David Ebsworth

Helpful votes received on reviews: 79% (27 of 34)
Location: UK


Top Reviewer Ranking: 74,181 - Total Helpful Votes: 27 of 34
An Astronaut's Guide to Life on Earth by Chris Hadfield
3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The Colonel Says..., 13 Jan 2014
Opening Lines:
"The windows of a spaceship casually frame miracles. Every 92 minutes, another sunrise: a layer cake that starts with orange, then a thick wedge of blue, then the richest, darkest icing decorated with stars."

This is a book that explains Canadian Chris Hadfield's ambition to become an astronaut at a time when, effectively, there was not even a Canadian space programme. It makes fascinating autobiographical reading - a real adventure story in itself. So it's also about self-motivation and the homespun philosophy that Hadfield has developed to help him achieve his goals. It's a theme that he returns to many times throughout the book and, for me, this sometimes… Read more
An Officer and a Spy by Robert Harris
An Officer and a Spy by Robert Harris
5.0 out of 5 stars My Book of the Year!, 8 Jan 2014
This is the best book I've read in the past year by a long head. It's very rare for me to say "I couldn't put this down" though, in this case, I literally finished it in two long sittings.

`Major Picquart to see the Minister of War...' The sentry on the rue Saint-Dominique steps out of his box to open the gate and I run through a whirl of snow across the windy courtyard into the warm lobby of the hôtel de Brienne, where a sleek young captain of the Republican Guards rises to salute me. I repeat, with greater urgency: `Major Picquart to see the Minister of War...!'

When I was a boy, in the '50s, the best book on my father's shelves was a large volume… Read more
PERFIDITAS (Roma Nova Book 2) by Alison Morton
5.0 out of 5 stars Sequel or Stand-Alone, 2 Jan 2014
Opening Sentence:
`Captain Carina Mitela?'
Alison Morton takes us straight into the continuation of Carina's tempestuous career in the second novel of her alternative history series in which Ancient Rome has survived to the present time as independent state, Roma Nova. These are fast-paced detective thrillers in their own right, and the fascinating invention of the setting provide a real icing on the cake. This is a sequel but the book stands perfectly well alone and will appeal to anybody who enjoys regular thrillers, anybody who enjoys `Roman' novels (this one is endorsed by Simon Scarrow) and also, I suspect, by anybody who enjoys the sort of fantasy adventures by authors like… Read more

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