Harry Hole (pronounced 'Hoo-leh'), is sent to Sydney, Australia, to help find the killer of a Norwegian ex-pat woman who, through closer inspection alHarry Hole (pronounced 'Hoo-leh'), is sent to Sydney, Australia, to help find the killer of a Norwegian ex-pat woman who, through closer inspection alongside Aboriginal officer Andrew Kensington, seems to not be a singular case but one of many across Australia. Harry plunges deep in to Aboriginal culture and finds himself mixing with a Swedish ex-pat woman, whilst all the time he's attempting to find a serial rapist and murderer.
This is the first of the 'Harry Hole' seiers by Jo Nesbo, but it was not the first that was translated in to English. I can see why they did that, though; this book is set exclusively in Australia, despite the fact that Hole is a Norwegian detective, with the exception of a few flash backs provided via first-person storytelling.
It's a quick and easy read with a good storyline and a nice mix of Australian culture from a tourist's P.O.V. We get a good sense of who Harry Hole is here-an ex-alcoholic who meets a beautiful Swedish girl and, despite himself, "falls in love" and finds himself teetering on the edge of the wagon. We get segments of his past and find out what kind of copper he is. There are perhaps too many references to "what the cops on TV do", but all in all it is a standard crime novel with good dialogue and twists you don't find incomprehensible.
In the Kingdom of Rolencia, those who own a magic known as Affinity must either serve the Abbey, be banished or face certain death, but not all thoseIn the Kingdom of Rolencia, those who own a magic known as Affinity must either serve the Abbey, be banished or face certain death, but not all those with Affinity are known and some can hide it very well. The King's family are spread through Rolencia; the youngest son Fyn has Affinity and he is training to become an Affinity Monk, whereas the twin eldest sons are fighting to keep the land at peace and, frequent of late, each other. The only daughter holds a dark secret, but there is trouble brewing when their mysterious bastardised cousin Illien of Cobalt visits them, telling tales of his wife's and father's murder and betrayal at sea...
A semi-intriguing yarn that is pretty much standard epic fantasy: political feuds and families keeping secrets. Throw in unrequited love, children with varying special powers and hunger for power and you have a regular piece o' fantasy right in your hands.
This book did not start out well: the first half was spent setting the scene and rarely did something happen that was noteworthy. Things just seemed to potter along nicely. It was a very quick book to get through and, although the story was not terrible, it was rather tame. Toward the end the pace picked up as all the secrets began tumbling out, though it was all still rather tame. The rest of the series is not intriguing to me. It is generic fantasy and a quick read; there's not much to disappointed by if that is what you are looking for....more
I have not reviewed a book like this for a long time. By that I mean commenting it and analysing it like I would books when I was at University. For tI have not reviewed a book like this for a long time. By that I mean commenting it and analysing it like I would books when I was at University. For that I could give this book 5 / 5 stars, because I have truly missed doing that. It is not perfect and I would suggest it is not particularly written well, which could gain it only 1 / 5 stars. It was intriguing and often captivating, but then again it alienated me and occasionally I felt it beating me off for not truly understanding, making me feel uneducated and possibly a bit stupid. It was hard to get in to, but it was also hard to put down at times. I felt a resonance within me for the story it was telling, but I felt a dull echo alongside for the calamity it actually was.
I still do not know how many stars to give it. I have never come across a book I cannot assigned a rating to. Occasionally there will be a book that should be a 2, but I might give it a 3 for the cover or a certain way that book made me feel, or for making me laugh more than it really should have. I rarely give 5 stars because I feel people really over-sell and over-rate books and I do not believe they deserve a 5-star rating. Most of my 5-star ratings on GoodReads should actually be a 4.5 or 4.7. There are only two or three books I can honestly say should have 5.0-stars.
I cannot give it 1-star because it spoke to me on a deep level in a way no other 1-star book has. I cannot give it 5-stars because it was seriously flawed and, though there are no perfect books out there (that I have read yet) all of the books I have given 5-stars were given out of pure joy and adoration. I do not adore this book and I would not describe my feeling as I came out of it as joy.
I will probably re-read this book. I may have to, just to understand it. It has taught me a lot, mostly about music which is not an uninteresting topic to me. The storyline has almost become a by-product, but the world, the meanings and the writing is at the forefront. It is a contemporary classic, but at the same time it is not.
Sort of a summation of some of David Mitchell's articles as featured in the Observer newspaper, he annotates them and (quite possibly) edits them. I'mSort of a summation of some of David Mitchell's articles as featured in the Observer newspaper, he annotates them and (quite possibly) edits them. I'm unsure as to the specifics, but that's not particularly a bad thing.
As one would expect, the mini-essays in this book are on a variety of topics, though most of them could be described as "British". It is an enjoyable book for its humour and scope; no fan of Mitchell could deny that it is definitely him speaking. I enjoyed his opinions and style of writing and found most things to be very interesting, even, dare I say it, thought-provoking.
I would suggest it is more of a dip-in-and-out book rather than something you read all the way through in one (or a few) sittings, much like a newspaper is issued periodically as opposed to at the beginning of the year. It is funny, at times quaint and very much David Mitchell....more
Richard Ayoade: Actor, Writer, Director. Father, Husband, Man. Nasal, Norwegian, Nigerian. Some Other Things, Too.
In this book, Richard Ayoade interviRichard Ayoade: Actor, Writer, Director. Father, Husband, Man. Nasal, Norwegian, Nigerian. Some Other Things, Too.
In this book, Richard Ayoade interviews himself, Richard Ayoade, about his life in the limelight, mostly concentrating on his love for film and the films he has made, namely the only two he has made, Submarine and The Double.
This is not a biography. Or an autobiography, though there are some elements of such here. It's more of an assault of autobiographies and interviews and cinema as a whole, and so many other things.
P.S. Don't buy this book on Kindle. You will regret it and want to kill yourself for not heeding my Wise Words. This book is built upon the footnote and appendix system, and you MUST flick back and forth between the three in order to fully appreciate Ayoade's might. Do. Not. Buy. On. Kindle....more
A compendium of weird cures for ailments that range from the annoying to the most severe that have come from all over the world throughout the ages.
WhA compendium of weird cures for ailments that range from the annoying to the most severe that have come from all over the world throughout the ages.
What the Apothecary Ordered is best served in paper format-either hardcover or paperback-as it is not a book to be read from cover to cover, but instead delved in to at interim stages. I would suggest it was not a complete work of such cures, but more inclusive of the weirder ones, and perhaps the ones that we of the 21st Century would scoff at the most. It also comes with illustrations of real-life posters and advertisements wherein these so-called cures were announced to the world, mostly based on little evidence.
I would suggest it not in eBook format but as a paper copy itself, though honestly I would assume that there were far greater variants of this book out there that offer a larger selection. It is a good starter for those who think they may be interested in this kind of thing....more
Probably one too many in the series, but a good yarn nonetheless. Darwin is, as he will ever remain, a wonderfully thought-through character, preferabProbably one too many in the series, but a good yarn nonetheless. Darwin is, as he will ever remain, a wonderfully thought-through character, preferable to many of the so-called Sapiens I have encountered....more
Fairly generic fantasy stuff; nothing particularly exciting or new-very good if you're looking for an easy, enjoyable read without too much brain poweFairly generic fantasy stuff; nothing particularly exciting or new-very good if you're looking for an easy, enjoyable read without too much brain power needed. There isn't much character development though they all seem likable in their own special way, or unlikable if like me you enjoy that sort of thing. I haven't read any other Trudi Canavan books, though from other reviews I'd say it's best to skip this trilogy and read one her others, instead....more
I was very impressed with 'The Edge of the Woods', particularly since it is a first-time self-published (and I actually**Recieved through a giveaway**
I was very impressed with 'The Edge of the Woods', particularly since it is a first-time self-published (and I actually believe this would have done well with agents/publishers). I'll probably come back and make a better review out of this, but for now I'll bullet-point a few things (good and bad.)
- The beginning was strong and I found myself drawn to the main character, Emma, rather early on. This is rather odd for me to do, especially with a first-person novel such as this. I found myself disliking her towards the only a little, only because she became rather impudent and repetitive, though if I had to live her life I'm sure I would be, too.
- I found the book waned slightly towards the ending; perhaps slightly rushed with a desire to reach the conclusion too quickly. The chapters seemed to rush by without much happening and I felt the ending was slightly more clichéd than this book deserved. Despite this, I do think that the ending it did have was very much the only ending this book could have had, and it was perfectly suited for such a story.
- Almost zero typos (!) and written so well for a first-time book. This I find pleasantly warming, especially, as already stated, it's a self-published novel. I have read many first-time novels from authors who have successfully gained an agent and publishing contract that are lack-lustre in the whole "i rite gud" area.
- Character development in those who were not the protagonist was lacking. Whilst I appreciate the first-person writing style makes this hard to do, the way Emma realises character development herself was a bit wooden. I firmly believe that more time could have been devoted to Emma's own thoughts on other characters and her interaction with them.
- Which leads me to the next point; too short! I thought each scene used was useful, with the exception of being told Emma wakes up after falling asleep (if she's washing herself we kinda know she's awake). Some of the segments could have been elongated rather nicely, and I find there is scope for this in almost every chapter.
- The Strangers and the... monsters (?) could have been much more involved in this book than they were. I felt left hanging about both these species (for lack of a better term right now) and would have loved to learn more about both (again, perhaps the first-person narrative is to blame)
- The odd implementation of swear words. There were three from memory; bastard twice and another. I found the sudden use very abrupt and wayward. By no means do I disprove; in fact, I actively encourage swear words in novels (I challenge anyone to get 5 random people who ALL agree that all swear words are terrible and should never be used ever), but the sudden use and then sudden disappearance was off-putting. The situations Emma and indeed Mona found themselves in could very well allow for such language, but in this case I found it to be unnecessary because of it's inconsistency.
All in all, a very enjoyable read. I'll reiterate the fact that I usually steer clear of first-person narratives, and YA as a general whole, because they usually involve whinging, soppy romantic females who can't think for themselves without males present. This put faith in me of the YA genre, and first-person narratives to an extent. I would have liked a more cliff-hanger ending (that's me assuming there'll be a second book?)....more
Much better than 'The Sheep-Pig' (commonly known as Babe), but perhaps because I don't enjoy animals talking. This is one of those children's books thMuch better than 'The Sheep-Pig' (commonly known as Babe), but perhaps because I don't enjoy animals talking. This is one of those children's books that has adult themes or concepts that is written well. Countries and Schools would probably ban it....more