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review 2017-02-21 18:15
Hehe
Dickens' Women - Miriam Margolyes,Sonia Fraser

Right down the street - in my local park - stands a statue of Dickens and Little Nell. Every year, there is a Dickens celebration. On year, it was some anniversary, Miriam Margolyes showed up. She is like 21 shades of awesome.

I have a love/hate relationship with Dickens. I love some of his work, others I hate. I prefer Trollope to a degree because Trollope writes better women. Margolyes audio version of her stage show is quiet amusing, if not as critical as perhaps one would like. Still if you like Margoyles, this is well worth listening to.

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review 2017-01-27 10:33
Powerful historical fantasy
Drood - Dan Simmons

Dan Simmons book DROOD is a masterpiece of sorcerous historical fiction. The sorcery doesn't lie in some otherworldly supernatural changes to history, but instead lies in the astonishing historical verisimilitude that Simmons brings to his portrayal of Victorian society, Charles Dickens and his milieu. Simmons helps us to smell, taste, and live in the often-crumbling and often-opium infused reality of that society, and to understand the complexities of the relationships around Dickens.

 

What's fascinating to me is that Simmons hardly ever has to bring in anything supernatural in order to make a book spooky, otherworldly and astonishing. Instead, he simply tells one version of Dicken's life, and the clarity he brings to that observance of a life is powerful. 

 

I found the book enthralling: one of Simmons best works. 

Source: nednote.com
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review 2017-01-07 13:28
A surpisingly warm Christmas story
A Christmas With The Dodger - Charlton Daines

Imagine being part of the family of The Artful Dodger from Oliver Twist when he grows up and what Christmas might be like with an expert thief as the head of the family.

 

Actually, Jack has gone straight to please his honest wife. Well, mostly anyway. Reg, his adopted nephew, comes from the streets like Jack and together they can't always manage to be squeaky clean.

 

The story is mostly about Reg and his struggle to choose whether to please his adopted mother, Lily, by being honest or to be tempted by his childhood among cut throats and thieves to commit at least small acts of pilfering.

 

The characters were nicely fleshed out and there was plenty of action and adventures. I'll definitely have to read the author's other book!

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review 2017-01-04 02:48
A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens (Audiobook)
A Tale of Two Cities - Charles Dickens,Simon Vance

Narrated by Simon Vance

 

If I were just rating this book based on high school memory, it would probably be four or five stars, but I found that this audio version didn’t always hold my attention. I’ll have to reread it in print at some point or maybe just re-listen to the audiobook because I remember this being a good story. It was still a decent story but I felt like I missed stuff.

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text 2017-01-02 12:05
2016 – the Best of the Best and the Worst of the Worst
Edie: American Girl - Jean Stein,George Plimpton
Metro 2034 - Dmitry Glukhovsky
Frankenstein - Mary Shelley,Maurice Hindle
Jaws - Peter Benchley
The Catcher in the Rye - Jerome David Salinger
A Christmas Carol - Charles Dickens
The Man-Eaters of Tsavo - John Henry Patterson,Peter Hathaway Capstick

With the old year gone and the new one just two days old, it is time for a quick retrospective on what was great and what wasn’t.

 

Let’s start with the Best of the Best!

My favourite book of 2016 was probably Edie, the amazing biography of Edie Sedgwick. Not only was it exciting to read about her short but intense life, but it was also a great experiment in terms of writing style and figuring out new possibilities within the genre of biography.

Another book, that was surprisingly good was The Man-Eaters of Tsavo. I initially started reading it, because I was curious about the book on which one of my all-time favourite movies is based on, but after a couple of pages I fell in love with it (despite all of its flaws).

 

 

and now the Worst of the Worst

The biggest letdowns of 2016  were two books I was unfortunately really looking forward to read.

The first one was Metro 2034 by Dmitrij Gluchovskij. This was such a huge disappointment for me, because the first book in the Metro series was really exciting with a lot of interesting characters, really good writing and a thrilling plot. Unfortunately, Metro 2034 had nothing of the things I loved about the first one.

The other letdown was Jaws. And what a letdown that was! This is a sentence you hardly ever hear me say, but seriously: Go and watch the movie! It is ten times better than the book.

 

Additionally, there are some honourable mentions, meaning books, I am happy to finally have read and which I therefore can happily cross off my bucket list. Those are:

The Catcher in the Rye (although this is definitely not one of my favourites), Frankenstein (which was really good) and A Christmas Carol (love it!)

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