Hellllo readers and happy Christmas Eve. I’m going to put in a small spoiler – this is a seriously gushy review. There are some authors that I continue to go back to and this author is up there with my favourites – I think I’ve read three of his books/novellas now and they are all seriously brilliant. Some authors just have a way with words – character build up, action, description, feeling, emotion it all just works. I’ve got so much to talk about it so little time so onto the review lovely readers.
A group of inseparable childhood friends are now adults, physically and psychologically devastated by war… A horrifying creature emerges from a sandstorm just before Ricky Smith dies in battle. Forced to leave base housing, his widow Maggie buys a home on Oak Lee Road in the town of Jotham. Maggie is isolated in the historic house…and disconcerted by strange clicking sounds inside the walls.
When Maggie wakes in a strange subterranean cavern, she can’t deny her home harbors dark secrets. Desperate, she sends letters to her old friends to reunite in Jotham, and events conspire to draw them all to the house…unaware of the danger awaiting them. The friends have already been through hell, but can any of them survive the evil dwelling beneath the House on Oak Lee?
I’ve had to cut down the blurb a little because it is quite long but the crux of the book follows a group of former childhood friends (once named the Suicide Squad) who now as adults are each in situations they could never have foreseen happening. Each of them has been affected by war whether physically, mentally or emotionally but these are the least of the groups worries – there is something even more dangerous at play. When Maggie moves back in 1475 Oak Lee Road she unleashes an evil that is desperate on completely ruining everything.
Gunfire rattled off in the distance. Screams, but here in this place there’s a strange way the dust swallows the sound, making it impossible to tell where the shots were coming from. An eerie yellowness interfused and covered everything, like some symbiotic creature, draining life. It’s in the air we breathe. On our uniforms and the thawbs the locals wear. It cakes the ground. You can see tire and feet tracks in the soft plumes of smoke kicked just a few inches off the ground. It even covers the garbage. God…the garbage seems to have no end.
Hellllllllo readers, something really exciting for you today and something a little different. When I can’t find something to read I always find myself scouring the bookshelves of the parentals forgetting that my little sister (not so little now that she’s twenty – when did that happen!) has a number of exciting books for me to sneak. They are normally thriller/abduction/horror style books but her shelves are stacked (unlike mine) with books she honestly loves and so I know I’m almost always going to get something good; today surprised me so I’m going to see what she thought of said book; hope you enjoy.
A retired copper’s son is kidnapped. Many of the villains he put away had sworn revenge. So why does he fail to mention the one who is still the main suspect in a four-year-old murder?
Must admit at the start of this, that I’m coming into this series pretty late because this is the sixth book in the series but I often think with series books in a crime genre you should be able to throw yourself right in and to a point I could. Quite easily. The book follows the country music loving detective Tom Thorne who appears to be a little side-lined by his colleagues (I’m sure this relates to a book earlier in the series.) However he is moved back into the spotlight when he is chosen to investigate the kidnapping of a former Detective Chief Superintendent’s son Luke. The book continues as the police hunt down Luke and his kidnappers as the plot thickens with more deaths, a racial crime and a romantic love interest to boot.
So for the positives; the book is a well written in terms of the jargon police language and the main character (I’m sure over the previous five books) has been developed into a really strong character profile. I thought it really helped the plot feel grounded and was an interesting persona to read about. Additionally the supporting main characters to a point were well written although at times under-developed and they helped to weave the two stories and add a feel to the novel. I thought the writing of the racially motivated murder was intriguing and helped to add a sub-plot. There are a number of red-herrings weaved into both the plots and I thought the use of the Former Detective helped to add some suspense. Throughout I knew there wasn’t something quite right and I thought the sense of unease was handled well.
For me though this book really struggled; it has a really slow pace and being such a hefty number of pages I felt bogged down and need something to really excite me, but it just doesn’t deliver. Many of the secondary characters are under-developed or seem to play very little part and I think in terms of the writing a good two-hundred of so pages could have been wiped and instead the other content should have been whipped into shape.
Additionally, and oddly, the title doesn’t match the book inside. T asked me why it was called Buried and I could only come up with a very tenuous link. The author however, appears to acknowledge this with one of the chapters starting with a line such as ‘It was like being buried.’ Nope – that is not enough to link the book to the blurb. Additionally I thought that the links between the first and second plot was so tenuously linked it was a struggle to see why Billingham has done it at all.
I needed to put this in because I wanted to rage about this to you. Towards the end the police find out who the killer is, they then discuss him without directly mentioning him for a good chapter or two and then when the name was revealed I had no idea who it was. Mainly because he had been spoken to once in the first couple of chapters. No, No, that is NOT okay! Gah *rages.* Additionally, there are so many last names that I had trouble defining who was who and who was female and not; crime novels are so bad for this but here it was overwhelmingly so. I thought the ending was messy too, I’m still not sure how it all connects. Finally, and this is a big one, I didn’t like any of the characters that much so when it all came to a resolution I kind of thought – right that’s over. That’s not the feeling I want to feel so I was quite disappointed.
Overall I was really upset about this and I’m annoyed. For something so long in length I wanted something really powerful and to not get that after 350+ pages I feel cheated. Add to this that to have under-developed characters in something so long is unbelievable. I didn’t enjoy this and I’m not sure you will too.
(PS: Spoke to Char and she struggled with book too and has since suggested others *yay* #holla)
Hellllllo readers, it’s October where is the year going? It feels like only yesterday I turned 22 and yet, it’s been a month or so. This author sent me a lovely email that said he knew I was a big fan of Sherlock Holmes books, and that if I liked them I should read this. That is definitely a way to get my attention and after reading I thought wow, there is definitely an inkling there.
Short stories of enigma with The Professor, who provides all the clues for you to figure out each story’s one and only explanation. Solve them yourself, or read the solutions.
That’s a very succinct blurb there and it’s very easy way to show you the writing style of said author. The books are very short tales where the narrator (The Professor) tells the story of an event or a story and gives us a number of secret clues woven into the tale. After we finish the story there is a solution, or an explanation of what’s just happened and it’s all wrapped up rather neatly at the end. Some of the stories understandably include deaths but others are more subtle relating to family traumas, objects and the like.
So what did I think? Well I’m pleased report I liked them a darn lot. Told in a simple style that suits the mysteries each is written with a real understanding of how to confuse the reader. Although the stories are short they are told with lots of little inner workings that you can assume is going to add up to the solution but I was hopeless at getting to the bottom of many of them. The pace is written well, they bump along a little slowly but often then are set in one of two scenes rather than a long drawn out but that works because they are short tales. I was surprised how much the author managed to pack into the stories and found it really nice that they were so detailed.
In terms of the writing style it isn’t my cup of tea but here it worked. It was short, sharp and to the point and it helped to make the stories more like riddles. Long flowing descriptions of the surroundings and the characters involved wouldn’t have worked here and the tighter writing style is definitely brilliant here. Despite this over the ten stories we do get an inkling of the personality of the Professor. A little more suave than our Holmes and with a small adoration for young women he is a bit of a sweetheart. He has a charming side, and he comes over a lot more friendly I think although we only get glimpses of him as a character. He has a sense of humour although a little mocking but he comes across as a kind-hearted fellow.
My only wobble was that many of the solutions require knowledge relating to guns, car and aeroplanes. Although this is necessary to create the mysteries some of the stories although made sense didn’t give me that mystery satisfaction when the ending was revealed. Sherlock although does know knowledge of said things tends to rely on human nature, blemishes on the characters and physical attributes so I could solve them a lot easier. But, I liked the difference and I was really impressed at the level of detail shown by the author. Some of the stories are a little difficult to believe but they are really good to read and think about whether something so shocking could have happened.The only thing I really didn’t like was the cover and it was such a shame because the book was so lovely to read.
Overall a really quick read although it may take you a little while to get to the bottom of the stories. The writing style although not normally my idea of reading fun worked well here and helped to make the stories really memorable. I think a few more that were based more on domestic clues would have helped readers to guess the stories but maybe it’s me and my terrible general knowledge. A great deal of fun and mystery that I really want to read more of.
Hellllo readers, another day another review; today’s book is a really interesting novel that I picked up when at my local library. Libraries are brilliant for us who hoard books (book bloggers I’m looking at you.) Quite often I read books and although I enjoy them, I’m not truly happy with them and I don’t feel the need to necessarily keep the books. The memories of reading the novel are enough and this was one of those books. I can’t decide whether I *liked* this book yet, but it was certainly an experience as such. My review of Gerald’s Party by Robert Coover
Robert Coover’s wicked and surreally comic novel takes place at a chilling, ribald, and absolutely fascinating party. Amid the drunken guests, a woman turns up murdered on the living room floor. Around the corpse, one of several the evening produces, Gerald’s party goes on — a chatter of voices, names, faces, overheard gags, rounds of storytelling, and a mounting curve of desire. What Coover has in store for his guests (besides an evening gone mad) is part murder mystery, part British parlor drama, and part sly and dazzling meditation on time, theater, and love.
Gah I think I might have gone classic crazy; I’ve gone from detesting them to utterly adoring them in a matter of months. Little Women, and Ulysses are both on the cards although we’ll have to see how they go. In terms of today’s book the narrative follows the almost hallucinogenic nightmare of confusion and turmoil of the rather simply named Gerald’s Party. The book follows the absurd affair as we follow Gerald and his unnamed wife as they entertain dozens of different character. There’s Vic, Dickie, Kitty, Iris, Lloyd, Patrick, Allison and her husbands and numerous others but you would need a checklist to keep an eye on all of them.
Additionally as the blurb suggests there is the body, curled up on the floor amongst the partiers that belongs to the actress named Ros. With a gushing hole in the centre of her chest the mayhem is stirred and her jealous husband Rodger gets a little frantic. With the Police called; (Fred and Bob) and their homicide detective (Nigel Pardew) a rather odd character who immediately demands the watches of all those that have entered (later deducing that the murder happened half an hour before they arrived.) It sounds pretty normal but the writing style is anything but. Dialogues over-lap, characters movements do too. We’re in the garden, bare feet against the grass, then suddenly in the kitchen seeing Gerald’s wife cooking more and more food for the stacked table, then with his son Mark and his mother and law. It all overlaps haphazardly and confusingly. Characters melt into one.
The thing is that ‘Gerald’s Party,’ is noticeably about time, quite obviously shown in the removal of the watches. The party seems to stretch for hours whilst the guests waver in and out of drunkenness. They’re also piles of sexual activity. Each of the couples appears to have at least one other sexual partner at said party and at one point we see Gerald wiping the bottom of a woman who has to put it nicely ‘lost control of her bounds.’ The sexual energy during this is scene is both baffling and amusing. It is riotous read that ploughs through taking the reader whether they want to or not.
I must admit I think I will one day when older I will maybe try this novel again. The effect of the writing for me becomes a little too excessive. The repetition at the beginning is exciting and intriguing but it quickly wears off. The startling acts of the characters becomes too over the top and audacious. For me it is a very evocative and fascinating book that was a bit to jolty to really carry it off and although the idea of time being non-existent at the start was exciting two hundred of so pages in I was starting to lose my stamina. I found that the book felt like a jigsaw puzzle I had to put back together again but had no chance of doing so.
Overall I will probably look at this review in a few years and feel silly but right now this book was really difficult for me to read. I found it really interesting to read and I would definitely recommend but it is honestly nothing like I have ever read before.
*Sighs* this might be my favourite Top Ten Tuesday post so far. The actually topic is Ten books that would be on your syllabus X 101. Examples include YA, fantasy, classic literature, feminist literature, you get the idea. I’ve picked ‘life 101’ and I mean it, not in a literal way, but more of the way in which books teach you something. These books include teaching you how to pick yourself up, get over heart-break, family strains. These are the books that have given me something back.
1) The Last Lecture by Randy Pauch
This book, honest to the word, has helped in ways that I could have never expected it to. It talks of life in such an honest, wonderfully light and subtle way, but it talks of death, love and family too. The fact that author is dying as we read along makes it feel all the more destructive but it has a calming presence. It talks of never wasting time, living every day the way we want to and to take control. I haven’t really looked back since finishing this book.
2) Skin by Adrienne Maria Vrettos
I’ve never reviewed this book for mylittlebookblog, but I think I might soon. The book follows the main character as he comes to terms with his sister’s death from anorexia. It highlights the struggle of family life, the tough decisions we have to make, and the loss of people close to us. It’s a tale that I always dip into now and again and it’s written in a wonderfully lyrical style. My and sister and I rarely got on a couple of years back but now we’re a solid pair of besties. She’s one in a million.
3) ‘Giovanni’s Lover by James Baldwin
When I first started this book I didn’t think I would finish it let alone make its way onto this list, but this book taught me that there are some things, we cannot take back. I went through a lot of time not caring how I made other people feel because I barely cared about myself, at all. This book taught me that our decisions, our words, our actions towards others can be detrimental to people that we love. I know it seems trivial but I needed this to speak to me and tell me I needed to stop being an ass.
4) Eat, pray, love by Elizabeth Gilbert
Maybe a controversial choice, but this book helped to change the perception that I needed to plan out, almost exactly, how my life was going to pan out. I panicked about too many different elements in my life; relationships, career, where I was going to live etc. The mother bought this and told me to read it, get some perspective and calm the hell down. This was the starting blocks to letting go a little more and trusting me more.
5) Remember to breathe by Simon Pont
I have written about this book many, many a time but reading this really helped to break through my wailing and make me think that the collapse of my relationship was merely a blip in the road. I’ve met someone who is miles better for me, and just gets me and this book helped to smooth over all the feelings that were raging at the time.
6) Factotum by Charles Bukowski
Another maybe, odd choice? I’ve always worried a lot about where I’m going to be, in terms of career and this book made me think. I know that what I’m doing right isn’t right for me, it’s not challenging me but the main character in this book is all over the place. He’s changing jobs every second, turning up late, drunk, forgetting things falling asleep. Although quite obviously isn’t the way to do it, the way that you can change your life and do something else, even something polar opposite, made me positive that I’m never stuck. I can always go a different way.
7) The Fault in our stars by John Green
This also wasn’t going to make the list but I thought, fuck it. It’s a book about adoration, love, belief and pain. But it’s a tale that teaches us that pain and hurt exist, but to live in the present, in the moment you might say if you’re feeling all gushy. This book is worth a bloody read.
8) The Chocolate Run by Dorothy Koomson
I know this appears in all my lists but I couldn’t help myself once again. As I’ve come to terms with my anxiety many things I thought were ‘control-freak,’ tendencies were in fact my anxiety. I’ve struggled with losing friends in the past, holding on despite deceit, awkward silences and their brush-off manner. This book taught me it is okay to lose people, not because you want to but because it’s better, often for both of you.
9) Pearshaped by Stella Newman
Another tale about relationships but taken from the other side this book looks at the problems of unhealthy, manipulating and downright awful relationships. We are allowed to say when something is not up and stand up for ourselves. This books says that, loud and clear.
10) Finally, Alice in Wonderland by Lewis Carrol
I picked this because, some of the quotes features are so profound and special. I often like to ask people if they would like to be friends with Alice or be Alice, because her sudden change in perception is mind-blowingly beautiful. There are so many twisted bits of knowledge woven in and we see Alice grow as a person. It’s a classic book that means a lot to me and many readers and I’m glad it’s made the list.
I wrote a lot more here than I thought I would surprisingly but I thought this was a list where you really needed to explain why they made the list. This isn’t an extensive list (obviously) and when I read Wild, which I will do, I might have to include that as a bonus book because I think it might just change my outlook on everything but we’ll see. Another day another book.
I do love it when people comment and ask me and the choices, the reasons, and just hearing what you would add so if you have anything pop in down in the comments below. Lots of love and hugs, lizzy. X
annnnd for those that don’t know what Bout of Books is… here you go:
The Bout of Books read-a-thon is organized by Amanda @ On a Book Bender and Kelly @ Reading the Paranormal. It is a week long read-a-thon that begins 12:01am Monday, August 17th and runs through Sunday, August 23rd in whatever time zone you are in. Bout of Books is low-pressure. There are challenges, giveaways, and a grand prize, but all of these are completely optional. For all Bout of Books 14 information and updates, be sure to visit the Bout of Books blog. – From the Bout of Books team
I’m not quite sure how many books I will get completed but it’s going to be a lot of fun.
Books Read: 0
Pages Read: 105
Total Read: 105
Minutes Read: Lots of little bits so I’m not too sure.
Notes: I participated in the Fictional World Travel Challenge and I’m currently reading Little Women by Louisa May Alcott which I am really enjoying.
Books Read: 0
Pages Read: 67
Total Read: 172
Minutes Read: I forgot to time this as before
Notes: Ended up going for a raucous night out with the lovely people I call my friends up in SOT so I failed a little on the reading count. If I finish Little Women and get more stuck into 1Q84 I’ll be a happy bunny.
Books Read: 0
Pages Read: 145
Total Read: 317
Minutes Read: Couple of hours
Notes: Feeling much better about the challenge as of today although still have lots to get read. I’m reallly enjoying little women but I understand totally why I struggled so much with it as a younger reader. An evening in with T I didn’t get quite as much done as I wanted but hopefully Thursday we get a bit more done!
Books Read: 0
Pages Read: 655 (325)
Total Read: 642
Minutes Read: A few hours
Notes: I still haven’t finished a book because I switched and instead read The Death of Danny Daggers by author Haydn Wilks (@.) I’m really enjoying Little Women but it is a bit full on and I fancied something a bit lighter in terms of the language used. However, because TDODD it’s an ARC and a PDF copy the writing seems to be super big so although I did read 655 pages, I’m not sure this is a fair showing of how many pages so I’ve divided it by two. Which brings my total so far to 655 #holla.
Books Read: 2
Pages Read: 330
Total Read: 972
Minutes Read: A few hours
Notes: Today I finished reading The Death of Danny Daggers by author I Haydn Wilks (@.) I’m really just got into it, got my head down and polished it off. Brilliant book with some superb writing, characters and a really gritty feel. I also finished Little Women, I think I was in such a daze reading it that I didn’t realise I had only one chapter to go, so on the way home to Milton Keynes I finished it off. Pretty perfect.
Books Read: 2
Pages Read: 170
Total Read: 1142
Minutes Read: An hour or so
Notes: Apologies for the lack of updates over the weekend. I was at home for the weekend celebrating my sisters birthday and I just didn’t have a minute to get this updated. I didn’t have a lot of time for reading but I started reading ‘What Milo Saw’ by Virginia Macgregor. It’s beautiful so far.
Books Read: 3
Pages Read: 249
Total Read: 1391
Minutes Read: Just over two hours
Notes: After a busy weekend, T and I travelled home for a good rest and although I was so very tired I just about managed to polish off the last of What Milo Saw, and I was so close to tears. I need to write the review up today before I forget how beautiful it all was but yes, three books, read lots more than I thought and I’m tempted to write a close up piece to this challenge. Maybe, we’ll see.
Good M’rnin readers and happy Tuesday. I love Tuesdays because myself and the only other lady who works for the company (c’mon engineering catch up,) squirrel away to Morrisons and buy all sorts of things that are terrible for me trying to lose weight, (diet smiet I say.) Todays Top Tuesday’s post is to list ten top ten characters that are fellow book nerds and I’m worried that my list will be the same as everyone else’s so I’ve tried valiantly (and failed) to add more obscure characters. *wails*
Tengo from 1Q84 by Haruki Murakami
This book is taking me months to finish but Kenko is die-hard reading/writer and I find his gentle disposition and his attitude to reading and books so easy to relate to.
Meggie from Inkheart by Cornelia Funke
I struggled with this book as a younger reader but I’m so glad I finished it. She is a delightful young reader and a character I really felt I could relate to.
Hazel and Gus from The Fault In Our Stars by John Green
I can’t decide whether this will appear on all the lists of very few? We’ll see. Both adore books although they are polar opposites in terms of what they like to read. This quote is also utterly beautiful from the book and so, so true.
“Sometimes, you read a book and it fills you with this weird evangelical zeal, and you become convinced that the shattered world will never be put back together unless and until all living humans read the book.”
Charlie from the Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Cbosky
Another book I can’t decide whether will spring up on lots of lists, but Charlie loves to read and is encouraged by his teacher to write more and use the books to think and reflect upon his own life.
Mel from Bad Dreams by Anne Fine
Another slightly more obscure book although I am sure many have read this brilliant book. The premise of the book follows Mel who is an book-worm *cheers* and prefers to have her nose stuck in a book than make friends with her classmates. However she is made unwillingly to look after the new girl in school, Imogen, but all is not what it seems to be. Imogen is strange and mysterious and Mel is adamant to find out her secret.
Klaus Baudelaire from A Series of Unfortunate Events by Lemony Snicket
I loved this series of books and Klaus being an avid reader with an eidetic memory he had to make the list. Remembering virtually everything he reads he often helped his sisters escape from situations that their archenemy, Count Olaf, lead them to. A real bookish hero.
Liesel from The Book Thief by Marcus Zusak
I wasn’t going to include this one but it’s one that had to make the list. Also if you haven’t read this book, you need to. The number of book bloggers I know that have this as one of their *unofficial* favourite books is astonishing.
Cath from Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell
This is where I fail and just pick characters that just bookish through and through. Cath adores books and revels more in the fictional world than the real world. She’s a little darling.
Matilda from Matilda by Roald Dahl
Another very obvious choice but some of these you just can’t keep off the list because, you just can’t.
Finally, Hermione Granger from the Harry Potter series by J.K Rowling
Another pretty clear choice, but I loved Hermione. She is a gem.
They you go wonderful readers, ten bookish characters who love to read.