Terri's Reviews > A Burnable Book

A Burnable Book by Bruce Holsinger
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really liked it
bookshelves: britain-fiction, historical-fiction

Don't burn it! It is pretty decent.
Once I got over my giggle fest at any mention of the road in London called Gropecunt Lane (immature I know, but I can't be a grown up about everything all of the time) I went on to delight in this charming and well written read. I can hardly even believe that it is a debut for that scholastic fellow, Bruce Holsinger, but it is. So believe it I must.

The absolute strength of this book is its characters. Sure, the writing is adept majority of the time and the manner in which the story laid itself out impressed me enough, but I liked the book for its memorable characters most of all.

Then there is the meat of this book. Its reason for existing. The mystery plot.
The mystery plot did its job. Enjoyable, educational and significant enough to keep me coming back for more. However, I would not say the outcomes sneaked up on me. I could see down the line what was coming.
In saying that, I was not all that disappointed by knowing who was up to what and why they were up to it and what they would do with what they had when they wanted to get up to what they were up to... That is going to happen in every mystery. Some readers will guess, some won't. Just so happened that in this book, I guessed.

I must not forget to mention another strength of this book that I overlooked earlier in this review. The description of setting and context. I am a sucker for a well strung bow. And A Burnable Book carried a qualified arsenal. The streets, the politics, but of them all, I think the portrait of life in the slums of London came through sharply. Even now, having finished the book a few weeks gone, that world of the London moll stays vivid in my mind.

Bruce Holsinger did a fair job in A Burnable Book, to bring this particular era of medieval England to life and I cannot wait for the follow up book to be released.

I get so jaded with sorting wheat from chaff in the genre of historical fiction. When a great debut comes along and I get the scent in my nostrils of even better reads to come, I celebrate them. And therefore I celebrate A Burnable Book. I hope to discover more of these quality debuts.
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Reading Progress

March 13, 2014 – Shelved
March 13, 2014 – Shelved as: to-read
March 13, 2014 – Shelved as: britain-fiction
March 13, 2014 – Shelved as: historical-fiction
April 30, 2014 – Started Reading
May 2, 2014 –
page 15
May 3, 2014 –
page 50
10.78% "*LOVE*"
May 3, 2014 –
page 50
10.78% "*LOVE*"
May 4, 2014 –
page 100
21.55% "I hope the book stay this good. I'll be crushed if it doesn't."
May 6, 2014 –
page 130
May 7, 2014 –
page 200
May 9, 2014 –
page 250
May 13, 2014 –
page 275
May 21, 2014 –
page 400
May 25, 2014 – Finished Reading

Comments Showing 1-14 of 14 (14 new)

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message 1: by Lee (new) - added it

Lee Broderick A powerful malediction?

Terri Indeed! Luckily I made it through the worst the book could throw at me.

message 3: by Lee (new) - added it

Lee Broderick Glad to hear it. x

Margaret Gropecunt Lane still exists. It's in Covent Garden. Firstly it was shortened to Grope Lane, but officially became Grape Street about 150-200 years ago. I intend getting a photo of the street sign when I am there next year. *grins* I will know why.

Terri Yes, I know. :) But seeing it in the book I was reading made me giggle lots.

Margaret The author is brave. Most authors would edge around the name, not wanting to offend the readers.

I'm really looking forward to reading this book now. I have it on reservation at the library.

Terri Liberating to put it in my review. That four letter word is not a word I put in reviews too often. For obvious reasons. lol
So I had to put it front and centre in this review..since I can get away with it.. :D

Margaret It's an historical place name, just because it no longer exists does not invalidate it's justifiable usage within the context of the book. :D

message 9: by Nate (new)

Nate I always chuckle at Gropecunt Lane as well. Wasn't it named thusly because it was a haunt for prostitutes?

Margaret Nate wrote: "I always chuckle at Gropecunt Lane as well. Wasn't it named thusly because it was a haunt for prostitutes?"

Yes it was, Nate. As was Cock Lane, but that one slipped past the civic fathers. :)

Same goes for Coney Street in the city of York. :) It's even older. The Roman military brothel was on Coney Street. :)

Bobby Almost finished with it and finding it very well conceived.

message 12: by Faith (new)

Faith Townsend Thank you for being honest about laughing at Street name. I don't feel alone. :)

Terri Faith wrote: "Thank you for being honest about laughing at Street name. I don't feel alone. :)"

Someone had to bring it up. ;)

Geevee Good review mate. It's now called Milton Street. My other favourite in London is Sherborne Lane which in mediaeval times was Shiteborne Lane (near to Cannon Street/Pudding Lane). Just think if modern day Milton Street was next to Back Passage Lane (nr Smithfield), Swallow Passage near Oxford Circus or Cumming Street (off Pentonville Rd) eh!

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