It's been a while since I last featured any book reviews on the blog, so here are a few more opinions on books and short stories I've recently been reading...
The 2½ Pillars Of Wisdom collects three novellas which describe the adventures of three very tall professors at Regensburg University, primarily focusing on the pompously amusing Professor Dr Moritz-Maria von Igelfeld. Each novella is itself a collection of short stories and although I enjoyed all three novellas, it was the second volume, The Finer Points Of Sausage Dogs, which was definitely my favourite. I read this section of the book on the beach while on holiday and at times I was laughing away to myself so much that anyone else nearby on the beach must have thought I was a bit strange. I'm a big fan of the 'No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency' books so overall I was delighted to discover that once again Alexander McCall Smith has created some excellent characters who are involved in some charming and memorable stories.
The Debt by Simon Kernick - 4.1 / 5.0
The Debt was originally a short story written for the BMW website and magazine, and when you read some of the dialogue it clearly shows, eg. "He came in a nice car. It looks like one of those new BMW 7 series." I have to admit I found these references amusing at times, but to be fair the ownership of the BMW is an integral part of the plot, so it doesn't detract from the story. Crime isn't really my favourite genre but I enjoyed The Debt and found it an easy short read, and I'd definitely read more by Simon Kernick. It was free when I downloaded it so there's nothing to lose by giving it a try.
Transmission by Hari Kunzru – 4.0 / 5.0
Transmission tells the story of Arjun Mehta, an expert computer programmer who heads to America for a seemingly better life. However, things don’t turn out quite as sunny as he was expecting, and as a result he then ends up creating the most disruptive computer virus the world has ever seen. Transmission isn’t really the type of book I would usually go for as it contains a lot of narrative and not as much dialogue as I like to see, but despite this fact the story still had me intrigued and I enjoyed reading the developments unfold. Without giving away the plot too much, the ending also wasn’t the type of conclusion I usually go for, as it leaves the reader with a few unanswered questions, but in this instance I could sort of understand why Hari Kunzru chose to round things off the way he did.
Roy Of The Rovers (Volume 1) - 4.8 / 5.0
As a kid I can remember waiting excitedly every Saturday tea-time for the new issue of Roy Of The Rovers to be delivered, and dashing to the front door when I heard the sound of the letter box, so I'm not ashamed to admit I got a buzz of excitement when I discovered that Roy Race's adventures were now available for the Kindle app. Some of the dialogue is very much from an era gone by, but Roy Of The Rovers was a great comic book and reading these republished stories once again brought back a lot of happy memories. Roy Of The Rovers features simple, straight forward story telling at its best and is a must for any football fans looking for a nostalgic trip down memory lane.
N.B. Admittedly, this is a bit of a self-indulgent inclusion as Roy Of The Rovers is a comic book rather than a regular book, but I couldn't resist sneaking it in.
You can find more book reviews in my earlier posts:
What I've Recently Been Reading (Part 1)
What I've Recently Been Reading (Part 2)
What I've Recently Been Reading (Part 3)
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