Book review: Guards! Guards! (Discworld 8) by Terry Pratchett, 1989

“They may be called the Palace Guard, the City Guard, or the Patrol. Whatever the name, their purpose in any work of heroic fantasy is identical: it is, round about Chapter Three (or ten minutes into the film) to rush into the room, attack the hero one at a time, and be slaughtered. No oneContinue reading “Book review: Guards! Guards! (Discworld 8) by Terry Pratchett, 1989”

Book review: Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro, 2005

Wow. Just wow. I am a bit embarrassed that I have only now just got round to reading what must be one of the most powerful novels written this century. I can completely see why Ishiguro was awarded the Nobel prize for Literature in 2017. In terms of subtlety, control and lightness of touch this novel ranksContinue reading “Book review: Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro, 2005”

Book review: Pyramids, (Discworld 7) by Terry Pratchett, 1989

As an experiment I tried crowd-sourcing this review. I joined a Terry Pratchett appreciation group on Facebook, and posted the following message: Hi all. Quick question – what do people think of ‘Pyramids’? I am writing a review and my initial impression is that it is one of STP’s less successful books in the series,Continue reading “Book review: Pyramids, (Discworld 7) by Terry Pratchett, 1989”

Book review: Howards End, by E M Forster 1910

Set in Edwardian England at the beginning of the 20th century, during that brief but now seen as idyllic decade when the full horrors of the twentieth century were yet to emerge, ‘Howards End’ concerns three families: the Wilcoxes, the Anglo-German Schlegels, and the Basts. Each family is very precisely defined in terms of theirContinue reading “Book review: Howards End, by E M Forster 1910”

Book review: Early Riser, by Jasper Fforde, 2018

This is a really welcome return to writing ffor Fforde after a ffour year hiatus. (sorry). I am guessing, but my suspicion is that his inspiration for this novel was the question “What if the last Ice Age had not finished when it did?” We know that human evolution – or probably more accurately theContinue reading “Book review: Early Riser, by Jasper Fforde, 2018”

Book Review: The Second Coming by John Niven, 2011

John Niven’s ‘The Second Coming’ is not for the easily offended. Yes, the second coming of the title is indeed the return of Jesus Christ to earth. God is appalled at the mess we are making of things down here, and decides to send Jesus back down to have another go at sorting us out.Continue reading “Book Review: The Second Coming by John Niven, 2011”

Book review: The Fall of the House of Usher, by Edgar Allan Poe, 1837

When I finish reading a text I will often consult the internet for some perspective – reviews, commentary, background, etc. My reading about ‘The Fall of the House of Usher‘ was largely un-illuminating – lots of people writing about how wonderful the story is – gothic, macabre, atmospheric are the terms most often used –Continue reading “Book review: The Fall of the House of Usher, by Edgar Allan Poe, 1837”

Book review: How Not to Be a Boy by Robert Webb, 2017

‘How not to be a Boy’ was promoted as a feminist analysis of masculinity in the UK in the 21st century, how toxic it can be, and how it can be avoided (look at the front cover “Rules for Being a Man” if in doubt – confusingly man not boy). It does indeed contain thisContinue reading “Book review: How Not to Be a Boy by Robert Webb, 2017”