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Chaucer (UK)

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The Map and the Clock: A Laureate's Choice of the Poetry of Britain and Ireland
The Map and the Clock: A Laureate's Choice of the Poetry of Britain and Ireland
by Carol Ann Duffy
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £12.83

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars, 24 Dec. 2016
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Lovely book


Cabaret
Cabaret
Price: £7.24

5.0 out of 5 stars Terrific soundtrack, 24 Dec. 2016
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This review is from: Cabaret (Audio CD)
V pleased with service and item.


Days Without End
Days Without End
Price: £3.32

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "...always something good there...", 6 Nov. 2016
This review is from: Days Without End (Kindle Edition)
Sebastian Barry just gets better and better. I love the way he revisits the McNulty family and looks at different times, characters and angles. Thomas is a likeable and sympathetic underdog and we're always cheering him on. More importantly, Barry totally convinces us that we're listening to a rounded, realistic character with an authentic voice. There are scenes of horrifying and hallucinatory violence balanced with kindness and acts of humanity. Barry captures the complicated, but close bonds of friendship, forged by war that seem very relevant. These allow people to survive and feel very timeless: modern and relevant. Nature is harsh and terrifything: wonderfully conveyed in Barry's trademark glorious prose. The plot is satisfying and it's a real page turner - something Barry hasn't always got right. Loved it and it deserves wide recognition - a big prize is long overdue.


Solar Bones
Solar Bones
by Mike McCormack
Edition: Paperback

4 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "...rites, rhythms and rituals...upholding the world like solar bones....", 9 Oct. 2016
This review is from: Solar Bones (Paperback)
Boy this is a great book and, I would say, an important one. Marcus Conway makes an account of his life just as the Ancient Egyptians believed was necessary at the Weighing of the Heart ceremony - is he a good man, allowed to leave for the Afterlife, or will be be trapped here? Beckett's influence is clear in the style of the book and you don't notice the lack of punctuation after a while. There are breaks in the narrative that are signalled. It's also very funny at times and insightful particularly about memory. Religious imagery is interwoven and is startling. We follow "a monastic rule of some vigilant order" in our daily lives. Marcus is flawed but he represents the human condition. What is perhaps less convincing in the book is his rants against politicians and Ireland's narrative but still much to admire. An ambitious book that I admired and enjoyed reading.


The Lauras
The Lauras
Price: £4.99

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars "...the incapability of pondering the really terrifying things for any serious length of time...", 12 Sept. 2016
This review is from: The Lauras (Kindle Edition)
I was really impressed with 'The Shore', Taylor's first novel, but felt she loses her way abit with this road trip novel. The best bits of the book are Alex and Ma's exchanges but the novel needed more of these. The book raises alot of interesting issues particularly on gender, but doesn't do anything else with them other than a character telling you what to think at some point. The narrative meanders too much and there are too many shadowy characters. It isn't good enough just to simply say that life doesn't tidy everything up "unlike our books and movies" because this is a book actually and we do expect a cohesion of sorts. It felt like an underworked book and a missed opportunity somehow although not without its merit. I'm not sure that Taylor had really decided what she wanted this book to be about and it shows.


The Moor's Account
The Moor's Account
Price: £4.74

3.0 out of 5 stars "...just by saying that something was so, they believed that it was...", 4 Sept. 2016
Other reviews have covered well many of the issues that this novel has and I would agree that it is a lost opportunity. The single narrative for the last third of the book becomes dull and the pacing is poor. Some maps would have really helped and I struggled to work out where we were and who was who as so many of the characters are slight. What would have been much more interesting is showing the process of how people use story to establish the truth and why not use Cabeza de Vaca's account to show this process. The novel does rather hit you over the head with its messages rather than allow you to work things out. We're told so often about how naming places justifies ownership. I would have liked to understood more about the background to the expedition as well and the status of everyone is rather puzzling. The real facts seemed to get in the way of the narrative because it is quite a complex story with so many people lost. I found the 'neat' ending at the end grated rather too. I don't think the author handles the relationship between fiction and history well; it felt that an agenda was being placed on this story that didn't really work.


Lina & Lily Sunflowers Print Women's Large Scarf (Gold/Grey)
Lina & Lily Sunflowers Print Women's Large Scarf (Gold/Grey)
Offered by Eisen-scarf
Price: £19.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Colourful, 1 Sept. 2016
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Lovely scarf


A Country Road, A Tree
A Country Road, A Tree
Price: £4.99

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars "...life is an active decision now. An act of resistance., 1 Sept. 2016
This is an impressive novel that works well on several levels and I don't agree with a previous reviewer that you need to know anything about Beckett or will get more from the book if you know his work. It is an absorbing, if grim, account of the privations of war and how it feels to be dispossessed. You really do feel the privations of war: not to have enough to eat and how painful the cold is. Beckett is good company and heroic in a believable way: compassionate and benign. I haven't tipped it quite into a five star rating because I felt it needed more balance in tone. I needed some humour as there is in Beckett's work despite the darkness. I rather admired this book than loved it but well worth a read.


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5.0 out of 5 stars Sunflowers, 28 Aug. 2016
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Beautiful piece


Let Me Tell You About A Man I Knew
Let Me Tell You About A Man I Knew
by Susan Fletcher
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £13.78

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars "....this man is not like other men....", 28 Aug. 2016
Fletcher describes well Vincent's intensity of vision and how art transcends the mundane and can bring solace but this has been done before and rather better. We miss Vincent when he's not being described and Jeanne's own story isn't as successful. Their meetings are very contrived. The story feels forced and over long. I think that this would have made a much better short story or, at best, a novella. There isn't enough interest or plot to keep the story going over the length of a novel. Much more development was needed for this length and perhaps multiple narrators. I was disappointed in the book because I've enjoyed Fletcher's books more in the past and the subject is interesting enough.


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