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About weestretch

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    reading and going to gigs
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  1. I'm glad you started this thread! I read this book a few weeks ago and was pleasantly suprised by it. I owned it for quite a while before I ventured to read it (another non-returned editors choice!) and the summary of the book put me off. I enjoyed the contrast in the descriptions of modern and historical relationships and like that the author didn't feel compelled to tie up all the loose ends. Worth a read
  2. I love Margret Atwood so I'm coming at this from a biased point of view but please stick with the book. The story does start slowly but I found myself becoming more and more engaged with it. It is quite a while since I last read it but I do recall it kept me on my toes concentrating on the story within a story.
  3. I had expected to hate this book - it was the editors choice that I forgot to send back. I was running low on reading material so I thought I would give it a go and much to my surprise I really enjoyed it. I must admit the "plot twists" weren't so twisty and it wasn't an intellectual challenge but it was a really enjoyable story. Suspend belief and stick with it, you might just be surprised.
  4. I have to agree with the undeniable - it is very short, couldn't have taken me more than 2 and a half to three hours to read. I do like Ian McEwan and asI think I have mentioned before on these pages it is his ability to descibe a situation in the minutest detail yet still make it rivetting, that is his greatest skill. The descriptions of Florence's and Edwards feelings as they neared the cosummation of their marriage reminded me of the feelings of catholic guilt felt many moons ago! I too almost thought Edward deserved a happy ending and then I reminded myself this was an Ian McEwan novel! I do love that he doesn't feel the compulsion for the tidy ending that seems to be omnipresent these days. Whilst I will cherish my beautiful hard-covered copy I think that it can wait for the paperback or the library if you're not so sure, however if you splash out now I'm sure it will be one you will read again and again
  5. Whilst I would only support her desire to have us all think more carefully about what we eat I have concerns that her diet plans do not have balance and are based on fad-eating.
  6. Has anyone else read the Progressive Patriot? I'm a Billy Bragg fan anyway but I wasn't so sure how he would translate into print. The book was an engaging mix of his personal history and a history of England (should this post be in the Biography section?) Any views?
  7. From what I've read so far it has been easy enough to keep track of the stories. They are laid out in blocks of chapters so it seems like separate stories that all get tied up at the end. I would definitely recommend it and even if you do have to back track a page or two you will probably get more out of the book anyway!
  8. I'm around halfway through the Weight of Numbers and whilst I may be judging too soon I would advise reading this book as soon as possible. For those who haven't read it, it has four main characters, each with very individual stories and histories. The blurb on the back of the book advises that the are all linked. But perhaps a better description was one in the Guardian (11/03/06) by Chris Petit This rolling story, with its dazzling, admirable narrative nerve, travelling through space and time, across continents and generations, dependent less on the usual principles of fiction than a reinvention of the past as though it were science fiction, informed by Milgram's six degrees of separation and the snares and brakes of late western capitalism. The part that I'm enjoying the most is trying to figure out how characters so separated by their position in time are linked. The book is littered with clues but I still can't wait to read on to discover if I'm right. What does anyone else think?
  9. I've just finished reading Atonement and found it compelling reading. I had previously only read one Ian McEwan novel, Saturday, and although initially found that one hard to get into, it was well worth the effort as the story unfolded. Atonement grabbed my attention at a much earlier point and reinforced my belief that no-one can write in such detail about such short periods of time and still make it interesting like Ian McEwan. I loved the story telling from the different point of view and loved the ending - it seemed truly honest. Reading these two novels has urged me on to read all his previous work - Enduring love has proved a great read so far!
  10. I finally got around to reading notes on a scandal (prompted by the movie release) and found it completely compelling. I didn't feel any empathy with any of the characters but loved the feeling of spying on their lives. Without wishing to spoil the ending I thought it was fitting as it left so much room for your own thoughts. I have resisted seeing the film but think I should watch it now just to see how they have handled it. I do wish I hadn't been aware of the casting before I read the book as I could only imagine Judi Dench the whole way through however I think it was probably an inspired piece of casting.
  11. Hello as usual I have managed to do everything the wrong way round, posted lots first then realised i should have introduced myself...how rude! I have varied tastes and will read almost anything. Not a massive fan of sci-fi however if someone sells me a story i'll give it a go. I'm not inclined to read bonk-buster type best sellers and not one for the marian keyes type of writing. That's it. Thanks for having me
  12. I hadn't read any Patrick McGrath before this one but I really enjoyed this novel. To my shame I had foorgotten about this book and him until I saw this thread. The novel itself is truly absorbing and is a great one to curl up and read on the sofa when the wind is howling outside (adds to the atmospher if the book I think!) I', off now to seek out some more MvGrath and beat myself with a birch twig for forgetting.
  13. When I started the thread I was almost finished the book. I finished it this morning and whilst I would still say I enjoyed the book I felt a little cheated by the ending as it was a bit predictable. Don't let that put you off reading it, its still a good book but I want to feel a little more challenged next time. B+ Iain - still room for improvement!
  14. I'm almost finished reading tha steep approach to Garbadale and once again Iain Banks has hooked me without me even noticing. This novel has more in common with The Crow Road with its family theme than some of the others. Its not an earth shatteringly exciting story but it still managed to keep my interest. Iain Banks makes you feel that you are in the story and that you're also being "let in" on the family secrets. It isn't his best work but its still a good read, it won't tax your brain but it will satisfy an Iain Banks addicts' fix!
  15. Douglas Coupland ia great writer and this time he even makes an appearance in his own book. Jpod revolves around a central character and his close friends and family. Whilst the main character works in software (not a great departure for Coupland) its the side stories that make this particularly interesting. If you've never read Coupland before then you will find the layout of his books unusual - I don't see it as "page wasting gimmicks" but think it reflects Coupland's art combining with his writing - make up your own mind
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