You know what you’re going to get with Mr Wilde, he’s clever and he’s funny, and he makes sure you know it. From this play, you quickly realise you probably wouldn’t want to sit next to him at a dinner party, because he’d probably talk you’re head off. And once he’d sufficiently dazzled you, he’d go and dazzle someone else. This is clever writing, but as with most of his work, the characters are not well-developed because they all talk like Mr Wilde. I ended up feeling like I was being ranted at, and all I could do was nod and smile.
It’s good sometimes to read a book written by people that get as frustrated as you about the little things in life, like pebbledash punctuation. Reading this book is a little like group therapy. Ah, I’m not alone here. Hurrah.
In general I don’t condone OCD, seeing it rather as a weakness than a strength; grammar is the exception to the rule.
Not a massively catchy title. This is a short but beautiful book, mostly it is written by the man himself and edited by Hodder-Williams, with a few comments by him also. It gives a really good idea of what went on in the trenches, and what life was like for ‘Tommy’.
As he says himself: ‘Isn’t it wonderful how many sorrows the British army can drown in a cup of tea?’ I reckon it’s changed a bit since then though.
There is one particular bit, in which the soldier writes about his experiences with the YMCA (while it was still effective, and before it had completely sold out on its origins): ‘I am sure everyone was overstocked with chocolates and cigarettes, for we all kept returning to the counter to buy something just for the sake of a smile or a ‘How are you getting on, Tommy?’ from one of our hostesses. The whistle blew and we all made a rush for our trucks. The ladies stood in a body at the end of the paltform, and as each truck passed waved and wished us good luck. The noise we made was deafening; we cheered and cheered until the little group of England’s unknown heroines on the platform passed from sight. Our hearts were very full.’ That just about says it all. I had to pause a little bit at this point. The line between life and death in this book is so thin, and these acts of kindness really hit home almost as much for the reader as they must have done for the soldiers involved.
There’s also the camaraderie and humour of the trenches too: ‘We have a rare lot of ditties. We often sing across ‘Has anyone seen a German Band,’ or ‘I want my Fritz to play twiddly bits on his old trombone.’ We really have a good bit of fun at times; other days are – crudely, but truthfully putting it – ‘Hell’.’
It’s so sad that these people had to give so much. I wonder what they’d think if they were able to come back. That’s probably not a good thing to wonder.
This is the sort of book you need to read now and again. Like when you forget that Britain hasn’t always been like this. Sometimes it’s been Great.
Looks like Disney needs to check his sources. The chap who wrote this account had a bit of a downer on Captain Smith’s record-keeping, but apart from the frequent jibes at Smith’s erratic memory for dates, it’s quite an interesting story. He makes the interesting point that if Pocahontas hadn’t died when she did, the story would have been a load less romantic as the fashionable types of the time became bored with the Indian princess. As it was she died with her foreign mystique intact, as well as her faith in the goodness of the average Englishman(!)
A remarkably well-written book, as the author says, his intention was to: ‘on the one hand, catalogue the horrors of Alzheimr’s, and on the other, relay the hopeful story of the race to cure the disease,’ however, throughout the book, not only does he write about how the disease and the research into its cure progresses, but also how he changed his thinking as he immersed himself in the communities of sfferers, caregivers, and scientists. It’s a clever book, but it’s friendly and readable. It makes an interesting subject even more compelling.
In this play, Mr Wilde’s wit sparkles rather than dazzles, which is a relief. Again though, there is little to identify the characters othen than stage directions. What Mr Wilde lacks in character development he makes up for in wit – although if you’re reading it, it can get a little confusing as to who’s who, and who’s related to whom. It’s an OK plot, with OK characters made funny by the writing.
This is lovely, it’s a children’s book; but because of the way it’s written, it is a good light read for adults too. Five children find a psammead (sand fairy) and the rest of the book is concerned with the chaos that occurs each day that the psammead grants the children a wish.
Wonderful book, I think this is the fourth time I’ve read it, and I’d forgotten what a well-rounded, well-written book it is. It’s a longish book, so it’s perfect for a holiday, or a time when you’re able to spend hours devouring it.
The characters are well drawn, Mr Rochester is tremendous and multi-dimensional, and what I noticed this time round was that Miss Brontë writes an accurate account of what it’s like to be ‘zapped’ by the Holy Spirit. Interesting, although it shouldn’t be surprising, that people were familiar with it then too.
An truly amazing work of literature.
Sometimes it’s good to read something you wouldn’t normally choose. I have absolutely no desire to go to the Antarctic and munch on penguin legs and seal fritters, but this is an excellent book. These men had it hard. The success of their mission relied on good organisation, but it succeeded or failed on the state of the weather – and in this case it failed. Not only this, but they were mostly completely cut off from e outside world, to the point that they had to rescue themselves – and even that was touch and go. Exploring just isn’t the same today. This book is refreshing because it makes you realise how people struggled to make the discoveries and achievements they did. From reading this I am filled with admiration for the guts of these men, it’s amazing what they did and what they attempted. It’s not all Goretex and GPS.
This is an interesting book. It was written before the big discoveries such as that of antibiotics, and yet the majority of what Miss Nightingale says is still good nursing practice today. Not only did she revolutionise nursing in her lifetime, she still has wisdom to offer nurses today (perhaps with the exception of the bit about keeping a lid on your ‘utensil’). It’s nicely written too, it’s a good read.
Jane Austen is the queen of character development, probably because she’s so socially observant – no quirk or defect seems to escape her, and they appear in the characters of this book, particularly Mssrs Wickham, Collins, Lucas and even Darcy. This is a true classic because not only does it combine good characters with a good plot, it’s beautifully written, scarily insightful and has plenty of social comment. People don’t change, and although we don’t say to each other ‘My dear, would you care for a turn about the room? It’s so refreshing!’ or similar, we’re basically the same animals driven by the same things and subject to the same foibles. And that’s what makes Miss Austen such a genius.
It’s one of those books you hear about and think ‘I really must read that’. And then you take some time of work, get it from the library and settle down to read. And you get ever so slightly disappointed. It gets bigged up quite a lot, considering that there isn’t a huge amount of plot – but it makes up for that with a lot of yachtty technical jargon and stuff about tides. Not massively my kind of book, however, the two main characters were really well thought out, both of them endearing – particularly Davies’ penchant for looking for stuff to throw overboard. I’m glad I read it, but it was a mite disappointing.
Mr Wilde is the king of the slightly complicated plot where all the messy bits get tied up at the end. The plot is great, the ending is gratifyingly predictable and there are some tremendous lines in it (not including the infamous ‘handbag’ one that gets murdered so often by am-drammers). The only negatives are that because Mr Wilde is so incredibly clever and funny, ALL of his characters sound like him, and therefore they sound alike, so when reading the play (rather than watching it) it’s sometimes necessary to keep checking whose talking. Massively entertaining though.
This is a quick read, nothing wrong with that. It also gives a frighteningly accurate account of the spiritual bankruptcy of the Church of England today. Mr Bennett is shrewdly observant and his descriptions strip away the façade to reveal the rather pathetic motive beneath. As with all Mr Bennett’s writing, again here’s one which leaves the reader with a forlorn sense, although at times it’s quite difficult to see why.
It’s probably a good idea to avoid the film; this book could never have justice done to it on the screen. Although it is ostensibly a book for older children, its sensitivity and subtlety mean that probably the huge majority of older children will enjoy the plot and the characters, but not understand the undertones and nuances. There are some biblical concepts within the plot, some of them reasonably overt, and some less so; and the plot is not the usual predictable pap that kids seem to get fed these days. It is a masterpiece of writing, its entire concept is unusual, its characters are well-drawn and well-rounded – and in short it is one of those rare books that you really can bury yourself in, only to emerge out the other side with perhaps a slightly different view of things. This is a lovable book that while being gentle is at the same time powerful, and well before its time. In fact, were it to be written today, it would still be ahead of its time. Beautiful.