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 Women's Shop Men's
Profile for idlewriter > Reviews

Personal Profile

Content by idlewriter
Top Reviewer Ranking: 6,918,084
Helpful Votes: 63

Learn more about Your Profile.

Reviews Written by
idlewriter "idlewriter" (Northamptonshire)

Show:  
Page: 1 | 2
pixel
Spirit of the Place
Spirit of the Place

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An intelligent literary novel for young adults (and adults), 15 Oct. 2012
I loved this on first publication, so it's great to see it reissued, and not before time. "Spirit of the place" does indeed define this novel, so powerfully-drawn is the setting, and Dennis Hamley cleverly sets the eighteenth-century aesthetic of controlling and shaping the landscape against current strivings to understand and control the genetic make-up of humans. Fowler's poetry is so convincingly eighteenth-century that I'm not surprised the previous reviewer went in search of more detail - it takes an accomplished writer to pull that off. This intriguing, unusual, engrossing novel deserves to find new readers. I recommend it in particular to anyone who enjoys well-crafted and thought-provoking young adult fiction by writers such as Mal Peet, Aidan Chambers, Jill Paton Walsh and Meg Rosoff.


Riddley Walker
Riddley Walker
by Russell Hoban
Edition: Paperback

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant, unique, unforgettable, 5 Sept. 2012
This review is from: Riddley Walker (Paperback)
This has been on my "must-read" list for a long while, and now I wonder why I waited so long. I've now read it twice, and will surely return. As others have said, you are so thoroughly immersed in Riddley's world through his language that you feel you have lived his experiences with him. It's a multi-layered story which doesn't reveal all its meanings at a first reading, and has so many echoes of myths, legends, recent history and fears and the archetypal "hero's journey" that it will stay with me always: fresh, vivid, troubling, puzzling. Riddley's language undoubtedly slows you down - you have to pay full attention to each sentence and nuance - but becomes endearing in a way, and is often humorous. I found myself reluctant to leave Riddley at the end. This edition, in an afterword by Russell Hoban, includes an extract from his first draft, in standard English, which shows that it wouldn't have had the same effect if written that way, without the reader immersion into Riddleyspeak and Riddley thoughts which is such a striking feature of the book.

I have chosen it for a Reading Group discussion, and undoubtedly it won't be to everyone's taste - in fact I'll be amazed if everyone in the group has persevered with it. But now I understand why it has such a reputation and inspires such devotion.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Oct 14, 2012 7:09 PM BST


Pillywiggins and the Tree Witch
Pillywiggins and the Tree Witch
by Julia Jarman
Edition: Paperback
Price: £5.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A dark-shaded fairy story, as all the best ones are ..., 25 July 2011
Stories for girls in this age-group are awash with sparkles and twinkles and pinkness, but this story is refreshingly different - the tree-witch that looks over Natasha's garden threatens to steal a human baby in revenge for her own lost child, and the underground land of fairies is alluring but sinister. There's ancient wisdom, too, in the shape of the Romany grandmother of Natasha's new friend, Jamie, and the lovely detail of fairy rings growing up through the carpet of a newly-built house. This book lives up to the promise of its enchanting cover - and all ends well for Natasha and for the stone fairy, Pillywiggins.


Paper Wings
Paper Wings
by Linda Sargent
Edition: Paperback
Price: £2.30

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Deserves to become a word-of-mouth success, 25 May 2010
This review is from: Paper Wings (Paperback)
PAPER WINGS ia a touching, unusual and atmospheric story which will thoroughly engage readers from the beginning in the world of the children, their loyalties, dilemmas, hopes, fears and secrets. Yet, with resentments and prejudices at its heart, it's a story for adults, especially those who appreciate subtle and perceptive writing. The setting, woodland surrounding a Kentish oast, is beautifully drawn, with a sure hand. In her first novel, Linda Sargent establishes herself as a writer of great gifts. Highly recommended.


Inside
Inside
by Julia Jarman
Edition: Paperback

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Gripping and realistic, 7 Jan. 2010
This review is from: Inside (Paperback)
This is thoroughly compelling - I read it at one sitting, and was thoroughly involved in Lee's situation and dilemmas. Julia Jarman doesn't make excuses for Lee, but brings him up against the painful consequences of what he's done, in a plausible and unsentimental way. I am sure this novel will be widely read and admired.


Accidental Friends
Accidental Friends
by Helena Pielichaty
Edition: Paperback

13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars And the consequence was ..., 14 Mar. 2008
This review is from: Accidental Friends (Paperback)
This novel is based on such a clever idea that I bet other authors will wish they'd thought of it first. In fact THREE clever ideas. One is to have the four characters meeting by chance in a lift, on their first day at sixth-form characters - characters who wouldn't normally mix. The second is to shape events around the game of consequence: boy's name, girl's name, where they met, etc. And the third is to use Emma's art exhibition to structure the telling, as she asks the Polish cleaner, Kazia, for a response to her exhibits. This device enables Pielichaty to move forward swiftly from one significant event to the next, without awkward "time passing" scenes. The teenagers and their world are very convincingly up to the minute, and although their friendship falters at times or threatens to become unbalanced when two of them become an item, they're drawn into each other's traumas and dilemmas. Probably each reader will have his or her own favourite character: artistic teenage mother Emma; posh, unhappy James, rebellious but dependent Leon, or the resourceful, self-conscious Grace. This pacy, entertaining, moving story is certain to have wide appeal for teenagers male and female. So: the consequence is ... a terrific read!


Foxes' Oven
Foxes' Oven
by Michael De Larrabeiti
Edition: Hardcover

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant, 1 Jan. 2008
This review is from: Foxes' Oven (Hardcover)
Readers who have enjoyed ATONEMENT or THE GO-BETWEEN will surely wonder why this brilliant novel isn't better known. Michael de Larrabeiti is an astonishingly good writer, and FOXES' OVEN will simply sweep you up and keep you enthralled to the end.


Small Eternities (The Aldous Lexicon)
Small Eternities (The Aldous Lexicon)
by Michael Lawrence
Edition: Paperback

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Intriguing and original, 28 Aug. 2007
Clever, absorbing, unusual. Following A CRACK IN THE LINE, Naia and Alaric are each trapped in the other's reality. The notion of other realities / the path not taken / the way the smallest of decisions can have consequences that reach far into the future, is endlessly compelling and fruitful. In the first story we alternated between Naia and Alaric as they try to make sense of what's happened to them; here we go farther back into the family's past, meeting Aldous Underwood, at once as a boy of eleven and as an eccentric man in his seventies. We know we are building up to something startling - but just how startling we don't find out till the very end.

A novel for discerning teenagers and adults. Don't miss it!


Earth and Heaven
Earth and Heaven
by Sue Gee
Edition: Hardcover

9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Sue Gee equals her achievement of"The Hours of the Night", 6 Aug. 2000
This review is from: Earth and Heaven (Hardcover)
In this generous, leisurely novel, Sue Gee shows her ability to create character and place - London after the First World War, the hop-fields of Kent. As with "The Hours of the Night", she deals with loss - for Walter, who has lost his brother in the First World War; for his friend Euan, who is grieving for his comrades killed at Passchendaele... Sue Gee excels at the tensions of relationships, and at evoking the textures and pleasures of daily life. Also, this carefully-researched novel gives insights into various art movements of the period between the wars and up to the rise of Nazism - showing how some artists responded to the conflicts while others ignored them. A long and absorbing read, confirming Sue Gee's status as one of the best novelists writing today.


Troy
Troy
by Adele Geras
Edition: Hardcover

5.0 out of 5 stars Superb!, 19 Mar. 2000
This review is from: Troy (Hardcover)
This is a wonderful book, whether or not you're already familiar with the story of the siege of Troy. Adele Geras tells her story from a mainly female perspective, inventing new characters to mix with Hector, Andromache, Helen etc. She uses a range of perspectives: two sisters, each of whom is in love with the same wounded soldier; gossipy laundresses who fill the role of Chorus; Iason, who looks after the horses. Meanwhile, the gods mingle with the characters and interfere with their affairs, motivated by concern, spite or sometimes just boredom. There are some evocative descriptions, and the many plot strands keep the reader engrossed without ever becoming confusing; Geras involves her reader fully with the characters, succeeding in giving her story a contemporary relevance while keeping the flavour of Homer's epic. TROY is a a wonderful achievement, and will certainly win a major award if the panels have any sense.


Page: 1 | 2