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Amy (Nottingham)

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Sherlock: Chronicles
Sherlock: Chronicles
by Steve Tribe
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £20.29

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Blows any other book about 'Sherlock' out of the water!, 15 May 2015
This review is from: Sherlock: Chronicles (Hardcover)
Sherlock: Chronicles is a must-read for any Sherlock fan; from interviews with the cast and crew to snippets from the original scripts, this book quite simply has it all. Tribe's 'Chronicles' successfully draws the reader in to the world of Sherlock without being too text or image heavy, covering a vast range of behind the scenes information but not being too dense or (dare I say it!) boring. The book is split into chapters relating to all of the key areas of the show's production, from the initial brainstorming of ideas to the final touches made in the editing room. I particularly enjoyed the sections which compared passages from the scripts to the original Conan-Doyle stories- you don't realise how cleverly written this show is until you see these! Another highlight is the depth and scale of the content covered. Tribe's extensive research examines a wide range of topics,from direction to costumes to the special effects and the outstanding soundtrack. No stone is left unturned. Quite simply, like the show itself, this book is fantastic.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: May 23, 2015 2:23 PM BST

Stoner: A Novel (Vintage Classics)
Stoner: A Novel (Vintage Classics)
Price: £4.99

4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A hidden (for too long!) gem, 22 Aug. 2013
'Stoner' is one of those rare books; a hidden treasure in a literary world where the plot of a novel alone is what seems to keeps a reader's attention. This novel does not have much in the way of a plot, however that doesn't seem to matter. The main protagonist is so well executed and developed that you find yourself immersed in his world from the very first chapter right up until the point where you (reluctantly!) turn the final page.

William Stoner is born into a working class farming family in rural America but his life changes forever when he goes to college and discovers his one true love: literature.
Upon graduating, he becomes a lecturer in English Literature while facing challenges both at work due to his ongoing feud with the Head of Arts, and at home with his wife, Edith, and her recurrent 'illnesses' and erratic behaviour. The novel follows Stoner right through his life until the very end when you feel as though you have truly lost a friend as Stoner is so well depicted that you would not be surprised if you saw him in the street one day on his way to buy a pint of milk.

'Stoner's secondary characters are as equally charming; the demanding and sometimes conniving Edith who makes poor Stoner's home life a misery, Lomax who begins a feud with Stoner at work when he fails a student for pretending to know more than he actually does, and Finch and Masters, the first (and possibly only) friends that Stoner has. Each character has their own flaws (even Stoner himself who frustrates his wife and angers his students and colleagues) and yet they are easily forgiven and understood due to the beautiful way in which they are developed by the author's hand.

The novel's haunting first chapter, which describes how Stoner is rarely remembered by those he left behind, may open the door to the sadness of his often lonely world, but to the reader Stoner will not be forgotten in a hurry.

Hunger Games Trilogy - 3 Books Collection Set
Hunger Games Trilogy - 3 Books Collection Set
by Suzanne Collins
Edition: Paperback

117 of 128 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A series that needed to be written?, 2 April 2012
Suzanne Collins has said that she wrote 'The Hunger Games' series to condemn 'reality TV and the Iraq war' and I,as a reader, believe that she has succeeded in her aim. 'The Hunger Games' is a televised competition broadcast across the country of Panem, (a North America of the far future made up of thirteen districts) where a boy and a girl from each 'district' is selected each year to fight to the death in an arena until only one person survives. This synopsis may sound brutal and horrific, and to a great extent it really is, but it also shows us how the power of human nature can fight back from such atrocities. The main protagonist, Katniss Everdeen, who volunteers for the Games so that her sister does not have to take part, is a particularly flawed character and yet this helps to give her the appealing persona that she has. She is first and foremost a fighter and a hunter, but her struggles with her own personal emotions show signs of vulnerability in her personality, something which I believe is needed in order to make her a more rounded character. The 'love-triangle' in the series does at times get a little bit tedious and irritating- there are certain points where the reader will think, 'For goodness sake, just choose!' however this is by no means the main plot line to the novel, but instead an underlying one. Peeta, the boy who is selected to fight with (and indeed against) her is, as Collins describes in 'Mockingjay' the final book in the trilogy, 'the dandelion in the spring'; the character who helps to keep the fiery Katniss grounded when no-one else can. His character compliments Katniss' (even though at times she is really quite awful to him!!). Gale, the third member of this 'triangle' is more like Katniss in temperament- he is fiery and hot-headed- which makes the reader see why Katniss feels so at ease in his company.
The condemnation of reality TV comes in with the reactions of the people across Panem towards the events shown on the programme- they appear to be delighted and enthralled by the bloodbath which commences, and rejoice when the people at the Capitol control and manipulate the arena to create deadly obstacles for the tributes (players) to face. However, we also see the reactions of the families of the tributes to several of the deaths, showing that in fact, the majority of people are appalled by such events.
I do believe that these books deserve a five-star rating, despite their flaws. The main issue I had with this series however was the last 50 pages of 'Mockingjay'. Yes, I was happy with the conclusion, but I felt that it was somewhat rushed and that the fate of Katniss came down to events of coincidence and chance rather than those of choice on her part (you will see what I mean when you read it) which was a little bit disappointing. However, I think that these books are an absolute must-read (for adults as well as teenagers!) and that they will be remembered for many years to come.
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Nov 14, 2013 11:22 AM GMT

Sherlock - Series 2 [DVD]
Sherlock - Series 2 [DVD]
Dvd ~ Benedict Cumberbatch
Offered by ReNew Entertainment
Price: £6.24

3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars It will take a lot to beat this in 2012..., 21 Jan. 2012
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Sherlock - Series 2 [DVD] (DVD)
After the pure delight of the first series, I eagerly awaited series two with a feeling that it just wouldn't be in the same league. Fortunately, I was pleasantly surprised that this was not the case, in fact far from it. Series two is superior to series one in many ways. After the first series, we believed that we knew, to a certain extent, how the characters tick, but series two enables us to really see their true colours as the cases get more complex, and for Sherlock in particular, more personal as he comes face to face with his nemesis in Moriarty. Despite these darker developments, the good news is that the humour of the first series still remains; the banter between Holmes, Watson and Lestrade being a particular highlight.
The writing in this series also seems to have advanced as the writers clearly feel much more confident with their characters.
As for the acting, I am struggling to think of any other programme where the two main leads are so strong, and compliment each other so well. I really hope that this is reflected in any upcoming awards ceremony!
Finally, I just cannot forget the ending of episode three which is, in my opinion,the best episode of all, with twists, turns and surprises throughout. So how did he do it? I really don't know, but I can't wait to find out.

The Slap
The Slap
by Christos Tsiolkas
Edition: Paperback
Price: £12.99

3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Doesn't do what it says on the tin..., 31 July 2011
This review is from: The Slap (Paperback)
Having heard of all the hype of this book (and yes, sadly, having been drawn to the curiosity of it's title), I was really quite looking forward to reading 'The Slap'. However, to my disappointment, it didn't live up to my expectations. Despite the novel being split into separate sections, each in relation to a different character, I felt the novel had only one voice, the author's! I understand that it was not written in the first person, but I still feel that the sections were not really written relating to the individual characters, and I felt that all the characters were given the same, or similar, personas. Therefore, I found the book to be, at times, a little bit pretentious...What's more, I felt that the author spent the first two thirds of the book relating the characters to 'The Slap', but during the final third, it was rarely mentioned at all, and it seemed to be swept under the carpet which I thought was a bit strange. Disappointing.

The Help
The Help
by Kathryn Stockett
Edition: Paperback
Price: £6.29

5.0 out of 5 stars Best book I've read for quite some time!, 31 July 2011
This review is from: The Help (Paperback)
Having stumbled across this book in my rented flat when a previous tenant had left it in my wardrobe (yes, really), I wasn't initially drawn to this book as it didn't jump out and hit me. However, after a period of time, I decided to give it a go, and was completely blown away! Stockett's writing style and well-developed characters really make you empathise with the situations involved, and make you all the more keen to whip through the pages like there is no tomorrow! From Aibileen, the woman who has brought up other people's children for as long as she can remember, to Minnie, the rebellious maid who represents everyone who tries to stand up to prejudice, to Miss Skeeter, who just wants to expose the truth, each character has their own thought-provoking story to tell. In my opinion, this novel deserves any critical acclaim it gets, and the film adaptation (due out this summer) will really have to be of a very high calibre to give this book the credit it truly deserves. A five star read.

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