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Profil für Monika Simon > Rezensionen

Persönliches Profil

Beiträge von Monika Simon
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Monika Simon (München)
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The Silkworm (Cormoran Strike, Band 2)
The Silkworm (Cormoran Strike, Band 2)
von Robert Galbraith
  Taschenbuch
Preis: EUR 12,99

5.0 von 5 Sternen Tremendously enjoyable, 28. November 2016
A friend of mine suggested a while ago that I read Robert Galbraith's Cormoran Strike books, and she was right, I thoroughly enjoyed The Cuckoo's Calling. So, naturally, I went on to read The Silkworm and I was not disappointed.

The Silkworm is a very entertaining novel, there is suspense, fun, and a weird and gruesome murder case. I was really gripped by the story, from the pursuit of suspects to the much more mundane detective work of interviewing people and chasing up clues. However, for me at least, what makes or breaks a novel, are the characters carrying the story. And The Silkworm is a book full of interesting, nuanced, off-beat, slightly wacky characters with flaws and weaknesses that really get me engaged with the story and ensure that it is so much fun to read.

I am really looking forwards to reading the next book of the series. And hope there will be lots more of them.


Tracker (Foreigner, Band 16)
Tracker (Foreigner, Band 16)
von C. J. Cherryh
  Gebundene Ausgabe
Preis: EUR 21,59

4.0 von 5 Sternen Hugely entertaining (if somewhat predictable), 16. November 2016
Tracker is the sixteenth volume of the on-going Foreigner saga about the adventures of Bren Cameron and, as usual, Bren has to step in to prevent disaster in yet another crisis. Just to avoid things getting boring the Kyo, the alien race they encountered in previous books, decide to show up at this point, making the situation both more complicated and more urgent.

As with some of the previous volumes, I am in two minds about this book. I find them somewhat predictable, but at the same time I very much enjoy reading them. They are entertaining, but though each new crisis is different, the overall plot is very much the same. I know that there will be no unpleasant surprises, which is comforting but leaves little room for suspense. I have some reservations against apparently never-ending sagas, but by now the characters of the books have become familiar like old friends and I want to read more about them. Altogether, I enjoyed reading this book and really look forward to reading the next book (and the one after that…).


The Quarry
The Quarry
von Iain Banks
  Taschenbuch
Preis: EUR 9,99

5.0 von 5 Sternen What a Wonderful and Weird Book, 6. Juni 2016
Rezension bezieht sich auf: The Quarry (Taschenbuch)
I thoroughly enjoyed The Quarry. There is not much of a plot, as in a series of events that are told. Various old friends gather together to visit the dying father of the narrator of the story, in a dilapidated house on the edge of the eponymous quarry. The view of the narrator on the world is a bit different from what is generally regarded as normal. But unlike in some other books where taking an unusual perspective gets in the way of the story or comes across as somewhat forced, here it is just another layer that makes the book so enormously entertaining. It is very much a character driven novel and excels at this. As a reader you find yourself amidst a lively, fractious, varied group of people that have known each other for a long time, for better and worse. There's no big revelation or surprising denouement at the end of the story, there's just life. And death. I really, really liked this book. (And here I go away and put another of Iain Banks book on my wish list.)


Parade's End
Parade's End
von Ford Madox Ford
  Taschenbuch
Preis: EUR 8,49

5.0 von 5 Sternen Complex and Intriguing, 24. Mai 2016
Rezension bezieht sich auf: Parade's End (Taschenbuch)
Since I had not managed to watch the TV adaptation all the way through (gave up in boredom) I was not quite sure whether I wanted to read the novel at all. I put it on my wish-list anyway, with a note that I had not yet decided whether I wanted to read it or not. I got it for my birthday anyway, and having read it now, I have to say that I was glad my friend ignored the comment, as I thoroughly enjoyed the book. So much so that I will have another go at the TV series.

Parade's End is a very long book, unsurprisingly since it originally was four separate books. It is a complex and intriguing story set before, during, and after World War I. It took me a bit to get into the style of the novel, as it is not so much a straightforward, chronological story narrating of what happens to whom, but is told reflectively through the eyes (and minds) of different people. In a way it is a reminder that the past is a different country, but it, never mind different mores, people still remain the same. I definitely got engrossed in the story and very involved with the characters, hoping for happy outcomes for some and wishing that really bad things happen to others.

If you like a good, not always easy to read, fat book I can seriously recommend Parade's End.


Mr. Bazalgette's Agent (British Library - British Library Crime Classics)
Mr. Bazalgette's Agent (British Library - British Library Crime Classics)
von Leonard Merrick
  Taschenbuch
Preis: EUR 7,99

3.0 von 5 Sternen The First Female Detective, 18. Mai 2016
Having read and enjoyed a couple of books of this series, I tried a new one: "Mr Bazalgette's Agent" featuring the first female detective in British literature. A young woman set on the trail of a criminal embezzler, a work that takes her from London to the wilds of South Africa.

Considering that the book was first published in 1888, when the genre of detective novels was still in its infancy, I no doubt read it book with the wrong expectations. For one, I expected more detecting than the story provides. The main character and narrator, the eponymous Agent, Miss Miriam Lea, is a novice detective and she hardly engages in what I would consider as detective work. The story is, however, entertaining and also quite humorous. Still, I could not help getting increasingly irritated by the story plodding on without any real suspension or mystery developing. Probably it is 'wrong' to view the book with modern expectations, but I cannot help it. The end of the story really raised my hackles. No fault of the book but an incompatibility of my temper with the book's protagonist (reflecting the author's time's attitudes).

Mr Bazalgette's Agent is definitely an interesting read, for the everyday aspects of the past, the different modes of transportation and communications, of different social rules and conventions. As a detective story it was, for me at least, something of a let-down.


Shifting Shadows: Stories From the World of Mercy Thompson
Shifting Shadows: Stories From the World of Mercy Thompson
von Patricia Briggs
  Taschenbuch
Preis: EUR 8,49

5.0 von 5 Sternen Very Entertaining Stories of Werewolves, Vampires and Other Creepy Creatures, 24. April 2016
According to book cover Charlaine Harris loves these books, and this is something we agree on. (I only read one book by Ms Harris, and was not convinced.) I enjoy Patricia Briggs's Mercy Thompson books and the spin-off Alpha and Omega books enormously. The novels are entertaining, fun and gripping. I like to read and reread them. Though I am usually not a fan of short stories, I also thoroughly enjoyed this collection of tales. Of course, a lot of them are part of the longer narrative that is laid out in the books, giving some background information or telling additional tales of people that appeared in the books. I do have a bit of a problem with all the gun-toting and the attitude that bad people deserve to be killed, but I mostly forget it when I am reading the stories. The plots are great, but it is the characters that really have me hooked. I usually don't get so enthusiastic, but I think, if Ms. Briggs decided to write about Mercy Thompson, or some other character from her books, simply watch paint dry, I still would be entertained.


Medieval Underpants and Other Blunders: A Writer's (& Editor's) Guide to Keeping Historical Fiction Free of Common Anachronisms, Errors, & Myths [Third Edition]
Medieval Underpants and Other Blunders: A Writer's (& Editor's) Guide to Keeping Historical Fiction Free of Common Anachronisms, Errors, & Myths [Third Edition]
von Susanne Alleyn
  Taschenbuch
Preis: EUR 13,90

5.0 von 5 Sternen Fun, entertaining and informative, 21. April 2016
Susanne Alleyn's book about how not to write historical fiction is a superb combination of information and entertainment. Since I am moaning constantly about horrible anachronisms and factual mistakes in historical fiction (and while I have not given up on it completely, I have definitely restricted my reading of this kind of book as a consequence) this is just enormous fun. I was constantly cheering Ms Alleyn heartily when she complains about some of the most annoying errors in a lot of historical fiction.

The wide array of subjects addressed, from dress, to manners, to attitudes and language, is impressive. I also enjoyed the sections that address individual subjects in more detail, like the eponymous underpants (not wearing underwear does make a lot more sense to me now that it did before) or that about the guillotine.

It definitely was also a healthy reminder that though I know a lot about history (having studied it for a good while) there is plenty of things that I just assume I know. Tomatoes, tobacco and chocolate not being native to Europe, old hat! Surely everybody knows that. Beans not being native to Europe, what?

Thoroughly enjoyable!


Gloucestershire Ghost Tales
Gloucestershire Ghost Tales
von Anthony Nanson
  Taschenbuch
Preis: EUR 10,80

5.0 von 5 Sternen Spooky, Enjoyable, Entertaining, 18. April 2016
Rezension bezieht sich auf: Gloucestershire Ghost Tales (Taschenbuch)
After reading several of the publisher's folk tales book, I now broadened my horizon by reading Gloucestershire Ghost Tales (sadly, the book only contains 20 stories and not 30 as the folk tales book do).

Though by nature a collection of ghost stories is more restricted in subject matter than folk tales, this book brings together a great variety of interesting and entertaining tales. There are ghost stories from a various different corners of the county, set in towns, villages, manor houses, or in the open countryside; they also vary greatly in tone and content, some are creepy and some more humorous. Some stories centre on the actual sightings of ghosts, some are focusing on the story behind a known haunting.

All tales are delightful to read and I enjoyed the book very much. They are entertaining and it was fascinating to learn more about the lore of Gloucestershire. I just wished the book contained more stories. And I really missed the bits of information about where these stories come from, which several of the folk tales books provided.


London Folk Tales
London Folk Tales
von Helen East
  Taschenbuch
Preis: EUR 11,90

4.0 von 5 Sternen Stories about Giants, Ghosts, Bikers and more, 4. März 2016
Rezension bezieht sich auf: London Folk Tales (Taschenbuch)
London is a world of its own, a large sprawling, multi-faceted city, and many fascinating stories can be told about it. This volume of folk tales brings together twenty-nine tales from London, from the dim and distant past to the present day.

These stories range not only in time but also in their subjects: there are legends of giants and saints, ghost stories and crime stories, and some stories about events that (possibly? probably?) really did happen. Some stories are long and some are quite short. A few were, for my taste at least, are a bit too short.

As a former resident of London (even if I lived there only for two years) and a frequent visitor, I very much enjoyed this collection of tales, naturally some more and some less. Some were known to me while others were completely new. Finding out more about the history and lore of London was great fun.

Though I am not really a fan of short stories, I do like these folk tales, and I really enjoyed reading London Folk Tales.


Murder Underground (British Library Crime Classics)
Murder Underground (British Library Crime Classics)
von Mavis Doriel Hay
  Taschenbuch
Preis: EUR 10,49

1 von 1 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
4.0 von 5 Sternen Entertaining Crime Novel, 1. Februar 2016
I have to admit that I was first attracted to this book by the lovely, old-fashioned covers of this series of crime classics and, this time at least, I was not wrong to judge a book by its cover. "Murder Underground" is a highly entertaining, old-fashioned (in the best possible sense) crime novel.

"Murder Underground" is set, as one might expect, in London. The novel not only gives the reader a great sense of place, the story is also entertaining, there is a lovely cast of different, often flawed characters, and the way the murder mystery is solved is quite intriguing. What happened on those stairs to the underground, emerges slowly, in a piecemeal fashion, and for a long time things are pretty muddled. Though the reader is shown the story from various perspectives, he or she still does not know for a long time what really happened, which kept me at least well entertained.

I really enjoyed this book and will read more of this series.


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