Saturday, 27 August 2016

Book Reviews (Part 15)

Books by Alexander McCall Smith, Louise Wener, Louise Rennison and Lawrence Hill.

Charles Fudgemuffin, author of the critically acclaimed 'Remember to put the bins out' note*, reviews a selection of books from the genres of light humour, general fiction, comedy and historical fiction.

* Other less notable works include the alien comedy 'How To Save The World' books.

Friends, Lovers, Chocolate by Alexander McCall Smith

Friends, Lovers, Chocolate by Alexander McCall-Smith - 4.2 / 5.0

Nothing much seemed to happen in the first couple of chapters of Friends, Lovers, Chocolate, but once it got going I found myself really looking forward to my daily reading sessions.  Isobel Dalhousie meets a heart transplant patient who believes his new heart has brought with it memories of its previous owner, and Isobel's curious nature means she can't help herself from investigating further.  I have to admit I found the ending slightly disappointing, but overall this was an enjoyable book with some interesting ideas.

The Half Life Of Stars by Louise Wener

The Half Life Of Stars by Louise Wener – 4.4 / 5.0

The Half Life Of Stars deals with the sudden and unexpected disappearance of Claire’s older brother Daniel in the run up to Christmas, and when dealing with a serious subject like this, the first half of the book is as you’d expect quite heavy and downbeat at times.  Once Claire’s search gains momentum, however, and Claire and her ex-husband meet up with the colourful characters Huey and Tess, there is a sudden and welcome injection of humour which was probably necessary to avoid the reader becoming constantly weighed down in doom and gloom.  The book also contains numerous little touches of humanity which give the book a warmth which is especially important when you factor in the subject matter and which give you a strong sense of empathy with the characters.  Overall, after an early lull, this was a very well written book which I enjoyed more and more as the story developed.

And That's When It Fell Off In My Hand
by Louise Rennison

And That's When It Fell Off In My Hand by Louise Rennison - 4.8 / 5.0

This fifth book in the life of the 'vair vair amusant' Georgia Nicholson was one of my favourites so far and includes many laugh out loud moments.  The series could quite easily have become rather repetitive (but still very funny), but author Louise Rennison seems to have anticipated this possibility and kept things fresh with the introduction of the half American/half Italian Masimo Scarlotti, who after meeting Georgia instantly becomes the object of her desires.  I'm pretty sure I'm not the target audience of the 'Angus' series of books but despite this Louise Rennison has become one of my favourite comedy authors, so even if you're not a teenage girl I would recommend these books to anyone who enjoys silly but cleverly written laugh out loud comedy.

The Book Of Negroes by Lawrence Hill

The Book Of Negroes by Lawrence Hill - 4.8 / 5.0

This book was highly recommended to me by someone I met on my travels, and while this is a fictional account of the brutality of the slave trade, it nevertheless reads extremely believably and has clearly been very well researched.  There were similarities with the true story 'Incidents In The Life Of A Slave Girl' in that events were described very matter of factly, and this seemed to make the horror of the story all the more powerful.  The Book Of Negroes is a powerful tale which will leave you feeling humbled and more appreciatative of the basic human freedoms which we sometimes take for granted.

More book reviews by Charles Fudgemuffin:
Book Reviews (Part 12)
Book Reviews (Part 13)
Book Reviews (Part 14)

Please note, all promotional images used on this blog remain the copyright of the respective authors and publishers and are used in accordance with 'Fair Use' legislation for review purposes.

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About The Author

The 'How To Save The World' books
by Charles Fudgemuffin
Charles Fudgemuffin is the author of the alien comedy 'How To Save The World' books which are available for Kindle from Amazon.  The first book in the series is available from the following link:
How To Save The World: An Alien Comedy

As with all Kindle books, you can also download a free sample of the first few chapters.

Please note, the 'How To Save The World' books contain material suitable for ages 18+ and are not recommended for prudes or squares.