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Reviews Written by
Ms. L. M. Edwards "emeraldelixer" (north scotland)
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Company of Liars
Company of Liars
by Karen Maitland
Edition: Paperback
Price: £7.99

8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I enjoyed my time amongst the Company of Liars, 6 Aug. 2009
This review is from: Company of Liars (Paperback)
My mum bought herself Company of Liars and as soon as she had finished it insisited that I should read it too, well I am very glad I did. Company of Liars is one of those books that won't let you rest until you have devoured the very last word on the final page. A beautifully formed plot with a hint of menace ever present, surely one of the most awe inspiringly heinous characters ever created in the form of Narigorm, and an omniscient narrator you feel you can really trust in the form of the scarred Camelot. Add in two beautiful Venetian musicians, Rodrigo and Jofre, a zealous conjuror named Zophiel (which means 'God's Spy') and his tempermental horse Xanthus, a young couple, Osmond and Adella, on the run and expecting a new addition to their family, a story teller named Cygnus with the wing of a swan and an unfortunate wise woman named Pleasance and the group are complete.
I must admit to feeling slightly let down by the ending of the book as the story had bowled along at such a pace and then ended rather abruptly leaving, i my mind anyway, a number of questions unanswered. I would have liked more interaction at the end between Camelot and Rodrigo, but then you can't have everything. The final final twist at the end (the one that you don't guess) really gives you the shivers!
Karen Maitland analyses the human nature in this book, the telling of lies and the subsequent impact, the nature of hope, fear and belief both personal and as administered by the church.
I have reccomended this book to family and friends and would not hesitate to reccomend it to Amazon customers, superb!
And a final word, try and translate Rodrigo's line in Italian on page 368, future events will become clearer!


Death And The Penguin (Panther)
Death And The Penguin (Panther)
by Andrey Kurkov
Edition: Paperback
Price: £8.99

8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Post Soviet politics, penguins and a simple love story, 26 July 2004
Yes Death and the Penguin has it all. Being new to Russian, or indeed Ukrainian literature such as this is, I was not sure what to expect, but having always been interested in Russian history I decided to give it a go. The story centres around Viktor, a man who desperately wants to write stories but instead makes a very good living from writing obelisks for a Kiev newspaper, and the character title of the penguin, nmed Misha, whom Viktor rescued from a zoo which could not keep its animals any more. A story unfolds which takes in murder, politics, intrigue, death, destruction and, ultimately, the simple tale of one man and his unusual pet, his penguin, and the great attachment they feel for one another. There is also romance, love which humans can find when thrown together in unusual circumstances, in this case three strangers, Viktor, an acquaintances little girl who has been left in his keeping and her nanny (the niece of a friend) with one thing in common, by the end of the book they have all lost somebody.
Death and the Penguin is not a morbid book. It mentions death in frank terms but it does not dwell upon it. It is not a happy book and yet is is not an entirely sad book either. The relationship between Viktor and Misha is genuinely touching and the unwitting part that both are led to play in the games of the Russian mafia does have a resounding effect.
Ultimately, Death and the Penguin, takes you all the way to another country, another way of life, and back. So much so that you can taste the snow in the air on the smoky streets of Kiev and taste the vodka with which Viktor and Sergey, the militiaman, toast the new year. The book comes to a rather abrupt but eponymous ending, leaving perhaps the way to a sequel in which we could discover the true fates of Viktor and his good friend Misha.


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