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Fiction

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Stephen

Stephen Rowlands Gill,, United Kingdom Member Since 2005

Classics,contemporary fiction, Politics, Philosophy, Economics - a weekly eye on The New Yorker & The Guardian and dense word style/play.

HELPFUL VOTES
374
ratings
REVIEWS
177
174
FOLLOWERS
FOLLOWING
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  • "Start of something big?"

    Overall

    I'm not sure how I stumbled into Murakami - I think it was on the basis of a review or mention in the New Yorker magazine - and a quick look through the available titles on Audible. Having listened to Norwegian Wood I saw the recent BBC Imagine programme where the author refused to appear in person and his readers seemed strangely reluctant to break ranks and give their impressions of the books - other than to say they had established a personal relationship through reading and did not want to betray the 'trust' placed in them. Odd, odd, very odd. The website with its moody based doesn't seem to clear anything up - but it is the beauty and clarity of the prose that has captured me and seems to have entranced others around the world. Give it a try, get on board - you'll really enjoy the experience. The picture of Japan is bang up to date - it is the authentic voice of new Japan - the pictures of Kobe, Osaka and Tokyo similarly ring true. Other readers cite David Lynch - but the imagery is definitely Kar Wai Wong. The Japanese sensitivity may be breaking free of the corporate steam roller and we may see a new Chinese-wave - or he may just be a lone but powerful new voice.

    More

    Norwegian Wood

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 26 mins)
    • By Haruki Murakami
    • Narrated By John Chancer
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (137)
    Performance
    (35)
    Story
    (33)

    Toru Watanabe, approaching middle age, hears The Beatles song "Norwegian Wood" in an airplane and, with Proustian vividness, it transports him back to his student days in Japan with Naoko, Midori, and Storm Trooper.

    Stephen says: "Start of something big?"
  • "Corky, Rocky Todd ? the story begi..."

    Overall

    Rummy sort of a book this, what? I mean, I know squads of chappies wouldn?t touch it with a pair of extending sugar tongs. But then, as my Great Uncle Cleasant used to say, you can?t judge a book by the date of its library stamp. I mean, so far as Cless was concerned, he?d be less miffed by the fact that this appeared in 1919 than by the fact that old Pelham Grenville managed to slip at least three stories by that vagabond Reggie Pepper (son of the Colliery people) when you thought you were getting the full Jeeves and Wooster for your shilling. What a scamp, eh?
    But, other than that, the gang?s all here ? Aunt Agatha, Corky, Rocky Todd and a setting that?s exclusively Manhattan, don?t you know. Station clerks peeping out over the battlements at Penn Station, the girls from 'Frolics at Midnight' and that scourge of musical comedy, the evangelist Jimmy Munday for heavens sake. Its one? long hoot from soup to nuts?The green dust jacket needs a little work, however, I?m sure you?ll agree, sir??

    More

    My Man Jeeves

    • UNABRIDGED (5 hrs and 8 mins)
    • By P.G. Wodehouse
    • Narrated By Simon Prebble
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (28)
    Performance
    (10)
    Story
    (10)

    My Man Jeeves, first published in 1919, introduced the world to affable, indolent Bertie Wooster and his precise, capable valet, Jeeves. Some of the finest examples of humorous writing found in English literature are woven around the relationship between these two men of very different classes and temperaments. Where Bertie is impetuous and feeble, Jeeves is coolheaded and poised.

    Stephen says: "Corky, Rocky Todd ? the story begins splendidly"
  • "Kirsten is Christina"

    Overall

    The notion of the true story of King Christian IV of Denmark set in the year of 1630 as 'racy' seems a bit of a stretch, but Rose Tremain through the character of Kirsten or Christina Munk pulls it off. Lots of plots and sub plots, great storytelling from a writer who was new to me - really enjoyable. Jenny Agutter's performance is great as well, she has the perfect voice for this one - a pleasure in itself.

    More

    Music and Silence

    • UNABRIDGED (18 hrs and 27 mins)
    • By Rose Tremain
    • Narrated By Jenny Agutter
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (42)
    Performance
    (15)
    Story
    (15)

    In the year 1629, a young English lutenist named Peter Claire arrives at the Danish Court to join King Christian IV's Royal Orchestra. From the moment when he realizes that the musicians perform in a freezing cellar underneath the royal apartments, Peter Clair understands that he's come to a place where the opposing states of light and dark, good and evil, are waging war to the death.

    Stephen says: "Kirsten is Christina"
  1. Norwegian Wood
  2. My Man Jeeves
  3. Music and Silence
  4. .

Winner of the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction 2014

Now a major film

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    Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's Sherlock Holmes tales are rightly ranked among the seminal works of mystery and detective fiction. Included in this collection are all four full-length Holmes novels and more than forty short masterpieces - from the inaugural adventure A Study in Scarlet to timeless favorites like "The Speckled Band" and more. At the center of each stands the iconic figure of Holmes - brilliant, eccentric, and capable of amazing feats of deductive reasoning.

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