Category Archives: Review

Book Review: Tim Harford ~ Messy: How to be creative and resilient in a tidy-minded world (2016)

Britain had a TV show whose catch phrase was, ‘The computer says no’ and it reflected a stifled uncreative world. It satirises the mechanistic attempt at deleting risk from everyday life looking for monochrome ‘perfection’. A hideous uncreative world doomed … Continue reading

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Book Review: E M Delafield ~ The Diary of a Provincial Lady (1930)

Through the magic of Amazon’s pricing policy this costs 99p on Kindle. On the other hand if you wish to buy all five of the ‘Provincial Lady’ series you pay only 49p! Obviously it’s your decision but I risked 49p … Continue reading

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The Treacherous King Edward VIII

  Source https://www.express.co.uk/entertainment/books/563824/New-book-reveals-fascinating-relationship-Edward-VIII-Adolf-Hitler  

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Book Review: Norman Mailer ~ The Naked and the Dead (1949)

How do you review a masterpiece? This is a work of staggering genius and, if possible, was better for a 50 year gap between readings. Obviously I bookmarked sections in preparation for this review, which is very easy in Kindle … Continue reading

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Book Review: Hilary Mantel ~ The Mirror and the Light (2020)

The scale of the success of the Thomas Cromwell trilogy is that it’s a 2112 page story about a Tudor civil servant. Cromwell’s speciality was as a courtier and sycophant endlessly grovelling to Henry VIII. He was also a ruthless … Continue reading

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Book Review: John Lanchester ~ The Wall (2019)

Lanchester builds on the absurdity of Trump’s impenetrable wall to prevent immigration. He conceives of a wall around the British Isles. Naturally a wall isn’t enough. It must be defended, as all walls must be, which consumes enormous manpower. That … Continue reading

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Book Review: Graham Greene ~ Our Man In Havana (1958)

The shocking thing about reading books from the 1950s is the casual racism. This is the first sentence of Greene’s novel, “’That nigger going down the street,’ said Dr Hasselbacher standing in the Wonder Bar, ‘he reminds me of you, … Continue reading

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Book Review: Nigel Williams ~ The Wimbledon Poisoner (1990)

Williams, The Wimbledon Poisoner, is a black comedy, which is, of course, tasteless in the extreme. The focus is Henry’s desire to kill his wife Elinor. After some thought he decides that the only method he can do is poisoning. … Continue reading

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Book Review: Thomas Penn ~ The Brothers York: An English Tragedy (2019)

Thomas Penn’s day has come! Who’d have thought an academic work on the York brothers would be of the moment? Well he has Hilary Mantel to thank. She’s turbo-charged medieval history into a central position with her Thomas Cromwell trilogy. … Continue reading

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Book Review: Helen Cresswell ~ Bagthorpes Unlimited (1978)

Coronavirus fatigue makes you want a laugh, a ‘laugh out loud’ laugh. Helen Cresswell’s series The Bagthorpe Saga was my first point of call. Bagthorpes Unlimited is her third book and is a total joy from start to finish. The … Continue reading

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