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Reviews Written by
John Canning "europeansoul" (London, UK)

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And the Mountains Echoed
And the Mountains Echoed
by Khaled Hosseini
Edition: Paperback
Price: £6.99

5.0 out of 5 stars A beautiful writer that keeps getting better and better!, 14 April 2016
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What a truly beautiful book. Hosseini writes such wonderful characters but the true standouts in this book are the female protagonists, deep, rich and complex - women as carers, women as survivors, women as towering matriarchs, women enduring self-sacrifice. The lives and loves of the intertwined characters stretch from 1950s Afghanistan to 2010s California written in beautiful prose but yet it is an easy read. Every book the author has brought out has been better than the last, this is his 3rd novel, I hope I am around for his 10th. Joyous!


Encyclopedia Madonnica 20: Madonna from A to Z
Encyclopedia Madonnica 20: Madonna from A to Z
by Matthew Rettenmund
Edition: Paperback
Price: £45.00

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Always good to know there is a bigger Madonna fan than you!, 2 Dec. 2015
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Utter joy! Matthew Rettenmund has revamped his Encyclopaedia Madonnica for its 20th Anniversary and it is joyous. Every song she has ever released has an entry; there are amazing pictures, reviews, analysis, anecdotes and interviews. A must for any Madonna fan and an absolute love letter to one of the greatest icons of our time.


The Desperates
The Desperates
by Greg Kearney
Edition: Paperback
Price: £17.04

4.0 out of 5 stars Laugh out loud funny, 27 Nov. 2015
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This review is from: The Desperates (Paperback)
A book that definitely lives up to its title! Seemingly loathsome characters that live desperately selfish lives but that are not without redemption. A very well constructed tale of some very lonely people. Kearney's prose is absolutely biting; and brilliantly funny. Definitely worth a look!


A Place Called Winter: Costa Shortlisted 2015
A Place Called Winter: Costa Shortlisted 2015
by Patrick Gale
Edition: Paperback
Price: £3.85

5.0 out of 5 stars A novel that makes your soul want to sing., 12 Nov. 2015
What a beautiful book. From stuffy Edwardian London to the lonesome prairies of Western Canada this rich novel takes us on an ever longer emotional journey. Rich, complex characters; beautiful prose and a wonderful pace make this my nomination for the best novel of 2015.


The wrong people
The wrong people
by Robin Maugham
Edition: Hardcover

5.0 out of 5 stars No fool like an old fool, 6 Oct. 2015
This review is from: The wrong people (Hardcover)
What a superb novel! Brilliantly tight structure, Maugham draws out deeply flawed characters that yet gain our sympathy. A short novel that packs a punch and brilliantly describes the Tangiers of time.


Just Mary: A Memoir
Just Mary: A Memoir
by Mary O'Rourke
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £19.99

3.0 out of 5 stars Fascinating read but shockingly tribal!, 23 Sept. 2015
This review is from: Just Mary: A Memoir (Hardcover)
What to say about this book? Firstly in terms of prose and fluidity it is 5 stars; O'Rourke has a wonderful unpretentious way of writing and communicating - which was very much her style as minister. The era she covers is fascinating both the changing social attitudes of Ireland during her youth and the economic changes while she was in government. As a member of a political family she was the brother of Brian Lenihan Sr who ran for President of Ireland in 1990 and the aunt of Brian Lenihan Jr who was Minister for Finance during the Great Recession and subsequent bailout so I can see why she is kinder to these men than history has been. However what is incredibly annoying is her sheer tribalism for Fianna Fail. It is great not to demonize people and I know everyone has good traits but her defence of people like Charlie Haughey and Bertie Ahern is just jaw dropping awful. Twice she mentions that Fine Gael and Labour almost won the 2007 General Election and if they did they would have had to face the economic crisis. They didn't - it Fianna Fail - and they (and the Greens) are the ones who wrecked the Irish economy. She is even forgiving of Haughey stealing from her brother's publicly raised funds to go to America for a lifesaving liver operation, Haughey only stole from the remainder of the fund after everything was paid for - the man was Prime Minister of a nation and she thinks it is fine to steal from publicly raised funds! We are all defenders of our chosen political party but come on! She also doesn't seem too bothered that Bertie Ahern didn't have a bank account when he was Minister for Finance??!? In what banana republic would a senior politician not have a bank account? As I said a lovely read in so many ways but the sheer tribalism does grate after a while.


Down With The Royals: (Provocations Series)
Down With The Royals: (Provocations Series)
by Joan Smith
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £9.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Superb!, 21 Aug. 2015
Superb book! Smith writes with beautiful fluidity and highlights a depressingly awful regime. A book for everyone interested in democracy, equality and freedom!


Charlie RTE Mini Series Box Set (The Rise and Fall of Charles Haughey)
Charlie RTE Mini Series Box Set (The Rise and Fall of Charles Haughey)
Dvd ~ Aidan Gillen
Offered by A1tradingGB
Price: £13.99

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Superb!, 27 Jan. 2015
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Fascinating! Brilliantly paced, Aidan Gillen is in fine form. A remarkable look at one of the most controversial, charismatic and arguably dangerous men in 20th century Ireland. A portrait of Ireland during its adolescence from rural backwater to modern European democracy with the most unsuitable "father" at the helm.


A History of Loneliness
A History of Loneliness
by John Boyne
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £14.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars the story of the painful adolescence of a nation as seen thorough they eyes ..., 3 Dec. 2014
A powerful and moving story; the story of the painful adolescence of a nation as seen thorough they eyes of a naÔve priest who’s failings are many but nothing compared to those around him; the spineless protagonist who finally finds some backbone. John Boyne has come on so much as a writer since the very enjoyable “The Absolutist” and this is ultimately a towering story of redemption; his finest novel yet.


Woman in the Making: Panti's Memoir
Woman in the Making: Panti's Memoir
by Rory O'Neill
Edition: Paperback
Price: £13.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliantly paced, laugh out loud funny and biting social ..., 20 Nov. 2014
What an utterly fabulous book! Brilliantly paced, laugh out loud funny and biting social commentary! A book that is both a love letter to drag and to Dublin. The story of the painful adolescence of a nation coming to terms with it's own sexual awakening and hypocrisy. My only issue was it was too short! Another 50 pages would have been most welcome. Get this; the best, most honest, cattiest, well observed autobiography I have read since Boy George's "Take it like a man".


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