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Flying book

Two reviews

Two short catch-up reviews of books read over the Christmas holidays, when I tend to go for easy reading. First of all, The Uncommon Reader by Alan Bennett.

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My youngest daughter gave this to me for Christmas. I couldn't have been more delighted as I'd already given it to a member of my flist as a Christmas gift (*waves*) and had decided to buy it for myself after Christmas. I'm not going to say too much about it, partly because it's quite a short little book and partly because I don't want to spoil it for anyone. Basically, the Queen takes up reading when she comes across the mobile library outside the palace. One book leads to another as they tend to and... well the result is an utterly charming, beautifully observed and funny read. I loved it and plan to read it all over again soon *and* try to read more of Alan Bennett's work, which I tend to sadly neglect.

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I was a bit disappointed by A Moonlit Road and other Ghost and Horror Stories by Ambrose Bierce. I've read so many good ghost anthologies in the past and was hoping for more from this famous author; it turned out I just wasn't all that struck. One or two stories stood out - The Man and the Snake was a creepy tale of what happens when you wake in the middle of the night and find there's a snake in your bedroom. I think it helps to be afraid of snakes, as I am. *g* And The Secret of Macarger's Gulch was an atmospheric tale of skulduggery in the American west. But otherwise the anthology was a bit average and I'm left wondering if it's perhaps not representative of the best of Bierce's work.

Comments

*Waves back*

I shall be reading it as soon as I've finished the book I'm reading at the moment.

It's odd how these things work out, re: buying/not buying.
I know... isn't it strange?

I hope you enjoy it (I thought J might quite like it too.) I found it to be very gentle and nicely amusing. Just what you would expect from AB.
Very.

Oh, I think he will too.

I hope my thank you email arrived safely, BTW.
I hope my thank you email arrived safely, BTW.

This is so weird. I literally just answered it and have asked for a read receipt, because I had sudden concerns that you had not received *my* thank you note on the 27th. We are the same person you know...
Spooky time again :-)

Hmmm. Have just received your two emails and sent off read receipt as requested.

I don't think I have, no.

Hang on - I'll just double check.

*Looks in inbox* - No
*Looks in Cath's folder* - No.

Sorry, but no, I don't appear to have done so. It must have got lost in the great space.
I resent my thank you note, let's hope it gets there this time. *UN*believable as a certain Victor Meldrew would say...
It did - thank you.

And I duly sent back the read receipt.

Indeed!
I'm glad you enjoyed the Alan Bennett - I haven't read it myself, but I bought it for someone on my f-list :D
Snap, we obviously both had the same idea. It's worth getting hold of if you can.
Alan Bennett's book sound like a fun read!

Personally, I find Ambrose Bierce's stories do not live up to his reputation, although An Incident at Owl Creek Bridge is pretty famous for its particularly bitter irony. I saw the dramatization of that story on "The Twilight Zone" before ever reading any of his writing, and it was a very impressive piece of film making. It was a French film directed by Robert Enrico, and there was no dialog, which made it suitable for American TV. (Sadly not a multi-lingual country!) Oh, but every emotion was so beautifully portrayed. Really, I liked the film better than the written story.
Interesting you should say this because now I don't feel so bad about not liking the stories that much. That said, I really enjoyed Arthur Conan Doyle's attempt at Wild West kind of writing so I wonder if there's really no pleasing me. LOL!