This is a book I've been interested in reading ever since I saw trailer for the film, starring Dominic Cooper, whose look for the film is excellent an...moreThis is a book I've been interested in reading ever since I saw trailer for the film, starring Dominic Cooper, whose look for the film is excellent and convincing. The story is about an Iraqi soldier, Latif, who is forced into becoming the body double, or 'fiday', of Uday Saddam Hussain, Saddam Hussain's eldest son. Sadly the film didn't live up to expectations, and it's one that I would actually recommend seeing before reading the book. The book was gripping, often fast paced, and hard to put down. It was also incredibly graphic in parts, when describing Uday's more sadistic acts, including the rape of a bride on her honeymoon and the murder of her groom, the capture, rape and torture of a 14 year old girl, and the murder of his father, Saddam Hussain's trusted friend, Kammel Hannah, at a party. Although I learnt a lot about the Saddam regime at the time of the Gulf war, it is hard to say exactly how much of the novel is true. Some events, like the murder of Kammel Hannah are verifiable, but how much of Latif's story is true is up for debate, as even he is sketchy with the details when pressed by journalists.(less)
This is the novel that preceded the popular film starring Anne Hathaway and Meryl Streep. The film was good; it was funny and charming, as well as a v...moreThis is the novel that preceded the popular film starring Anne Hathaway and Meryl Streep. The film was good; it was funny and charming, as well as a visual stimulant for fashion fans. I picked up this book, despite it not being a genre I normally read, hoping it would be as good as the film. Unfortunately, it fell extremely flat and I found it really quite poorly written. The main character, Andy, is much less likeable than in the novel, both in her behaviour and in the language Weisberger uses to describe her. The novel deals with some darker issues than the film (Andy's best friend becomes an alcoholic), which might have peaked my interest a little more, but again, I found Weisberger's writing style lacking here. This novel didn't do anything to improve my perception of 'chick lit' and I won't be picking up the sequel, which is out soon.(less)
This genre isn't one I would normally read. I downloaded this on a whim as it was free on the Kindle store. I thought the beginning chapters were quit...moreThis genre isn't one I would normally read. I downloaded this on a whim as it was free on the Kindle store. I thought the beginning chapters were quite sensationalist, and were obviously written to keep you reading. That clearly worked in my case, but I found that as I read on the writing got better. Most of the content is able to speak for itself- Adele's life is interesting and eventful without any need to frame it in a sensational way. I learnt some pretty interesting things about Adele's record-breaking achievements, such as sales records and awards she has won. If you're a hard-core Adele fan I would recommend this book. It is a fairly quick read and an interesting insight into her life.(less)
I downloaded this when it was free for a day on the Kindle store as a bit of light reading. I am not a fan of either the title or the cover, which are...moreI downloaded this when it was free for a day on the Kindle store as a bit of light reading. I am not a fan of either the title or the cover, which are both very commercialised. With the popularity of Weeds and Breaking Bad I can see that this might peak people's interest. I found it a fairly gripping read, and finished it in one sitting. Green's forays into drug dealing are a little like Jesse in Breaking Bad, if he had continuous amounts of capital behind him. At various points in the novel, when the game could have been up, Green is continuously lucky- he has regular near misses with the police, enough to render him- as with many teenagers- invincible.
There is a fair amount of humour, and one very Breaking Bad scene where the police are about to break down his door at a house party and Green talks his way out of it. One criticism of the novel, though, is that the main character (Green) is fairly unrelatable and unlikable as a character. He often becomes an angry drunk and starts heavy physical fights, without showing any remorse or even showing a moderate attempt to think about past events at all. However, an interesting point in the book comes when Green introduces the events in his past. He does so by hinting at what's to come with heavily ironic undertones, pointing at his wealth and education. Ultimately, he leaves it up to the reader to make their own analysis of his actions. I gave it a 3/5 as it was a fairly enjoyable read with some flaws.(less)