stapsreads: 'The man who does not read good books has no advantage over the man who cannot read them' (Default)
I do like Bill Bryson - he has such a vivid anecdotal style, such a keen eye for detail, and such unerring taste for the interesting. This, an account of a number of trips to Australia, is no exception, and is making me go, simultaneously, 'plan trip! now!' and 'twelve-foot earthworms?'. Scrupulously honest about how much he's missing out, endearingly enthusiastic about the wildlife and plantlife, at times downright inspirational (usually on geology), quietly furious about the plight of the Aborigines - this is a very good book, and now I want to go to Australia.

http://www.bookcrossing.com/journal/11767935/
stapsreads: 'The man who does not read good books has no advantage over the man who cannot read them' (Default)
I'm not sure which is the unforgiveable sin: to be depressing, or to be badly written. This is both. Also condemning this to the Inferno is the typeface, which is the kind of thing I'd more usually associate with local history written on an early eighties word processor by the village obsessive.

I was really hoping that this would be better than everybody else who reviewed it said it was going to be. I am sure there are better books out there by and about Fijians. But really, I could have coped with the relentless parade of sheer misery (drugs, meths drinking, rape, unemployment, mugging) had it not been ghostwritten by Captain Obvious. This passage says it all, really:

'One-eyed Jack' had only one eye. He had lost his other eye in a brawl after a dance. Someone had thrown a broken bottle at him. It had cut his eye.

http://www.bookcrossing.com/journal/4984912
stapsreads: 'The man who does not read good books has no advantage over the man who cannot read them' (Default)
Given to me by Anne to read on a slow train from York to Leeds - which I did, and then never reviewed it. It served the purpose well enough, but isn't something I'm terribly bothered about hanging on to. 'Heavenly Date' is the last story; 'Bulawayo' the longest, and 'Far North' is probably the best. A few quiet tragedies, a couple of stories that made me cringe - cruel, childish humour. Good for a train journey, yes.

http://www.bookcrossing.com/journal/9896924

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stapsreads: 'The man who does not read good books has no advantage over the man who cannot read them' (Default)
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