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Book Worm "Bookworm"

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Still Got It, Never Lost It!: My Story
Still Got It, Never Lost It!: My Story
Price: £0.99

4.0 out of 5 stars Brilliantly bonkers, 25 Oct. 2014
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If you love Louie, you will love this book.


Nights in White Satin
Nights in White Satin
Price: £5.98

1.0 out of 5 stars Unbelievable, 25 Oct. 2014
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I should have anticipated that a book that borrows an old song title as its title would be lazily written and lacking originality.

This book is poorly written, littered with clichés and stereotypes, bogged down by tabloid pontificating and riddled with outdated 'middle England' ciphers. Laura Principal has all the moral indignation of a Daily Mail journalist without any warmth or compassion. The author seems to have forgotten or ignored the advice when writing to: ‘show, don’t tell.’ Laura Principal keeps telling us she cares, telling us how angry she is, telling us how upset or frightened she is, but she doesn’t show it. I did not feel her anger or her pain or her fear. Come to that, by the end I didn't care any more about the victim than I did about the perpetrators. They were all such one-dimensional characters, I didn't care about any of them.

This is a shame as, if it had been narrated and investigated more intelligently by someone a little more insightful and empathetic, this could have made for a powerful and interesting story. However, for a professional PI, Miss Principal displays a level of unprofessionalism that would be distressing in an amateur. I found her squeamish disapproval of the victim’s presumed occupation disappointing: one minute she is (quite rightly) condemning the perpetrators, but the next exhibiting prudishness and a surprising lack of worldliness about the victim’s alleged trade which, for a woman in her line of business, struck me as jarring and implausible. It was hard to reconcile the description of the migration of working girls from Kings Cross to Paddington which we are supposed to assume came from a position of knowledge, with her naïve perception of what the girls actually did for a living.

Her lack of qualification for her job is further demonstrated through her negligible skill in forensic or behavioural analysis, or even any basic structured research techniques. She seems to operate almost entirely on speculation based on personal biases and preconceptions. But, unfortunately, Laura Principal does not have the deductive flair of, say, Columbo or Miss Marple. The story was resolved on luck, coincidence and conjecture and, of course, the protagonist’s prejudices being substantiated, rather than reasoning, insight or meticulous investigation.

As it was, the lack of depth of understanding of the issues, or maybe just the lack of ability to properly express the nuances, meant the story came across as clunky, contrived and unbelievable.

Stylistically, I found the repetitive descriptions and explanations (deconstruction?) in the narrative pedestrian, redundant and irritating. I also thought the author’s research was far too evident and clumsily inserted: lists of street names and directions read more as though they had been copy typed from an A-Z rather than painting any useful backdrop; anecdotes and historical detail didn’t provide context so much as distraction; the parallels between the story of Katie Arkwright and the mythology of Echo were laboured and flawed. I thought the characters’ motivations were thin and implausible; the cod psychology used to provide some ostensible motivation, and the conclusions drawn, had all the validity of astrology or graphology.

Dialogue was clumsily written; I found it hard to imagine anyone actually speaking some of the lines.

When I got to the sentence: ‘The sun shone as bold as brass.’ I very nearly gave up. I only struggled through to the end to give the story a chance to redeem itself. It didn’t.


Ruby Shoo Womens Portia Court Shoes 08540 Purple 7 UK, 40 EU
Ruby Shoo Womens Portia Court Shoes 08540 Purple 7 UK, 40 EU
Offered by Belle Divino

4.0 out of 5 stars A shoe perfect for sitting around in, 26 Jun. 2014
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I love the look of these shoes and they are not uncomfortable; I have wide feet and these shoes don't pinch. However, the heel does slip a bit as there's not a great deal of flex when walking, but maybe I need to wear them in a bit more. In the meantime, they are great to wear for sitting around in.


Ruby Shoo Womens Kate Court Shoes 08538 Coral 7 UK, 40 EU
Ruby Shoo Womens Kate Court Shoes 08538 Coral 7 UK, 40 EU
Offered by Belle Divino

5.0 out of 5 stars Far more comfortable than they look!, 26 Jun. 2014
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These shoes look fabulous, but I was worried they would not be very comfortable. I was wrong! I take a size 7 and have wide feet and these fit perfectly. The ankle strap keeps the heel snugly in place when walking. I've worn them all day at work, up and down stairs, and the 100metre brisk walk across to our canteen and back, and my feet are as happy as if I had been wearing slippers all day.


Zoowax
Zoowax
Price: £10.82

5.0 out of 5 stars Top of my list of best albums to listen to while driving with the top down!, 26 Jun. 2014
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This review is from: Zoowax (Audio CD)
Breezy, slick, swinging along at brisk pace, occasionally gently bumping up against soft jazz funk, I love the way they combine electro-swing with a retro sensibility reminiscent of easy listening of the 1960s. But, despite the musical nods to previous eras, every track is completely in the moment; the whole album is fresh, fun, bursting with life, sharply and wittily observed and hugely enjoyable.


Devil in Disguise
Devil in Disguise
Price: £2.99

3.0 out of 5 stars Good, but not as good as it could have been, 1 Jun. 2012
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This review is from: Devil in Disguise (Kindle Edition)
I gave this only 3* rather than 4* as, while it was a rollicking good yarn, one does have to suspend disbelief to breaking point and beyond in order to complete the book. There are aspects (mainly of characterisation, but also of plot) that could have been dealt with more subtly and/or sensitively but, that said, the story and the characters were rounded enough to engage me to the end and it's not every book that can claim that. I enjoyed the story's concept and the 'through the bramble patch: rags to riches' journey. A good holiday read.


Zoe Gilby - Now That I Am Real
Zoe Gilby - Now That I Am Real

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Something for every mood, 18 Oct. 2010
Sultry, smoky, smooth and sassy. Kick back with your headphones on and click your fingers; turn it up loud and invite a dozen people over for wine and nibbles and share the mood; or maybe just you and the significant other and the music and lights down low. Zoe's voice will excite, entrance and bewitch, and the arrangements are pitch perfect. Crisp, clean performance and recording. If you love easy jazz with its head and heart in the here and now, but its roots in the classical tradition, you will love this album.


Better Than Easy
Better Than Easy
by Nick Alexander
Edition: Paperback
Price: £8.99

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Mark survives to live another day!, 10 April 2009
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This review is from: Better Than Easy (Paperback)
See Benjamin and Pete's reviews above. I'm not in the habit of repeating stuff that's been said as well or better than I could say it - I'm here to add weight to their views which I endorse in every respect.

I admit to having fallen a little bit in love with Mark over the past three novels, and I'm sure (even as a straight woman!) I'm not alone. Nick A has created a sympathetic, three-dimensional character with all the flaws and hidden strengths one would expect of a Victorian hero. It is an example of 19C story-telling in a 21C setting.

Though I doubt Elliot, Austen or their ilk could have come up with the ménage à quatre that Mark finds himself having to navigate.

Hurrah for progress.

I don't think the book/story would work, though, if you hadn't read the previous three books. I don't think it works as a stand-alone as we, the readers, are presumed to know about Mark right from the get-go - including, for example, what he and Tom are doing in Nice thinking about buying a gite. It had been a year since I'd read 'Good Thing, Bad Thing' and had to quickly review the last couple of pages/chapter to remind myself where the story had left off.

There is a lot that the author assumes his audience already knows. Naughty Nick! But I forgive you.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Nov 4, 2010 8:49 AM GMT


13: 55 Eastern Standard Time
13: 55 Eastern Standard Time
by Nick Alexander
Edition: Paperback
Price: £4.99

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Daisy-chain story, 10 April 2009
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Please read Benjamin's review above.

I cannot believe that review has been there for two years and no one else has commented. I won't repeat what Benjamin says as I agree with everything in his synopsis, and his thoughts and feelings on reading the story.

I loved the way each chapter/episode took us in a new direction, sometimes to greater understanding of a character, sometimes to a new character - but always with something new, interesting and often surprising just around the corner.

The only reason I am awarding 4* is that I recently also read 'Better than Easy' which I would, if I could, have awarded 5+*.


Agatha Raisin and the Vicious Vet
Agatha Raisin and the Vicious Vet
by M. C. Beaton
Edition: Paperback

3 of 6 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Another one bites the dust, 2 Feb. 2009
I am ashamed to admit that I even read this book after reading 'Quiche of Death'. I should have known better. But I'm an optimist and I assumed my earlier misadventure was a one-off. Not a bit of it.

This writer is a serial killer of the art of story telling.

Tedious, repetitive, cliched, stereotyped, unbelievable. The steadfastly unlikable, unbelievable and ridiculous protagonist continues to bring her sex into disrepute as she bumbles around making a fool of herself, without grace or humour or any redeeming feature.

Added to which the books are badly written. Issues of grammar, syntax and PoV are clearly not of particular concern for either the writer or the editor.

Can someone point me in the direction of her agent? You see, I've got this book I'm writing ...


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