It's often said that prolific readers have vast imagination – perhaps they just have vast curiosity. There are as many sorts of books as there are people who read, and to envisage a world where no-one ever wrote a book again is like trying to visualise the end of the world – possible but not probable, for writing is a response to the demand for depth and solace in the individual soul which reaches out for connection to what else is possible within other souls.
A fast and pacey and irreverent look at the teen pop idol/starlet syndrome. You will either love this or deplore it. In bad taste a times, it also gives an intelligent and tasteful glimpse into how the entourage and back-up team of these kind of icons feel during the roller coaster ride to fame and fortune plus the more dubious characters that latch onto them on the way. Paparazzi, publicists, promoters and others...all in there. A funny and unique sort of read but not the most original storyline.
A haunting and beautifully told story of three different types of love set in remote rural Wales; heterosexual, homosexual and filial. A reclusive female poet, a lascivious celebrity operatic singer, a teacher of special needs, a former civil servant. A beautiful landmark garden and a modest farm.
This is a novel that moves with careful steps and then becomes airborne. Not just for women, it's for men too. It's perhaps how Thomas Hardy might write were he alive today.
A surreal and almost Gothic tale which is part fantasy and part reality of a young boy born into mid nineteenth century Oxford of humble background at the height of the academic achievements taking place then and enrolled into a scheme to build one of the landmark science museums. From the forge to the inventors workshop he sets out to to win the approval of his superiors and his father and succeeds only in being exploited. This is a cautionary tale with splendid graphics in a heightened imaginative canvass. If you like the unusual, the wry and the unconventional you will love this book.
Firstly published in 1976 this novel is worth a read, especially for art lovers. It is a classical heist-swindle that enthrals. It echoes a lot of the growing egalitarian attitudes of the 70's student population at the art world snobbery and hypocrisy. When an art history graduate is set up to hunt for a probable lost painting by the all-time great of the title, painters, dealers, investigators and first class forgers become caught up in the plot which spreads across Italy and France. It is a lightly told narrative but it takes some concentration to follow what is, and could be, going on.
A tranquil tale set just after the first World War of a young man's agony at his inability to forget his brother's death while fighting for his country in France. Set in rural twentieth Century France it makes connections with the Cathars of the thirteenth Century and is a tale of love, physical duress and adventure in part, and of the supernatural. It has the kind of depth that opens up areas of enquiry into the power and dynamic of geographical place within time and space. Beautifully written with control and poise, it is graphically perfected to create an atmosphere of icy and perilous winter mountain landscape in northern Europe. An easy and relaxing read, but not a shallow one.
To call this a crime novel might be apt but doesn't do it justice. It's genre is the gritty hard boiled American novel but the warmth and humanity within it lifts it to serious literary business. The narrative is among the most descriptive and graphic and the dialogue is superb. Set in late sixties California the author uses one of his more well known protagonists to lead the tale; Easy Rawlins is a seasoned black detective, recovering after a serious accident, who lifts from the page and gets right next to the reader. Redolent of that famed decade the characters featured are real to any era and timeless – the hallmarks of a classic it is said.
Three couples unfold a story of ideals, land feuds and past life memory. Diverse personalities of differing ages, temperaments and professions. English rural life combines the infinite and seamless potential for life beyond the known agenda with the continuing mundane struggles of pressure and success amid the well-heeled and the poorer. An interesting montage of plot and action that spins the story into realms unexpected. Told with simplicity, wit and acute observation into human affection and frailty, it is unsentimental and honest. The style of writing evokes visual drama and is a colourful arc of discovery.
A jaunty look at life at the start of the swinging sixties in fashionable London, moving frequently to rustic Cornwall. Forerunners of the modern music moguls and the pop industry it is based on real life and deals with the rise of a vicar's daughter who eventually became a successful song-writer and made her debut on the famous Sunday Night at the London Palladium. An ordinary look at a few well known iconic rock stars and the characters who brought about Carnaby Street fashion, the revival of Victoriana and the heady optimistic era of those times – without becoming clichéd. Written with great warmth, verve and a panache which allows it to veer between the traditional old British ways and the freer new age just dawning.
This is a great read for lovers of the thriller/hard man genre. It figures his well known hero, Jack Reacher, as chief protagonist. An ex U.S. government forces man on hire to those who need someone more than just an investigator. Child’s writing is graphic and pithy. His lack of flourish does justice to the pace and impact of the book. No denying this is a plot-ridden novel, and no time is wasted on psychological insights, even so the characters have a realism and the whole yarn is totally believable. This is an author of considerable talent and one has the feeling that nothing he publishes will disappoint.
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