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I have written a diary over the past 37 years. You can view entries by using  this link


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Free music - Best of 2009






Book Reviews 1989/1990

When sorting through some old papers I cam across book reviews written in 1989/1990. Here they are re-produced as written at the time:

Nice Work by David Lodge

Feminist university lecturer meets down to earth industrialist in job swap idea. Relationship turns from hatred to acceptance and need. Amusing and easy to read. Some perceptive insight into how two very different cultures can initially collide but then exist side by side. Poor inconclusive ending in which matters move too fast and co-incidences abound.

style 7  content   7  overall  7


The Bridesmaid by Ruth Rendle

Psychological drama - a tight plot rather spoiled by cardboard lifeless characters. Philip becomes obsessed by a girl he meets at his sister's wedding. She sets out to control his mind and body and a murder pact that only she succeeds in. The narrative is at times long and drawn out and the book only succeeds on a rather limited plain. The ending is rather predictable as the psychology is overtaken by reality.

style   7   content    6   overall  6


Two on a Tower by Thomas Hardy

Infatuation as simplistic love affair with twists and turns. Titled lady falls for young astronomer. Their marriage is illegal because of misunderstanding of the timing of death of the first husband. Apparently simple plot has many most enjoyable twists and turns.

style    8   content     8   overall   8


Wessex Tales by Thomas Hardy

Tales from the master English craftsman. Smuggling, witchcraft, unrequited love all get the Wessex treatment in this mixture of the sad, the poignant and the amusing

style   8   content     8   overall     8


Oscar and Lucinda by Peter Carey

1998 Booker Prize winer. A vast rambling novel of the intertwining of two lives united in gambling. Highly original with a satisfying surprise ending if a little inclonsequential.

style 7    content      7   overall    7


North and South - Elizabeth Gaskell

One of the great Victorian novels. Compares the gentility of life in the south with the harsh reality of the working north. Features a memorable heroine and solid historical documentation.

style     7   content    8    overall    8


Restoration by Rose Tremayne

Extremely enjoyable and original novel. Bawdy and irreverent it follows the fortunes of Robert Merival, sometime king's favourite who falls from grace. Traces his life as helper in an asylum and his restoration to grace through the plague and Great Fire of London.

style     8    content    9    overall  81/2


Small House at Allington by Anthony Trollope

A study of manners and the inter relationship of families. Features an anti-hero and a host of rather featureless people.