The fairy tale that inspired the "Nutcraker Suite". This is the story of the dreams (or is it a truly magical story) the Story is about 200 years oldThe fairy tale that inspired the "Nutcraker Suite". This is the story of the dreams (or is it a truly magical story) the Story is about 200 years old so the language is a little odd, not much more so than Sherlock Holmes or Frankenstein but odd for what is effectively a children's story. The plot is basic as you would expect but there is depth to some of the charachters.
Really should be seen as more of a classic like the Brothers Grim and HCA stories....more
Another good read withnhistorical accuracy where it is possible and speculation and comedy when not. The book again although moving does little earlyAnother good read withnhistorical accuracy where it is possible and speculation and comedy when not. The book again although moving does little early in to investigate the murders / disappearances but it all in its own way begins to fall into place and make sense later. Now could the detective have got a conviction on the evidence he had. Not at all but the explanation of the events is there and our hero "saves and gets the girl, home in time for tea and medals" to mix two metaphors.
Characterisation is fairly basic with shifty guys basically being shifty but two or three of the main characters have a bit ,ore depth to them which (having read these books in the wrong order) I can say is developed in later novels by this author.
it is not an amazing feat of deduction like Sherlock Holmes. It is not a feat of elimination and detection as per Agatha Christie however it is an amusing historical read with a good plot underlying it which also addresses some of the issues of slave ownership and moral attitudes. Whether or not the Romans had moral attitudes is carefully glossed over in the authors notes. As I said historically accurate when possible but entertaining throughout....more
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