Sunday, 23 December 2012

The Book Review ~ The Giant O'Brien

Read: 22nd December 2012
Rating: 3/5

I really love Hilary Mantel and this book was no different. The characters were solid, the plot interesting and the execution impeccable. The first three quarters of the novel I consumed in one night. I absolutely adored it. The thing that really let the novel down was the last section. Particularly the last three pages. 
I literally adored the book until page 190! 

I did feel more could be made of the end in general. From the moment Joe runs off I felt Mantel runs off too. There are some really fantastic twists and turns at the end after Joe’s departure that Mantel briefly touches on and I think the book would benefit if they were expanded on... it could also be I just didn’t want the book to end. 

The characters were so fascinating. Each one follows a Joseph Campbell style transformation which I love from the Giant right down to Bitch Mary. This intense focus on every character just made you invest even more into the novel as a reader. 

The execution is also phenomenal. The movement of the two main characters constantly close, hearing of one another, lives encircling each other and yet not meeting until a climactic point where everything changes. Then from that point onwards the stylistic ways she presents both characters movements and emotions intertwined and yet separate... she really is a MASTER! 

Not quite “Wolf Hall” but I loved it all the same!

Friday, 21 December 2012

The Book Review ~ Doctor Copernicus

Read: 20th December 2012
Rating: 0/5

BOOOOORRRINNNNG! I have not disliked a book so much in... I don’t remember when. I practically skim read the whole thing (something I really hate to do) but,I physically could not cope with reading it word for word. I fell asleep in the book numerous times and that was reading it during the day! 

It was so drawn out and blah. The descriptions seemed like an attempt to copy Anne Radcliffe but failed in the sublimity of it.   There was so much writing to sift through to get to the actually heart of the story that by the time the reader gets to it you don’t really care what the story it! The middle section where the narration is taking over by Rheticus... I wanted to rip it out. The language and character was overly vulgar, it became unnecessary and embarrassing to read. It was also so twisted and not in a good way. You barely knew what was going on. It was ridiculous. 

The only character that was interesting and came alive off the page was Copernicus’ brother Andreas who dies at the beginning of the book! Other than that characters were flat and predictable. 

I hated this book. In my opinion a waste of the letters it uses. 

Saturday, 15 December 2012

The Book Review ~ A Country Doctor's Notebook

Read: 14th December 2012
Rating: 5/5

I should probably start by telling you my translation was by Hugh Aplin. Now I can go on and tell you how much I loved this book. First off I have never read a book so fast (not since ‘The Hunger Game’ trilogy). Based on true stories the book is written in a fantastic conversational tone that just sucks you in. The stories of Russia and its medieval ‘wise woman’ medicine is so fascinating I could not put the book down. 

BAD SIDE: it was too short... OK I know that is pathetic to say but, I really felt it was too short. I wanted it to be two long novels on the Doctor’s notebook and the second focussing in on the Morphine addicted Doctor. 

Once again I am going to say I loved the book so much. The characters were spell-binding and the stories were so infective. I adored every word... truly!

O Come All Ye Faithful

The one question that I have been plagued with since I returned to Vancouver for Christmas break is why can’t you dress like your pictures? There is one reason and its name is L.K.Bennett. The clothes give you more than a great looking outfit, there is a sense of pride and confidence that comes with them too. You really cannot help but strut! Well I can’t anyway. This morning in Starbucks a lady stopped me asking where I got my shoes and if they were “The Real Duchess Shoes”! When you wear L.K.Bennett people pay attention. 

I sent three of my friends to Oxford’s L.K.Bennett store to try and buy in their Christmas sale open night. I got a few emails when I woke up in Vancouver the following morning containing words of thanks! It took two Ph.D. students a few minutes to become infected with the L.K.Bennett virus and take out their well earning tutoring cash to invest in products of the superior kind.

 Even the most advanced academics cannot deny the power that is contained in each thread of an L.K.Bennett garment. It is the reason why my outfits here are not as good as my pictures from Oxford. The threads of H&M and Gap are nothing in regards to the L.K.Bennett threads that grace my dream wardrobe!  Shoes might be the reason why L.K.Bennett has become a household name, but it shouldn’t be. Sure the shoes are completely incredible BUT so are their clothes... perhaps even more so.

On that note I encourage you to take a trip to L.K.Bennett and not just window shop but actually try on the clothes. Walking out the changing room I assure you... you will not feel the same...

Photographs By Martin Prechelmacher