Monday, 30 March 2015

Book Review: From A Buick 8 by Stephen King

From a Buick 8From a Buick 8 by Stephen King
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I have always been a massive fan of Stephen King but I had read many negative reviews about From a Buick 8. It seems to be a Marmite of a book, people either love it or hate it. The concept intrigued me, but it took me a while to get into it. While reading this I was on placement at a primary school, had lots of friends' birthdays and house sitting a menagerie of animals, so I think tiredness overcame my interest in the book. If I was lucky, I read a chapter a night.
Eventually once I got started I couldn't wait to read every page. I wanted to know what would come through next and how the police force would react to it.
One thing Stephen King does exceptionally is write characters. The whole team seem to come to life right off the page, from the naive Ned to the eccentric caretaker. Everybody's voice was clear in my head and distinctive.
I can understand the point that many people make, which is that nothing happens in this book. And to a degree that's true. But this book just demonstrates that it's the story that counts, the reader is on a journey with these characters, feeling their emotions, their sufferings, their joy. I was quite happy with the ending, there was a little twist and some kind of conclusion although everything wasn't wrapped up in a neat bow. I have become used to King's elusive endings.
What I think this book is really about, is grief. Ned needs the members of Troop D to tell him about everything that happened and his Dad's obsession in order for him to move on and put the past behind him.
As always, Stephen King didn't let me down and I will always read anything he writes. I already have a long list. I would also really enjoy this as a film. But I can't see anything on the horizon.

View all my reviews

Thursday, 12 March 2015

Book Review: The Floating Lady Murder by Daniel Stashower (Harry Houdini Mysteries #2)

Harry Houdini Mysteries: The Floating Lady MurderHarry Houdini Mysteries: The Floating Lady Murder by Daniel Stashower
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I picked this up for under a fiver at The Works. I enjoy historical novels, especially the era that this is set in. My knowledge of Harry Houdini is limited, all I know is that he an iconic magician. It doesn't matter if you know anything at all about Houdini, this book is perfectly enjoyable all on it's own.
The narrator is Dash, Houdini's brother and manager. The story begins with him as an old man but soon transports us back to 19th century America.
It's clear that Houdini is eccentric and without his brother and wife he would end up getting himself into a lot of trouble. Telling the story from the secondary character reminded me a little of Sherlock Holmes and Houdini is certainly as odd as Conan Doyle's infamous character.
The other characters certainly balance out Houdini although be prepared there is a lot of them! Generally it is easy to keep track of who is who, but there are some difficulties.
The murder mystery centres around a trick called The Floating Lady. This insight into magic has always been something of interest for me having watched Jonathan Creek for years. I was intrigued as to how the trick worked and found the backstage descriptions particularly fascinating.
I must admit, I had no idea who the murderer was and really enjoyed the ride to discovering the culprit. I found myself smiling and laughing at the characters and what they said. I can envisage this as a great BBC1 period drama and look forward to reading more novels bu Daniel Stashower.

View all my reviews

Monday, 2 March 2015

Book Review: The Collector of Lost Things by Jeremy Page

The Collector of Lost ThingsThe Collector of Lost Things by Jeremy Page
My rating: 1 of 5 stars

This book intrigued me a while ago and it's taken some time for me to get round to reading it. Although the characters are interesting and mysterious, and it is well written, I've just finished reading a passage where a group of seals are massacred, in great detail and I will not be reading any more.

View all my reviews