A completely daft novel: droll, cliche-laden plot so formulaic I could have read this book with my eyes closed. The weak characterization that inspireA completely daft novel: droll, cliche-laden plot so formulaic I could have read this book with my eyes closed. The weak characterization that inspires little emotion and by the end I was hoping they would all go up in smoke with that island. These sorts of books are usually okay 'commute-reading' and can be a bit of rolic as long you don't take them too seriously, but this is writing of the laziest kind....more
Ali Yassine has been the (mostly) popular tannoy announcer at Cardiff City FC since 2001 (excusing two brief sackings). As a City fan myself he has beAli Yassine has been the (mostly) popular tannoy announcer at Cardiff City FC since 2001 (excusing two brief sackings). As a City fan myself he has become the voice I most associate with the club. While I'm not the biggest fan of his pre-match tag line, Ali has become an important part of the match day experience at the Cardiff City Stadium (and before that Ninian Park) and brought a huge amount of personality to the role.
This account of his time working at the club definitely provides an interesting, honest and personal perspective of the inside of the club over its most successful decade since the 1920s.
Full of anecdotes that amuse, open eyes and even challenge misconceptions about the club and some of the people who have worked within it; the obvious passion of not just being a club employee but also a lifelong City fan shine through.
It's full of the warmth and character that have made Yassine a well-loved and successful announcer for Cardiff City (as well as the FAW), and despite being mostly a book about Cardiff City, the scope of the book is wide enough to appeal to any football fans interested in what can take place behind the scenes....more
Leonard's writing simply jumps off the page at you: it's simplicity does not mask the depth and grandiosity of both the tales and characters that inhaLeonard's writing simply jumps off the page at you: it's simplicity does not mask the depth and grandiosity of both the tales and characters that inhabit them. Fans of the Justified series will be drawn to the title story and won't be disappointed. If they the course they will find each story is a pocket of Leonard's rich imagination and packed full of action, intrigue and some of the best dialogue in modern fiction....more
Nowadays historical novels based on the World Wars are so hackneyed as to border on kitsch; books about the Nazis certainly fall into this category liNowadays historical novels based on the World Wars are so hackneyed as to border on kitsch; books about the Nazis certainly fall into this category like those History channel marathons that are so ubiquitous as to make the darkest regime of modern times (and its crimes) seem a little bit humdrum. That probably sounds a little insensitive, but I feel so over-exposed to the Nazis to feel worryingly desensitized to everything Third Reich.
Nevertheless, Laurent Binet's historical 'novel' about two Czechoslovak parachutists sent to assassinate 'the most dangerous man in the Reich', the murderous figurehead of the Nazi-occupied Czech territory, in an act of bloody vengeance on behalf of the Czech government-in-exile and the Czechoslovakian people at large (I know I'm not doing it any favours!) is a masterful piece of writing that expertly blends keen journalistic passion, artful storytelling, and nerdy historian enthusiasm. It helps that Binet's topic is one of history's natural tragedies, but the author's style and almost moral sense of responsibility for the integrity of his 'characters' never allows this book to descend into just another war thriller.
Binet's self-critical style and his worries about self-targeting in the telling and portrayal of events throws up interesting questions create a curious fusion between non-fiction history telling, novel building, and journal of self-discovery. There are moments of bright literary criticism, but at times the author's personal voice, and the concerns they raise, are burdensome to the pace of the telling and, at worst, are a little too self-indulgent and self-congratulatory.
However, Binet offers a remarkable, moving and highly readable eulogy to his Czechoslovakian heroes; a fascinating read!...more