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review 2017-02-19 18:44
Sebastian Faulks takes some P.G tips
Jeeves and the Wedding Bells - Sebastian Faulks,Julian Rhind-Tutt

Sub-titled "a homage to P.G. Wodehouse", as a lifelong fan of the late,great man one can imagine that it must have been both an honour and a distinct challenge for Sebastian Faulks, to be invited by the Wodehouse estate to write a new Jeeves and Wooster novel. No pressure....though given that Faulks has similarly delivered a new James Bond novel (see my review of "Devil May Care") in the style of Ian Fleming, one cannot doubt the chameleonic qualities of this fine contemporary writer. Still, as a longstanding fan of Wodehouse myself, I also came at this book with a certain degree of trepidation and a wistful hope for more than a pale imitation of a Wodehouse original. I needn't have worried. Faulks has successfully woven the classic ingredients into a wonderfully comic plot, which sees Bertie and Jeeves revisit a glorious heyday. Indeed, if imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, there can be no finer accolade than to suggest this belated addition to the catalogue of J&W stories sits very comfortably alongside the originals, with deft brushstrokes that so clearly simulate the master. 


Since the TV series, in my imagination, Stephen Fry and Hugh Lawrie inevitably play the starring roles and the dialogue is crafted to fit their honeyed tones seamlessly. However, it is the quintessentially English nature of the farce, threaded through the frailties of the upper classes, which provides such a familiar platform for the many slapstick moments. The affable Bertie Wooster, big of heart, but none too bright, chaperoned by his patient, cerebrally-gifted manservant, who navigates through the choppy waters his master instinctively seems to steer towards. This book is stuffed with laugh-out-loud moments, which draw unashamedly on the antics of the Drones Club and references to familiar friends of old (Stinker Pinker, Boko Fittleworth, Bingo Little, Aunt Agatha, etc). Only the role swap at the core of this new tale breaks new ground with predictably hilarious consequences. If ever there was a book to brighten the cold winter evenings, this is it. Full credit to Mr Faulks for doing P.G. fans proud!


The shelf picture gives the impression that I ventured into the audio book, though only because the book cover was not an option in the drop-down. This book definitely is one for my actual shelf and one I expect to return to.  

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review 2017-01-08 23:20
Tribute to Ian Fleming
Devil May Care - Mark Stutzman,Rodrigo Corral,Sebastian Faulks

The 100th anniversary of the birth of  Ian Fleming is as good a reason as any for commissioning a 'continuation novel' for his most famous creation - James Bond. And who better to write it than one of the most popular British authors of the contemporary crop, Sebastian Faulks? As an avid Faulks fan, it was an intriguing thought, but one not without risk for this most eponymous of spy franchises and perhaps also for the author. Though I needn't have worried. As early as the opening chapter, the reassuring velvety panache of Faulks was grafted onto the gritty style of Fleming, in a typically grisly, action-packed episode.

A global threat posited by a maniacal power broker bent on the destruction of west,  in particular this time the UK, the 'baddie' is strikingly familiar, right down to a physical deformity and a penchant for cruelty, which in due course must surely get its comeuppance.

Also present, the romantic entanglement with a beautiful, tragic woman, which is as much a necessity for Bond, as his trusty Walther PPK. 

A light read, the book moves along at a break-neck pace and is unadulterated escapism, but worthy of one of the nation's favourite literary heroes and we continue to be lucky to have him.

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review 2017-01-02 00:00
Bitten: A Vampire Blood Courtesans Romance
Bitten: A Vampire Blood Courtesans Romance - Kim Faulks,Michelle Fox I absolutely love this series and this book did only more to inspire that love! Looking forward the others I've already pre ordered :)
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review 2016-09-23 22:28
A Novel or a Series of Short Stories?
A Possible Life: A Novel in Five Love Stories - Sebastian Faulks

I am a great fan of Sebastian Faulks work. Although we will all form attachments to particular books, he rarely disappoints and within the body of his work he has set the bar wonderfully high. However, as a 'novel in five parts', I'm not sure 'A Possible Life' works. The writing is superbly crafted and the sweep of the book is clearly ambitious, but seems most effective as five short stories. Certainly, for me the 'novel' is not greater than the sum of its parts, which is disappointing, but should not detract from the quality of the writing, which is at times sumptuous. I intend to read it again, in case I am doing the book an injustice, but I would encourage anyone to make the effort, in any case.

Source: www.goodreads.com/review/show/1521144712
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review 2016-09-03 15:39
Simply sublime
Engleby - Sebastian Faulks
A truly weighty novel, which engages empathetically with one man's experience of mental distress and the ramifications for his relationships and place in society. Wonderfully written, although very dark, this is Faulks at the peak of his powers.


Source: www.goodreads.com/review/show/1521153918
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