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JD Gamble

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The Back Passage
The Back Passage
by James Lear
Edition: Paperback
Price: £10.99

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars An Interesting Idea, Admittedly, 7 Dec. 2011
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: The Back Passage (Paperback)
I don't mean to sound like a whiner, but I didn't think this book was very praiseworthy. I loved the idea of combining a murder mystery with erotica, but I think in this case it just wasn't going to work.

The sex gets in the way of the investigation, and the investigation gets in the way of the sex. At around 200 pages you're left with not enough of either, and feel slightly disappointed. I haven't read much professional erotica before now, and so I cannot say how it compares to other works, but I feel sure that this isn't a prime work of murder mystery. I won't spoil any of the story, but suffice to say that the plot ultimately seems to come together without very much help from the main character. One wonders if the plot would have been much different had he not been in the story at all - but then one remembers all of the sex he was having with virtually every member of the household, and one corrects oneself. Aha.

It's a shame, really, because Rupert Smith, here "James Lear", isn't that bad a writer. He clearly has talent, but I feel that it's somewhat wasted on this story. If it had been lengthier then that probably would have improved it; after all, as it stands, most characters only come into the story for one brief chapter, and many others are mentioned but do not appear at all. Don't expect a Sherlock out of our chief protagonist, either; he relies almost entirely on conversation for his deductions (I use the word loosely) rather than physical clues and doesn't make many concrete inferences until the end, although I admit this does make the character more believable and approachable.

In all, then, the book was amusing while I read it, and entertained me somewhat. But I don't think I'll read it again. And if this is indeed James Lear's bestselling work, I don't think I'm interested in looking further. Again, I don't mean to sound harsh, but although it's true that Lear is quite a good writer and is receiving decoration for his work in this field (that being the gay erotica field), I can't help but wonder if that's largely because there are so few other people trying the same thing.


4 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Experts in their Field, 7 Dec. 2011
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Monkeytown (Audio CD)
I must admit I only heard about this album through Radiohead, one way or another. Thom Yorke's appearance on 2 of the album's tracks have caught many people's eyes, but rest assured that he isn't the only thing on it worth listening to. The glitchy dance-oriented electronica featured here is divided roughly equally into tracks with vocals and tracks without, though sometimes it is difficult to know where to draw the line. Guest appearances from several other vocalists make this a lovely mix of ideas, all of which thankfully seem to gel together wonderfully.

At some points the album comes across as moody and dark, particularly on "This", with Thom's voice edited together to great effect. The hilariously offensive and parodical "Pretentious Friends" gives us an alternative look into a classier lifestyle, and "Berlin" exploits the only female singer on the album in a rather swanky, swaggery way. One music magazine which I frequently read claimed that "it's the slo-electro instrumental Grillwalker that steals the day", although I rather disagree - "Grillwalker" seems to me to be the most boring track, though it does fit in with the theme of the album. My personal favourite is probably "Green Light Go", marvellous if only for the brief and fragile oohs and aahs dotted regularly throughout the beat.

In all, a very good album, perhaps not a ground-breaking epic but definitely well worth the buy. I'm certainly going to invest in purchasing their back-catalogue in the near future. The beats will have you tapping (or sometimes stomping) your foot, and the synths will often have you hooked from the first listen. But don't trust me. Give it a try and prove me right.
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jun 2, 2012 1:25 PM BST

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