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This Greek family saga, as narrated by a hermaphrodite, has many pages, but I flicked through them easily like so many moistened labia. Moments of tra ...more
not set
Jul 24, 2008
The Rain Before It Falls
I liked this better than The Closed Circle and The Rotters Club, but not as much as What a Carve Up, Like a Fiery Elephant or the The House of Sleep. ...more
Jul 20, 2008
Jul 14, 2008
August Is A Wicked Month
This must have been audacious stuff back in 1965, with its frank depiction of feminine carnality, but today it seems dated. Holidaying in France and e ...more
May 03, 2011
Apr 26, 2011
The Floating Brothel: The Extraordinary True Story of an Eighteenth-Century Ship and Its Cargo of Female Convicts
A sort of Bad Girls at sea, this was a history book about an all-female convict ship that sailed to Australia at the end of the 18th century. It was f ...more
Jun 20, 2008
Jun 06, 2008
The Fall and Rise of Reginald Perrin
Part 2 in my ongoing series "Stuff I Loved as a Kid That Is Still Ace". And Reggie Perrin is perhaps even MORE ace, now that I know what it is to be a ...more
Apr 20, 2010
Apr 20, 2010
Talking Cock
Despite its length, I gobbled this down in just one day.
not set
Aug 16, 2009
The Year of Magical Thinking
It's really a three-star rather than a two, but I always give three or four stars and I wanted to mix it up a little. Intermittently, it's an excellen ...more
Mar 2008
Mar 25, 2008
The Midwich Cuckoos
This would have been five stars if the philosophising hadn't sometimes got in the way of the action. The opening scenes and the fatal confrontations w ...more
Sep 14, 2014
Sep 05, 2014
Troubles (Empire Trilogy, #1)
After watching Ryan's Daughter *in its entirety* to celebrate St Patrick's Day, imagine my delight at discovering that this book also features a shell ...more
Apr 04, 2011
Mar 23, 2011
The Choirboys
I didn't like this book to begin with, it all seemed a bit hard-boiled and the Police-Academy-meets-Porky's japes rankled. But then I saw that the cop ...more
Apr 19, 2011
Apr 07, 2011
The Turn of the Screw and The Aspern Papers
I came for The Turn of the Screw, and stayed for The Aspern Papers. The first is the more famous, and enormously influential - but I enjoyed the secon ...more
May 27, 2014
Apr 17, 2014
The Circle
As a satire on the modern workplace and communications in the internet age, this was spot-on and I LOVED the first two-thirds (the fact that I work in ...more
Dec 13, 2014
Dec 11, 2014
Orrible Murder: Victorian Crime and Passion
A compendium of news articles from trashy Victorian tabloid The Illustrated Police News, covering all the most shocking crimes and curious cases of th ...more
Jun 12, 2009
Jun 13, 2009
Third Year at Malory Towers (Malory Towers, #3)
In which Darrell encounters new girls Zerelda, a precocious American who needs taking down a peg or two, and Wilhelmina, or 'Bill', who turns out to b ...more
Mar 09, 2013
Aug 05, 2008
Night Shift
To steal a joke from someone else, after a while this felt like Stephen King was flicking through the Argos catalogue choosing which inanimate object ...more
Apr 06, 2014
Mar 30, 2014
Irelantis: Paper Collages
Computer whizzery and jiggery-pokery can do all sorts but, back in the day, this Newry lad painstakingly created a surreal, mythical Ireland using Joh ...more
Jan 2000
May 14, 2007
Aleister Crowley: The Nature of the Beast
"There is a feeling that a man who deserts his wife and child and sacrifices a cat and forces his mistress to submit to intercourse with a goat is som ...more
Nov 28, 2009
Nov 16, 2009
The Suspicions Of Mr Whicher Or The Murder At Road Hill House
This book, like the real-life murder investigation it takes as its subject, starts off with great drama and excitement, then loses its way halfway thr ...more
Apr 07, 2011
Apr 04, 2011
Lee Miller: On Both Sides Of The Camera
Coolest woman ever. Although her surrealist cooking adventures were pure Fanny Craddock.
Feb 26, 2008
Dec 30, 2007
Northern Protestants: An Unsettled People
I tackled this book to give myself a more in-depth and well rounded view of Northern Ireland and hopefully be better placed to answer knowledgeably wh ...more
Aug 31, 2008
Aug 05, 2008
Starring Sally J. Freedman as Herself
Giving this five stars just because I re-read this so often it's a story that stayed with me. It also fuelled my childhood obsession with Judaism and ...more
not set
Sep 05, 2012
Love and Summer
I'd have marked this higher if I hadn't already read so much William Trevor, as he is very prolific and he does plough the same finely-crafted furrow ...more
Sep 27, 2011
Sep 27, 2011
Jamaica Inn
Well, reading this immediately after Fingersmith, all I can say is that Sarah Waters really knows how to write a twist and in this book du Maurier cer ...more
Aug 26, 2011
Aug 23, 2011
The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie
'Phrases like 'the team spirit' are always employed to cut across individualism, love and personal loyalties. Ideas like 'the team spirit' ought not t ...more
Mar 13, 2011
Mar 02, 2011
The Lost World (Professor Challenger, #1)
I last read this in a kids' version many years ago and I enjoyed many vivid flashbacks to the coloured illustrations accompanying the key scenes. But ...more
Aug 22, 2012
Aug 13, 2012
A Clockwork Orange, it ain't.

Trashily diverting read about a young hoodlum who sets himself up as a proper little city gent whilst indulging a passio
Nov 30, 2009
Nov 28, 2009
The Lonely Passion of Judith Hearne
The titular lonely lady lives in a bedsit in a Belfast street I know well, as my parents own a house there which is rented out to students. I was ther ...more
May 08, 2008
May 05, 2008
To Kill a Mockingbird
Amazingly, I'd never read this before. Anyway, it's deserving of its classic status. Can be a bit preachy and unsubtle, but in a schoolroom staple tha ...more
Aug 16, 2011
Aug 16, 2011
Cruise Control (Harlequin Blaze, #251)
From Mills and Boon's raunchy new Blaze series. A lawyer-turned-cancer-survivor-turned-female-chauffeur-with-Annie-Lennox-hair meets a recently-divorc ...more
Jul 20, 2008
Jun 29, 2008
The Steep Approach to Garbadale
So it's a bit like The Crow Road, but not as good, and a bit like What a Carve Up!, but not as good. The build-up is great, but the 'big reveal' is me ...more
Jul 03, 2011
Jun 29, 2011
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