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The Word’s… Book Reviews by Title

All books reviewed by The Word… are listed alphabetically.

Catching the Barramundi

Author: Rebecca Burns - Pain and suffering. How often have we heard these words in today’s world and all throughout history? They never go away. How they are dealt with varies from century to century, place and person. No matter what the scenario, such fundamental emotions traverse time, individuals and outcome. They signify an aspect of human frailty and vulnerability and while the stories may be different, the raw emotional core is the same. ... KEEP READING

Cider with Rosie by Laurie Lee

Author: Laurie Lee - I'm not exactly sure when I first read Laurie Lee's Cider with Rosie, I know that it was a course book that I read at school when I was young. The copy which I still have is from when I was 14, it's one of the few books that has survived my various moves around the UK and Europe. And although I first read it as a child, it's one of those books that I have come back to again and again as I grew older because with each reading it offered up something new and interesting to me. ... KEEP READING

Far from the Madding Crowd

Author: Thomas Hardy - “Far from the Madding Crowd” is Thomas Hardy's most satisfying novel. Set over the course of one year, the book follows the trails and tribulations of Bathsheba Everdene as she pursues or is pursued by a trio of suitors, Gabriel Oak, Francis Troy and William Boldwood. The implications for her suitors are dramatic as is the impact on Fanny Robin the other major character in the novel. ... KEEP READING

Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet

Author: Jamie Ford - Henry Lee, a middle-aged Chinese American, watches in fascination as an old Seattle hotel, boarded up for forty years, is re-opened by its new owners. In the basement, a startling discovery is made – the belongings, in trunks and suitcases, of Japanese families who had been arrested and incarcerated in camps just after the attack on Pearl Harbour, under suspicion of being enemy spies. ... KEEP READING

Life After Life

Author: Kate Atkinson - This is a clever, beautifully constructed novel - some people would say that it was circular, but I see it more as a series of overlapping loops. Where they touch, the plot changes it's direction and the life of the protagonist, Ursula, takes a different path, as do the lives of the other characters. Ursula is born, dies immediately: is born and lives to be five; is born and lives to be twelve; and so on, until she lives out her proper span.... KEEP READING

Madame Bovary

Author: Gustave Flaubert - Cited as one of the greatest of French novels with Emma Bovary, the eponymous heroine of Flaubert's novel, often spoken of in the same breathe as Tolstoy's greatest creation Anna Karenina. Well, I have to say, I'm not convinced. I can appreciate the style and the sense of boredom and desperation that Flaubert so effectively created in his first novel, however I find it very hard to feel any sympathy for his supreme creation Emma Bovary.... KEEP READING

Slaughterhouse Five

Author: Kurt Vonnegut - If you have never read "Slaughterhouse Five", by Kurt Vonnegut, you may feel it is one of those books that you should know more about it than you do. You’ve heard of the book, some say a seminal 60’s work, and you believe it is an anti-war story but you don’t know much else. When a friend lent me a copy and I eventually got around to reading it... KEEP READING

The Alexandria Quartet

Author: Lawrence Durrell - The Alexandria Quartet published between 1957 and 1960 is undoubtedly Lawrence Durrell’s greatest achievement. Across four books, Justine, Balthazar, Mountolive and Clea, Durrell captures the 1930s world of Alexandria, a city bubbling with love, lust, abuse, extreme wealth and poverty and the cruelty that inevitability grows from such an intoxicating melange. This heady brew is further enlivened by the political intriguing and the first stirrings of nationalism.... KEEP READING

The Humans

Author: Matt Haig - Well I have to say I was a little reluctant to read “The Humans” by Matt Haig. However as it was suggested by my little sis Chris and she followed up the suggestion by pressing a copy of the damn thing into my sweaty palms, it was when we had our summer, you remember don't you, July, hence the sweaty palms. Anyway, there was no way out, I couldn't say no without appearing to be more of a curmudgeon than I normally am. ... KEEP READING