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K. N. (Greece)

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The Wigmore Hall Recital
The Wigmore Hall Recital
Price: £7.99

5.0 out of 5 stars This is an amazing recording, 19 Oct. 2016
This is an amazing recording. I am new to classical music, but this CD was an excellent introduction. As other reviewers stated, the timbre of Menese's cello is astonishing, and he is in total harmony with Pire's piano. Simply exquisite.

King Rat
King Rat
by China Miéville
Edition: Paperback
Price: £8.99

3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Prelude to a Masterpiece is a Masterpiece Itself, 12 April 2012
This review is from: King Rat (Paperback)
Several years ago, I was in the FNAC bookstore in Brussels when I came across this book. The title had something appealing which I could not quite decipher.
Thus I bought it and thank the God of readers for that: I stumbled head first on an extraordinary, eerily dark and violent fantasy story, but most of all a truly original one. Finding an original story is like finding a second Koh-I-Noor in your backyard. That is, rather rare.

The main myth here is that of the Pied Piper of Hamelin against an aesthetic of drum'n'bass jungle music.

Modus operandi of this reader for the purchase selection process: check the title, read the back of the book, then open it in a random page and read that page. Does it capture your interest? No? Put it back on the shelf. Yes? Proceed to a second random reading. If the feeling is the same, check the author's other books. If it is book three with the same hero, probably leave it and repeat the MO with book one, if the impression was that good. But if is a debut of an author, and you feel something there after the two random reads, then risk it. It might be worthwhile. The "debut novel" check was a hit. This was the first book of China Mieville.

I started reading Mr. Mieville's book that same evening in a bistro in Grand Place.
It was not an easy read. I had been reading books in English for quite a few years by then and I had the occasional unknown word here and there. But Mieville's books are too complex by far in terms of vocabulary and metaphors at least for a non-native speaker. I had to jump back and forth to understand the images and situations narrated.

On top of that, drum'n'bass jungle music just isn't my thing. I am a hard rock / heavy metal fan, with the occasional flare for Celtic/Irish music.

But I was swept away. The vividness of the imagery, the dark matter that formed while the story was building up, the eloquence of the writing and its flow, kept me at the edge of my seat. And this was only a debut book...

The main hero is Saul. Saul is living in London and he is accused for his father's gruesome death. He is arrested by the police and held in the police station, where a strange man appears in front of him and claims to be his father. He also claims to be King Rat, the monarch of all rats. He also claims to be half man half rodent. He tells Saul that he is his real father and takes him along (freeing him from the cell) through a gravity-defying ride over the rooftops of London's night scape.

There will be a clash between father and son, the concepts loosing their definition since the animal nature inherits part of Saul's psyche while the part of the human nature in Saul brings him closer to the dead man who raised him.
While the killer of Saul's father lurks somewhere out there waiting for his chance to strike...

Buy this book and then go for "Perdido Street Station" and immerse yourselves in the extraordinary mind of an outstanding author.

Target: (Tina Boyd 4)
Target: (Tina Boyd 4)
by Simon Kernick
Edition: Paperback
Price: £7.99

4 of 7 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Dear Amazon, please grant us negative rating, 20 Mar. 2012
This review is from: Target: (Tina Boyd 4) (Paperback)
Amazon should implement a minus sign. Seriously. This is one of the very few books, that fully deserves -4 stars.
And mind you, I am not easily impressed, I read a lot.

Such books constitute an inverted elite, actually. It is not that they are badly written (this one started in an enticing way actually). It is that they insult the reader's intelligence. When I came across this writer's specific plot twist, I felt insulted, I felt he was writing for a kindergarten audience. There is a very specific writing convention: what you write it has to be real within the context of your story.

I can very well believe that a man can pick up a 00:01 nuclear bomb and throw it to outer space, so that it explodes in a black hole, if I am reading a superhero novel.
Now put this scene in Nick Hornby's "High Fidelity" where the hero tries to impress his ex.
Working for you? Nah...

In a nutshell: Do not spend any money to buy this book. If you feel compelled by this and the other reviews to read it, then borrow it from a public library, or ask it from an unfortunate friend who paid for it.

When you have read it, you will understand the -4 stars. I keep the -5 rating for the next worst thing.

The Possessions of Doctor Forrest
The Possessions of Doctor Forrest
by Richard Kelly
Edition: Paperback
Price: £12.99

3 of 7 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Gothic 2.0??, 28 Dec. 2011
I am afraid I cannot recommend this book. I am currently 30 pages from the end, but I do not think I will finish it (I will exercise my reader's right to stop, as the French writer Daniel Pennac advises)

As other reviewers correctly pointed out, there are definite echoes of Stoker's Dracula, Dorian Gray, and Faust, but this is not enough to built an intriguing or suspenseful plot, and on the other hand, the diary entries do not help either. Not every book has the impact of "Dracula".

Additionally, the second part of the book, repeates the narrative of the first part from another character's perspective, and this iteration does not seem to work after the first few pages, which serve to explain situations encountered in the first part.

The characterization "Gothic 2.0" can be found in the book cover. Despite the gothic undertones, this book far from re-defines the genre.

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