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Preview — Birthday Present by Barbara Vine
It’s the dress-up and role-play that inspire Ivor to create a surprise bir...more
The Birthday Present demonstrates how people frequently err in their decision making. Often it is because they arrived at their conclusions for the wrong reasons, or simply because they have failed to consider the implic ...more
Meanwhile, the attempt at a conversational tone is awkward, sometimes even painful (ex. I don't want to talk about politics ...more
The book isn’t told from Ivan’s point of view, nor from Hebe’s. Instead it alternates (with no real clea ...more
Clearly aimed at being more literary than the Ruth Rendell brand (especially Wexford), but never quite satisfying.
The premise of this with how a secret is kept, and the difference in people's attitudes. I didn't like jump to two narrative points of view, and a didn't really warm to either. I think it was god set up, but ending had been foretold and was a bit " let's stop now"
Many main complaint was with the cover. The garish cover of mine had slightly dirty fit/ ...more
It’s told in the first person from two different viewpoints which, initially didn’t really work for me and meant that I had to keep reminding myself who was talking. One of them was that of a really annoying character and I mentally groaned every time it was her turn.
The Birthday Present of the title refers to a plan hatched between two lovers; Ivor Teather, a rising star in Jo ...more
This is the story of the rise and fall of one of Thatcher’s conservative government officials in parliament. He involved himself in a relationship with a housewife stuck in a boring marriage. He got the bright idea, for her birthday, to hire a couple of men to act like thugs, pick her up, tie her up and throw her in a car, and bring her int ...more
I ga ...more
For instance, in this book she refers to a debt that amounted to "one thousand million" pounds. ???
I'm sorry but does Ruth Rendell have access to Google? Can she deduce that one thousand million equals one billion?? I mean look it ...more
Dacht ik eerst dat het boek door twee dames geschreven was, blijkt Ruth Rendell een pseudoniem te zijn voor Barbara Vine. Eh, waarom zet je dan beide namen op de cover? Afijn. Het boek. Lastig. Ik heb veel geskipped. Politiek interesseert me erg weinig en zeker buitenlandse politiek al helemaal niet. Alle bladzijden met hoe het in het Engelse parlement gaat sloeg ik over.
Wat ik enigszins verwarrend vond was de perspectiefwisseling. Het duurde telkens ...more
But things go horribly wrong. There is a wreck and Hebe and one of the men are killed ...more
In her newest Barbara Vine novel, Rendell has crafted a subtly sordid tale studded with imaginative plot twists and black humor. Though she reveals Tesham's eventual downfall within the first few pages, Rendell builds a great deal of tension into her complex, tightly constructed plot, and her descriptions of Tesham's sexual adventures, though accurate, are never lurid. Interestingly, most British critics panned the novelóa possible reaction to the liberal Rendell's political leanings or a jaded...more
While the ending of t ...more
Rendell created a third strand of writing with the publication of A Dark Adapted Eye under her pseudonym Barbara Vine in 1986. Books such as King Solomon's Carpet, A Fatal Inversion and Anna's Book (original UK title Asta's Book) inhabit the same territory as her psychological crime novels while they further develop themes of family misunderstandings and the side effects of sec ...more