Monday, 19 May 2008
This was a strange experience of Deja Vu, having recently read the Alison Weir book, Innocent Traitor, see review below. This is a more male centric novel as our protagonist is male, and very young. I found this rather endearing as we followed his confusion and innocence at court. I also enjoyed it as it fleshed out more of the story and characters and they did not jar with Alison's novel but complemented it. As a critic I would have said that Alison Weir's novel is more literary, weighty and historical but Edward's is more fun. I think it might be interesting for reading groups to read the two together and compare them!
I already have ready to read the second outing of Richard Stocker our protagonist , in The Doges Daughters, so watch this space. I think this series may have promise.
Thursday, 15 May 2008
Friday, 9 May 2008
This is the first of a new series published by Pan Macmillan . I was lucky to receive a proof copy. Thanks Ellen.
Very much in the Manfredi/Iggulden genre, this is a reworking of the story of Odysseus, this book covers his winning of Penelope, something that I was not familiar with. I found it utterly fascinating, the historic detail was excellent. This was an easy and enjoyable read, and I am looking forward to the next instalments to see how he handles the more famous parts of the story.
As a personal read I can absolutely recommend it, I am not sure there would be much to discuss for a reading group.
This book is published in June.
Thursday, 8 May 2008
This is a great book and I am buying copies for our reading groups. It is a murder mystery based in Istanbul in 1886. It comes with reading group questions at the back as well.
I read this virtually in one sitting, reading late into the night. I just had to find out how it was resolved. It is very clever because it is fairly obvious on the whole what is going on to us the reader. To the protagonists it is not and the mistakes they make have you constantly reading with a wry smile on your face. The history of the time is interesting and handled I thought sensitively, Istanbul is of course exotic and oriental. There is much here that can be discussed........
It has been made into 2 films The Omega Man with Charlton Heston and the more recent excellent Will Smith version.
In my view this deservedly rates cult status, the sense of desolation, isolation and at times desperation remain with you after the novel has finished. The scenes with the dog are just heart rending - there may be tears.........
Finally why not read the book and then rent the movie, available both from a library near you!
I thought this was a fantastic novel. It is totally absorbing and although I already knew the history and the outcome, the fact that you became totally immersed in the characters and the period meant that you were still reading on the edge of your seat until the last chapter. The scenes in the tower were heart rending. Alison Weir is a historian and has written non-fiction books about this period and this really shows in the quality of the detail and in her writing. I cannot wait to read her next fiction novel on the young Elizabeth.
Having read Philppa Gregory with reading groups , I think this too would make a good reading group read.