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Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell
Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell
von Susanna Clarke
  Taschenbuch

3 von 4 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
4.0 von 5 Sternen Magical, 13. März 2005
Rezension bezieht sich auf: Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell (Taschenbuch)
True, it's slow to start, and I did wonder after about a quarter of the way through what could possibly be coming to make it worth being such an enourmous book!
But it *is* worth it.
This is a truly magical novel, and as another reviewer put it, I also envy those who still can look forward to the pleasure of reading it.


Romantic
Romantic
von Barbara Gowdy
  Taschenbuch
Preis: EUR 13,28

4.0 von 5 Sternen funny and sad, 23. Mai 2004
Rezension bezieht sich auf: Romantic (Taschenbuch)
On a recent trip to Canada, I bought The Romantic by Barbara Gowdy. It was lying on a pile of books by Canadian authors; I picked it up because of the cover, but I bought it because of one line on the back:
"When she is nine years old, her former beauty queen mother "disappears," leaving a note that reads only - and incorrrectly - "Louise knows how to work the washing machine."
I thought that was just great - and captured the mix of tragedy and wry comedy which is apparant throughout the book.
I've come to the conclusion that I very much like Canadian authors - I haven't ready anything by one that I haven't enjoyed, and some are simply wonderful. This turned out to be a real find, and is one of the best books I've read for ages. Yes, you can compare it to Atwood, but it's so much more than that - Gowdy really does have a voice of her own. It was unbearably sad at the end - I was sitting in the airport trying to fight back tears when all I really wanted to do was have a good old sob. Wonderful stuff. Will definitely have a look for other titles by her.


Not the End of the World
Not the End of the World
von Kate Atkinson
  Taschenbuch
Preis: EUR 9,19

6 von 6 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen Excellent Writing, 21. September 2003
Rezension bezieht sich auf: Not the End of the World (Taschenbuch)
I've just finished reading Kate Atkinson's "Not the End of the World" and I am simply astonished by how good it was.
Each story was as close to perfection as I have ever know a short story to be. Here you will find everything: good plots, humour, tragedy, though-provoking ideas and some extremely interesting characters.
What I particularly liked is that some of the characters crop up throughout the book, in stories other than their own one. It's perhaps not a new device, but it worked very well here and added yet another dimension to the book as a whole.
"Not the End of the World" must be one of the best collections of short stories I have ever read, and shows Kate Atkinson to be a rare author who can write both novels and short stories to perfection.


Disgrace
Disgrace
von J.M. Coetzee
  Taschenbuch

3 von 14 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
2.0 von 5 Sternen Bleak writing, 21. September 2003
Rezension bezieht sich auf: Disgrace (Taschenbuch)
This felt like a few books rolled into one, it swapped themes and styles so often.

But what struck me most was whatever the situation Coetzee was writing about, it was always with a bleakness I found almost unbearable. There was nothing uplifting or hopeful in this book anywhere, it just dealt out one awful experience after another, and in a most disturbingly casual way.
I tried, in vain, to find something to sympathise with in his writing, but could not.
I deeply disliked this book, but more than that, I hated Coetzee for writing it. I can see that he has talent, and that the book is "well written", but these are not enough to redeem a barbaric and bleak novel.


A Widow for One Year
A Widow for One Year
von John Irving
  Taschenbuch
Preis: EUR 6,36

1 von 1 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
4.0 von 5 Sternen Classic Irving, 21. September 2003
Rezension bezieht sich auf: A Widow for One Year (Taschenbuch)
This offering from John Irving is a true tragi-comedy that both fans and readers new to his work will enjoy.
When we first meet the four-year-old Ruth Cole it is the summer 1958: Ruth’s mother Marion is having an affair with the 16-year-old Eddie O’Hare. Eddie has a summer job working as assistant to Marion’s philandering husband Ted, a successful writer and illustrator of scary books for children. At the end of that summer, Marion Cole, unable to deal with the grief over her two dead sons and her husband’s infidelity, walks out on them all, leaving Ruth to be brought up by her story-telling father, and Eddie O’Hare with a life-long obsession for older women.
Ruth goes on to become a successful author, Eddie becomes a not-so-successful author (perhaps because he is only able to write variations on the young-man-falls-for-older-woman theme); in fact, with the notable exception of Sergeant Harry Hoekstra, a Dutch policeman who patrols the red light district of Amsterdam and is a self-confessed reader, all the main characters are writers by profession.
Writing about writers is something familiar from previous Irving novels. In “A Widow For One Year” we find the usual mix of writers, prostitutes, death, loss, sex, love and destiny. And yet despite the often distressing or tragic events in the book – Ted recounting the death of his two sons in a car accident, or the murder of an Amsterdam prostitute which Ruth witnesses – Irving always manages to inject the hope that even in the tragic there is often something absurd, and delivers a wry, humorous and ultimately optimistic story.
Highly recommended!


Nigella Bites: From Family Meals to Elegant Dinners--Easy, Delectable Recipes for Any Occasion
Nigella Bites: From Family Meals to Elegant Dinners--Easy, Delectable Recipes for Any Occasion
von Nigella Lawson
  Gebundene Ausgabe
Preis: EUR 25,40

4 von 4 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
4.0 von 5 Sternen watermelon daiquiri anyone?, 21. September 2003
Wonderful!
This was bought for me by my friend, who's a big Nigella fan. I've never actually seen her TV series, nor read her other books, so I was very interested in how this was going to turn out.
And it's just wonderful! The recipes are great, they work, they're easy to do and they taste great (which is surely the point?).
Particular favourite was the Trashy Food section (I mean, watermelon daiquiris you've just got to try...). Wonderful book, wonderful recipes - buy this!


Under The Tuscan Sun
Under The Tuscan Sun
von Frances Mayes
  Taschenbuch
Preis: EUR 9,30

1 von 1 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
4.0 von 5 Sternen How travel writing should be!, 21. September 2003
Rezension bezieht sich auf: Under The Tuscan Sun (Taschenbuch)
In "Under The Tuscan Sun - At Home in Italy" food and travel writer Frances Mayes tells how she and her husband bought and lovingly restored an abandoned villa in Tuscany.
Through trials and tribulations which anyone who's ever had any building work done can relate to and sympathise with, to the wonders to be found in the local villages and countryside, Mayes describes every episode and encounter with warmth, wit and enthusiasm. She's also included plenty of local recipes you can try, to bring a little bit of Tuscany into your home!
This is more than just a travel book; it's an interesting look at living in a foreign country, as Mayes and her husband try to make Tuscany their home for part of each year.


The Beach
The Beach
von Alex Garland
  Taschenbuch

4 von 5 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
3.0 von 5 Sternen well-written yet sometimes disturbing, 21. September 2003
Rezension bezieht sich auf: The Beach (Taschenbuch)
The Beach by Alex Garland has become something of a cult classic since it's publication in 1996 and this is despite having been made into a film starring Leonardo di Caprio.
The story tells of a legendary Beach - a hidden paradise sought after by travellers and backpackers in Asia, where a select group of people lucky enough to have found it live an ideal life of tranquillity and harmony.
Richard, the main character and narrator of the novel, sets off to the find the beach with Etienne and Françoise, two French backpackers he's met on his travels in Thailand.
The three eventually discover the beach and settle down to an idyllic existence within the beach community.
All is not quite what it seems though, as even here in this remote and select community hatred and jealousy are rife. Alex Garland uses life on the beach to demonstrate (as William Golding did in Lord of the Flies) what happens when the rules and constraints of society are no longer there.
A well-written yet sometimes disturbing book.


The Enchantment of Lily Dahl
The Enchantment of Lily Dahl
von Siri Hustvedt
  Taschenbuch
Preis: EUR 10,00

4 von 4 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
3.0 von 5 Sternen Disenchanting..., 19. Juni 2003
Rezension bezieht sich auf: The Enchantment of Lily Dahl (Taschenbuch)
I wouldn't have been at all surprised if "The Enchantment of Lily Dahl" was a first novel - it has that unaccomplished, don't-quite-know-where-I'm-going-with-this feel about it. But it's not a first novel, and as such, it doesn't have even that meagre excuse to offer for itself.
Hustvedt does write interestingly of the small town, Webster, and manages to create some original side characters, but the ultimate failing in this novel is Lily Dahl herself. A
novel's main character doesn't have to necessarily be likeable, but I think she should elicit some sort of response from the reader and, unfortunately, Lily Dahl left me completely cold. I could not involve myself with her in any way. She would have perhaps been excusable as a minor character, mentioned in passing, but as the central character she is simply too trite.
There are many good ideas and themes throughout the story, but unfortunately none of them is explored fully or well enough to satisfy.
Ultimately disappointing and disenchanting.


The Secret Life of Bees
The Secret Life of Bees
von Sue Monk Kidd
  Taschenbuch
Preis: EUR 11,35

2 von 3 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
4.0 von 5 Sternen Well-crafted, 8. Juni 2003
Rezension bezieht sich auf: The Secret Life of Bees (Taschenbuch)
Despite the somewhat unpromising description on the back cover, this is a beautiful, interesting and well-crafted novel. It brings to mind Harper Lee's "To Kill a Mockingbird", and although of course not a patch on that classic, it is still well worth reading.
The characters have depth, the story keeps you reading and the little bits of information about bees, honey and bee-keeping are particularly interesting.


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