Tag Archives: fiction

The Casual Vacancy – J. K. Rowling

3 Nov

Started – 21/10/12

Finished – 27/10/12

Format – Hardback Book

Synopsis – When Barry Fairbrother dies in his early forties, the town of Pagford is left in shock.

Pagford is, seemingly, an English idyll, with a cobbled market square and an ancient abbey, but what lies behind the pretty facade is a town at war.

Rich at war with poor, teenagers at war with their parents, wives at war with their husbands, teachers at war with their pupils… Pagford is not what it first seems.

And the empty seat left by Barry on the parish council soon becomes the catalyst for the biggest war the town has yet seen. Who will triumph in an election fraught with passion, duplicity and unexpected revelations?

A big novel about a small town, The Casual Vacancy is J.K. Rowling’s first novel for adults. It is the work of a storyteller like no other.

My Thoughts – I have been looking forward to reading this book since it was announced earlier this year. J. K. Rowling is my favourite author of all time and I was so excited that she was going to release another book.

This book is about a small town called Pagford and the people that live there. It is a simple English town or villiage and it really made me feel like it could have been set anywhere. To me it really made me think that this town was a very similar place to where i live now.

There are a lot of characters in this book and it did confuse me a little bit because i couldnt always remember who was who to start with but towards the middle i had managed to get this through my head. I did like how the different characters had different chapters and by doing this the reader was able to grasp there thoughts and feelings which for me was a good thing. I love books that read like this.

I know that this book is a book for adults but even so it does have themes about prostitution, bribery, violience, drugs and all things like that. I think that it worked within this book and it wasnt too over the top and i think it actually added to the theme of the book, that a lot of things go one behind closed doors that others do not know about.

The ending of this book was so sad and i had to read a couple of pages a few times to make sure i was reading it right. It actually made me cry a little bit and this is quite unusual for me with a book, it does only happen once in a while.

I have read a few reviews that have said that this book is not Harry Potter. No its not Harry Potter, its a completely different book and to be honest im very pleased that she has written something very different. It just shows that she is a very talented author and i throughly have enjoyed ALL of her books!

Rating – 5/5

Apocalypse Cow – Michael Logan

11 May

Started – 7/5/12

Finished – 11/5/12

Format – Paperback Book

Synopsis – When scientists with warped imaginations accidentally unleash an experimental bioweapon that transforms Britain’s animals into sneezing, bloodthirsty zombies with a penchant for pre-dinner sex with their victims, three misfits become the unlikely hope for salvation.

Abattoir worker Terry Borders’ love life is crippled by the stench of death that clings to his skin from his days spent slaughtering cows; teenage vegan Geldof ‘Scabby’ Peters alternates between scratching furiously at his rash and baiting his overbearing New Age mother; and inept journalist Lesley McBrien struggles forlornly in the shadow of her famous war correspondent father and the star journalist at the Glasgow Tribune.

When Britain begins a rapid descent into chaos and ministers cynically attempt to blame al-Qaeda, Lesley stumbles upon proof that the government is behind the outbreak. During her bumbling quest to unveil the truth, she crosses paths with Terry and Geldof, and together they set out to escape a quarantined Britain with the evidence and vital data that could unlock a cure for the virus.

Standing in the way are rampaging hordes of animals, a ruthless security agent and an army ready to shoot anybody with a case of the sniffles on the off-chance the virus has mutated.

Three losers. Overwhelming odds. A single outcome: the world is screwed.

My Thoughts – I was sent this book by the publishers, Transworld in exchange for a review. Now although this book isnt my usual genre, when i read the synopsis i really had to read it.

This book is about several unlikely heroes who need to try and get out of Britain as the animals are turning into bloodythirsty zombies. There is Geldof, who is born to hippy parents and is a vegetarian. However, as a teenage boy he is none to happy about this and craves meat. Their is Lesley, a journalist, although not a very good one who is the daughter of a high profile journalist and wants to prove herself. Lastly there is Terry, an abattoir worker who is one of the first to come across the virus in its horrific form. Together they must work together to get the proof out of the country and the formula to develop a vaccine.

One of the main concerns throughout the book is can the virus spread from animals to humans? And what would happen if it did. Now i am not a fan of zombies at all, to be honest the idea of them scare me and i dont always enjoy zombie books. Now this was good. There is a bit of Zombie theme in the book, but not enough to be scary. This was a very good twist on the very much overdone zombie genre.

This book is very very good. It has all different themes to it. It is very funny in places some parts of the book had me laughing out loud. For example when Geldof is having his teenage fanasties about his next door neighbour. Also it is quite a sexual book, so probably not one to lend out to youngsters, but very good for a more adult audience. At the same time, parts are quite gruesome and upsetting, but this is to be expected from a book like this.

The overall thing that struck me was if this really happened the world would be screwed, Britain is a tiny little island and we could just be cut out from the rest of the world which was a bit of a scary thought.

The ending of the book was left open a bit so I’m hoping that their could be a sequal in the future, i would definitaly read it.

This book is seriously good, i would highly recommend it and would say . . . Read it 😀

Rating – 4.5/5

Hell of a Salesman – Timothy Brooks

4 Apr

Started – 2/4/12

Finished – 2/4/12

Format – Kindle e-book

 

Synopsis – Join Timothy Brooks – an overachiever with very little to show for it – on a breathless journey into the dark world of the modern sales job. From the ritual humiliation of the interview process to landing his dream job at the dreaded Haywood Fryston, a world of endless phone calls and novelty sales tricks, where the routine insertion of swear words into every sentence by everybody is the only form of stress-relief going. Meet his bosses: Vincent Candle (“take your foot off the pedal and the f***ing souffle deflates”) and Aiden Starling (“salesmen are born in the balls, not the womb”), two of the pettiest patriarchs in modern literature. Follow Tim as he learns to write adverts for jobs that don’t exist, lie and cheat his way to meeting arbitrary sales targets, and deal with new and exciting forms of abuse from on high; twelve hours a day, five days a week. Whether you hate salesmen, or want to be one, this book is a must-read. Find out how the world of sales really works, and why “hell is other salesmen.”

 

My Thoughts – I downloaded this book as it was free for a day and also i work in a sales environment. I am an admin for a window company and am privy to these tactics every working day. Indeed, at times i did wonder sometimes if it had been written in my workplace at times.

 

This book tells the story of Tim who works in sales. In it he is commission based so that he really has to work for his wages. I think this was part of the reason as to why the sales world is so competative and ruthless.

 

Now this book is actually quite difficult for me to write my thoughts on. I liked the character of tim, i felt that he was one of the ‘good’ salesmen, but the managers are something else. They are cruel and think that the only way to get things done is to yell, shout, scream and swear to get results. I really think this is true to the way salesmen are.

 

My one critism of the book is that it doesnt end, mearly just stops. I would have liked to see a proper ending.

 

I liked this book, but i would say its probably one for people who have a bit of an insight into the life of salesmen.


Rating – 3/5