Friday, February 26, 2010

Mr Rosenblum's List by Natasha Solomons

This is such a great book  - I got a reading copy about a month ago and I couldn't put it down.  Best read for two years!  So I was really excited to see it come into the shop yesterday. 

Eight years after WWII  Mr Rosenblum still feels like a stranger in a strange land, so he determines he will become an English gentleman at all costs.
There's some sad bits, and some unexpected turns in the plot. It's charming and funny and I thought it was brilliant. Did I mention best read in two years!

Review by Richard Ponder

Saturday, February 13, 2010

The Horrible Books I've Read Lately

This is a bit like my personal raspberry awards for 2009/2010.  I've just had a run of books I"ve absolutely hated - here are a few of them. 

And the winner for Unreadably Awful Prose is Andy McNab's, "DropZone".  Of course nobody reads his stuff for the prose, they read them because he was a SAS covert ops commander, and I presume because he can come up with a decent plot.  I really couldn't get that far. 

And the winner for - Don't Ask Me Why but I just HATED it,  goes to Michael, C. Thorpes', "Ben Brown's Adventure Beyond the Universe, the Return of the Nephilim."  Old fashioned sci fi that feels like it might have come from a WWII bunker - but possibly on the wrong side.  I was probably just in completely the wrong space, I know other people who have just loved this book, but I found it distasteful - maybe I just couldn't get past those wheat fields.  It didn't help that a UFO crashed in one, killed a whole lot of cows- presumably from fire damage, but the wheatfield didn't go up .  After that I was just looking for trouble.

The winner for, Used Someone Else's Idea for a Story and it Really Didn't Work goes to Ben H. Winters', "Sense and Sensibility and Seamonsters".  Seriously, "Pride, Prejudice and Zombies" was entertaining on more than one level.  I might have hated the characters and been crossing my fingers for the to die, but with this particular "conversion" I hardly know who any of the cahracters are -- and I certainly don't care.  Adding fish guts and grossness might amuse a few adolescent boys, but it's just dumped in every few pages whether it fits in with the plot or not.  So the story ends up - oh- they cooked something gross for dinner - so what?  Someone falls into the water for no real reason...

Alicia Ponder

There may be more yet to come -- but I hope not!


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