This is a long book. Now, I've read long books before, but with this one I was very aware of the fact that it was a long boo3.5*, but I've rounded up.
This is a long book. Now, I've read long books before, but with this one I was very aware of the fact that it was a long book. Sometimes I'd sit and read for an hour and not really seem to make any headway. But at the same time, every piece of this quite intricate story with its many interweaving threads and characters is absolutely necessary. Losing any one part would have had a serious impact on the story as a whole.
The impact of this can also be seen in the ending of the story. The end is reached, yet there is still about 100 pages of wrapping up to do, again all completely necessary. All the characters that have been followed for anything up to 12 years (I think...it was a little hard to keep track) need the closure provided in this.
And I really like all the characters. There were none that I particularly loved, but they were all very likeable. It was nice seeing many of the characters grow up into the people they're going to be, though the blurb on the back kind of gave away what was coming for two of the central characters in quite a big way which was quite disappointing and somewhat unnecessary.
This story was very enjoyable and bordering on amazing at times, but it wraps itself up quite nicely and I think I'll be leaving it as a stand-alone story. I didn't enjoy it enough to want to carry on with the series, and there wasn't enough intrigue at the end to make me carry on....more
For a while I had this book at 4*, but it just didn't feel right. Then I realised that I'd just automatically put it there because that's what I'd ratFor a while I had this book at 4*, but it just didn't feel right. Then I realised that I'd just automatically put it there because that's what I'd rate most of the others in this series. So I've had to put it down to a 3*.
This plot is intricate and I definitely didn't see the twist at the end coming; the only character that really annoys me is Rita Skeeter, but you're not supposed to like her; there are new elements introduced to the main characters as they are growing up; it has all the elements of a really good book. What, then, is the problem?
And I honestly can't say. I think that this book just feels like a series of events. The focus is on the Triwizard Tournament far too much, and I think that some of the background filling-in that (for me) makes this series is missing. Huge periods of time are skipped over, and it just doesn't quite feel like Harry Potter. But it's more than that. I just didn't really connect with the characters this time around, and honestly don't have a clue why....more
This is what it is: pretty standard Jacqueline Wilson that I probably would have loved when I was 13. Still, I can appreciate why it's likeable. QuirkThis is what it is: pretty standard Jacqueline Wilson that I probably would have loved when I was 13. Still, I can appreciate why it's likeable. Quirky, larger-than-life characters facing real-life problems. Nicely written, cool illustrations (Nick Sharratt = awesome) and a fast read....more
I've set myself the challenge of reading all the books on the BBC Big Read list - a compilation on the 100 greatest books as of 2003 as voted for byI've set myself the challenge of reading all the books on the BBC Big Read list - a compilation on the 100 greatest books as of 2003 as voted for by the British public. I started this a number of years ago, and it's not something I'm pursuing seriously, but I have to say this: it's introduced me to books I've fallen in love with that I never would have otherwise read.
This is one of those books.
I never would have read this book just because it's not what I think of as 'my thing', but within pages I was gripped by the characters of (William Lowell) Kane and Abel (Rosnovsky), and my favourite storyline was whichever the book happened to be following at the time. Spanning decades and showing what impact long-standing feuds can have, this book is brilliant and I am definitely going to read more by Jeffrey Archer....more
Katherine was sent to a monastery by the Queen of England when her newly-knighted father died, leaving her and her sister Philippa orphaned. Many yearKatherine was sent to a monastery by the Queen of England when her newly-knighted father died, leaving her and her sister Philippa orphaned. Many years later, she fears she has been forgotten but is plucked from obscurity and dumped in the middle of the English court by this self-same lady. In a short period of time she finds herself both married and in love. Unfortunately, not to the same person.
In all honesty, I'm not all that up on my 14th century English history, so I can't speak to the veracity of the actual events portrayed in this book, but it sets the period well without going over the top. There has clearly been a great amount of thought and research gone into this book and it shows.
There were parts I enjoyed more than others, though. This book spans 40 years, and in those 40 years a lot goes on in England. Riots, uprising, war. And it was these bits I didn't enjoy so much. I liked Katherine and her story - more the focus at the beginning and end of the book, while the middle gets distracted by things historical and political as we follow people who aren't Katherine. The history buffs out there will probably disagree with me, but I just wasn't all that interested by all the goings on - vital though they were to the story.
Overall a very enjoyable read, even for people who know nothing about this period of history, apparently!...more
To start with, I thoroughly enjoyed this book. I can't quite pinpoint why, but it was easy to read and I wanted to know the people Sal would meet andTo start with, I thoroughly enjoyed this book. I can't quite pinpoint why, but it was easy to read and I wanted to know the people Sal would meet and the adventures (and misadventures) he would find himself in along the way. But towards the end of the book, I just found it all a little repetitive. Crazy driving, Dean Moriarty being ridiculous, copious amounts of alcohol and then some. Maybe I just can't appreciate the times because they are so far removed from what we know now, but some of the things that occurred just seemed so far-fetched that, on this backdrop which was generally believable, they bothered me. I know it's based on Jack Kerouac's experiences, but I'm guessing some sections have been subject to a fair amount of embellishment.
Still, it was an easy book to read and an interesting look at how life used to be, how easy it was to jump from car to car and make your way across the entirety of the USA in a few days and on a few dollars. It makes me want to travel and see all these places, even though it won't be the same now. This book actually managed to made me nostalgic for a time 40 years before I was born, if that's strictly possible....more
Flora Poste finds herself suddenly orphaned and recipient of only 100 pounds a year when she is 24. She decides to fall back on one of her many relatiFlora Poste finds herself suddenly orphaned and recipient of only £100 pounds a year when she is 24. She decides to fall back on one of her many relations, and ends up at Cold Comfort Farm - where there have always been Starkadders - with her Aunt Ada Doom, cousin Judith and myriad other relations. She takes it upon herself to sort out everyone's lives, whether they want them sorted or not.
At first, I really struggled with this book. Even towards the end when I found it somewhat easier to read, it was missing that spark for me. So while I can kind of understand why it's made it onto the BBC 100 Greatest Books list I wouldn't put it there myself. It's good satire with many colourful characters, but there was something missing for me, and the somewhat frustrating thing is that I can't think what. Maybe I never particularly warmed to Flora, or got lost a little in the rather large family-cast. Or maybe it was all just a little fortuitous and predictable - Flora just happens to know all the right people and everything goes just as she plans. I think at least one little mishap might have made it a bit better for me. But then maybe that was just part of the satire of those types of books and I just missed it a little.
A good book but not one I'll be raving about by any means....more
In I Capture the Castle, we follow Cassandra Mortmain's life over the course of a few months through the medium of a journal she keeps, the differentIn I Capture the Castle, we follow Cassandra Mortmain's life over the course of a few months through the medium of a journal she keeps, the different notepads she writes in dividing the book into three sections and showing the change in the circumstances of her and her family. They live in near poverty long having given up hope of the genius father of the family, James Mortmain, ever producing another book. Everything changes when their new landlords arrive.
Cassandra is a compelling narrator and it is very easy to keep reading this book. The story flows nicely, and since she only records those things of significance there is very little that is superfluous to the story. The descriptions of the places they frequent are wonderful, as are many of the secondary characters. I particularly like Topaz - step mother to Cassandra and her older sister Rose and younger brother Thomas - who is eccentric in a wonderful way.
The ending wasn't at all what I was expecting, but I didn't particularly like it. It was very much just dropped on you and there was very little wrapping up afterwards. Still, an enjoyable book....more