Wednesday, 31 August 2011

August Book Review

I've had a good month. Mostly down to a couple of long train journeys, a couple of short books and one book in particular that I really, really, really struggled to put down.

Tiger's Wife - Tea Obreht
One of those books that appears to be everywhere at the moment, appearing on this list and the other. Think I got it half price with an offer in Grazia magazine.

Part fairy tale and part real life it actually made it hard to decide how I felt about this book. I think I would have liked it more had it been pure fantasy or completely real, being betwixt and between didn't really do it for me.

Nevertheless it has all the beautiful hallmarks of a fairy tale story and it's worth picking up.

Starter for Ten - David Nicholls
I'm sure you know by now how much I loved One Day when I read it a couple of years ago. If you don't - I did. (In fact I'm glad I did these reviews, this means I can prove I read it before everyone's jumped on the band wagon.)

Having seen a review on Nose in a Book I wanted to pick this up and when I found it on offer in WH Smiths I decided it was a sign I should buy it.

Oh how I laughed. I laughed in public and I laughed in private and I may even have snorted once or twice. I loved it. And luckily for me, the review I've just linked to is much better than anything I could have written so I'll send you over there.

I have to say though, I saw the book a week or so after I'd finished reading it and could not have been more disappointed if I tried. It was just so so not good, every bit of essence that made the book hilarious was missed out and it was just such a shame. It's impossible for me to say if I would have liked the film if I hadn't read  the book, probably, who knows? I can say that it's made me pretty nervy about going to see One Day at the cinema.

Pavane - Keith Roberts
I picked this guy up at work because it had the most fabulously retro front cover ever. I seriously couldn't resist it. Sci-fi isn't normally my kind of thing to be honest but I decided to give this one a whirl. I have since done a bit of 'research' (i.e. looking on Wikpedia) and have discovered that this book is kind of a big deal in the sci-fi world. One might even call it a 'classic' - but don't worry I won't be counting it as one of mine (until I get to the end of the year and I'm not on track for completing my mission.)

Yeeeeeaaah. Can't say my stance on sci-fi has changed much. This book imagines what would have happened if Elizabeth I had died and Catholics ruled the world. If I was a Catholic I might be a little bit tetchy about this book - the result is basically that the Catholic church has prohibited invention of any kind, meaning that when we start the book in the 1960s England is a place of steam trains and semaphore.

The book consists of a few stand alone chapters which slightly interweave with each other but it feels disjointed and was just kinda boring to be honest.

Wilt on High - Tom Sharpe
I've read a Tom Sharpe before and this was exactly what how I remembered the first one. Fun.

Think Evelyn Waugh meets the Carry On films and you have Tom Sharpe. They're a little bit rude, little bit comedy of errors, little bit smutty and a lot funny. Just a good, easy, fun read, would definitely recommend for a little light relief.

This book is the third in a series featuring Wilt. I haven't read the other two but it didn't matter at all, there are a few references to previous goings on but all they've made me want to do is go out and find the other two books.


Book of the Month?

Starter for Ten without doubt


  1. I read Starter for Ten while I was on holiday and loved it too.. I didn't know it was a film till I came home and raved about the book to my flatmates. I was disappointed by the film too, I'd had high hopes. Now I feel similarly about going to see One Day....

  2. Been told One Day is really good, but I know how movies are always a little disappointing (have you seen/ read Marley and Me? the movie totally lacks the emotional weight of the book)
    Thanks for your comment on my cat dilemna, was wondering when you might show up! Things are so up and down at home at the moment, there's so much stuff to be done, I think we might wait just until we feel a little more settled
    (btw in your Started for Ten review, 4th para down, I think you meant to write "film", not "book" - hope you don't mind me pointing it out, but I always find it so irritating when i find typos after i've published a post!)

  3. Yes, definitely worried about the One Day film and yet I still kind of want to see it. Doubt I'll persuade the boyfriend though so it'll probably end up being in several years' time on telly and the book will be a fading memory. Suspect it will fare better that way.

  4. The plot of Pavane sounds, well, odd. I wasn't aware that Catholics were anti-technology. Is he getting them mixed up with the Amish? Wouldn't we just be more like Italy?

  5. I still want to read One Day based on your review - I probably wouldn't otherwise with all the hoo-ha, and Starter for Ten sounds worth looking out for too :)


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