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4 New from
I absolutley loved this book, which kept me gripped all the way though to the stunning climax. A story which deals with the lives of two friends, one black, one white, growing up in a America in the 60's and 70's. Clearly this subject has to be handled artfully, and Ellory delivers. The story starts with an introduction to the main chararecter who is on death row for the murder of his best friend. It then procceds to take us though the fast paced story that preceeded the main characters' incarceration. I wont elaborate on the story further but what I will say is that ellory is cleary a master in creating characters with real depth and feeling. His description of the characters thoughts show that ellory must have a real understanding of people. I loved this book, and raced though it. This is a stunning debut, Ellory is a wonderful new talent deserving recognition. Im off to read his other two books!
7 New from
In all honesty, I couldn't stand the main character, the lewd gratuitous descriptions of sex, there didn't seem to be any kind of plot or direction - but I simply COULD NOT put it down. A paradoxical statement if their ever was one. This is a book about a disenfranchised, lazy, selfish, dishonest, decadent loser whose story reels you in. Set in London in the summer or 2002 it follows the main character "Puppy" through his irresponsible existence, giving a great insight (if that's what it is) into lives of the "too much money, not enough sense" brigade otherwise known as the "upper middle class". The way the book is written however is very easy to assimilate, Dhaliwal mentions in an interview with the Guardian, that he decided to write "like I talk to my mates", and that's certainly befitting having read the book. You may not like his characters (I know I didn't), but there is absolutely no doubt that Dhaliwal l is very talented, his writing flows, its not choppy and it doesn't require motivation to push yourself through another passage just to get the book finished. I have not doubt if he gets a more interesting subject matter, and a better directed plot that he will become a very successful author. Impressive first novel.
The Magician's Nephew
4 New from
Having recently watched "The Lion, The WItch and the wardrobe" i decided to get the entire set of books. I started with the Magicians Nephew, and although the plot is interesting in parts, i couldnt help feeling like i was reading Genesis thought large parts of it. It is little slow in places in my opinion, and was less exciting than expected. Leading to me at times forcing myself to carry on reading despite it only being a very short book. All in all, still a good book for kids but there are many better out there.
The Secret Diary of Adrian Mole Aged Thirteen and Three Quarters
11 New from
This book was an absolute joy, definately the funniest book I have read for years. I heard people talk about this "diary" when at school but only recently decided to read it. In all books I have read, there are few characters who would top the inimitable Adrian Mole. A fantastic read, so if you're feeling blue, need a pick me up or you just enjoy a good hoot - then look no further than this. I may be 15 years behind most in discovering this book, but it was worth the wait.
A Quiet Vendetta
7 New from
I have quite literally just finished "Quiet Vendetta" and as emotionally drained as I may be, I felt compelled to post my review/comments regarding this book immediately. In brief summary, a Governor's daughter goes missing following the gruesome murder of her bodyguard. An old Cuban by the name of Ernesto Perez turns up claiming responsibility and knowledge of the girl's whereabouts. Perez requests that his story be heard before relinquishing details of the whereabouts of the Governor's daughter.
And so, we fall headlong into Ellory's detailed and rich story, retracing the steps of one man's journey as a hitman for the mob stretching over four decades. Of course the "organised crime" genre has been covered by many, but not quite like this, not as superbly as this. Ellory's prose is so rich in detail, so original in composition and so creative in plotting, not to mention fantastically well researched.
I believe that Ellory has set a new standard with his writing, and it is certainly a tough act to follow for others who wish to write creatively in this genre. In Perez we have one of my favourite characters of any book, movie or play that I have encountered. This is not due to his criminal activity, and homicidal tendencies, certainly not, but due to the depth and richness Ellory has created in Perez, rarely has a character been so real to me.
I have no doubt that this book would make a great movie, and if directed and produced well, Ernesto Perez would become a character as memorable as Michael Corleone, Henry Hill and Tony Montana. I'm sure it's only a matter of time before Ellory is a household name, as he is a bona fide talent, and this is another brilliant book. I highly recommend it.
Echo Burning (Jack Reacher 5)
2 New from
This is the first Lee Child book that I've read and I wasn't too impressed. Although this is a work of fiction, it still requires some realism, and in this book you might find at times, that it is like reading a Bollywood movie script. In the books' particualry ropey moments I could be heard saying "yea right" out loud."Echo Burning" follows the story of reluctant hero Jack Reacher helping a Damsel in distress called Carmen, and that is about it. The character of "Jack Reacher" has been done before, and done much better by other authors. I didnt like him, to me he was like a CIA wannabe extra from "Clear and Present Danger". It was predicable and unoriginal, however Child's skill with pace did make it mildly entertaining, If I had heeded my original foreboding when I first picked up the book, I would not have read it, but I wished to give the author a try. This original reluctance resulted from the last line of prose at the back of the novel, "The cops cant be trusted. The lawyers won't help. If Jack Reacher can't set things straight who can?" Oh dear.... I think that says it all. I will give lee Child another try, as so many reviewers can't be wrong, but I think I will steer clear of the Jack Reacher Novels.
Blood Diamond (1 Disc)
22 New from
This film really changed my view on DiCaprio as an actor, in the same way that Fight Club did with Brad Pitt. I believe he really shows his depth and ability in this wonderfully written, produced and directed film. I was captivated, by the dialogue and the wonderful performances throughout and the real issues that this film deals with. If you enjoy engaging, heart rendering movies, then this is one of the best I have seen for a very long time, very much aided by DiCaprio's fantastic performance.
A Long Way Down
That's exactly it, I just didn't get the point. I took weeks reading it, because I kept getting bored after two pages as nothing of note happens. I didn't like the characters; however it did make me guffaw in places, particularly the odd witty, and rather cutting one liner's. The book is about four people who meet each other by chance at a common suicide spot, and then talk each other out of jumping to their doom. Then the book seems to just bumble along for about 250 pages, and I finished it thinking, "did anything happen?" It has actually left me feeling lethargic, I'm going off to write 250 pages (slowly) about why I feel lethargic, and endeavour to find a few laugh out loud one liners, throw them in, stir everything up and I will have a my very own version of this book, but with rubbish jokes.
The Growing Pains of Adrian Mole
5 New from
Sue Townsend's inimitable character, Adrian Mole, again provided me with much amusement. This is his diary circa 1982, 1983. It's wonderful to see the early nineteen eighties through the angst ridden eyes of the neglected tortured soul that is the eponymous Adrian. Okay so, he is not in actuality "a tortured soul", but Sue Townsend's brilliant portrayal of Adrian Mole's overreactions, mixed in with his literary intellect, innocence, inexplicable recesses in knowledge, and accidental humour make for another fantastic read. I simply love how unique and original the Adrian Mole diaries are. I have given it a four rather than a five because I thought the first diary was slightly better. It is still a fantastic read and I would certainly recommend it.
The Curry Mile
This is certainly an interesting novel by Zahid Hussain, It started very well, promised much, but didn't quite deliver.
The Curry Mile, narrates the return of the prodigal daughter, Sorayah Butt to Manchester and consequently her family. Quickly and effortlessly she is sucked into the politics, ambitions, and inevitable pull of the Curry Mile on Wilmslow Road. Concurrently, Hussain narrates the story of Sorayah's father, Ajmal Butt, observing his daughters return. The first time he has seen her since his ill-fated discovery of her non-Muslim boyfriend. We are then drawn into Ajmal Butt's world of habitual plotting, indignation, manipulation and desperation. From the troubles of his business to his ever heightening feud with his once beloved Sorayah.
The narrative relating to the character Ajmal Butt was far more interesting and compelling than the side along story of Sorayah. In Butt, Hussain creates an interesting character both to be admired and loathed, and I still can't make up my mind regarding my feelings about him, importantly however, some emotion is evoked. We are given the opportunity to observe the Mile through the eyes of Ajmal Butt. A man whose voracious appetite for constant scheming, is matched only by his determination to keep face. We observe his feuds with his enemies, and illicit relationship with the curvaceous Sameena. All adding to his layers and realism.
The richness in Ajmal Butt reflects diametrically the shell that is the character of Sorayah, who is lacking in substance. This is more disappointing in that Hussain starts building her character very well in the opening chapters, but seems to just leave her, incomplete and sketchy. This character suffers more because of abundance in detail regarding Ajmal Butt. Eventually I just found Sorayah a little boring and trite.
Overall, I would certainly say this novel is a page turner, and does read with consummate ease. It has a flowing narrative, which certainly draws you in, even if the author overly uses Urdu phrases throughout. I doubt it will win any literary prizes for ambient writing but I get the feeling the author wasn't looking to achieve that, rather wishing to create an interesting, cascading, finish-in-one-sitting sort of tale. It is engrossing in parts, and I would say a great choice if you want light reading for a commute. Hussain certainly has something, and if he creates more characters next time of the same quality as Ajmal Butt, and uses less Urdu phrases (you don't need 100 to make the book seem authentic!), then I think he will start shooting up the bestseller lists. Although not completely satisfied, it has wetted my appetite enough to buy his next novel.