This has been on my shelf for a long time, not because I didn’t want to read it but because I was quite looking forward to it and wanted to read it at the right time. I was disappointed. While it gave me some of the desired background knowledge of the region, it became far too bogged down in unnecessary detail in my opinion. It also did not join up well with the political situation today or even the last few decades. While undoubtedly this would have been a huge undertaking, I think spanning a period continuous with today, it would have been more accessible. Other than that, the writing was quite essay like and while not completely stuffy, it was just a bit dull. Probably avoid unless you have a real interest in the minutiae of the period between ’45 and ’60 ish.
Bought on a whim and was accordingly wary that it would be a bit of a trashy thriller with little substance. In this case, I really lucked out. I absolutely loved this book. Written thoughtfully and with sophistication, it adds an unexpected coming of age element to the story with a hint of classic and plausible espionage that has been diluted in so many modern equivalents. This is just a really well written book and I will be looking into reading the next installment which is apparently out soon.
This was a great book – a history of human civilisation with a pecuniary slant. Useful to contextualise all of the modern financial institutions but also happily a very good potted history of civilisation along the way with all sorts of gems throughout. Would definitely recommend this.
This book is all about how we as humans are inherently kind rather than the more popular believe that we are not. Call me a cynic but I found this book a bit naive. Although it would be lovely to think that even Hitler and the like were just fluffy bunnies underneath it all, the author cherry picks science to fit his theory rather than the other way round. While an interesting exploration of many of the pyschological experiments that have taken place on this subject, the biased analysis of it all falls far short of credible and for me just got me quite frustrated.
A nice simple book this about the nuclear deterrent submarines. Nothing wild but quite a useful overview of the life of a submariner and the goings on of these secret subs. Makes the new BBC tv series Vigil a bit more interesting having read this.
Having read The Magus, I knew how good a writer Fowles was. This book is no exception. Very different however. The plot is a sinister as it gets. Not a spot on The Magus, which I judge to be one of my all time favourites, but this was decent enough.
This was a long book. I have read other books on this subject that were a bit more focused and honestly, I think the author took on more than he could chew. It covers the entire depressing saga and it lost something for doing so. The writing was a bit dry and formal. It jumped around a bit and overall could have been half as long and wouldn’t have lost anything. The subject, as ever, displays the deep flaws within humanity perfectly.
This was another impulse buy and I have to say, it was brilliant. Expertly written and the details of everyday life on such a ship really gave you a feel for the time. I loved imaging the scenery and adventure of it all and learnt a lot for the bargain.
Set during the war, I thought this would be great. It was an impulse buy that weasled its way into my list of books to read. I don’t necessarily regret that. The story was good enough and it was well written. No classic though.
This was a word of mouth recommendation. It was decent. Love the premise – group of survivors stuck in a Swiss hotel during a nuclear apocalypse. Wasn’t quite the murder mystery that I wanted though. That element was very light. Didn’t quite live up to the hype for me.