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Reviews Written by
R.O. P "r.pieters@ntlworld.uk" (Harlow Essex)

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The Unquiet Heart (Danny McRae Series Book 2)
The Unquiet Heart (Danny McRae Series Book 2)
Price: £3.79

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Gordon Ferris a name for the future., 15 May 2011
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What astounding value from Kindle The Hanging Shed,Truth or Dare and The Unquiet Heart. The Unqiet Heart -This is london based Scotsman detective the accident prone Archie McRae's living in shabby South London digs second outing. It's another page turner of post war London in 1946 . Gordon Ferris has created another fast paced action crime thriller amalgamated with a love story as Archie McRae meets the mysterious reporter Eva Copeland an independent driven woman prepared to risk all for her beliefs. Ferris takes you on a roller coaster thrill ride from East end gangsters by the docks to smokey pubs by the Thames , across to Berlin , after the war at it's most vulnerable and decayed. To a world of post cold war and spies after Nazism and touching on the holocost. Gordon Ferris is a new fresh writer, of detail and description and hopefully a name that will explode in the future.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: May 16, 2011 11:52 AM BST


The Hanging Shed (Douglas Brodie series Book 1)
The Hanging Shed (Douglas Brodie series Book 1)
Price: £2.63

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Refreshing Read from Scotland, 7 April 2011
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This was my third Kindle purchase, following the critical acclaim it has received. For The Hanging Shed and introduction to Gordon Ferris. I found the book a refreshing read. As ex soldier ,ex senior police , now a London journalist Brodie returns to post war Glasgow's outskirts in an attempt to save his child hood friend from execution. I found the narrative and vivid description of Ferris as rich, as the smokey pubs of sawdust and the squalid council estates in a depressed contrast to the wide panoramic open spaces and waters of Scotland. In Brodie, Ferris has created a working mans' James Bond a Sean Connery style hero whose cocktails are swapped for downing pints in seedy back street bars facing Glasgows meanest villains to downing scotches in hand me down tweeds. The Hanging Shed is an action thriller that moves at quite a pace, a higly reccomended read, I did however find Brodie's macho heroic conquests quite far fetched and wonder if drugs really were a problem at that time ? All in all classic cars , shoot outs , bar brawls ,stabbings brutal deaths and a little romance . The Hanging Shed for me reminded me of Rankins writing with early Irvine Welsh's dialect. A winner!


Caribou Island
Caribou Island
by David Vann
Edition: Paperback
Price: £8.99

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars David Vann's Evocative Dark and Bleak Alaska, 21 Mar. 2011
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This review is from: Caribou Island (Paperback)
The first halve of this book moved to slow for me . I found nothing more than a coulple from the mainland USA in early retirement in Alaska and there grown children with usual family problems. The couple Irene and Gary. Yet Vann's compulsion as a professional possesed me to hunger for more ! There was more to Caribou Island than an unhappy couple spending there time building a log cabin at the remote Caribou Island at the end of summer. The story involves central characters , Rhoda and Mark the children and there lives Rhoda a vet the most stable and loyal to her parents. Mark more of a drifter a fisherman , along with Jim Rhoda's partner who uses Rhoda to have a fling with Mononique , girlfriend of Carl who are over in Alaska for the summer. This is the first David Vann book I have read and must say it is a moving novel set in the panoramic Alaskan landscape as the short summer ends to this bleak silver wide open area of loneliness . I found it a slow burner that covers family relationships in depth . A story we can all relate to as husbands and wifes, lovers, mothers and daughters , brother's and sisters, and fathers and sons, all brought to reality on a brutal icy land of no escape. Vann's calm prose crept along up a steep glacier right up to a bitter crippling dark end, which leaves the reader to answer questions the writer leaves you. Caribou Island is highly reccomended , and is quite low key yet powerful.


The Long Song
The Long Song
Price: £4.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Rich and a lush follow up to Small Island, 21 Mar. 2011
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This review is from: The Long Song (Kindle Edition)
I Found Andrea Levy's The Long Song as sattisfyiying and compulsive a read as her incredible Small Island . In this historical novel set in the lush Jamaican landscape in the last days of British slavery in the region , Levy centres on the brutal tale of slave girl July, daughter of black slave Kitty. Kitty was raped by a white Scottish oversear, which was common practice at the time. The Long song is a powerful theme on this sensitive area on a plantation estate. The story cover's the cold brutality ignorance and hatred of the British seeing there slaves as less than cattle . Also covered heavilly is the slaves opression there loss of identity , superiority complexes,caste ignorance. I liked Long Song and without going in to the depths of this awful period Levy has created a quite light hearted picture of this era with a selection of characters to be loathed and loved as rich as the blue mountains on the sland.


Kindle Keyboard, Wi-Fi, 6" E Ink Display
Kindle Keyboard, Wi-Fi, 6" E Ink Display

5.0 out of 5 stars A positive experience in commuting reading, 11 Mar. 2011
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Being a bookworm I deferred the e books but decided to sample Kindle. Most of my reading is done whilst commuting on the London Underground tube. What a transformation a week with Kindle has made ! The convenience and ease of navigating through this superb gadget. i've downloaded about a dozen books it downloads in seconds it's easy to set up . Kindle have a 24 hour help line and are extremely helpful.I've whizzed through my commuter reading with this handy sleak, hand held device with various size prints , as I arrive my station Just add a bookmark.After hundreds of books in my house I can say goodbye to the books and welcome the new library stored on my Kindle . If you love books forget the excuse of loving the feel of books, give up your paper library and transfer it to this fascinating tiny creation from Amazon !
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Mar 12, 2011 6:37 PM GMT


Hed Kandi - Beach House
Hed Kandi - Beach House
Price: £9.17

4.0 out of 5 stars Hed Kandi's century wobbles, 7 Aug. 2010
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This review is from: Hed Kandi - Beach House (Audio CD)
Kandi's Beach House has become a part of my summers and something to look forward to in there popular series of mid to up tempoe semi chilled flavours of distincive grooves of stylish house . For this special edition marking the labels 100th release I found disc 1 quite a dull and predictable sound and choice, besides Rasmus Faber, Christian Hoff , Grant Nelson and Plage. For Disc 2 the mix a bonus of HK Beach House catalogues favourites not the best selection or mixes. Disc 3 is the one which I preferred soulful , quite funky and with an old school flavour without going in to overkill and it's this disc which pushed up my rating to 4 stars With a cool selection including Kandi's regular Naked Music sister Lisa Shaw, No Regular Play ,Jamie Jones, Zev. The Wizard - My Dream bringing echoes of HK's original Deeper and The Limo's The Night,Lewis Day's That's the Thing mix being my killer cut and oozing 80's street grooves .

Maybe the Beach house phase has phased out maybe not ? But do give this a listen as a warm up to your balmy summer nights out , barbeques and get togethers Beach House still sounds good!


Late Night Tales: The Cinematic Orchestra
Late Night Tales: The Cinematic Orchestra
Price: £11.84

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars All of there influences on 18 tracks, 23 July 2010
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I'm a lifelong fan of the Cinematic Orchestra. The lounge kings of after hour downtempoe grooves and the some what dated chillout tag. From the Late Night tales series of DJ outfits influences. I have found nothing more accurate than the heavy influences compiled here that reflect on helping influence such masterpieces as my favourite the dark jazzy Motion album with Eddie Gale's Rain and The Freedom Sound. Whilst Nick Drakes Three Hours,Terry Callier ,Thom Yorke and Bjorke associated with the more acoustic indi direction of Ma Fleur whilst EveryDay was a more diverse journey associated with the classically haunting Imogen Heap and Flying Lotus.

The selection is awesome and directly associated with Swincoes superb leftfield downtempoe outfit and even the more popular St Germaine Rose Rouge and Sebastian Tellier's tracks selections don't sound out of place surrounded by such an excellent obscure selection , my only confusion is See Line Woman by The Songstress title mix which I'm certain is another mix of the original originally recorded by the great Nina Simone and later remixed by Masters at Work, and the Will Self talking book selection ?

All in all a platinum selection for the after hours to play along side The Cinematic's Motion, Every day and Ma fleur. Don't let this one get away !


Leaving the World
Leaving the World
by Douglas Kennedy
Edition: Paperback
Price: £8.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Directionless !!, 15 Jun. 2010
This review is from: Leaving the World (Paperback)
I found it distressing after completing this novel that it's the first out of Douglas Kennedy's 9 books that I did not enjoy. The lead character Jane Howard I instantly disliked as another of Kennedy's over priveledged pretentious East Coast professionals. Leaving the World is really about three seperate stories merged in to one suprisingly professor Jane Howard suffers such tragedies in her life prior to meeting her mid thirties! I found the plots and sub plots some what jumbled of Jane's life , from her earliest days her parents rejection , her ch career changes, about the only stepping out of line Jane tampered with was becoming a single mother . Jane'srelationship with Theo, Theo's deception and the loss of her young daughter Emily seemed to pull the foundations of the story together halve way through the book. Then the novel seemed to collapse to various directions of Janes mental state in bereavement and at one stage I believed there were shades of Kennedy's Big Picture starting to emerge as Jane fled to Calgary Canada for hiding, yet this developed to a far fetched bizzare detective story late in the book. As a fan of all of Kennedy's books this is the one that lacks the plot and pace of masters such as The Big Picture, The Job and even The later Woman in the fifth. Going by the multiple comments and interest all Kennedy's books generate he remains a first class writer, but if you are looking for a recomended Douglas Kennedy book , I'd reccomend you start with the debut The Big Picture. For leaving The World I found this lacks any direction.


Brooklyn
Brooklyn
by Colm Tóibín
Edition: Paperback
Price: £6.99

4.0 out of 5 stars Toibins Age of Innocense, 30 April 2010
This review is from: Brooklyn (Paperback)
Brooklyn seems to give the some what superb underated Irish Novelist Colm Toibin the recognition he deserves. The story I found quite slow about a close repectable Irish working class family in the fifties. The main character Eilis who I gathered to be in her late teens to early twenties.Eilis takes the gamble leaves her close family and friends in a traditional tight knit small Irish community to venture thousands of miles away to the New World of Irish Immigrants to Brooklyn New York , where it has been arranged for her employment at a department store and lodging at an Irish boarding house, for young women. Toibins prose, viewpoint and description remain elegant as this is bathed in the period dressing of the 1950's.A world prior to mobile phones and email, a time when letter writing was predominantly the only communication It's quite a basic story of a naieve young womans independence and advancements her contrast in life styles this is the story of a dignified community at an abstract age of innocence in which Eilis's morales are challenged . After Eilis's sheltered life in Ireland are exposed lightly to the world of racism class sexuality and loyalty to her family.
I found Brooklyn develop in to a quite pleasent light read , even leading towards romantic fiction in some areas as Eilis's affair with her Italion plumber developed.Toibin seemed to create female characters and view points succesfully. I've read and enjoyed all of Toibins Novels, from The South, The Story of the Night To Mothers and Sons (Short stories) Colm Toibin is an evocotive and moving writer however I'd reccomend one of his earlier novels such as The Story of the Night as being of his better and more powerful and challenging projects and it will be a shame if the other Toibin fiction is overhadowed by this weaker overated book.


Miracles of Life: Shanghai to Shepperton : an Autobiography
Miracles of Life: Shanghai to Shepperton : an Autobiography
by J.G. Ballard
Edition: Paperback
Price: £8.83

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Superb, 12 April 2010
I have read the late J.G ballards novels Empire of The Sun, The Kindness of Women , Rushing to Paradise, Cocaine Nights , also the surreal Vermillion Sands. In this astounding autobiography, fans of both Empire of the Sun and The Kindness of Women can easilly identify with the emphasis on Ballards earliest life as a British ex pat in post war Shanghai created the fictional setting for Empire of the Sun and The Kindness of Women. There's detail of the prison camps in China during the war and of the disappontment of his arrivall in the post war UK in the 50's , as a British outsider . This is a powerful autobiography with description images and prose covering about six decades of one of the UK,s finest novelists life ,on a journey from China . A story of his family friends ,loves and life in this versatile autobiography which I found the most compulsive auto biography I've ever read. This is a superb read .Whether you are familliar with the great JG Ballard or not once you have read this you will want to read Ballards' books.


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