“A People’s History of London,” by John Rees and Lindsey German

Non-fiction, 2012 Very decent book looking, essentially, at protest movements based or operating in London. Some of the events are more well-known than others, although the streets upwards viewpoint, rather than a view looking down from the point of view of the power structure, will be unfamiliar to most. Occasionally, an edit or two may have helped things appear more objective, and inevitably, the more … Continue reading “A People’s History of London,” by John Rees and Lindsey German

‘Gone Girl,’ by Gillian Flynn

Novel, 2012 Thriller, written from the viewpoints of the two main protagonists, in which a husband falls under suspicion of murder following the disappearance of his wife. A page turning read, with a number of twists and turns along the way. The interesting aspect of this book is the dual narration and the way that develops and gives nods, here and there, to straightforward mysteries, … Continue reading ‘Gone Girl,’ by Gillian Flynn

“Mud, Sweat and Gears”, by Ellie Bennett

Non-fiction, 2012 Atypical account of a Land’s End to John O’Groats bike run, powered by real ale, poor weather, wry observation and a refreshing disdain for the cutthroat, sporty and scientific. There’s a nice rhythm to the writing, and while we’re not taken into any dark, challenging areas of soulful import, this is a light read, whose attentions to detail are entertaining and informative. The … Continue reading “Mud, Sweat and Gears”, by Ellie Bennett

"A Trick I Learned from Dead Men," by Kitty Aldridge

Novel, 2012 Readable first person account of how a young funeral parlour employee tries to grow up in the face of hugely challenging domestic and personal circumstances. A quick read in which Lee, the main character, has a strong voice which is very occasionally undermined by being perhaps a little too ‘shouty’ and vernacular. Still, the first person narrative and deadpan delivery are effective in … Continue reading "A Trick I Learned from Dead Men," by Kitty Aldridge

"Looper", directed by Rian Johnson

Movie, 2012 Time travel science-fiction thriller in which execution squads take care of people flipped back to them from the future. Within this framework, a thriller with a few fairly standard goings on (chases, a nemesis and a few characters unwittingly drawn but relevant to the plot) and a few more mythical, magical elements, though possibly entirely seamlessly accommodating Bruce Willis’ action hero and the … Continue reading "Looper", directed by Rian Johnson

"A Man Called Ove," by Fredrik Backman

Novel, 2012 Recently and deeply bereaved widower contemplates ending it all but is only happy to do so once all matters in hand are in some sort of order and those around him, in his neighbourhood, start conducting themselves in a fit and proper manner. As easy book to get into which, whenever it feels in an way repetitive or overly formulaic, brings things back … Continue reading "A Man Called Ove," by Fredrik Backman

"Look Who’s Back," by Timur Vermes

Novel, 2012 A book about Hitler’s exploits after the Fuhrer wakes up on a patch of ground in Berlin in 2011. This is a confusing and frustrating book, translation or both; the early scenes and situations flicking too awkwardly between those where Hitler realises nearly 70 years have passed since his incarceration in his bunker to those where he forgets. The satire picks up as … Continue reading "Look Who’s Back," by Timur Vermes