Tuesday 21 August 2007
This book did really well - a bestseller I think - from a very successful writer (Mitch Albom). I have to ask: why? The protagonist's marriage has failed, he has turned to drink, his family disowning him (not even inviting him to his daughter's wedding), and he almost had a baseball career but quits his dull job, and is now considering killing himself. His childhood was spent trying to please his father (who deserted his mother for another woman) and taking his mother for granted, which he now regrets as she is dead. On the way to his old family home to kill himself, he is involved in an accident. A little dazed he staggers on towards his old own where he meets his mother,and gets to spend a day with her. The day is interspersed with flashbacks of his childhood plus a new appreciation for his mother, before he is returned to life by the medics, no longer suicidal but anxious to make amends with his daughter and estranged wife. Well, apart from the unoriginal story line, the uninteresting glimpses of childhood (dull and lacking in insight), and the cliched characters - it's probably wouldn't be bad if it had anything else. Which it doesn't (the writing is polished enough, though the language unexciting). So - don't bother.
Rating: Darren Shan wannabe
52. The Prestige
I enjoyed this book though I would have enjoyed it more if I hadn't seen the film first. Well written, characters well drawn, and interesting idea. I did think the plot was a little thin for a full length novel - but if I hadn't known what was going on (more of less), I might have found it more intriguing.
Rating: Curate's Egg (Good in spots).
53. The Coffin Dancer
I enjoyed this a lot. I read it before I read The Bone Collector (first in the series, excellent film made) but not having read the first did not impair my enjoyment. Exciting thriller, interesting forensics, and good characters. Jeffrey Deaver does go in for a lot of twists at the end of his books, perhaps one too many but very well done here.
Rating: Not Bad
54. Left to Tell
True story of a Tutsi woman surviving the holocaust by hiding in a pastor's tiny bathroom with 18 other women and trusting in God. Her parents sounded wonderful saintly people, who were brutally murdered, as were two of her three brothers. An upsetting read, especially reading the accounts of her family's murders, but it shows how quickly people can descend into evil killing gangs. Imaculee, the author, now works for the UN trying to promote forgiveness and peace in Rwanda. It's remarkable how she can forgive the killers, who were once family friends, neighbours or locals whom her parents had helped.
Rating: Not for the faint hearted
55. Something Wicked This Way Comes
I enjoyed this atmospheric tale by Ray Bradbury of the evil circus that comes to town, although too much time is spent by the father agonising over his age without resolving it totally.
Rating: Not Bad
Friday 17 August 2007
I assume that many of Mungo's supporters were too busy anticipating his new book to vote, or realise that one existed.
I wonder how many of those eligible to vote in December actually voted on this poll.
It would also be interesting to know where the respective nodpots stand in relation to points accumulated so far this year - as you know, these points count as much as votes on the day. Perhaps Marvin could supply us with this information?
We shall run the poll again in a couple of months time to see if people's views change.
Monday 13 August 2007
51. THE SECRET OF CRICKLEY HALL by James Herbert.
Gabe, an engineer, moves his family (wife Eve and two girls, Loren and Cally) to Crickley Hall for a couple of months while he works in the nearby town. Gabe and Eve are mourning the loss of their son Cam, who was abducted from a park a year previously. Crickley Hall has its own tragic past, as 11 evacuated orphans and their guardian all perished on the night of the big storm during the Second World War. Now it seems that the house is haunted by the ghosts of the dead and Eve won’t leave because she hopes to find a link to her missing son through the dead children.
Ok, this book is long – over 600 hundred pages – and stories of haunted houses should be scary, right? Well, er, not in this case. I expected more from the author of The Fog. I think a good editor could have brought this book down to 200 pages and it would have improved immensely. This was not my cup of tea.
2/10 Darren Shan Wannabe
52. THE EMPTY CHAIR by Jeffery Deaver
Once more top criminalist Lincoln Rhyme and top cop Amelia Sachs are collecting evidence and walking the grid to fight crime, except this time they are fish out of water in the backwoods of Carolina. Yet again Jeffery Deaver has produced an interesting, well written thriller which breathes new life into the formula.
7/10 Not bad.
53. HURIN’S CHILDREN by J.R.R Tolkien
You can not fault the works of Tolkien that were published during his life, but I have questions about his posthumous works, published by his son Christopher. Always a perfectionist, Tolkien worked on several different versions of this story (and a short version is included in the Simerillion) but was never finished one to his satisfaction. While there are parts of this tale that are brilliant, a lot of it is stilted and I can’t imagine Tolkien ever allowing it to print if he were still alive. The plot reads like a Greek tragedy with elves.
6/10 Curate’s Egg
54. ST MARGARET CLITHEROW by Margaret T Monro
A concise biography of an amazing martyr under the reign of Elizabeth 1st. An inspiring tale of an admirable woman and her trials and eventual death, as well as providing a snap shot into life in England at the time and the systematic eradication of the Catholic faith.
55. THE STONE MONKEY by Jeffery Deaver
This is the fourth Jeffery Deaver in the Lincoln Rhyme series. I really enjoyed the other three and I was expecting another exciting thriller with my favourite characters, Rhyme and Sachs, in this book, but I was disappointed. I suppose every author throws a dud here and there. This book is about human smuggling from China to America and involves Rhyme trying to hunt down a ‘snakehead’ (a human trafficker) before he kills the surviving passengers of a ship he blew up. I caught Lethal Weapon 4 on telly the other night, and the plot is pretty much the same except Murtagh and Riggs are slightly more entertaining. Apparently Deaver considers this to be his best Lincoln Rhyme book. Perhaps there is a lesson to be learned in this. The book that the author likes best is never his best book.
Thursday 9 August 2007
I suppose, the reverse is also true.
Wednesday 8 August 2007
Mr Murder and The Heart-shaped Box were tied for second place.
Thanks for voting everyone!
Watch out for August reads - reviews returning to this blog in the near future!
Sunday 5 August 2007
I would therefore like to publicly invite Marvin, Chairtoy of the Disresponsible Nodpots, to contribute an article on the history of the DNs, the ups and downs, and what the future promises. I think I could promise a fascinated audience.
To celebrate the occasion, most of the Nodpots travelled to the Big Smoke (otherwise known as Dublin). Blueberry refused to travel, and Rusty was unable to. In Dublin, the travelling DNs (Inkpot, Marvin, Parsley, Mungo and Sparkie) met up with those who habitually remain there (October, November and Inkpot). The more sporty Nodpots then headed out to Kilmacanogue for some rifle practice and clay pigeon shooting.The sniper at work
Reloading for more...
A less than scary sniper...
Returning with a fine bag, the Nodpots then turned their attention to lunch and Frasier, afterwards allowing Cocoa and Champagne (who strangely turned up for DN Day) a chance to play Balders Gate.
In time honoured fashion, the Nodpots then requested a nap before going out for dinner (though I believe they may have watched Frasier instead, to C & C's disgust).Looks as happy as C & C as they decimate their enemies...
Dinner on this momentuous occasion was in Bellagios, Terenure. We have no photos or records from this meal, but our understanding is that it was most enjoyable. Then back to Churchtown to finish the evening off with Balders Gate.
To celebrate the day properly, the country DNs stayed the night, only returning home the next day after a traditional breakfast (and more Balders Gate).
Was it really a Cocoa and Champagne day out, I wonder?
Anyway, we managed to purloin a few snaps of some of the DNs on the range (see above & below).
Thursday 2 August 2007
The issues seem to be these:
There's no place for extra comments
Can't vote for something not on the list
There's a limit of 5 items so several polls have to be done.
As we stated the other day, this was a trial. To give people the option to leave comments etc, please post your vote here as before.
The books are:
Fly by Night
The Good Guy
What Dreams Make Come
The Coffin Dancer
Who Censored Roger Rabbit?
Stir of Echoes
Something wicked This Way Comes
So vote whichever you prefer!
Wednesday 1 August 2007
Unfortunately it will only display 5 entries so we have had to add it twice. Please only vote ONCE though!
You have a week to make up your mind!!