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Product Reviews

Top 100 Books Reviewer
15 (87% helpful)

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  1.  Anyone can draw!


    This book is fantastic! It is based on the simple concept that anyone can produce realistic drawings (even portraits) if you train yourself to see the object with your eyes (using your right brain) rather than with your mind's eyes (using your left brain). For instance, when we are young we develop an idea of what an eye or a nose should look like in a drawing, and we keep using that 'idea' in whatever face we draw. The concept behind this book is that you should train your mind to discard that idea (developed by the left side of the brain) and concentrate on the lines, shades and peculiar shape of the 'object' in front of you. It is not difficult once you practise, and as an added bonus drawing in this manner is a great stress-reliever. I am an accountant with no artistic talent at all. You should see my portraits after reading this book - they are so lifelike and instantly recognisable: all my friends keep asking me to disclose the name of the artist! Highly recommended for anyone wishing to improve his/her drawing skills.

  2.  Light and refreshing read!


    I love this book - the way it follows the normal everyday life of its characters living in Scotland Street, the intelligent and witty way in which it is written, the food for thought scattered around the stories for you to pick up and contemplate, its short chapters making for a non-compelling easy read, the fact that it is set in my beloved Scotland.... Alexander McCall Smith, you have found yourself another fan. I'm already into the second instalment of the Scotland Street series and have another two lined up to see me through the last days of summer...

  3.  Good page turner but lacks depth and credibility


    This is my first Goddard book and I was hoping to find another good author to add to my favourites. Unfortunately I was not impressed. I read the book in a couple of days as it is very fast paced and keeps you turning pages. However, the story and characters are entirely non-credible, and the events, conversations and characters' behaviour as portrayed in the book are nowhere near what you would expect in a real-life situation. Having said that, many fans of Goddard say that this is not one of his best books, so perhaps I might still give him another chance some day...

  4.  I beg to differ....


    I was encouraged to read this book by the large number of 5 star ratings it has. Sorry to go against the flow but I just did not like this book - in my opinion the book's entire content being in the form of letters, e-mails, etc. detracts from the story's credibility and literary value. I also did not like the way the story drags on from one disappointment to another to its entirely predictable end.

  5.  No.1 for a great relaxing read...


    I cannot but agree more with the first reviewer. This is the first book I read by Alexander McCall Smith, and I have already bought another four which I happily look forward to dive into... For a long time I have been looking for a good author whose style is light, refreshing and at the same time intelligent. If all Mr Smith's books follow the path of the No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency, then I am happy to say I've found the one. I'll keep you posted...

  6.  Strangely compelling ... but too long


    When I started to read this book I thought it was really amazing in the way it gives complete fantasy a semblance of realism! The author manages to make the fictional history of English magic appear to be factual, not least by the way that convincing footnotes are slotted in frequently in the book. However, (as fantasy is not really my favourite genre) my enthusiasm about the unique style of the book died down somewhere halfway through the book and so I found the latter half really boring and too long for my liking. Having said that, this book has received many awards and is very highly rated - whether you like it or not is a matter of taste after all....

  7.  My favourite PD James so far!


    I have read other mysteries by PD James (Death in Holy Orders, The Lighthouse, Cover her Face, Death of an Expert Witness) and I have enjoyed all of them, but this is the best one I've read so far. It has a very intriguing murder story that has its roots in an 'original sin' far back in time... The story has a limited number of characters which makes it easy to follow. I particularly enjoyed the dramatic ending with a bitter twist in the tale... Great reading stuff!

  8.  Unbelievably believable


    The amazing thing in this book is that it is so well written that it almost makes you believe that time travel is possible. Some instances in the turbulent lives of the two protagonists are also very touching. Still, this is not one of the most enjoyable books I've ever read, perhaps it's too 'fantastic' for my liking - I prefer the more down-to-earth novel genres...

  9.  Amazingly imaginative


    Fantasy novels are not my piece of cake, but for ages I have been urged by many friends and relatives to have a go at Harry Potter because 'you'll surely like it'. So over Christmas I got hold of the first in the legendary series to see what the fuss is all about. Well, Ms Rowling really knows how to tell a story and I am truly amazed at her sheer imaginative power that makes her invent all those characters and weave a gripping story around them - I have a 4 year old who loves spontaneous stories so I know what I'm talking about. At the same time, the book's characters retain realistic human-like traits that lets the reader relate to them. All in all, now I can understand why Harry Potter has captured the hearts of young and not so young all over the world. Why not 5 stars? Sorry friends but fantasy is fantasy and I still prefer the more down-to-earth genres...

  10.  A Single Splendid Book


    Some time ago I read Hosseini's The Kite Runner and found it deeply inspiring, indeed possibly the best book I've ever read in my life. A Thousand Splendid Suns is nearly as touching as its predecessor - it tells the heart-wrenching tale of the life of two burqa-clad women in Afghanistan under the Taliban regime, and how love can still shine through such horrific circumstances. This book will make you count your lucky stars and give you an insight into the horrible plight of women who are born in male-dominant communities where women are treated as inferior chattels.