Learn more Shop now Shop now Shop now Shop now Shop now Shop now Learn More Shop now Learn more Click Here Shop Kindle Learn More Shop now Shop now
Profile for THE Music Enthusiast > Reviews

Personal Profile

Content by THE Music Enth...
Top Reviewer Ranking: 962,385
Helpful Votes: 314

Learn more about Your Profile.

Reviews Written by
THE Music Enthusiast

Show:  
Page: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6
pixel
LA Confidential: Classic Noir (L.A. Quartet)
LA Confidential: Classic Noir (L.A. Quartet)
by James Ellroy
Edition: Mass Market Paperback
Price: £8.99

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Devastatingly brilliant, 30 Sept. 2010
Picking up where 'The Big Nowhere' left off, 'L.A Confidential' explodes straight into action in the prologue. If you've not not read it, do so before turning your attention to 'L.A Confidential'. You'll then be setting yourself up in 'grand' style for this one.

And if you thought 'The Big Nowhere' was brutal, brace yourself because this one's even more hard-hitting. Christmas time in Los Angeles, and six police officers have gone beserk and beaten the living daylights out of some of the prisoners. The story then centres around the lives of three different officers involved in the incident - Wendell 'Bud' White, an officer with a formidable reputation for violence; Ed Exley, a clever but cowardly officer; and Jack 'Big V' Vincennes, an officer and former drug addict - to varying degrees, and their different cases and obsessions.

The plot and character development go much further than this and are sheer crime fiction brilliance. Corruption, rivalry, cover-ups, revenge, double-crossing, brutality, betrayal, intrigue, setups, rape, homosexuality, the darker side of sexuality ...Chapter by chapter, the story draws the reader in and before you have time to catch your breath back from one twist, Ellroy is there slugging you again with the next one. And just when you think the story can't possibly twist any further, he pummels you with another. It's absolutely fantastic.

That said, it is complicated and you may find yourself flicking back from time to time to remember a certain character or re-read their connection to the plot. But don't be put off, for this has to be one of the finest crime fiction novels ever crafted, if not the finest. It's fast and furious, it's relentlessly compelling and it just keeps on giving.

It'll take something tremendously special to top this one. I'm off now to see if he does it with 'White Jazz'...


The Big Nowhere (L.A. Quartet)
The Big Nowhere (L.A. Quartet)
by James Ellroy
Edition: Paperback

5.0 out of 5 stars More dark brilliance, 30 Sept. 2010
With 'The Big Nowhere', the second in the La Quartet, James Ellroy packs as just as brutal a punch as in 'The Black Dahlia', - and that is a hard act to follow. This time round the plot is centred around three main characters: Danny Upshaw, an ambitious up-and-coming detective; Turner 'Buzz' Meeks, a bagman for an LA gangster; and Mal Considine, a policeman enlisted in a Communist witchhunt mission. So there are three different storylines, all skilfully interwoven. And those who have not met him before are introduced to one of the finest characters in crime fiction: the infamous Captain Dudley Smith.

It's hard to review a James Ellroy helpfully without actually revealing the events of the novel itself. But the double-dealing, the personal demons, cops acting on both sides of the law, the brutality, choice language, and dark-but-original events are all there.

The two things I found most impressive about 'The Black Dahlia' are also present in 'The Big Nowhere'. The first is a plot that is complex, original and gripping all at the same time. The second is the way he develops his conclusion: you can feel the novel hurtle towards the end, yet not realise the end itself started some 80 or 90 pages back. I find that absolutely superb.

If you enjoyed 'The Black Dahlia', you're likely to enjoy this. And if you've enjoyed 'The Big Nowhere', your likely to dig the third instalment: 'L.A Confidential'.


The Black Dahlia (L.A. Quartet)
The Black Dahlia (L.A. Quartet)
by James Ellroy
Edition: Paperback

3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Dark brilliance, 13 Aug. 2010
'The Black Dahlia' is a crime novel of exceptional darkness and exceptional brilliance. Set in the US in the 1940s, the story is narrated from the perspective of Dwight 'Bucky' Bleichert, one of two fictional cops transferred from normal police duty to investigate the murder of true-life victim Elisabeth Short, who has been found mutilated and severed in half. As the case draws on, both Bleichert and his partner, Blanchart, become obsessed with Elisabeth and with finding her killer, mixing with both high society and the lowest of the low in the course of the investigation.

As other reviewers have commented, the novel is no light read. The violence is graphic, the language is choice and the themes are extremely dark, while each character seems to have a price (or do they...?). And the plot is absolutely superb. Complex, captivating and skilfully woven, the novel twists and turns as it hurtles towards its finale, leaving the reader left with a powerful, dark and disturbing masterpiece.

'The Black Dahlia' is not your average crime novel. If you're looking for something different, then look no further. But if you're easily shocked, be warned because it gets pretty strong.


The Swan Thieves
The Swan Thieves
by Elizabeth Kostova
Edition: Paperback
Price: £10.99

4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A nice novel but not everyone's cup of tea!, 5 July 2010
This review is from: The Swan Thieves (Paperback)
If you're looking for a novel with the same fast pace as "The Historian" from Elisabeth Kostova, then you've come to the wrong place with this one. "The Swan Thieves" is a beautifully written mystery story but ambles along at a more leisurely pace.

It is the tale of Dr Andrew Marlowe, a psychiatrist called in to psychoanalyse the artist Robert Oliver, who has been arrested for trying to vandalise a painting in an art gallery but then refuses to utter a word to Dr Marlow once in care. In an effort to establish what led Oliver to commit his crime, Marlow starts investigating his past, talking to the artist's past partners and other acquaintainces, and so begins to unfold a mystery that dates back to 19th century French impressionism.

The tale is one of love, art, obsession and mystery, and is narrated by several people, who take us through Oliver's life. It is not packed with twists and turns, neither does the ending have any real punch, so I can see why some reviewers disliked the novel. But there are some gorgeous descriptions and the mystery itself makes you want to read on. And the chapters are short, too, making you want to squeeze in 'just one more' before whatever it is you have to do next.

I think this is a great story, but not quite everyone's cup of tea. It's the kind of novel you'll either love or hate. I loved it.


The Coronation: Erast Fandorin 7
The Coronation: Erast Fandorin 7
by Boris Akunin
Edition: Paperback
Price: £8.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fun as always!, 1 July 2010
It's just days before the coronation of Russia's last tsar, when the son of the Grand Duke is kidnapped and the coronation diamond, the Orlov, is demanded as a ransom. Russia has a potential international scandal on its hands and it looks as if the boy will have to be sacrificed for the greater good. Or is there another solution...?

Narrated by noble butler Afanasi Zoukin, the seventh instalment in the Erast Fandorin series takes some twenty or thirty pages to get going. All of a sudden, our gentleman detective hero bursts back onto the scene, with his Japanese sidekick Masa, and it's go, go, go! The kidnapping turns out to be the work of Fandorin's arch-enemy, Dr Lind. So this time it's not only state business, it's personal!

The terrific thing about this series is its habitual sense of fun, and in this respect "The Coronation" is no different. The choice of narrator adds to this, as not only does he recount the different events and how Fandorin goes about his business, but also his own feelings towards Fandorin. While the readers are in awe of this calm and collected Russian gentleman we have come to know and love, the butler is green with envy!

The other good thing about the novels are the translations themselves, something which can sometimes make or break a novel. In this series, they're smooth and skilfully done, allowing the reader to just sit back and enjoy the story, which they will do very much.

I hope this series never ends! Superb!


The Copywriting Sourcebook: How to Write Better Copy, Faster - For Everything from Ads to Websites
The Copywriting Sourcebook: How to Write Better Copy, Faster - For Everything from Ads to Websites
by Andy Maslen
Edition: Paperback
Price: £14.99

3 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Maslen does it again!, 20 May 2010
Another smashing book on copywriting from Andy Maslen. In his slick but affable style, Mr Maslen takes us through a range of copywriting tasks, including sales letters, press releases, brochures, Adwords, website copy, e-mails, e-zines and more. In each chapter he provides us with a structure for each piece of copy and highlights the dos and don'ts for each task.

Following a splendid introduction by the author, the book is structured task by task, which means you can just flip to the relevant task if you have a deadline hurtling towards you and need ideas fast. There are plenty of examples of real-life copy that works and there are lots of tips and suggestions.

'The Copywriting Source' book is definitely money well spent, whether you're a professional copywriter or a rookie learning the ropes. Quite honestly, this gentleman should be knighted for his services to copywriting!


We, Me, Them & It: How to Write Powerfully for Business
We, Me, Them & It: How to Write Powerfully for Business
by John Simmons
Edition: Paperback

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A man with a passion, a book with a purpose, 23 Mar. 2010
Crafted by the seasoned wordsmith John Simmons, "We, Me, Them & It" is a gloriously fresh perspective on copywriting. This how-to book is written in such an eloquent style and with such passion that you hardly notice you're actually being instructed.

The book looks at branding and copywriting by focusing on four different components: the company (we), the writer themself (me), the audience (them) and the product or service (it). John Simmons takes us through past projects he has been assigned in each area, how we can write from the perspective of each in a more more emotive style, how we can develop a tone of voice, how if we can be passionate about words and word usage, and bring more of ourselves to work, we can write better for business.

Having read one or two frightfully dull books on copywriting in the past year, this book was a joy to read. And it certainly inspired me to fire up the computer and get typing away!

"We, Me, Them & It" is well worth investing in for an alternative, engaging take on copywriting. Buy it, you won't be disappointed.


Copywriting: Successful Writing for Design, Advertising and Marketing
Copywriting: Successful Writing for Design, Advertising and Marketing
by Mark Shaw
Edition: Paperback

1 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Shame about the copy, 22 Mar. 2010
Mark Shaw has clearly put a lot of effort into producing a quality book on copywriting. 'Copywriting' is colourful, it's full of sensible advice on writing all kinds of copy and there are some interesting interviews and case studies. There are examples of successful advertising campaigns too, plus advice on drafting copy, desiging website pages -the chapter on writing web copy was particularly good - and on taking briefs, and exercises to help you improve your own copywriting skills.

The one thing this book badly needs, though, is some sort of spice to the writing. The copy is surprisingly dull and, in some places, quite technical, making the book read more like an instruction manual. Coupled with the long colums of text, it all makes the book feel a lot more heavy-going.

Granted 'Copywriting' is a text book, but I think that books on copywriting should be able to engage the reader and never feel like a chore. A lot of books on copywriting tend to be good reads in themself; unfortunately, this isn't one of them. To get the best out of the wealth of information there is in this book, you should read maybe just a couple of pages a day.
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Nov 9, 2010 6:34 PM GMT


Brilliant Copywriting: How to craft the most interesting and effective copy imaginable (Brilliant Business)
Brilliant Copywriting: How to craft the most interesting and effective copy imaginable (Brilliant Business)
by Roger Horberry
Edition: Paperback
Price: £10.98

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An absolute cracker!, 24 Feb. 2010
Roger Horberry's `Brilliant Copywriting' is both a practical and delightful piece on copywriting. Want to learn how to write brilliant copy? Okay then, sit back and let Mr Horberry ground you in the basics, then join him on an inspiring journey through the creative process from planning through to editing. Roger clearly loves copywriting and this clearly comes across in his writing, which is full to the brim with cheerful commentary and good humour.

The book is bursting with practical tips. Roger offers us suggestions not only on planning, writing and then editing the copy, but also on how to deal with writer's block, with dull projects - not to mention prevent your own work from lulling the reader to sleep! - and with customers. He also shows us how he went about some of his own copywriting projects and offers a few samples of copy he wrote for them -- and yes, it lives up to the title of the book!

The book is rounded off with a series of interviews from some of the big guns in the field. In the interviews they people tell us how they started, how they work and where they have taken some of their inspiration from.

The front cover looks more like a study guide, but don't be put off: the content is pure gold. `Brilliant Copywriting' is well worth investing time and money in. I hope we see more books on copywriting from Roger Horberry.


100 Great Copywriting Ideas (100 Great Ideas): From Leading Companies Around the World
100 Great Copywriting Ideas (100 Great Ideas): From Leading Companies Around the World
by Andy Maslen
Edition: Paperback
Price: £8.99

7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Hits the spot!, 10 Feb. 2010
In my review of Andy Maslen's last book, "Write to Sell", I commented that the author had let himself down slightly by not providing enough examples of good copy. With "100 Great Copywriting Ideas" I'm pleased to say that isn't the case.

Following a chirpy introduction, Andy Maslen does exactly what it says on the tin and gives a series of suggestions for better copy. The chapters are clearly structured, with first the introduction to the idea or suggestion, then the idea or suggestion and an example of how it has been successfully implemented, and finally, tips on how we can apply it ourselves. Since I wanted a professional take on true-life copy, these examples were just what I was looking for.

The structure of the book is just as practical. If need be, you can just dip into it and flick to the idea you need. But if you have more time on your hands, the style of the book makes it an enjoyable read on copywriting itself, rather than simply a useful reference when deadlines are approaching.

I was delighted with this book and got a lot out of it. "101 Great Copywriting Ideas" is definitely money well spent.
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Feb 24, 2010 3:29 PM GMT


Page: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6