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  • 22
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King's still got it!

Overall
5 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 13-09-2019

I love this book. It's a good premise, tightly written and it's classic King. If you like his "psychic kids" books like The Shining, Dr Sleep or even It (I know that's different), then you'll probably dig this.
I found his recent Bill Hodges Trilogy detective books a total snooze-fest. I don't know why he wrote so much in that world recently, it doesn't play to his strengths as a writer at all. I'm very glad he's back working on something he's good at with The Institute.

7 of 9 people found this review helpful

A bit of a struggle

Overall
2 out of 5 stars
Performance
2 out of 5 stars
Story
2 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 11-09-2019

I couldn't finish this. I loved Wilkins' book Giants of the Frost and the Autumn Castle was also pretty good.
I found the characters in this a bit cringeworthy and unlikeable. The writing and premise didn't really grab me either.
I'd suggest the other books I mentioned if you want to try Wilkins' work.

Fascinating journey into the origins of humanity

Overall
5 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 11-09-2019

I loved this. I had never heard of Yuval Noah Harari before coming across this but I'm glad I gave this book a shot!
He reminds me of authors like Christopher Hitchens who are able to take very complicated subjects and write concise, entertaining and insightful content about them. This isn't even a subject I normally spend much time reading about but this grabbed my attention right away and kept it throughout!

Mesmerising novel that is a bit too long

Overall
4 out of 5 stars
Performance
4 out of 5 stars
Story
4 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 04-09-2019

1Q84 is an excellent piece of fiction. The best parts are absolutely sublime. The worst parts are cheesy and a bit snooze-worthy.
Overall this is an great book. If you are a Murakami fan you'll find plenty to love here.
He could have written this book in 2/3rds of the length and got the important parts across though.
If you're new to Murakami I'd suggest Kafka on the Shore to see his genius at its absolute burning mercurial best.
If you've read his key works already and want more then yes I'd recommend picking this up and strapping in for one hell of a bizarre and beautiful ride.

Great crime novel!

Overall
4 out of 5 stars
Performance
4 out of 5 stars
Story
4 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 04-09-2019

Harper is a real Aussie talent.
This might sound funny but it reminds me of Dan Brown. A carefully crafted modern novel that moves things along scene by scene seamlessly in quite a cinematic way.
Anyone who has lived in small town country Australia will get a lot of the vibes here.
If you want a riveting Aussie crime novel I can't think of anything better to recommend than this, although admittedly it's not a genre I normally read so I wouldn't know the competition. It's def not any kind of genius-level work of fiction but it's a good read. Worth a credit.

Interesting idea but way too long

Overall
3 out of 5 stars
Performance
3 out of 5 stars
Story
3 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 31-08-2019

This would be an riveting read if it was half as long.
The premise is interesting, and it has a strong start and wraps up well.
There's a very long section of events in the middle that just drags on and on though. The female lead character is a tad annoying and this gets more grating as the book goes on.
It’s quite similar to Stephen King’s writing. Overall it’s a decent post-apocalyptic story.

A bit dry and academic

Overall
2 out of 5 stars
Performance
2 out of 5 stars
Story
1 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 26-08-2019

Disclaimer: I only got 1/3rd of the way through, I couldn't get any further.
OK so I like Hitchens but the other authors in this book don't have an ounce of his panache for writing.
I'm sure they're all very important thinkers but their writing is mostly very stuffy and academic.
It felt like studying for an exacting exam on historic atheist thought.
If you're expecting witty engaging writing like Hitchens', there's not a whole lot of it on display here (unless it really picks up further in the book). I'd recommend this for someone willing to engage with academic writings on atheism rather than someone looking for a well-paced, engaging read.
Furthermore, this is a heavily abridged version.

Entertaining and candid bio

Overall
5 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 24-08-2019

This is a pretty great biography. I'm not an Apple megafan, but I still found plenty to enjoy here.
The bio is honest about Jobs' many failings and seems to get to the heart of what made him great.
Jobs led an interesting and varied life and there's a lot more to it than I previously realised. If you're interested in a great story about an innovator and free thinker and what made him tick, I'd recommend it.

Epic, imaginative sci fi jaunt

Overall
4 out of 5 stars
Performance
4 out of 5 stars
Story
4 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 22-08-2019

This is a pretty great book. If you're new to Vonnegut I'd suggest starting with Slaughterhouse Five though, as I think that's stronger.
Overall this book is powerful piece from a totally unique author. It's very, very strange and I have to admit I'm not sure what Vonnegut was trying to say with a lot of it. I understood the plot in simple terms but I don't really get what it all meant in a deeper sense. It's certainly open to a lot of different interpretations.
Try it if you want a totally odd-ball and eye-opening read that you won't get from any other author.

A bit of a slog, even for a fan

Overall
2 out of 5 stars
Performance
2 out of 5 stars
Story
2 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 13-08-2019

OK I like Hitchens but getting through this was a struggle.
There's occasional brilliant moments, like his hilarious description of bartering with a ruthless streetwalker and the sexual escapades of his youth (swinging both ways).
However these great moments are outweighed by many tedious accounts of interactions with various leftists or political players who were relevant in the 70s or 80s in the UK and the US. Unless you have a particular interest in the politics and journalism of many decades past, you'll probably find large tracts of this book dull.