This is the ‘official sequel’ to Peter Pan and I was really looking forward to it. However, I found it rather lacking in excitement and (and I know thThis is the ‘official sequel’ to Peter Pan and I was really looking forward to it. However, I found it rather lacking in excitement and (and I know this sounds odd, given that the original was fantasy) too far-fetched. It was very slow and I didn't think she'd captured the essence of the 'lost boys' at all.
I loved Barrie's writing style and the humour in Peter Pan - this book didn't have much humour at all, although the opening line was funny so I thought it would be more amusing than it was.
It was darker than Peter Pan, and I don't have a problem with that, but it just wasn't as much fun as the original and it left me feeling a bit 'meh'!
I've never read a 'sequel' written by a different author from the original book and after this, I'm not sure I ever will again....more
I found it to be a little slow moving... until I was about a third of the way through, and then the pace of the book quickened.
I thought the story wasI found it to be a little slow moving... until I was about a third of the way through, and then the pace of the book quickened.
I thought the story was quite clever and I liked the good/evil balance - neither were too over the top.
The middle of the book was the best bit and once I'd got past about page 100 I read to the end in one afternoon. I quite enjoyed the ending. I guess it was a bit rushed, but that was okay - it did what it had to do without dragging it on and on.
I've never read any books from the 'fantasy' genre before, so I wasn't sure what to expect. I'm not sure I'll rush to read any others, but I enjoyed my dabble with it! ...more
The book was published in 1958, so for obvious reasons it feels somewhat dated in places, but this doesn’t detract from the book at all - or at least,The book was published in 1958, so for obvious reasons it feels somewhat dated in places, but this doesn’t detract from the book at all - or at least, not for me. :)
Eric Newby and Hugh Carless decide to climb a mountain which has yet to be scaled. However, they really don’t know much about mountain climbing, so spend a few days in Wales as practise! With their new-found ‘experience’, they head off to Afghanistan to climb “Mir Samir”.
Although the object of their expedition is the climb, the majority of the book is about their journey to the mountain. On the way they meet many people, and have many adventures, all of which are delivered with the right balance of seriousness and humour.
It is amazing to me that they survived the trip at all, considering their scant knowledge of climbing and the provisions they had with them in Afghanistan - a most unforgiving place with sweltering temperatures during the day, and freezing at night.
As I know less than nothing about mountain climbing, some of the descriptions went over my head - and similarly, my knowledge of the geography of Afghanistan is non-existent, but that didn’t stop me visualising due to Newby’s detailed description - although whether I was picturing correctly is anybody’s guess! I was surprised by the different flora and fauna mentioned - I’d always imagined Afghanistan to be a fairly bleak, desert-type landscape, but clearly that’s only a very small part of the country!
Obviously Afghanistan is a very different country today. It is nice to read how the country was in the 1950s - and difficult to imagine it ever being the same again.
This edition contains about 10 black and white photos in the centre. I would have liked to have seen more photos from the expedition, but due to a mishap with some film and one of the cameras, it was lucky any pictures survived at all.
This edition of the book contains a touching epilogue from Carless, written after Newby’s death. I found the print to be rather small - but not to the detriment of my enjoyment - but I really must go and book that eye test that is a year overdue!
When Bill Masen wakes in hospital after wearing bandages for a week, everything feels wrong - the hospital is eerily quiet and nobody comes when he riWhen Bill Masen wakes in hospital after wearing bandages for a week, everything feels wrong - the hospital is eerily quiet and nobody comes when he rings the bell. Upon investigation, he discovers that nearly every other person alive is blind after watching a green comet. Not only that, but the strange plants - the Triffids - which were being cultivated to make oil for the planet are on the loose and these walking, stinging plants are out to kill.
Now it becomes a frantic struggle to survive. As civilisation as we know it breaks down and life becomes a survival of the fittest, what will happen? Bill meets another seeing person - Josella - and together they must try to make the best of the terrible circumstances in order to make a life for themselves in this new, strange existence.
I read this at school (and saw the BBCs 1981 version) but had no recollection of it as I re-read it! The BBC are doing a new version (only 90 minutes long though, apparently, which may not do it justice) later this year so I wanted to read it first.
I don't normally read Sci-fi so was a bit out of my comfort zone but I really needn't have worried - I absolutely loved it! ...more
Another of the ‘Quick Reads’ books released each year for World Book Day (2006, in this case), this would be a good taster for anyone who hasn’t readAnother of the ‘Quick Reads’ books released each year for World Book Day (2006, in this case), this would be a good taster for anyone who hasn’t read Danny Wallace yet. I’ve only read one other by him, "Friends Like These", which is much funnier than this, but I still enjoyed it.
Danny has an easy writing style which makes reading him like chatting to a mate over a pint and a sandwich in your local!...more
It took me a while to get into this book - I found it to be quite slow at first but it builds gradually and gets much better towards the end! What theIt took me a while to get into this book - I found it to be quite slow at first but it builds gradually and gets much better towards the end! What the author does really well is to convey the feel of the time in which it is set. I really felt as though I was watching the scenes take place in the austere, post-war 1950s - that feeling of drabness but also of change.
Stella is a naïve and somewhat disturbed individual who is on a voyage of self-discovery. She thinks she’s in love with Meredith but he is indifferent to her and eventually she forms a relationship with the much older O’Hara. It’s difficult to see whether he’s taking advantage of Stella or whether it is she who is taking advantage of him.
We don’t really know a lot about Stella’s past. She lives with her Aunt and Uncle in a run-down guest house. Although her relationship with them doesn’t seem quite ‘normal’, it is clear that they care for her a great deal. Stella’s mysterious mother is mentioned only once or twice by Vernon and Lily, and although Stella talks to her by telephone, we never hear what her mother has to say - it’s only ever “[i]Mother said the usual things”[/i].
The ending of the book is really quite sad. There was a twist that I didn’t see coming ...more
Danny travels to Switzerland to attend the funeral of his Great-Uncle, Gallus and whilst there he discovers that in the 1940s, Gallus had tried to staDanny travels to Switzerland to attend the funeral of his Great-Uncle, Gallus and whilst there he discovers that in the 1940s, Gallus had tried to start a commune - and had ended up with just three members!
Inspired by this, Danny decides to form his own cult, erm, I mean collective, as a tribute to Gallas, and so he places an advert in a London paper paper with the words ‘Join Me’ and a box number to send a photograph to. He is amazed to get a reply a few days later, and slowly people start to join.
Danny has one stumbling block, his girlfriend Hanne, who doesn’t approve of his lifestyle and would prefer that he had a ‘proper job’, but Danny becomes obsessed with finding joinees - first he wants 100 and then later aims for 1000. Will he manage this challenge, and will the long-suffering Hanne still be there at the end of it?!
This is the third of Danny’s books that I’ve read so far. I didn’t think it was as funny as Friends Like These, but it was funny and enjoyable, and I love the way Danny writes. I’m looking forward to trying Yes Man at some stage (and no, I haven’t seen the film).
Did I join Danny? Of course I did! Oh, and by the way, your hair looks lovely today! :D ...more
In 1797, when Mary is about eight years old, her family are wiped out by plague and she finds refuge on the streets with a gang who survive by stealinIn 1797, when Mary is about eight years old, her family are wiped out by plague and she finds refuge on the streets with a gang who survive by stealing food and sleeping huddled together for warmth in their ‘kip’ under a bridge.
Some four years later, one of her gang is killed and Mary takes his clothes and disguises herself as a boy. She leaves the gang and heads for the Thames where she is recruited as a “ship’s boy” and is assigned to the schoolteacher onboard the Dolphin because of her ability to read.
Life on the ship is sometimes hard, but Mary, now known as Jacky, enjoys the work and the company of the other ship’s boys. However, she is growing up and it can only be a matter of time before her secret is discovered.
It’s an easy read and Meyer’s portrayal of a young girl pretending to be a boy onboard a ship, who has to live, and at times fight, as a boy is convincing. It’s what I would call a good yarn and I hugely enjoyed it. I will definitely look out for book two, although I don’t normally ‘do’ series.
One thing - I guess it’s because these books were written by an American author for the American market, but there is no way a British ship in the early nineteenth century would be called Endeavor without the missing ‘u’!...more
I've long been a fan of Emily Barr's books - the majority of her previous offerings have been dark and gritty. Her last book, "Plan B", was, I felt, rI've long been a fan of Emily Barr's books - the majority of her previous offerings have been dark and gritty. Her last book, "Plan B", was, I felt, rather lacking in the suspense that she does so well - that said, it was a good read.
For me, "Out of My Depth" marks a very near return to form. The story moves from present to past effortlessly and the characters are well-written and believable. The story is a good one and there are a few twists and turns along the way. I still felt that some of the grittiness and sense of anticipation of her previous novels wasn't quite there - but it wasn't far off.
The sub-plot of the stalker seemed rather pointless to me and didn't really go anywhere - I'm not sure why it was included.
Some people have criticised the ending which is rather abrupt, but I actually didn't mind this - I think sometimes it's good for a few ends to be left to the readers' imaginations rather than everything being tied up neatly just for the sake of it.
Barr remains one of my favourite contemporary authors....more
Set during the Cholera epidemic of the 1840s, It tells the story of Joshua Jeavons who has plans to reform the sewage systems in London - and at the sSet during the Cholera epidemic of the 1840s, It tells the story of Joshua Jeavons who has plans to reform the sewage systems in London - and at the same time investigates the disappearance of his wife. The characters and story are loosely based on real people.
Whilst I didn't enjoy it as much as Kneale's English Passengers it was a great story. I find his characterisation excellent and he is superb at painting a really vivid picture of Victorian London, both of the upper classes and the slum dwellers who live in close proximity in the city. ...more
The book tells the story of Eeva (pronounced Ava) an orphan, who leaves the orphanage to go to work for the local doctor, Thomas. Thomas falls in loveThe book tells the story of Eeva (pronounced Ava) an orphan, who leaves the orphanage to go to work for the local doctor, Thomas. Thomas falls in love with Eeva, but she is in love with her childhood sweetheart Lauri. She leaves to go to Helsinki to be with Lauri and make a life for herself there, but when Lauri is arrested by the Okhrana, the Tsarist secret police, and questioned about being a spy, Eeva has to call for the doctor to come to their aid.
The book started off really well. The first chapters about the Orphans and about the doctor were interesting and really drew me in, and the premise was great. However the book changed when Eeva went to Helsinki, and became very political and rather dull. It went on for too long. Towards the end, Eeva sends for Thomas, and he declares his love for her, but she rejects him and he returns to his village - this bit of the book felt very rushed.
The ending was poor. The author recaps what has happened to the male characters, but we are left guessing whether Eeva and Lauri find happiness. It was almost as though she ran out of steam!
It was beautifully written in places, but it just didn’t engage me. It took me several weeks to read it, because it was a chore rather than a pleasure and if it wasn’t for it being a Bookworms book, I doubt I’d have finished it!...more
As the story begins, we are in 1964, and Caroline, known as ‘Tatty’ to her family, is 4 years old. Her nickname is a play on the worI loved this book!
As the story begins, we are in 1964, and Caroline, known as ‘Tatty’ to her family, is 4 years old. Her nickname is a play on the words tell-tale-tattler - she earns it because she’s unable to keep secrets. She lives near Dublin with her Mam and Dad and her sisters - Jeannie who is two years older than her and Deirdre who has learning difficulties - and her two younger brothers.
Tatty’s parents are drunks who have a volatile relationship. Tatty is particularly close to her Dad, and at times her Mam is very jealous of this closeness. As her parents’ relationship breaks down, her mother’s drinking becomes steadily worse, and she becomes more aggressive towards her children as they witness their parents’ unhappiness.
The story moves through the years to the early 70s and Tatty goes away to boarding school, but life continues to be difficult for the family and the reader follows the emotional rollercoaster, wondering if there ever be a happy ending for this optimistic, vulnerable child and her siblings.
The story is narrated by Tatty. There are no speech marks - it’s told in first person, which occasionally, but intentionally, slips into third person. This style of writing really helps to capture Tatty’s personality and adds to the overall feeling of her fierce independence mixed with childhood innocence.
If you like books that tie up all the loose ends then this book might not be the one for you, but personally I like to have a bit of something to think about and I really enjoyed it.