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As I noted in the other thread on SVZ's book, I finished reading it and I thoroughly recommend it as a good read; he has an easy writing style that makes it feel like he is simply talking to you and sharing his story like a raconteur. 

Since I only read cover notes after finishing a book, I now find I'm in tune with Paul McCartney, Bob Dylan and Bruce in cheering this book on:-)

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Finished "A History of Protest Songs - 33 Revolutions Per Minute" by Dorian Lynskey, published in 2010.

A hefty, readable and comprehensive tome that has left me feeling pretty gloomy. So much passionate engagement in various good causes over years and see how things are now!

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  • 2 weeks later...

Utopia Avenue by David Mitchell.

The main story is about the rise of a late-60s band and is very good although there are some clunky scene-setting references to numerous celebs of the day.

What I didn't like was the insertion of a secondary story (the author probably thinks it's the main point of the book) about incorporeal beings traveling through time and space in different hosts or some such gibberish. He's made this a part of a few of his books and it's getting tired. Luckily, it doesn't take up too much of the book.

Overall, I'd definitely recommend it.

9781444799477.jpg

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4 hours ago, bdw said:

Utopia Avenue by David Mitchell.

The main story is about the rise of a late-60s band and is very good although there are some clunky scene-setting references to numerous celebs of the day.

What I didn't like was the insertion of a secondary story (the author probably thinks it's the main point of the book) about incorporeal beings traveling through time and space in different hosts or some such gibberish. He's made this a part of a few of his books and it's getting tired. Luckily, it doesn't take up too much of the book.

Overall, I'd definitely recommend it.

9781444799477.jpg

I've "looked inside" on Amazon. My heart sank immediately on seeing that this book is written in the present tense. :angry:

I HATE THAT.

Nearly every new novel I've picked up in recent years makes use of this affectation.   WHY?  I want to be told a story, I don't want to be made to feel that I'm standing in the corner watching the characters like a film extra.  Hope this is just a fad and it goes out of fashion soon.

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6 hours ago, Rizla said:

I've "looked inside" on Amazon. My heart sank immediately on seeing that this book is written in the present tense. :angry:

I HATE THAT.

Nearly every new novel I've picked up in recent years makes use of this affectation.   WHY?  I want to be told a story, I don't want to be made to feel that I'm standing in the corner watching the characters like a film extra.  Hope this is just a fad and it goes out of fashion soon.

Hmm. That's the kind of thing that goes right over my head. I read the book and didn't notice the tense. Why would I? I was immersed in the story. I wasn't going to write a dissertation on it.

I don't have any kind of answer to that level of criticism other than that it would seem to preclude you from reading a fair amount of books - possibly a good thing given the amount of dross published these days. Give this one a go, it's enjoyable.

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3 hours ago, Eileen said:

I'm intrigued. If I see a copy of one of his books in the shop I'll give it a go just to see what you two are on about.

You can see it right now.

Find the book on Amazon

See the picture of the book? 

image.png.29e2acdc657590d4dcec015ba16363d2.png

Click on the "Look inside" (on the website, not here!)
You can then read the first few pages by scrolling down.

 

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On 10/10/2021 at 2:56 PM, Eileen said:

Should I read his books from the start or wouldn't it matter?

You don't need to read the others before trying this - the references are of incidental interest (one character being the great-great-whatever grandson of a character in a previous book and although there's a bit of a connection it's not necessary to have read the other book).

I still think Cloud Atlas is his best but I read it a long time ago. 

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On 10/9/2021 at 12:34 PM, Rizla said:

I've "looked inside" on Amazon. My heart sank immediately on seeing that this book is written in the present tense. :angry:

I HATE THAT.

Nearly every new novel I've picked up in recent years makes use of this affectation.   WHY?  I want to be told a story, I don't want to be made to feel that I'm standing in the corner watching the characters like a film extra.  Hope this is just a fad and it goes out of fashion soon.

I started reading Jemison's "Broken Earth" series about a year ago, but gave it up halfway through because so much was written in the second person.  Quite off-putting.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Trudi Canavan's "Maker's Curse" book, the fourth and last of the Millennium's Rule series.

Given the author's health problems - she could only write for an hour a day -  it is a testament to her resolve that she brought the series to a conclusion at all. 

 

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"Rotherweird" by Andrew Caldecott - an intriguing page-turning story that mixes history, mystery and fantasy. Very original and it seemed just right in terms of 'mood' for Hallowe'en, by coincidence, so I raced through it. There are 2 further books to be enjoyed too.

Reading it called to mind the 'town and gown' divisions familiar from "Inspector Morse", with additional, new and more extreme twists. The author is a QC.

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1 hour ago, janeymarywendy said:

Very good - told from a 'German/Jewish' perspective and the narrator is Death.  I've a feeling it's a childrens' book?

Amazon blurb says it's the author's first adult book.

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Having posted a negative review a few posts above, here is one I do recommend;

 

Javier Marias ; Berta Isla. I read another by him a year or so ago ( Thus Bad Begins) which was only so so . I read this a couple of weeks back and it is really rather good....despite some comically long sentences ( I'd really really struggle to read it in the original Spanish).

It is part thriller/ mystery and part a rumination on the passage of time and its effect on relationships.  I think some of his characters crop up in other books by him...I bought two more last week, but don't think this will have lessened the impact of it

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I had a review copy of this

https://www.penguin.co.uk/books/144/1444175/the-herd/9781787634886.html

I hate giving a bad review in these circumstances, but sadly I'm not the target audience for it.  I found it very predictable and boring. 
As can instantly be guessed, it's about parents deciding whether or not to vaccinate their children.  What you expect to happen is what happens, there are no surprises, and the characters are not likeable so it's hard to sympathise with any of them.

Parents of young children and Mumsnet posters will probably love it though.

9781787634886.jpg

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  • 2 weeks later...

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