Review: Bad Science – Ben Goldacre

[Non-fiction – Science 2008] There is the old cliché ‘some books will change your life’ – this book isn’t one of them. However, this book will change the way that you look at a very significant part of the world, specifically the ‘science’ stories in the media, and the claims made by those that inhabitContinue reading “Review: Bad Science – Ben Goldacre”

Review: The Accidental Woman – Jonathan Coe

[Fiction 1987] I’ve become a great admirer of Jonathan Coe since coming across The House of Sleep a few years ago and have sought out his work ever since, but this is the first time I have come across The Accidental Woman, Coe’s debut novel. It is the story of Maria, a woman whose lifeContinue reading “Review: The Accidental Woman – Jonathan Coe”

Review: House of Meetings – Martin Amis

[Fiction 2006] Money by Marin Amis was one of the best books of the 1980s, an almost perfect satire of that awful decade. It is therefore almost inevitable that any novel Amis writes will be compared to that tour-de-force, and often unfavourably. House of Meetings, unfortunately does not stand up well in comparison to MoneyContinue reading “Review: House of Meetings – Martin Amis”

Review: In Defence of History – Richard J. Evans

[Non-fiction – History 1997] The dreary trite pseudo-‘insights’ of post-modernism reappear again; this time with their feeble attempts to turn history into just another ‘text’. However, as Evans so splendidly puts it in this, his robust defence of history: Auschwitz was not a discourse. It trivializes mass murder to see it as a text. TheContinue reading “Review: In Defence of History – Richard J. Evans”

Review: The People’s Act Of Love by James Meek

[Fiction – 2005] The Siberian wastes of Russia where this novel is set are cold, bleak wastelands where people freeze to death all the time. That is just how this novel left me… freezing cold. A few pages in and I was wondering why anyone should feel the need to rewrite Doctor Zhivago. At timesContinue reading “Review: The People’s Act Of Love by James Meek”

Review: The Social Animal – W.G. Runciman

[Non-fiction – Sociology 1998] Sociology has not yet recovered from the lambasting it received during the late 70s and the 80s when it became obvious that most of its theoretical underpinnings, especially those most influenced by Marxist theory, were at odds with the very natures of the societies sociology itself exists to study. For aContinue reading “Review: The Social Animal – W.G. Runciman”

Review: First Lady – Michael Dobbs

[Fiction – 2006] The brooding shadow of that magnificently Machiavellian creation Francis Urquhart seems to hang over all of Michael Dobbs subsequent fiction, with nothing he has written since the House of Cards trilogy coming close to matching it. Despite that, this novel is still a great page-turning read. With Ginny Edge, the central characterContinue reading “Review: First Lady – Michael Dobbs”

Review: One Good Turn – Kate Atkinson

[Fiction – 2006] A road rage incident is witnessed by a queue of people outside a lunchtime show at the Edinburgh Festival. The novel weaves together the seemingly disparate stories of some of the witnesses, all increasingly interlinking as the narrative unfolds. The characters themselves at first, each in their seemingly disjointed and episodic narratives,Continue reading “Review: One Good Turn – Kate Atkinson”

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