The SMB Book thread

Discussion in 'SMB' started by Monty Pigeon, Jan 25, 2015.

  1. In Cold Blood by Mark Dawson
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    Picked up for free on Amazon. In Cold Blood is the first in the Beatrix Rose series in which a wronged mother who happens to be an assassin goes looking for revenge.
    Touted as like Jack Reacher and the Bourne series, this is quite a short book where not a lot happens. Filled with lengthy descriptions of weaponry and a lot of back story which feels like it's referring to a book I haven't read. As it's the first in the series, I'm not sure whether it links to another series.
    Dawson is a bestseller but judging by the number of books he's churned out and the marketing courses he runs, I feel his skill is possibly in selling rather than writing. (The cover hints at Kill Bill but it's not really like that apart from a female assassin.)
    A lot of cliches and outright laziness when it came to naming characters. In one small group of ex soldiers we have Joshua Joyce (Transformers), Oliver Spencer (Clothes designer) and Paddy McGuiness (Comedian). I assumed they were going to be code names but no, he just gave them the first names he saw on the internet.
    It's formulaic but not the worst example of this type of book I've read. I imagine if you enjoy Jack Reacher type books, you might enjoy it but I won't bother with any more of his books. 6/10
     
  2. jacko100

    jacko100 Striker

    Ooh hadn’t heard about this, love brookmyres stuff. Must check this out
     
  3. Blowback: How the West Fucked up the Middle East, Michael Luders - 5/10

    Highly rated on Goodreads, but massively disappointing for me. Apart from the fact that it has been badly translated from German, and apparently not proofread by anyone (grammatical mistakes and random words throughout) it was too thin on facts or explanation. Why you would try to cover this subject in about 150 pages is beyond me, and it suffers. I've read far better books on the subject.

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    The People: The Rise and Fall of the Working Class 1910-2010, Selina Todd - 7/10

    Decent read. The main takeaway is that life was largely a load of shit for the vast majority of people in the this country until the 50's and 60's where it got slightly less shit. Oh and politicians, left or right, are c*nts. The author is a little too obviously left wing though which raises concerns about objectivity and some of her conclusions.

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  4. Monty Pigeon

    Monty Pigeon Winger

    Night Boat to Tangier by Kevin Barry 9/10
    Kevin Barry one of my favourite contemporary writers - especially for his short stories. The Irish vernacular dialogue owes a heavy debt to Roddy Doyle, but ultimately this novel is so much more. Hopefully one to watch for this year's Booker Prize.

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  5. Arkle

    Arkle Striker Contributor

    Three Days and a Life by Pierre Lamaitre

    Small town France, the late 90s, a dead dog, a child murder, a biblical flood. We follow 12 year old Antoine through these events then revisit him 12 and 16 years later. It's the first Lemaitre I've read that isn't centred on Camille Verhoeven. It's a reasonable read but I never really felt gripped by it.

    6.5/10
     
  6. taipeisafc

    taipeisafc Winger

    I thought they were brilliant, the way the language and appearances have evolved is very well done. I have just read Beneath the Earth a Sea by him, beautifully written and engaging and had a somewhat bleak ending (as did The Cabin at the End of the World) and I felt there were a few more places he could have gone at that were hinted at but not taken any further.
     
  7. Disaster Inc Caimh McDonnell
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    Bunny McGarry returns, this time in New York. In search of the secret nuns who will help him locate his past love, Bunny is sidetracked by a chance encounter in a diner.
    Colourful, amusing characters, loads of action and as with all his books, very reminiscent of early Brookmyre.
    A fun crime caper, well worth a look. (It's free to download if you have Amazon Prime). 8/10
     
  8. janiep

    janiep Striker

    H is for Hawk by Helen MacDonald

    Borrowed this from the library today and am about 100 pages in. It won lots of prizes. It's about falconry, the human relationship with falcons and hawks used for hunting, and the author's relationship with a goshawk that she trained while mourning her father. It's a fascinating subject, and very illuminating about one human-animal relationship I knew nothing about, but she's taking a long time to tell the story and I'm a little bored.

    6.5/10
     
    Jon Dough likes this.
  9. jacko100

    jacko100 Striker

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    9/10. Had many people recommend this to me over the last few years, finally got around to reading it, loved it! Ploughing through the second book atm.
     
  10. KENT-FTM

    KENT-FTM Midfield

    Patrick Humphries - Rolling Stones 69 waiting for me today in the front porch when coming home from work.

    I'll devour this in one or two sittings as I love books like this.

    If it's anything like his Nick Drake biography, then I won't be disappointed.
     
  11. zwartekat

    zwartekat Striker

    Annoyingly, no Kindle version and I'm not keen on paying 14.99 for a 256-page paperback that is likely to be rehashing a fair amount of material.
     
  12. KENT-FTM

    KENT-FTM Midfield


    True, but still imho , a cracking read.

    If you wait a few months then you'll be able to get it for less then £10 second-hand.
     
    Last edited: Jul 5, 2019
  13. Monty Pigeon

    Monty Pigeon Winger

    Tropic Moon by Georges Simenon 10/10
    I've read plenty of Maigret books, but this is my first 'serious' Simenon novel. Set in Gabon in the 1930s, it's up there with Conrad's Heart of Darkness as an expose of colonial exploitation of Central Africa.

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  14. The Border by Don Winslow down to 99p on kindle today only.
    https://www.amazon.co.uk/Border-gri...3UP32AZJ14F&sprefix=the+border,aps,135&sr=8-1
     
    Arkle likes this.
  15. 87 Others

    87 Others Full Back

  16. Power of the Dog is excellent as are all his earlier books. I found his last two books, The Cartel and The Force to be a bit bloated and a little cliched but still worth a read.
     
  17. 87 Others

    87 Others Full Back

    Cheers, i'll give it a go.

    Any particulars of his earlier work worth a go ?
     
  18. Dawn Patrol and The Winter of Frankie Machine although all of them are excellent and not much to choose between them. Savages was made into a canny film.
     
    87 Others likes this.
  19. Monty Pigeon

    Monty Pigeon Winger

    Don Winslow has been instrumental in reviving the career of Adrian McKinty, who featured in the very first post of this thread. His books weren't selling, he was having to make ends meet as an Uber driver, and in desperation wrote to Don Winslow asking for advice.

    Thanks to that advice, his next book has already made him millions - and it hasn't been published yet.

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    RestlessNatives likes this.
  20. I've read a couple of articles about him. Proper life changing stuff.
    The idea of the book is one of those where everybody goes 'why didn't I think of that'?
    Winslow has been championing him for a long time on Twitter.
     

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