OK It is not my kind of novel. I should have guessed this from the prolog. It is just a simple techno thriller, OK it has interesting twists of the TeOK It is not my kind of novel. I should have guessed this from the prolog. It is just a simple techno thriller, OK it has interesting twists of the Teracotta Army (and this is well researched) but this is not what the focus is about it is about the chinese secret service and lantern jawed heros who punch gun totting villians in the face and run off with the damsel.
Lines like: The throb throb throb announced the arrival of a longbow apache but this was not the US Cavalry to the rescur as Pakistan also operated these craft. The buzz announced the arrival of the 20mm cannon shell which disintegrated the flimsy rope bridge on which they stood. should really tell me to put the book back on the library shelf.
OK positive points. The history of the First Emperor's Tomb comlex; the history of china, its technological development in agricuture, printing, engineering which was centuries ahead of the West; the details of the wisdom of Confucious is interesting and impressive. The action is descritive as if you were to watch the scenes in slow motion.
I can read this book whilst imagining Arnold Schwartzaniger playing the lead who in a one dimentional wooden but incredibly violent style defeats the Chinese and Russion secret services including a few rouge agetnts and organised criminals. If that appeals to so will this book but it is not for me....more
Not exactly a murder Mystery although a few of the stories within the collection have a who done it theme runing. It is the story of a story. How a 12Not exactly a murder Mystery although a few of the stories within the collection have a who done it theme runing. It is the story of a story. How a 12th Century Manuscript appears KJinxed, even Cursed at it's first performance and as the story covers 800 years ( in 4 main and 2 minor stories) one can see the reactions of future generations (although all are in our past) to a historical manuscript at the creation of which we were preent.
As to the stories they attempt to be hisotrically accurate with footnnotes explaining the real world situation at the time and dosed with a asometimes balck humour. they are good and entertaining sotries but nothing like the adventure of a sherlock Holmes, or the mental agility of a Miss Marple. ...more
It is a roman murder mystery although i should say now it is more of an adventure story set in Ancient Rome and apartI will read more by this author.
It is a roman murder mystery although i should say now it is more of an adventure story set in Ancient Rome and apart from the absence of telephones, industrial maufacturing and modern medical techniques etc it could really be set in any period of occupation (British empire in india, Nazi France etc) more than 150 years ago and you probably would not notice the difference. The mystery is a classic "who done it" but not really one you could spot the clues from the start and work it out by the time the detective does, apart from the fact that the obvious is too obvious to be true. There are many clues turning up in the last chapters or not even clues but random ideas which have to be proved so chances of solving on your own are similar to guess work.
It is however a good read with a mixture of blatant humour, unintended consequences, plain stupidity along with some historical references and imaginitive insight nto the northern boarders of roman occupied britain. charachters are a little flat and often pantomime but this again is standard for many detective novels.
All in all amusing and good relaxation rather than highbrow litterature that will endure an age. ...more
The book is horror with some supernatural so i shouldd have expected the scenes of graphically described violent death. There are also a couple of verThe book is horror with some supernatural so i shouldd have expected the scenes of graphically described violent death. There are also a couple of very bad sex scenes at which ppoint I really lost it. There are also a few cliffhangers which get saved by the cavalry last in time. so that is why I give it the low score. It does have it's good points though. there is a little depth to the charachters with hidden or quite frankly unknown secrets which come out but the changes aren't subtle and the charachterisation is fairly in your face. The plot is, if not well researched then imaginitevly detailed about some archeological sites in Cmbodia and the activities of the Khmer Rouge and the history of Cambodia. The initial premis is intriguing but (shortly after the bad sex) there is a kind of twist where the tack changes slightly from spirituality to ideology and science to explain things but the ending I found a little flat.
All in all this was a good book if you like violent gory horror with abit of an interesting plot line but I dd not find it particularly stimulating or a "must read more by this author" experience....more
Basic plot. Someone is transferrerred into a parallel universe some of which seems to be of his own creation. Nothing is quite waht it seems and he haBasic plot. Someone is transferrerred into a parallel universe some of which seems to be of his own creation. Nothing is quite waht it seems and he has to be careful not to be caught out by performing seemingly mundane day to day tasks which in this universe have serious conswquences.
If you have read my review of "Martians go home" by the same author you will find the next comments familiar.
Having set up interesting plot lines with some depth to the charachters there is a rather abrupt ending (not to say it doesn't have its twists) but it is as if the author suddenly found he had something better to do and wrote a quick ending whihc does tie up all the loose ends rather than develop the threads. As such a fairly dissapointing, albeit quick read....more
Well this story starts off with an interesting premis. what if the martians really are little green men. They arrive on earth in billions not throughWell this story starts off with an interesting premis. what if the martians really are little green men. They arrive on earth in billions not through any space ship but just arrive. Impervious to actions by humans and apparently unale to harm anything on earth they certainly have the ability to annoy the entire population and make them harm each other.
This leads to a whole variety of hillarious situations in which Martians turn up at inconveneient moments causing havock.
unfortuynately the book is let down. it is a novel written by a short story writer and having carefully set up several plot strands the ending is rather abrupt and a let down, rather like the 14 year old writing his english homework who suddenly realises he has completed 4 sides of work and the football is about to start so he'd better finish it quickly....more
Those of us of a certain age in Britain were brought up on Black Besuty at 5pm on a sunday evening. The contrast with the book is startling. the book fThose of us of a certain age in Britain were brought up on Black Besuty at 5pm on a sunday evening. The contrast with the book is startling. the book for a start is written from the horses pint of view. Most of the stories from the TV series seem to have been set in the first part of the book. a well kept horse in a loving upper class household, however the story moves on as the hos=rse is sold and resold.
The chapters of the book essentially fall in with the different ownsrs and roles the jhorse has, from hunter to delivery horse and hanson cab.
various owners treat the horse differently weither through neglect or ignorance however the horse dpes seem to return good favour for good care and almost wants to be useful, even though there are some scenes of horses treated incredibly poorly and the constant reminder that in this period all horses were used for working as vans and lorries, taxi cabs etc are today.
Very different from the tV series of nearly 40 yeras ago but very nsightful for the time it was written into animal welfare. ...more
One of those books which everyone thinks they know the story to having seen the film but there have been so many subtly different films that what is tOne of those books which everyone thinks they know the story to having seen the film but there have been so many subtly different films that what is the real story. Buchan does make a self depricating comment about why he wrote the book in the ntroduction comparing it almost to trashy novels of intrigue. Tru to say an awful lot of things happen to Hannay which are highly coveient to thorw him nto this puzle and then to help him solve it but it is a good fast moving thriller and a story very much of its time 1915.
Overall i would read the rmainder of the Hannay Series based on this but it is not an absolute classic work of litterature.
It compares well to Connan Doyle's Sherlock Holmes tales but is significantly longer than most of the sotries of the latter (except hound of the Baskerbiles, Study in Scarlet and Sign of the four. The lead charachter despite being imtelligent with a keen mind for logic puzles, codes etc does not have the same charisma (or notoriety) as Holmes....more
OK this book is a horro book and you expect some death and gore. However it starts to address some interesting philosophical matters such as the naturOK this book is a horro book and you expect some death and gore. However it starts to address some interesting philosophical matters such as the nature of good and evil and the relationship between paranormal events and the scientific observations around ghost sightings etc.
unfortunately there are long graphic descriptions of unpleasant deaths, most of which have nothing to do with the plot other than to say "things are getting worse Boss" with multiple charachters intorduced simply so they can be killed in a very unpleasant manner. there is also a detailed descriptiopn pf a car chase which looses something in the written word as oposed to cinema surround sound. All the while the situation around the main charachters deteriorates into what we would these days (the book first published 1980) would call a zombie movie with to all intents and purposes crowds of brain dead individuals intent on killing anyone who is not brain dead.
In summarry, the book could be 200 pages shorter and basically have the same plot, alternatively a bit more concentration on the philosophical issues raised would make it far more interesting and challenging. ...more
As many Sequels it is not up to the standard of the forst from this gerne. In the first half no matter what adversity approaches everything goes cicerAs many Sequels it is not up to the standard of the forst from this gerne. In the first half no matter what adversity approaches everything goes ciceros way in the end. True there is some smart manoevering to be done but it does become a bit samey. thisngs change as the story continues.
True there is some historical basis to this and my knowledge of this period is limited. the intrigue and political dancing could easily be transferred to today with the various ways of corrupting a democraccy.
Unfortunately it is similar to but not as good as the first...more
Nothing like the film. this book like most of the Horror stories of the period it relies more on atmospherics to direct the readers imagination. The tNothing like the film. this book like most of the Horror stories of the period it relies more on atmospherics to direct the readers imagination. The text concentrates more on the relationship btween Iccabod Crane and his rival for his love interest. The horror is mentioned once in the first half of the book as the scene develops but then in the latter part when the atmosphere is set the horror ending develops to its climax....more
This is a short story in classic gothic horror style. it is low on vioence and gore of modern horro film and fiction but it is made up for in the mystThis is a short story in classic gothic horror style. it is low on vioence and gore of modern horro film and fiction but it is made up for in the mysterios atmospheric setting which Poe manages to create.
Behind the basic story there lurks the hidden question of the Dual meaning of the title which is alluded to in the early part of the narrative.
One criticism of the Kindle edition is about half way threough there is a poem reproduced and the formatting goes to pot making it all but unreadable, hence 3 stars for this edition...more
Not one of the better books by Jasper Fforde. It is a sequel to "The last Dragon Slayer" but whereas the first book has a lot of mystery this is the sNot one of the better books by Jasper Fforde. It is a sequel to "The last Dragon Slayer" but whereas the first book has a lot of mystery this is the sort of book in which you know how it will end, just not exactly how we will get there. There is the usual Fforde humour in a future totalitarian dystopia corrupt at all levels and staffed by iddiots but it lacks originality. The charachters are often one dimentional leading to the obvious end point. there are some clues laid early on in the book which all tie up in the last few pages but it is really only the last 205 of the book where the story takes off rather than being a list of amusing but largely irrelevant scenes.
Will i read the third book? Yes but more because i am a fan of Fforde rather than expecting it to be a boundary breking book like "Shades of Grey" or "The last dragon Slayer"...more