Drood (Paperback)
I studied Victorian England whilst at University and have always nursed a secret dislike for Dickens, so was immediately taken by the blurb of this novel! It is fluid in style, solid in character, and often very very funny. However the plot takes as many twists and turns as the underworld beneath London and I found the blurred lines between reality and fantasy difficult to navigate at times. I think that this book would have benefited from a more thorough edit - large chunks of the book felt pointless to me, and I felt that the structure could definitely have been tightened. A good one to take on a long, long car journey perhaps, but not one to read lightly!


The Truth About Melody Browne
The Truth About Melody Browne
by Lisa Jewell
Edition: Paperback
Price: £11.99

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A beautiful, thought-provoking read, 13 Aug. 2009
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I have always enjoyed Lisa Jewell's novels, but had fallen slightly out of love with them in recent years, owing to the plots feeling a tad too contrived and whimsical. This book, however, is an absolute return to form and I can't recommend it highly enough! It is beautifully written, and very moving. The characters are very well-drawn and you completely empathise with Melody's predicament - none of it feels contrived or false. This book is easy-to-read but has a lot of depth to it and raises interesting questions about childhood, memory, and what makes you who you are today. I tore through it, and have recommended it to all my friends - I absolutely suggest you pick up a copy!


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