Books read in April

I have read nine books in April.

The first one was Coming Up for Air by George Orwell which was the story of a middle age salesman who sick and tired of his life as it currently decided to return to his childhood home for the first time in years. It was an interesting story and Orwell’s writing was as good as ever and whilst there is some politics in their it isn’t as prevelant in this book as in some of his works which does not make this any less important than some of his lesser known works.

The Devil You Know was yet another urban fantasy novel set in London featuring as the main character an excorcist who has just seen his best friend possessed by a melevolant demon. The basic storyline is about him helping remove a restless spirit from the vaults of a museum. What is more interesting is how she got there and who she turns out to be which makes this book quite good.

4321 is the novelisation of a film about four friends who get embrolied in a diamond smuggling plot whilst simultaenously trying to live their lives. Although the cover did proclaim that this featured explicit content it was nothing compared to the film but as this book is aimed at teenagers I can see why they did that. The plot is not up to much but the way that it is told from the point of the view of the three main character means you get the action from three different viewpoints and each time what you get is slightly differenet so it makes the bigger picture far more interesting. This is ok but I would recommend the film higher than the novelisation.

The Doll Princess is a novel written by Tom Benn set in Manchester in the mid nineties and is about the seedy underworld in the city. I just couldn’t get into this book at all. The characters weren’t interesting and I didn’t like the style that the book was written, as it took me totally out of the story.

Whatever Happened to Billy Parkes? is a story about second chances and what you make of them. It is a bitter sweet story about the life of a former professional football who is slowly drinking himself to death who is given the opportunity to change history by coming on for the last ten minutes of the world cup qualifier in 1973 to score the goal that would have seen England qualify for the World Cup the following year.

Daughter of Fu Manchu is one of the myriad books in the Fu Manchu series written by Sax Rohmer. This is the first one that I have read and I am not sure that I will read any more of them to be honest. It is well written enough and the plot is ok but I found it rather boring and I have to say that I much preferred the Christopher Lee films, they were a lot more fun than this was.

The Rehearsal by Eleanor Catton is an interesting book. It is ostensibly about the aftermath of an affair between a music teacher and one of his 17 year old female students but it actually is about a whole lot more than that. This is a very modern novel with some excellent descriptive prose which is always a pleasure to read.

Hunger is one of the books by Hammer Films and is about a young girl called Beth who is possessed by a demon and how it affects her, her family and her friends. It is relatively gory and there are some quite shocking descriptions of people being murdered and disembowelled and decapitated and such like. It is not for the faint hearted, or queasy of stomach.

Fortunately, the Milk . . . is a wonderfully imaginative story for children from the pen of Neil Gaiman with accompanying drawings by Chris Riddell. It is about what happened the day that a father went to fetch some milk so that his children could have their breakfast and the adventures of what happened to him on the way. It features time travel, dinosaurs, pirates and ponies. It is a book that will enthral all ages, well it certainly enthralled me, and I am nearly 40!

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