Book review: Lullaby 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.

Book review: Tricked 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.

Book review: The Business 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

Book review: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows by J. K. Rowling

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

Book review: The Big Girls by Susanna Moore

While certain television shows and movies may strive to make prisons look as realistic and shocking as possible, they still can’t prepare you for the vibe of the whole thing in reality.

Book review: Bear v. Shark by Chris Bachelder

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

Book review: Diary 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.

Book review: Chuck Klosterman IV: A Decade of Curious People and Dangerous Ideas 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.

Book review: In The Pond 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.

Book review: Shooting to Kill 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.

Book review: The Wire In The Blood 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.

Book review: Angry White Pyjamas 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.

Book review: A Thousand Splendid Suns 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.

Book Review: A Wild Sheep Chase 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?

Book review: Complicity 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...

Book Review: The Marx-Engels Reader by Karl Marx and Freidrich Engels

You know how you went to uni and there were arts students. I was one.

Book review: A Place Of Execution by Val McDermid

I do like Val McDermid. Maybe it’s because her books have that lurid thriller front cover vibe but manage to be a cut above most of the others. Maybe it’s because her main characters avoid stereotyping by being lovably dysfunctional and uptightly British at the same time. Maybe it’s because she just writes a bang up yarn.

Book review: Tom Jones by Henry Fielding

So you know those old penguin paperbacks? Y’know, the doorstopper-like novels of the Austens of the nineteenth century world? The Brontes with their page on page of women in bourdoirs waiting for suitors to marry them, so excited by the “suitability” of the match that they are constantly “ejaculating?” (Seriously, all Austen heroines ejaculate an average of 74 times throughout any novel!)

Book review: Middlesex by Jeffrey Eugenides

For me, Middlesex is one of those rare and wondrous stories which is so richly created and so complex that I would be afraid to try and sum it up because I would invariably miss out something important. It is historical, mythological, generational, deeply personal, and extremely thought provoking. It is also fabulously well written.

Book review: Survivor by Chuck Palahniuk

You know when you read a novel and get disappointed particularly because the blurb made it sound so damn great?!?

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