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The Friends of Eddie Coyle
4.05
it was amazing
Dialogue so realistic, you could be there!
A classic novel that I had to read, as a new novelist (my latest: Deadly Intrigue). I read this book because
...more
Jan 04, 2013
Feb 10, 2013
 
Power Play
3.93
really liked it
Terrific novel with accelerating pace, leading to loads of tension and action. As an aspiring author (of Deadly Contract), the way he kept me involved ...more
Nov 30, 2012
Nov 30, 2012
 
Confessions of an English Opium Eater
3.29
liked it
An interesting little book, on the pleasures and pitfalls of De Quincey's involvement with Opium in the early 1800's, which at that time was a routine ...more
Nov 20, 2013
Nov 20, 2013
 
The Foundation Trilogy (Foundation, #1-3)
4.40
really liked it
I thought it was time I reread Asimov's 'Foundation' trilogy (last read many years ago). It's old-fashioned language, eg. most of the men seem to smok ...more
Sep 20, 2013
Sep 20, 2013
 
The Toilers of the Sea
4.08
really liked it
It is set in Guernsey in about 1820, and paints a vivid picture of life then, for example the tension and feelings when the first steam-driven ferry r ...more
Mar 28, 2016
Mar 28, 2016
 
Casino Royale (James Bond, #1)
3.74
really liked it
This was Ian Fleming’s first novel, and was a bestseller. So I read this to get a better understanding of what sells (before the writer has establishe ...more
May 08, 2013
Apr 21, 2013
 
Casebook of Sexton Blake
3.51
really liked it
A fast-paced Novella.
As an aspiring author (latest: Deadly Intrigue) I'm always looking for interesting ideas. This was my first look at the Sexton Bl
...more
Feb 05, 2013
Feb 10, 2013
 
The Postcard Killers
3.79
liked it
Thick paperback but large font used with lots of spacing so only about 65,000 words.
Divided into 145 chapters (including 5 in the Prologue!), which se
...more
Oct 30, 2011
Oct 21, 2011
 
Good-Bye, Mr. Chips
3.96
it was amazing
Brilliant writing of this novella (in 1934). The protagonist is a school head, post-retirement, looking back over his life. Lot of happy moments and a ...more
Jul 19, 2013
Jul 19, 2013
 
Down and Out in Paris and London
4.10
really liked it
Biographical, published in 1936. The Paris experiences were mainly working as a labourer in the kitchens of grand hotels and restaurants, where everyw ...more
Sep 17, 2017
not set
Sep 17, 2017
 
Free to Trade
3.60
liked it
Opening pages are a bit dull, but he puts a taster at front of the book, an extract from page 83. (seems a bit of a cheat to me) Maybe publisher sugge ...more
not set
not set
Apr 07, 2018
 
Diamonds Are Forever (James Bond, #4)
3.60
liked it
Diamonds are being smuggled in large quantities from Africa via London to USA. Bond takes the place of a courier to take a batch from London to NY. Th ...more
May 17, 2018
Jul 25, 2018
 
On the Beach
3.93
liked it
Story of last days of mankind after Nuclear War.
The plot is terrific, but the language was a bit old-fashioned and it jarred a bit. Also the relations
...more
Apr 13, 2016
Apr 13, 2016
 
The Partner
3.90
really liked it
The usual good quality read from Grisham. At the start, it isn't clear who the lead character is, as Patrick is seemingly the villain. Then reader gra ...more
not set
not set
Apr 07, 2018
 
Madame Bovary
3.66
liked it
It was heavy going for the first half, with very slow pace, but I persevered. Towards the latter part of the book, it was faster-moving, and became a ...more
Mar 15, 2014
Mar 15, 2014
 
The Takeover
3.80
really liked it
His first novel. Bestseller in US. Financial thriller. Start is slow (only the promise of the blurb kept me going). Too many names, introduced one aft ...more
not set
not set
Apr 07, 2018
 
All That Remains (Kay Scarpetta, #3)
4.06
really liked it
Good opening line. "Saturday, the last day of August, I started work before dawn." Good plot, with lots of grisly details of the dead bodies. The invo ...more
not set
not set
Apr 07, 2018
 
Fowler's Dictionary of Modern English Usage
4.22
it was amazing
I got this for Christmas, and I love it. It's a great reference book of course, but I love the dry humour when he advises against certain usage. For e ...more
Jun 25, 2018
Jul 25, 2018
 
The Redbreast (Harry Hole, #3)
3.93
liked it
Good start with plenty of tension. But later on, too many flashbacks for me. A lot of alternating between present and 1940’s – annoying. At half way p ...more
not set
not set
Apr 07, 2018
 
The Black Swan: The Impact of the Highly Improbable
3.90
liked it
I'm afraid I found it too heavy going, and gave up after 60 pages. The concepts are good, and his style I'm sure suits others, as this was a best sell ...more
Feb 20, 2018
Feb 07, 2018
 
Flatland: A Romance of Many Dimensions
3.81
liked it
A strange story, written in 1884 ... A ‘square’ describes his life in flatland (a world of only 2 dimensions). Then tells of his experience of being t ...more
Aug 14, 2016
Aug 14, 2016
 
Heart of Darkness
3.42
it was ok
It is a fictional recollection of a journey up the Congo river in Africa, based on Conrad’s own journey there in 1890. It is strong on the brutality t ...more
May 24, 2016
May 24, 2016
 
And Be a Villain  (Nero Wolfe, #13)
4.14
really liked it
It's one of a famous detective series from the 1940's, and I did enjoy it. Style is slowish to start with, like those old Perry Mason crime TV program ...more
Jan 15, 2017
Jan 15, 2017
 
Sail
3.80
really liked it
A thick paperback, but what with 125 chapters, only about 72,000 words. Great page turner. Loads of subplots and mysteries 'planted' for the reader. S ...more
Jul 09, 2013
Jul 09, 2013
 
The Riddle of the Sands
3.63
really liked it
Espionage before World War 1. Written in 1903. Nice style, but of course language is old-fashioned.
Lots of tension and mystery when it gets going. If
...more
not set
not set
Apr 07, 2018
 
Scoop
3.86
it was amazing
Very funny novel about misadventures of a journalist sent to cover possible war in Africa. I’ve ordered the DVD as will be fun to watch that and see h ...more
Jul 16, 2016
Jul 16, 2016
 
A Writer's Notebook
3.88
really liked it
His jottings through life, from 1892 to 1949. Lots of amusing anecdotes. eg.
· Unselfish parents have selfish children.
· Fools don’t become less foolis
...more
not set
not set
Apr 07, 2018
 
On Writing: Advice For Those Who Write To Publish (Or Would Like To)
3.57
liked it
Just read Higgins's 1990 book 'On Writing'. Out of print so got it second hand through Amazon. Quite heavy going, but some interesting advice for writ ...more
Apr 19, 2013
Apr 21, 2013
 
Live and Let Die (James Bond, #2)
3.63
really liked it
Good novel, and a page turner. Some of the 1950's language is a bit old-fashioned now, and some is definitely not PC. The plot has similarities to the ...more
Jul 03, 2016
Jul 03, 2016
 
The Warden  (Chronicles of Barsetshire #1)
3.72
liked it
First of the ‘Barsetshire’ novels. The intrigues of a vicar and clergy. I found it slow going, albeit amusing at times, and didn’t finish. Some wry hu ...more
not set
not set
Apr 07, 2018
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