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text 2017-01-12 20:32
Reading progress update: I've read 294 out of 1273 pages.
War and Peace - Leo Tolstoy,Larissa Volokhonsky,Richard Pevear

I just finsihed book one of War and Peace and I´m really enjoying this novel so far. I even like the war parts of this story and even though I´m not familiar with the history behind the Napoleonic wars, I don´t find it too difficult to follow what is going on.

But I have to admit, I prefer the family drama parts in Russia to the war related chapters just because it is so much fun to follow the characters and their lives. There a characters you immediately are going to dislike (oh Nikolai, it´s going to take a lot to redeem you in my eyes) and there are characters that I liked right from the beginning. So far my favorite is Pierre, whose naivete is endearing, and I cheered so loud for Marya for

turning down the proposal of the douchebag Anatol.

(spoiler show)




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review 2014-11-12 06:18
An Irish James Herriot
An Irish Doctor in Peace and at War: An Irish Country Novel - Patrick Taylor

For those of you who liked James Herriot's veterinarian books, but weren't so enthusiastic about reading about a young bloke with his arm halfway up the back of a cow yet again, these books are for you. Doctor O'Riley is an Irish general practice doctor in a small, pastoral village in the 50s and 60s. A rather pleasant journey, and a book you wouldn't be ashamed to give your older, more judgmental and straight-laced relatives.

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review 2014-10-19 00:00
An Irish Doctor in Peace and at War: An Irish Country Novel
An Irish Doctor in Peace and at War: An Irish Country Novel - Patrick Taylor This has spoilers for those who have not read the other books in this series. Please start with book #1 before reading this series or you will be completely lost by all of the characters.

I have been reading Patrick Taylor for a while. With the ninth book in his An Irish Country series I was looking forward to visiting back with Doctors Laverty and O'Reilly and the fictional village of Ballybucklebo. The last book I read in the series was "Fingal O'Reilly, Irish Doctor". I skipped "The Wily O'Reilly" which was a collection of columns that Taylor wrote about Fingal O'Reilly and published before.

With this newest offering we have the book focusing on Final dating and becoming engaged to his first wife Deirdre. We go back and forth between past and present with Fingal now happily married to Kitty but also thinking about some of the things that occurred to him while serving on a warship during WWII.

I didn't mind the past and present structure in the last full length book or the one before that. It made sense and it helped to see how Kitty and Fingal first met. And it actually worked quite nicely with the overall present day plot.

However this time I see no idea why the book was structured this way. Honestly a novella or just a full length novel depicting Fingal and his early days on the warship, engaged, married, and eventually widowed (not a spoiler, we know from book #1 he was a widower) and just be done with it. Breaking this up into this book and now based on the afterword there will be one more book showing his eventual marriage to Deirdre that I am just going to pass on.

The present day plot is not much better. We have Fingal thinking about how he can persuade Colin Brown's (a reader favorite that has been in all of the books) father to let him sit for a test to see about him continuing with his education. And we have Fingal feeling jealous and upset about someone from Kitty's past. That's it. That is the entire present day plot.

We don't really have anything on the first part besides O'Reilly have one conversation and then not doing anything about it for several weeks apparently and even when this is resolved he did not one thing besides bringing the conversation about.

The second party I thought was just unreal to include. We have a character who got married being upset that his now wife after they broke things off may have someone else that she cared for her in her past. That's it. She's not in love with this person, not going to see them, but this became a thing that actually took up several chapters in the present day side.

Readers are cheated of the chance to see Barry Laverty propose, move on from being hurt by the first woman readers will remember and able to be happy for him. Barry lives with Fingal and Kitty and you barely see him in this book. Neither is the new partner Jennifer Bradley shown besides one key scene. The same thing happened with the character of Kinky. She is barely in this which is a surprise since fans of the series knows that she is preparing for marriage.

I think that unless this book switches back to the third person and includes the points of view of either Barry or Jennifer I am going to just put this series away and move on from it.
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