This was first published under the pen name Leigh Nichols, and I enjoyed the strong female lead character, and the empathy shown towards a grieving moThis was first published under the pen name Leigh Nichols, and I enjoyed the strong female lead character, and the empathy shown towards a grieving mother. At first it appears that Tina is experiencing a delayed emotional breakdown after her son was killed along with his scout troop in a bizarre accident that left no survivors and no bodies. When she becomes convinced her son is still alive and trying somehow to contact her, the only person to believe her is a man she's barely met. Luckily the guy is ex-services, and ideally placed to deal with the sinister men who are determined to kill her in order to keep quiet a very dark secret. In particular this book stands out in my mind as one of the first I'd come across in which a main character feels physically sick after killing (albeit justified). Much slimmer than the megatomes Koontz would later produce, the writing is 'tight' and the suspense gripping. ...more
Mr Singh manages to explain concepts that should be way beyond this thickie's level of understanding. That he manages to do so in an entertaining pageMr Singh manages to explain concepts that should be way beyond this thickie's level of understanding. That he manages to do so in an entertaining page turning manner is testament to his skill both as a mathematician and a writer. This book examines how from earliest history in parallel with writing, it became necessary for human kind to devise ways to send messages in code. So we learn how complex codes developed from very simple ones, and Simon explains along the way that there are ancient codes still waiting to be decoded and we also learn how to identify when a code is actually being deployed. It seems the best codes are the simplest, but if you need to tell more than two people a code, like a secret, it becomes more vulnerable. Entwined with the stories of code, are the stories of people who throughout history have relied on those codes being unbreakable - in some cases paying with their lives (eg Mary Queen of Scot) when it this is proved not to be the case. We're all intrigued by codes - witness the popularity of newspaper coffee break pages which will usually include a codeword problem. This book is well illustrated, extremely readable and throws new light on an already fascinating subject. ...more
As the second half of my own book concerns the Titanic, research demanded I visit several websites and purchase several books to read up on the subjecAs the second half of my own book concerns the Titanic, research demanded I visit several websites and purchase several books to read up on the subject. (Yes I went there!) This book was one of many. As the title indicates, this is a collection of survivors' memoirs. Since the ship's final resting place has now been located, experts have been able to confirm that many are amazingly accurate. Records photographs and a timeline of events combine to make this work one of the definitive records of what actually happened that night, and makes for fascinating reading. Although this tragedy still resonates with us, it seems almost as though recounting the fateful night and reminiscing about loved ones who didn't make it has been cathartic for many survivors painful as those memories are. Their bravery has helped create a book which stands as a vibrant testimony for all those who sailed aboard the Titanic on her maiden voyage. ...more
I think everyone around my vintage studying English Lit has been obliged to read Waugh. Our set English book was 'A Handful of Dust', which I enjoyedI think everyone around my vintage studying English Lit has been obliged to read Waugh. Our set English book was 'A Handful of Dust', which I enjoyed so very much, I went looking for more Waugh. Brideshead Revisited is very different. Less satirical, it almost has an autobiographical feel to it, and the characters are more fleshed out and convincing. Narrated in first person pov by Charles Ryder a middle class only child who is drawn into the world of the aristocratic Sebastian Flyte. Charles and Sebastian strike up a friendship whilst at Oxford. At first glance, Sebastian appears to have it all, but like many a swan floating gracefully, underneath he is paddling madly. Waugh felt this book was his 'great work'. The novel throws a searing light on the life of the upper classes, depicting the great houses and their owners (or rather caretakers) with such vivid colours that you can almost imagine yourself leading the same lifestyle. The meals in particular are described in mouth watering detail. Years later I read in a biography written by one of Waugh's children that this was because rationing was still in place in the UK. Through his writing the author was able to savour delicacies not easily available, albeit second hand. Throughout the entire novel these notes of yearning for what cannot be obtained, or for that which has been lost, prevails. It is only because I personally want a reasonably happy ending that I haven't awarded this book five stars. Finishing it left me with a sense of melancholy and wistfulness....more
In stark contrast to the other England manager's autobiography, (El Tel) this book is all about football. Bobby Robson lived and breathed the game. InIn stark contrast to the other England manager's autobiography, (El Tel) this book is all about football. Bobby Robson lived and breathed the game. In my mind he is and will remain one of the greatest managers, the knowledge and insight he brought with him makes every other manager look like a schoolkid trying to act as though they're grown up. The suits at Lancaster Gate should hang their heads in shame at the way they treated one of their greatest assets. That towards the end of his life, Bobby showed no bitterness towards them only adds to his stature.
If you live and breathe the 'beautiful game' this book is a must. Get a copy....more
Terry Venables first came to my attention in the long hot summer of 1996. That was the year it seemed football was coming home as England hosted the ETerry Venables first came to my attention in the long hot summer of 1996. That was the year it seemed football was coming home as England hosted the Euro cup and the team consisted of great players like Stuart Pierce (who once lived opposite me) Gary Linerker (before he became witty) and of course, Gazza. Not to mention Paul Scholes, etc and the fact that we had a goal keeper who could actually hold onto the ball.
I soon discovered Terry wasn't all about football. I vaguely remember old black & white match of the day & the cheeky chappie on the field, waggling his eyebrows comically at the cameras & my dad would say to me ... 'clever bloke that one.' He is also a co-author of what was at the time of the late 70s a successful tv series, "Hazel." I began to read his life story and discovered a man who felt that nothing was impossible. Anything he put his mind to, he managed to achieve. In this book, I began to understand why.
Written in a chatty informal style, this book isn't just for fans of football. I finished it with an even higher regard for the man, who perhaps reveals more than he intended as to what made him such a great coach & manager. Terry Venables's autobiography confirms that to get the best from anyone or any aspect of your life, you first need to understand the subject throughly. Nice one son!
ps. regarding the recording career - don't give up the day job.
This ebook appealed to me enormously. The author writes with authority and deftness. I identified very easily with the main character Paul Mallory, anThis ebook appealed to me enormously. The author writes with authority and deftness. I identified very easily with the main character Paul Mallory, an easy going journalist content with his lot who enjoys old films and collects trivia just to perplex a geeky work colleague. Paul is jogging along in life doing well enough - when the mysterious and vaguely sinister Bentley Cramer approaches him with an offer he can't refuse. Quote: "He was large enough and round enough to join the solar system with no questions asked. The cigar that protruded from the right side of his mouth would have been a full day's work for the best torcedor in Havana, and if he was worried about the stadium being a smoke-free location, he gave no sign of it. Gave no sign, in fact, of ever being worried about much of anything." Throughout the book, characters are sketched so convincingly they step from the page & go home at night to their loved ones. Before Paul can say wtf? he finds himself working for the irrepressible Bentley and in Russia reporting on a handball competition. But he soon learns there's something very funny going on. Or at least it would be funny, if people weren't getting murdered. Before long Paul is on the trail of a psychopathic killer who would give Fredrick Forsyth's 'Jackal' a run for his money. Paul Mallory's point of view is written in the first person, which creates an immediate bond. When the action moves elsewhere it is described in 3rd person pov which I appreciated, as some scenes are as you would expect in a hard hitting thriller such as this, violent. This book worked for me on all levels. I liked the characters, enjoyed the action scenes and locations and appreciated the author's knowledge of his craft. Parts of the book made me smile at the sly humour the author allows his main character to display from time to time. I felt as though I'd made a new friend in Paul Mallory and I'm certain I won't be the only one by a long shot to become a fan.
In case you're wondering, I have a little system in place when reviewing indie authors. I know how hard it is to get the formatting, grammar etc correct when you're editing your own work. So any indie ebook automatically gains points when these are correct, in this book they are impeccable. I then add points for storyline, orginality and enjoyment. This book scores all five points. If I'm reviewing a book which is published by a 'house,' I automatically expect some of the money I've paid to have been spent on an editor. This review also appears on Amazon.
I read this around a couple of years before the film came out and was blown away by the claustrophobic atmosphere conjured up by the writer. AlthoughI read this around a couple of years before the film came out and was blown away by the claustrophobic atmosphere conjured up by the writer. Although right from the very beginning there are hints that not all is as it seems, the tension builds slowly and you long to find out exactly what is going on. This is a thriller, so it would be wrong to spoil the ending except to say it was very satisfying. A deep dark novel, guaranteed to run shivers down your spine, rather than put the happy smile on your face. I must add too that for once the film didn't disappoint, although it didn't stay completely true to the book.
Whimsical short stories dealing with the priest of the little village by the river Po, somewhere in Italy. Don Camillo has the devil and christ on eitWhimsical short stories dealing with the priest of the little village by the river Po, somewhere in Italy. Don Camillo has the devil and christ on either shoulder. Sometimes Christ is very disappointed with him as he battles for the souls of the villagers with the communist mayor Peppone who is actually a very good bloke who has his own demons and angels to deal with. ...more
As a child, I really identified with this book for the vivid descriptions of Kensington Gardens. I love the story about the statue of Peter Pan beingAs a child, I really identified with this book for the vivid descriptions of Kensington Gardens. I love the story about the statue of Peter Pan being placed in the gardens overnight at Barrie's request, so children would think it really was magic. I'd like the Rackham illustrated edition if anyone feels flush enough to buy me one!
I read this book as a seventeen year old and rediscovered the innocence of childhood. Enchanting touching and vibrant, with a writing style that folloI read this book as a seventeen year old and rediscovered the innocence of childhood. Enchanting touching and vibrant, with a writing style that follows no rules yet works beautifully. ...more
This book came to be written by accident (Robert Massie was researching haemophilia) & I read it be accident. The cover & subject didn't appeaThis book came to be written by accident (Robert Massie was researching haemophilia) & I read it be accident. The cover & subject didn't appeal but a copy was laying around & out of boredom I flicked it open & began reading. The mystery of Anastsia is prob. what most people think about when the last Russian Royal family is brought up, and that really was the extent of my knowledge prior to reading this whoops I nearly said novel. Because it recounts one of the greatest events in Russian history, and is also very much a love story. Nicholas and Alexandra could give Romeo & Juliet a run for their money. They loved their children too. And there lay their tragedy. The youngest son inherited haemophilia, probably from our own Queen Victoria. If this had been common knowledge, it might just have saved the royal family. As it was no-one could understand the high regard they held the self proclaimed mystic Rusputin. Almost undoubtedly the man was something of a hynoptic individual. And when their beloved younger son was screaming with pain in unbearable agony due to his internal bleeding, Rusputin appeared to be able to help the child. So while the great war raged around them, and Russian peasants starved and the aristocracy were kept in the dark, Nicholas and Alexandra were so involved with their own magic circle of daughters, son and the man of god who seemed able to cure the boy, that they missed all the danger signals.
A great book and highly recommended. It works on all fronts. A tragic doomed family for all their wealth and power. ...more