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John Taylor "eddiebob" (zurich)

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The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay
The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay
by Michael Chabon
Edition: Paperback
Price: £9.98

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Epic Adventure, 30 Sept. 2008
There are books that are easy to read and have gripping stories full of suspence and there are books that are beautifully written with rich characters, flowing prose and deep emotional involvement. There are rarely books that are both but this is one.
If I were a writer, I'd want to write like this. Charm, wit, love for his characters and a fantastic turn of phrase.
Make no mistake, this is a heavyweight novel in scope and theme. It's easy fo forget this and think of it as simply a well-written page-turner but that would be to miss out on the complex emotional centre.
If only all great novels were so accessible...

The Lord of the Rings (3 Book Box set)
The Lord of the Rings (3 Book Box set)
by J. R. R. Tolkien
Edition: Paperback

4 of 57 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars So over-rated it hurts, 30 Sept. 2008
I think my problem with this book(/s) is that I didn't read it when I was a child. If I had done, I may have loved it like I did Star Wars or appreciated the world it creates like I now accept that the World of Warcraft universe is impressive in its size and scope.
As it is, I can't get over how thoroughly mediocre the whole thing is. People talk about it as an epic but what is epic about it other than its incredible length? People talk about the life lessons you can learn from it or its universal themes of good and bad. Really? Are we ever given even the tiniest shred of motivation for any of the characters? Is it ever explained to us why the 'good' characters are good or why the 'evil' ones are evil?
I challenge any one of this books millions of fans to find a single person who read this after the age of 25 and liked it. Or to re-read it themselves without the rose-tinted spectacles of their childhood and explain to me why it is in any way more impressive, inventive or rewarding than most of todays fantasy computer games. These too create whole worlds with plenty of maps and creatures and races and fights and quests and so on, usually with more to their story than: "Walk for 1400 pages then throw a ring into some lava" but none of these are every held up as the ultimate examples of literature.
Like "The DaVinci Code", this book is cited as a masterpiece only by people who simply haven't read enough other books to know better.
Comment Comments (13) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Sep 22, 2011 11:51 AM BST

by Don DeLillo
Edition: Paperback

2 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Masterful, 30 Sept. 2008
This review is from: Underworld (Paperback)
Every now and again, you pick up a book by an author you haven't read before and within 100 pages or so, you know that you'll be seeking out all their other books when you finish this one.
This happened to me with Philip Roth, Iain Banks, Michael Chabon and it had just happened with Don DeLillo.
This is not an 'easy read' but it will richly reward those who stick with it. DeLillo's prose flows so beautifully as to actually relax you as you read, creating a complex and colourful world.
This is among the most successful uses of the time-travelling narrative I have come across, it feels natural to the flow of the story and never feels like a gimmick.
The baseball thread throughout ties things together beautifully although I would recommend non-US citizens spend 2 minutes reading about 'The shot heard round the world' so that they realise the significance of the opening chapter.
Highly recommended.

Poles Apart
Poles Apart
by Polly Courtney
Edition: Paperback

5.0 out of 5 stars Easy to read and something to think about, 30 Sept. 2008
This review is from: Poles Apart (Paperback)
The last time I picked up a book from my wife's pile and actually enjoyed it was Courtney's first book, so I actually read this one voluntarily.
It reads very easily and can be dipped into for 5 or 10 minutes at a time, (so perfect for commuting). But unlike most of the chick-lit I've come across, this one actually has something solid at the heart of it.
Without coming across like she's preaching, she really paints a vivid picture of what life must be like for the thousands of educated Eastern Europeans who come over here every year and must get talked down to and treated like cleaners by half the people they meet.
I love the idea of a Daily Mail-reading racist getting to the end of this book and realising that they've inadvertently been rooting for the Polish immigrant rather than the middle-class middle-Englanders.
This book won't change the world but it will make everyone who reads it think a little differently now and again and you can't ask much more than that of a light novel.
(Having a beautiful model on the front cover doesn't harm its appeal either...)
Highly recommended.

by Joseph O'Neill
Edition: Hardcover

6 of 9 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Disappointment, 31 July 2008
This review is from: Netherland (Hardcover)
I had high hopes for this novel after the numerous glowing press reviews - particularly in the New Yorker - but I was left cold. There are certainly passages that are beautifully written but there are many examples or over-wrought prose as well. I found myself feeling glad that the book is so short (230 pages of fairly large font, probably the same number of words as 150 pages of a DeLillo novel) and it has not made me want to explore any of the author's other works.
I did appreciate the listlessness of the relationships between the narrator and both his wife and Chuck but I agree with other users here that the continued use of reminiscing flashbacks - sometimes mulitiple at a time - felt like a clumsy attempt at creating an elliptical narrative.
Basically, to have a book where almost nothing happens, you need to write with more suspense or force than this. And if you're going to write in this style, you need something to happen. Not recommended.

The Savage Innocents [DVD]
The Savage Innocents [DVD]
Dvd ~ Anthony Quinn
Offered by skyvo-direct
Price: £27.26

20 of 22 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars AVOID, 29 Jan. 2007
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: The Savage Innocents [DVD] (DVD)
There are much superior versions of this film available, notably from Masters of Cinema.

This is pan and scan, has been cut and the picture is awful.

The effort gone into this release is summed up by the miss-spelling of the lead actor's name on the front cover.

Avoid at all cost.

Golden Handcuffs: The Lowly Life of a High Flyer
Golden Handcuffs: The Lowly Life of a High Flyer
by Polly Courtney
Edition: Paperback

5 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Not just for girls, 27 Oct. 2006
I picked this up at my girlfriend's place when I was in need of a new book. I didn't expect to enjoy it as it looks like standard chick-lit fare but it's much better than that, it is surprisingly funny and well-written.

I don't work in 'the city' but have friends that do and until reading this book, I wasn't sure I believed some of their stories about how hard it is.

If I had been offered the opportunity to earn £100k straight out of university, I would have jumped at it. Now I'm really not so sure. Anyone considering a career in that sort of environment would be well advised to spend a couple of days reading this first, it sounds as if the author really knows what she's talking about.

It really raises the question of exactly what you would be prepared to put up with for a stack-load of cash, whilst being a truly entertaining read in it's own right. Highly recommended.

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