Profile for Bibliomage > Reviews

Personal Profile

Content by Bibliomage
Top Reviewer Ranking: 387,509
Helpful Votes: 30

Learn more about Your Profile.

Reviews Written by
Bibliomage (UK)

Show:  
Page: 1 | 2 | 3
pixel
The Octavian Chronicles: Octavian: Rise to Power
The Octavian Chronicles: Octavian: Rise to Power
Price: £7.40

1.0 out of 5 stars Written for infants, 26 Jan. 2015
If you like your history written in the style of an incompetent schoolboy, this is the book for you.


Giving up the Ghost: A memoir
Giving up the Ghost: A memoir
Price: £4.44

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Giving up the desire to go on reading, 25 Jan. 2015
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
When Mantel opens up and reveals her pain, for example over her long term illness or her feelings towards childlessness,, the book is compulsive reading. Unfortunately the nuggets of gold are hidden amongst the self indulgent drivel that passes for memoir. I particularly like the assertion that people with non-creative jobs cannot understand the amazing imagination of those who write fiction.

Sorry, Hilary, you would have been ashamed to write in this pretentious waffle when you're in Tudor character.


The Goddess of Small Victories
The Goddess of Small Victories
Price: £14.77

4.0 out of 5 stars A calculated win, 25 Jan. 2015
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
A difficult subject to make interesting, but the author manages to maintain tension throughout the book. When she deals with real life characters the book is at its best, poignant and thought-provoking. Less convincing is the fictional protagonist. She seems two dimensional and her motivations difficult to understand. However, the whole manages to be greater than the parts, and definitely worth the effort.


The Zone of Interest
The Zone of Interest
Price: £9.27

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Beauty is sometimes a beast, 25 Jan. 2015
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
A difficult subject and written deliberately to provoke. To portray the 'human' side of monsters is a difficult feat and for the most part Amis pulls it off. A couple of things bit a sour note however. Amis appears to have taken a quick o-level in German and is desperate to show off his new skills. Secondly, he revisits an unfortunate trope concerning the wives of Nazi commandants, that really attractive females don't share their husbands monstrous ideals. Historical record would seem to indicate the reverse is true.

A bold idea, and worth forgiving its flaws


Year of Wonders
Year of Wonders
by Geraldine Brooks
Edition: Paperback
Price: £7.19

1.0 out of 5 stars Fear nothing Hilary Mantel, 6 Dec. 2014
This review is from: Year of Wonders (Paperback)
I bought this book with high hopes, especially all the hype about accuracy. The dialogue is risible, with no understanding of how people of this era spoke, and the characterization lends itself more to the realms of light romance than to any serious portrayal of history. Hilary Mantel need not hang up her pen yet!


Dark Aemilia
Dark Aemilia
Price: £5.39

3.0 out of 5 stars Good, could be better, 28 Oct. 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Dark Aemilia (Kindle Edition)
The central premise of the book is excellent, and the author has certainly done her homework. But I confess I didn't quite fall in love with this book. It starts well, but the appearance of what seems to be 'actual magic' detracts from the realism of the plot. There is some attempt to suggest that the magical events are merely the product of madness, but this sits uncomfortably with the character of the protagonist, who otherwise comes over as far too grounded to give way to superstition. A further problem lies with the writing style. Although it manages a flavour of the time, it lacks poetry, and this from a protagonist who claims to live for all things poetical. All in all, it's worth a read, but perhaps not a second one. A stronger novel set at this time would be Tamburlaine Must Die.


1Q84: Books 1 and 2
1Q84: Books 1 and 2
by Haruki Murakami
Edition: Paperback
Price: £6.29

1.0 out of 5 stars I Q Y THIS WAS EVER PUBLISHED, 25 Sept. 2014
This review is from: 1Q84: Books 1 and 2 (Paperback)
I knew nothing of Murakami when I started this book, and thus had no expectations. As I read ... on second thoughts dragged myself through the vast pointlessness of the prose I began to wonder whether the author was one and the same with the emotionally stunted protagonist, who speaks without nuance.

The whole book reads like a bad piece of anime, with characters endlessly repeating things that they know already, interspersed with clumsy allusions to literary greats, such as Chekov, which only highlights the tedium of the main narrative. The underlying exposition reads like a bad fairytale, where 'magic' can solve any plot entanglement.

Looking at the endless spewing praise of this work, I can only imagine that I have somehow fallen into a parallel universe where work that would get a C-grade at fifth form level is being heralded as some sort of literary genius.

The only thing this story has with Orwell's dystopian tome is the possibility that it is written in NewSpeak, and that the author's mangling of language was in fact ironic.


The Girl in the Road
The Girl in the Road
Price: £4.68

4.0 out of 5 stars Girl not getting the end, 14 Sept. 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
There is much to love about this novel. Some highly original takes on the future, strong narrative voices and beautiful, unobtrusive descriptions. Sometimes the inevitable sex scenes seem a little forced and gratuitous, but not so greatly that they disturb the flow of the story. I'll happily change my rating to 5 stars if anyone can explain the end to me though.


The Empress
The Empress
Price: £2.38

5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent book, bad production, 11 Sept. 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: The Empress (Kindle Edition)
I loved the book, which I have also read in paperback. Although DeMaria's portrayal of Claudius rankles with me, this may be due to brand loyalty to Robert Graves. DeMaria isn't afraid to tackle broader historical issues and I applaud him for it. ]

Warning, however. The Kindle version of this book appears only to have been scanned from a hardcopy with no proper OCR, making it difficult and unwieldy to read electronically. I have reported the fault to Amazon, who promised to look into it, but as far as I can tell nothing has been done.


The Chymical Wedding
The Chymical Wedding
Price: £6.17

4.0 out of 5 stars Read it for its beauty not its flaws, 12 Aug. 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
In some ways I feel a bit mean only giving this novel 4 stars. The opening is quite magical, and the cast of characters both convincing and compelling. Clarke is also an author with an astonishing vocabulary, and -thank god- unafraid to use it. My quibble is with the mystery at the centre of the plot. It felt as though none of his characters were really convinced by it, and the author not at all. While the idea that the there is a rationalist explanation underlying everything is perfectly acceptable, for example Stephen Fry's excellent The Hippopotamus, it has to seem believable at least to those involved in it. That said, the novel really ought to be on everyone's read-it-this-year list. A huge pity so few of his books are on kindle.


Page: 1 | 2 | 3