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L. Nunn
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The Master and Margarita (Oneworld Classics)
The Master and Margarita (Oneworld Classics)
Price: £3.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars It is brilliant!, 19 Aug. 2014
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This is a classic, and is no light reading! If you've no idea what to expect, you will probably be confused and even a bit frustrated for the duration of Part one. After that everything comes together, and the 'book' is hard to put down. Bulgakov draws on Goethe's Faust primarily, but develops its themes in his own memorable way. Yes, it is a satire on Stalin's Russia, but not a bitter one; the mockery is often hilarious, but the interplay of this and the serious elements of humanity and morality is immensely skilful. There is so much to think about and to discuss here, that is really challenging, not least the interaction of belief and the unbelievable. I immediately want to read it again and pick up on what I know I missed the first time around. It is brilliant!


Artful
Artful
Price: £4.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars 'Artful' at all sorts of levels, 29 April 2014
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This review is from: Artful (Kindle Edition)
This is not really a novel, although there is arguably a vague storyline. It is rather a collection of 'talks' delivered by the author, which pursue familar concepts in a variety of new and extended directions. I would describe it more as a philosophical exploration of literary and artistic ideas, which are supported by a wealth of examples. This is a very erudite compilation, with a vast number of literary and artistic references, and probably is best read slowly and very thoughtfully. There is much to be learned about our language and the way we use it to be found here. The title itself opens the door to many levels of meaning. An interesting and often stimulating read, but it is the "journey" that matters here, not any "destination".


Rücken an Rücken: Roman (German Edition)
Rücken an Rücken: Roman (German Edition)
Price: £7.31

3.0 out of 5 stars A dark tale, 4 April 2014
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I don't regret reading this book, but it is extremely gloomy and at times hard to swallow. Apparently based on some truth, it paints a GDR society so cold and unrelenting that it at times seems at odds with human nature. Thomas, who becomes the main character in the story, is the most appealing and he develops in interest and stature as the story progresses, but even he seems often to operate at a dream-like level :it seems that this is his way of coming to terms with what his mother expects of and imposes on him. The poetry excerpts (taken from the author's uncle's own bequest) reinforce his emotional escapism and his justification of this. His sister, Ella, becomes so mentally disturbed, that it seems this is her escape, likewise from the reality of her home-life. It is hard to believe that this story coul be typical of life in E. Berlin, and as such I'm not sure that it has a lot to say; but as a portrait of one completely dysfunctional family (notwithstanding the obvious closeness of these two siblings) in a hardline environment it is almost a horror-story.


The History of Love
The History of Love
Price: £4.99

4.0 out of 5 stars Different life stories brought together and beautifully interwoven, 10 April 2013
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An unusual writing style, and a story with various levels, twists and turns, that keeps you involved until the last. A 20th century post-Holocaust quest for a life's love lost to history, and yet somehow redeemed. The story could be symbolic of many, and is sensitively explored, without ever descending into sentimentality. Complex, but well worth the effort.


The Hundred-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out of the Window and Disappeared
The Hundred-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out of the Window and Disappeared
by Jonas Jonasson
Edition: Paperback

4.0 out of 5 stars A light-hearted novel with a serious message, 27 Jan. 2013
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Enjoyed this summarily very much. The writing is clever, witty and the content well researched, balancing and blending history and fantasy extremely well. It's long, and - for me - dragged ever so slightly in the middle (round about the Himalayas!), but picked up momentum quite quickly again. But the length is intended to span a good chunk of the 20th century. Some may find it a bit tedious, but the light-hearted, though intinsically serious enough message of optimism and opportunism has quite a lot to recommend it, when there is so much negativity in some outlooks. I found it a good read, and it doesn't surprise me that it has long been high up the bestseller lists in mainland Europe: it is very much a European-style novel.


Train Dreams
Train Dreams
Price: £5.03

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A powerful and compelling read, 27 Jan. 2013
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This review is from: Train Dreams (Kindle Edition)
Effectively atmospheric, and the character of Grainier is convincingly drawn in his isolation yet strength. I enjoyed the concise writing style, and don't agree with the reviewer who suggested the story might be longer. It is very powerful in its 'bites' of precision which cover and reflect the significant events in the long life of a hardworking man.


The Adventurous Tale of Wee William the Whale
The Adventurous Tale of Wee William the Whale
by Catherine A. Jones
Edition: Paperback
Price: £11.16

3.0 out of 5 stars Questionable value, 22 Jan. 2013
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Bought as a present for a rising 3 year old. Can't comment on the story, but thought iitem was expensive in reality. I wouldn't have paid that much from a shop bookshelf for such a relatively thin book, however good the illustrations.


The Song of Achilles
The Song of Achilles
by Madeline Miller
Edition: Paperback
Price: £8.99

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Song of Achilles - a good read, 3 Nov. 2012
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This review is from: The Song of Achilles (Paperback)
I enjoyed this book: the storyline is coherent and the pace is good . The style often echoes that of classical literature, and some pieces - especially battle scenes, or preparing / setting off for battle - read like extracts from Homer or other classical epics. The love story is delicately handled, and the (main) character of Patroclus in particular is very sympathetic. The ending is really quite moving. A very approachable account of classical legend.


Bahnwärter Thiel. Mit Materialien.
Bahnwärter Thiel. Mit Materialien.
by Gerhart Hauptmann
Edition: Paperback

5.0 out of 5 stars Bahnwarter Thiel - short story, 6 Mar. 2012
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Delivered quickly and item is as advertised. A specialist market, obviously, but I was very pleased to find it, and the terms of purchase were excellent.


CANCELLED
CANCELLED

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Evening silver diamante clutch, 6 Mar. 2012
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This review is from: CANCELLED (Apparel)
Excellent value and looks really good. With 2 length options it is versatile. You can't get much in it, but there's room for lipstick, keys, pen etc. But space is not the point here for most of us, and for the money, it's quite brilliant.


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