Thursday, 17 May 2012



Martin Cruz Smith – Gypsy In Amber

Tobias Wolff – In Pharaoh’s Army  

Chinua Achebe – Things Fall Apart

Kurt Vonnegut Jr. – Slaughterhouse Five

George Pelecanos – The Turnaround

Joe Queenan – America

Elmore Leonard – A Coyote In The House

7 this month only!

Highlights, typically any book by Pelecanos has to be a good thing, but this wasn’t particularly stand-out in comparison with some of his previous work. I’ve just read an online review of this book to refresh my memory and that still didn’t set off any alarm bells in my head. 

Sad to say, that a slightly average Pelecanos book was the best of a mediocre bunch.

Cruz Smith’s book was picked up from a charity shop years ago, after enjoying Gorky Park. Fair to say his story-telling abilities improved over time, but I’d stick to Renko if I was you. I have got his other “Gypsy” book somewhere in the loft which doesn’t exactly thrill me.

A couple of the books I read, I’ve subsequently seen on lists of the “best 100 novels” ilk.......books to be read before you die apparently.

Slaughterhouse Five wasn’t too bad I suppose.

Achebe’s Things Fall Apart was okay-ish. 

Two boxes ticked on the aforementioned 100 books list, but I wouldn’t be too surprised if either cropped up on the list of “100 Books You Must Read Because You’re A Lemming Who Follows The Crowd.”  Or “100 Most Over-rated Books Of All Time!”   

Usually Elmore Leonard serves up a treat and I’d probably read his shopping lists if they were published. Can’t say this was particularly magnificent but in his defence it wasn’t written for me, it was his first foray into the world of children’s books.

Wolff’s account of his time in Vietnam and post-Vietnam wasn’t too bad, but I’ve read better, either Tim O’Brien or Philip Caputo to mention a couple.

Joe Queenan’s America was a bit of a diatribe on popular American culture, Cats – The Musical, Kenny G, etc etc. (I looked this up because nothing had stuck, I initially thought it had been a bit of a travelogue but I was wrong.)     

March, 2010 had to have been better!    

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