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Book review: <i>Speak Ill Of The Dead</i> by Mary Jane Maffini



Meet Camilla MacPhee, crotchety, cat-hating, legal representative for victims, who winds up representing a murder defendant. It wasn’t a bad yarn, but I only read it a week or so ago and I’ve already forgotten the particulars. It passed the time, but it has a general sense of ho-hum about it. What I do remember was that the story didn’t take itself too seriously, which is a good quality.

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Book review: <i>Patriot Games</i> by Tom Clancy



Wow. Way to hit an all new low in reading! I recall the TV ads for the movie adaption of Patriot Games from way back when, and I remember the huge deal the segments made about how you can identify a woman by her breast size VIA SATELLITE. Oh my God. And now, having read the damn thing, I realise they made a big deal of it because it may have been the high point of the novel. And I mean that in a very relative sense. So there go a couple of hours of my life that I will NEVER GET BACK.

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Book review: <i>Wintersmith</i> by Terry Pratchett



If this was a movie, it would be Harry Potter And The Logic Of The Diminishing Returns.

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Book review: <i>Carrie</i> by Stephen King

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Book review: <i>The Rum Diary</i> by Hunter S. Thompson



The Rum Diary is a sweaty lusty booze-filled Caribbean odyssey.

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Book review: <i>Lullaby</i> by Chuck Palahniuk



They say that the first sentence of a novel is the most important; most people who pick a book up in a bookstore will head straight to the first page to see what the sentence is as a judgment of whether to read it or not. And I tell you, Chuck Palahniuk is the master of the first sentence. And paragraph, for that matter. You are completely sucked in before you know what’s what.

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Book review: <i>Tricked</i> by Alex Robinson



If this was a movie, it would have been a 1989 effort with then-unknown actors which would be cited by Paul Thomas Anderson as an influence on Magnolia.

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Book review: <i>The Business</i> by Iain Banks



Who doesn’t love a good corporate culture, big-business-against-the-underdog-who-discovers-high-ranking-conspiracy yarn? Well, The Business is sort of like that. But different. While it may not be Iain Bank’s finest, it sure beats The Firm

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Book review: <i>Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows</i> by J. K. Rowling



Y’know how Bridget writes intelligent, insightful book reviews? Well, I don’t. I’m barely literate.

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Book review: <i>Bear v. Shark</i> by Chris Bachelder



If this was an art installation, it would be a functioning concept-SUV made out of tofu.

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Book review: <i>Diary</i> by Chuck Palahniuk



I admit I started reading Diary based exclusively on the fact that it was written by Chuck Palahniuk, having previously read and enjoyed Fight Club some years ago. I had no idea of the story. But I’ll tell you something... I was hooked from the first page.

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Book review: <i>Chuck Klosterman IV: A Decade of Curious People and Dangerous Ideas</i> by Chuck Klosterman



If this was a book cover, it would be its own - flashy, fun, inviting, two-dimensional and with a really wanky subtitle.

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Book review: <i>In The Pond</i> by Ha Jin



Some people are entirely happy with their lot in life; with work and a roof over their heads and a decent meal they can be satisfied. Some people live lives of quiet dissatisfaction. And some people have a way to strike back. Such is the political and very entertaining tale of Shao Bin, Harvest Fertilizer Plant worker by day, artist by night, who takes of the corrupt powers that be.

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Book review: <i>Shooting to Kill</i> by Christine Vachon with David Edelstein



Shooting to kill is part biography of Christine Vachon’s vault into Producer Super Stardom and part DIY manual for struggling indie film-makers.

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Book review: <i>The Wire In The Blood</i> by Val McDermid



This may be Val McDermid’s most famous book—it’s been widely acclaimed and televised, and as I recall it was a big hit on the Australian ABC when it came out as a mini series. And I can see why. It has a touch of Thomas Harris about it; macabre, graphic, tense, thrilling... but I thought The Wire In The Blood beat Silence Of The Lambs hands down.

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Book review: <i>Angry White Pyjamas</i> by Robert Twigger



If this was an apartment block, it would be a boxily majestic, curiously liveable design of indeterminate age, which deserves to be cleaned more often.

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Book review: <i>A Thousand Splendid Suns</i> by Khaled Hosseini



Afghanistan, in my mind anyway, marched its way out of near obscurity back when America declared war on it back in 2001. Previous to that I’m sure that I had heard of it, but not in any meaningful way. What I particularly enjoyed about A Thousand Splendid Suns was the loose history lesson it provides, and the way it creates a sense of dimension and identity for a nation of people who have suffered much hardship. Not only that, but the fame of the previous novel, The Kite Runner, has guaranteed that the story of Afghanistan is going to be passed around a much wider audience than it previously had in its long and recently brutal existence.

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Book Review: <i>A Wild Sheep Chase</i> by Haruki Murakami



Y'know how all my book reviews start with "y'know how?" Y'know how I recently accused Chuck Pahlaniuk of writing a novel that oversold its blurb.. y'know?

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Book review: <i>Complicity</i> by Iain Banks



The genre of thriller is a big one. And a maligned one... for those lovers of the trashy thriller, it’s all well and good, but for those of us suffering from literary snobbery, the thriller genre gets brushed over when we’re looking for quality reading material. Unless of course, we decide to read Iain Banks...

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