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David Poole (uk)

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Nod
Nod
by Adrian Barnes
Edition: Paperback
Price: £5.99

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant idea, poorly executed, 13 Jun. 2016
This review is from: Nod (Paperback)
I bought this after reading the back cover. Loved the premise of the story, about a acute insomnia epidemic. Sounded like something Philip K Dick would write about. I found the story disappointing, though, in a number of ways. First, society descends into anarchy far too quickly and without any explanation why. After just a few days. I would've liked each chapter to start with the physiology of what happens after each day of no sleep, to really build the tension and set the scene. I would've also liked a detailed analysis of exactly how society was breaking down and why. I found the idea of this crackpot starting some kind of cult based on Paul's book tenuous. The story starts too fast but then I felt the author didn't know what to do with the idea and started rambling. I gave up reading it about two thirds through - what should have been a fascinating tale of societal breakdown had just become boring.


The Girl on the Train
The Girl on the Train
by Paula Hawkins
Edition: Paperback
Price: £3.85

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A good read but lacking in realism, 4 Jun. 2016
This review is from: The Girl on the Train (Paperback)
It's very readable and a good premise for a story. The way it is written from the standpoint of the different females in the storyline works, too. However, I would say that the characters are a bit shallow, and that the descriptions of the relationships are a bit unrealistic, almost Mills and Boon-esque. There's not much realism in them, which is in contrast to the realism of the alcoholic experiences of Rachel, which are well done. It's difficult to tell how much of the shallowness is the author and how much is meant to be the characters themselves. Is she parodying the way women judge each other (ie Rachel being 'fat') or are these the author's hang-ups - it's difficult to tell.


Periodic Tales: The Curious Lives of the Elements
Periodic Tales: The Curious Lives of the Elements
by Hugh Aldersey-Williams
Edition: Paperback
Price: £9.99

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars A bit tedious, 4 Dec. 2013
Having read the Disappearing Spoon by Sam Kean I was up for reading another book about the elements. Whereas Kean's book is well written, fascinating and really makes the most of the subject, Periodic Tales does the opposite. It's the equivalent of being in the back of a lecture theatre falling asleep while someone drones on. The elements really are a great subject and I don't know how he has managed to make it so dull.
Basically the Disappearing Spoon is the same book but better on all counts.


Anansi Boys
Anansi Boys
by Neil Gaiman
Edition: Paperback
Price: £8.99

6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A Gaiman afterthought, 1 Oct. 2009
This review is from: Anansi Boys (Paperback)
Is it me or is Gaiman's writing getting lazy? I have been a keen follower of his work right back to the Sandman comics and Good Omens, both of which were 5 star. I thought Neverwhere was another classic. He is capable of really classy writing and good stories, but it's as if he can't quite be bothered to keep up the quality writing. American Gods was good but I noticed a bit of the Dan Brown in his writing with that one. Anansi Boys - it's even worse. For the first time in his works I've seen sentences that even I would be embarrassed to publish. While it is still readable and the surreal storyline distinctly his, like American Gods, I felt that he didn't know where he was going with the plot and could only be bothered writing good prose about half the time.
Please Neil, take twice and long for the next novel and get it right.
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jul 26, 2013 3:37 PM BST


Enter The Dragon (Original) [VHS] [1973]
Enter The Dragon (Original) [VHS] [1973]
VHS
Offered by robertsmike2005
Price: £8.75

1 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars the definitive martial arts movie, 7 May 2004
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This film is among my top 5 of all time. I've seen it so many times I know most of the dialogue. They should make it into a musical - I'll direct it.
The storyline is superb - Mr Han is organising a martial arts tournament on a remote island. Bruce Lee (playing himself) goes along to investigate Han's alleged heroin production as well as to avenge O'Hara (who killed his sister). John Saxon goes to pay off debts. The build up is great and the fight scenes are the best I've seen.
One viewing is not enough and before long you'll be doing Bruce Lee impressions (including the 1/2 second delay between opening his mouth and the words coming out.
Great lines, great acting (even when it's bad) and a great story.
Buy it now!


Stupid White Men: ...and Other Sorry Excuses for the State of the Nation!
Stupid White Men: ...and Other Sorry Excuses for the State of the Nation!
by Michael Moore
Edition: Paperback

3 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars it's important everyone reads this book, 25 Mar. 2004
Stupid White Men exposes the truth about American politics. It reveals the facts that the supposed free media is instructed to leave out. George Bush cheated to gain presidency and is being led by evil corporate giants whose motives are to gain more money at all costs. (why do you think America was the only country not to sign the Kyoto agreement on less toxic factory emmissions).
I notice a lot of people have slagged the book off as being too much of a rant and one-sided. I disagree. If ranting has meant more sales then that's a good thing. If more people know the truth behind western politics then maybe the masses will come together to stop it. Too many people are ignorant, having been brainwashed by the propaganda of the media. It is not one-sided either. Moore tells the truth, that's all - just because it's shocking doesn't make it one-sided.
It isn't brilliantly written though and I thought the humour wasn't funny - it oft-times detracted from the point he was trying to make too. The book was also a bit too fragmented. If you want to read a similar book but better written and by a well respected ex journalist read 'The New Rulers of the World' by John Pilger. Now that really is depressing, going into the details of how the US and Britain have caused death and famine on the scale of millions in Indonesia and Iraq in order to get their hands of their natural resources. And they have the gall to talk about post 9/11 terror.


Down Under: Travels in a Sunburned Country
Down Under: Travels in a Sunburned Country
by Bill Bryson
Edition: Mass Market Paperback

7 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars one of the best Brysons, 5 Mar. 2004
I'd never been interested in Australia at all but, having loved all the Bill Bryson books I'd read, wanted to see his view on Oz. He is the first person to make me want to go to there. Considering my antipathy towards the place beforehand I was surprised to find that this was becoming my favourite Bryson read!
It is his same inimitable style but more so. It is full of interesting asides about the place, the wildlife, the politics, the geography. I didn't know that an Ozzie Prime Minister just vanished!
He tells us about Australia on the large scale but the best bits are the minutaie he notices. It's these that make you feel the sweltering heat of the place and smell the 4X breath of the Ozzies.
It is extremely funny too. All his books are funny but this one particularly. It is an absolute must read for Bryson lovers and those who want to know about Australia.


Tales Of The City: Tales of the City 1
Tales Of The City: Tales of the City 1
by Armistead Maupin
Edition: Paperback
Price: £7.99

7 of 11 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars superb series to lose yourself in, 26 Feb. 2004
I loved this book, so much so I read the other five immediately afterwards. It is a wonderful series, well written with warm characters you really care about. The female characters are not as deep as the male ones - they seem to come in 2 flavours - dyke and bimbo. But the male characters have more degrees of character and are written well. It is about a handful of different charaters in San Francisco whose lives, during the course of the book, intertwine in various ways and with bizarre coincidence. Michael, the most written about character of the book is great - you keep on reading to find out what he's up to.
The following books in the series follow their lives through the years, the whole series spanning 20 odd years.
However, the 5th in the series was the worst by far. It was still an easy read but the characters he concentrated on weren't the best.
Generally excellent though.


The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency
The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency
by Alexander McCall Smith
Edition: Paperback
Price: £8.99

4 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars ok but i won't rush out for the next 2, 24 Feb. 2004
I would recommend this book as a one-off as I liked the sound of the unusual storyline and African setting. I bought it because the idea of a woman setting up the first female detective agency in Botswana was appealing.
And the book was good, but for me the best parts were getting to know Botswana and it's customs and being introduced to Precious Ramotswe, the sleuth of the book. However, her actual detective cases were boring. There was no surprise or intrigue in them. With detective novels I envisage being on the edge of my seat wondering how on earth that could have happened. Not so here.
It was a case of - A boy is missing, Oh here he is - My car's been stolen, oh there it is. I exaggerate but barely.
This is why I will not be reading the follow-ups. Not until I hear that McCall-Smith has learnt to write more compelling mysteries for Precious to solve.
I definitely recommend it in itself though. Botswana sounds great!


One Hundred Years of Solitude (Essential Penguin)
One Hundred Years of Solitude (Essential Penguin)
by Gabriel Garcia Marquez
Edition: Paperback

9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars a peculiar but enchanting read, 24 Feb. 2004
This novel is an unusual read. The style of Marquez is different to any other author I've read. He is an gifted writer whose expertise seems to lie in descriptive narrative and his observations of people. You can almost smell Macondo, the village in which the book details 100 years in the life of, and you can feel the muggy heat on your back and the dust in your eyes.
He is such a good writer one's belief is not suspended when he talks of flying carpets and weeks-long insomnia epidemics. You just accept these phenomena as part of his world, you don't suddenly think it's a fantasy novel or comedy and it cetainly doesn't come across as corny.
The only bad thing I have to say about this book is that is it a heavy read, the literary equivalent of christmas cake. But don't put it down for long as I did or you'll lose the thread and have to start again. Without meaning to sound stupid some of the characters' names are very similar, especially in the Buendia family forcing you to keep re-checking the family tree at the front to check who's who.
It is one of those books that you'll feel uplifted about having read it and will rave about it but whilst reading it oft-times feels like trawling through a Macondo bog.


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