Book Reviews Blog

The blog view provides book summary details together with reviews. The listing defaults to reverse date order (newest at top)

2000

Original Language: Vogon mins

The Book With Everything

the one that has it all

Author : John le Carre

Summary :
This book has all possible fields filled in, including 2 authors and an editor (must be an anthology).
Book category
sample-books

Review by rogerco, on 31 Mar 2021

Review Summary :
Claims to be full but completely vacuous

A Sample Zero

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Review category
sample-books
Review Tags



Summary :
Life in the Soviet Union in the Party around 1938/9 and the during preceding 30 years
Book category
sample-books

Review by Comrade Carl, on 03 Jan 2021

Review Summary :
How Stalin was supported even by those who were being purged and eliminated, as they saw a greater good.

Totalitarian Communism Understood

A long and complex story which moves across a cast of characters before circling back to the opening pair. Sometimes difficult to follow the unfamiliar Russian names and their relationships, sometimes the political philosophising gets a bit weighty, but flashes of absolutely lucid literary lucidity make it all worth while.

Some of the writing is truly poetic, evoking place and emotion with great power (praise too for the translator), and the historical details of life across Russia, in the Communist Party at various levels, in Spain and in Paris, plus the memories of earlier (revolutionary) deeds, are fascinating.

All in all you gain an understanding of how totalitarian communism worked and why it was effective - totally dependent on party members putting their loyalty to Party and Socialism above everything else. It is in essence the same as religious fanaticism, and like fanatical religion it thrives only in certain people in particular circumstances.

Very well worth reading - as this century unfolds will those who understand this story be first up against the wall as a new populism for our times comes to the fore. Would any of us dilettante eco-activists be capable of the total commitment to the cause that the communists of old espoused?


Review category
sample-books
Review Tags



Summary :
Woman working as an ecologist & conservationist with Wolves in Idaho Reservation gets involved in a ...
Book category
sample-books

Review by Roger, on 05 Apr 2020

Review of "The Wolf Border"

Brilliantly mixes the human and the wild, politics and ecology. A very enjoyable read. The elite remain impenetrable and aloof, but Rachel and her closest, including the wolves and the landscape are beautifully drawn.


Review category
sample-books



Summary :
Organised crime from Russia and Turkey meets HM Customs via a defector from the bank that cleans ...
Book category
sample-books

Review by Roger, on 25 Jul 2018

Review of "Single & Single"

Somewhat unconvincing and unsatisfying. Single junior seems made up of contradictions, Single senior is never clearly drawn being a god-like father figure, Brock, the customs secret agent has power beyond likelihood, the shadowy corrupt policeman in the background is a convenient catch-all villain and the assorted Russian mobsters are charicatures.


Review category
sample-books
Review Tags



2007

Engleby

no author listed

Summary :
Life story of a nutter who kills a girl whilst a student (and possibly two more). ...
Book category
sample-books

Review by Roger, on 08 Jun 2010

Review of "Engleby"

Billed as a mystery thriller it wasn't really since it was very obvious that he had killed Jen within a page of it happening. Amazing detail about life as a student at Emma in early 70s including references to known people and events. Turns out that Faulks was there a year or two behind me.


Review category
sample-books



2006

Against the Day

no author listed

Summary :
The ultimate shaggy dog story spun in reams of flighty prose obsessive detail and incomprehensible ...
Book category
sample-books

Review by Roger, on 03 Dec 2009

Shaggy Dogs Rule OK

The great Tristram Shandy updated and expanded to cover the lives and loves of the Traverse family scions of Webb the anarchist. Resolutions and explanations rendered obselete by the flowing of a great river which carries on as we scramble to the bank and shake the last drops off our bodies.


Review category
sample-books



xbBooks by CrOsborne