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The Concubines Child

Reasonably well written but a weak story line

Carol Jones The Concubines Child
It is a multi-generational tale of a family haunted by the death of a young concubine in 1930s. Essentially a critique of a custom that is still commonly practised widely throughout Asia. It is naive, lacking substance and authenticity.

Just another story which doesn’t really get anywhere.

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We the Survivors

Written by Tash Aw, We The Survivors is as good a read as any I have found.
We the Survivors Tash Aw
He has a comfortable, easy style and his narrative about nothing much, held my attention, despite everything it was not. If there was a theme it was grinding poverty and the futility of trying to change things that remain the same. Life inevitably returning to where it begins.

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The Island

A novel based on the true story of Spinalonga, a leper colony established on an island off the coast of Crete.Victoria Hislop The Island
The book is salvaged from deteriorating into a tiresomely predictable love story by the account of life on the island in the leper colony. That struggle between adversity and the emergence of the human spirit.

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Single & Single

Supposedly written by John le Carre, Single & Single was a nasty shock.

John le Carre Single and Single

It irritated me from the first couple of lines. Hollow and unconvincing, the book didn’t improve and I abandoned it very quickly.

Previously I have read and thoroughly enjoyed reading, Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy, Little Drummer Girl as well as his Spy Who Came In From The Cold. But this book was disappointing and badly written, raising the question of whether John le Carre is not overrated as a writer and capitalising on the success of his earlier books.

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Lazy bones

Readable but only just. I needed the help of Google to recall the story line of this book by Mark Billingham.
Mark Billingham Lazy Bones

The unfolding plot is both clumsy and contrived. In particular, the attempt at an erotic twist in the tale. Inserted for impact rather than content, the punch line falls flat. Clumsy and puerile. Only suggested if there is nothing else to hand.

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A Shout in the Ruins

An excellent read. Well written, thought provoking, engaging.

A shout in the ruins - Kevin Powers

Alternates between two narrative threads – one set in Virginia in the US, during and after the American civil war, and the other in the 1950’s as one of the characters retraces the path to his roots. Capturing the themes of conflict, oppression and ultimately resignation and reconciliation.

I felt that the author rushed the ending which was maybe a little too abrupt.

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Mark Allan

Mike Hampton has a lot say. None of which is complimentary. Very active on the net. The very antithesis of what should be.

And the reason for this post.

I was one of half a dozen people to have challenged him in court. A forum where he has lost every time. Despite which it has little impact on him, on and the damage he does. He simply doubles down and it has taken this long to get any measure of accountability.

‘Irrational, offensive’ blogger jailed for six months without internet access