Thursday 26 September 2013

BOOK REVIEW: Instructions For A Heatwave (Maggie O'Farrell)

It’s a catchy title, and one the marketing people must have been rubbing their hands with glee about, given the soaring temperatures that quickly followed the book’s publication.

But I would say the title is exactly what lets this novel down.

Recently retired bank manager Robert Riordan goes out for a newspaper as usual and doesn’t return, prompting his wife to call on her three grown-up children to play out a very domestic drama in which secrets are uncovered and relationships explored.

The heat wave scorching London in 1976, when it is set, keeps a cool distance. Just a few references to aphids and water restrictions establish its presence, with no sense of a wider national event.

Thursday 12 September 2013

GUEST BOOK REVIEW: The Conspiracy Kid (E P Rose)

I’m delighted to present this review by Anna, a Grande Dame (but young)! of book club. An avid reader, she’s always great for a book recommendation, so I was very interested to read her verdict on this latest offering from the author of Beyond the Valley of Sex and Shopping.....

The Conspiracy Kid is a great read. I loved the witty and fast-paced prose; it was a real treat to pick up each night and was written so fluidly that I finished it in no time.

It follows the many eccentric but loveable characters who become part of the conspiracy kid fan club, where enrolment is automatic on the reading of a poem crafted by Edwin Mars.

Mars is a central character and for me could have been Adrian Mole’s cooler and more successful twin brother.