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Grumpy Squid

  • 13
  • reviews
  • 9
  • helpful votes
  • 44
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I didn’t give up, thank goodnesd

Overall
4 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
2 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 08-04-19

John Slattery, who I like very much, reads this book marvellously. It seems like Hemingway wrote no sentence of more than 10 words. In the end the effect is quite hypnotic I have even found myself started to speak in this staccato way. I knew nothing of Hemingway before I read this book. However, I had seen a group photograph of Chinese Ernest Hemingway look-a-likes. I thought Hemingway a macho writer. I thought I wouldn’t like the book. I thought it would be about the heroics of war.
I was wrong.

Initially Catherine and the protagonist annoyed me. Their conversations seemed banal. In the end I thought her brave. I thought him brave, I started to admire him. Hemingway felt it necessary, towards the end, to make it clear that he was against war. He tells the story of the ants on the log that was put into the fire. Their world was doomed. I think Hemingway betrayed himself there. The book would be stronger without the ant anecdote.

Don’t give up in this book. I started off being very bored but ended up being quite moved. I’m even considering listing to some more Hemingway.

Key historical document

Overall
5 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 21-02-19

A very interesting book, showing a view of slavery but beware “racial”stereotypes permeate a book with a big heart.

1 person found this helpful

More than just a children’s book

Overall
5 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 24-07-18

This is a terrific book - really uplifting. I’m more than an adult now but I found it compelling, realistic and beautiful.

This is a great book for kids

Overall
5 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 21-07-18

I loved the Famous Five when I was a kid. I remember going to the library in the hope of finding one that I hadn’t read. Now, of course, they are a bit tame. Nevertheless this was a good story and I can see how the adventures of these independent and adventurous children would have appealed to me. The are also kind and work together as a team which I find lovely. Like Treasure Island it’s a just plausible adventure. Mind you I find them a bit reckless and relying too much on the kindness of strangers. As a child I found Anne a drip now I think her a very sympathetic character and notice how she does a lot to solve the mystery. Mind you the boys are in charge which dates the work.

Poisonous

Overall
1 out of 5 stars
Performance
4 out of 5 stars
Story
1 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 10-06-18

What is this? It seems to be The wet dream of a 15-year-old boy. It seems to lack anything a novel should have, really anything.

Inspiring

Overall
5 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 08-05-18

Comey may be pompous, you might say naive but the contrast between this good man and Donald Trump is so stark and so clear that it floods a light into the grey viciousness of Trump’s gangster administration. I pray that Comey is right and that Robert Miller will reveal Trump for the despicable creature that he is.

Disappointing

Overall
3 out of 5 stars
Performance
4 out of 5 stars
Story
3 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 14-04-18

Too much weedy religious philosophising and not enough action. I really couldn’t recommend this book.

Some old fashioned attitudes on view here

Overall
4 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
4 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 06-02-18

Any additional comments?

Well read by Sean Barrett, a pretty good thriller/horror story. However it betrays its age with some dodgy attitudes to gay people and a very patriarchal hero. For instance the one-armed gay ex-soldier seems to assuage his guilt over his homosexuality by having his penis chopped off. Still if you can deal with these issues it’s a good listen.

2 people found this helpful

Patience is needed here

Overall
3 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 19-10-17

The book is brilliantly read, the story is magnificent, overall it only gets three stars because Hugo is partial to rambling, and generally very tedious, digressions. Of course the result is a greater immersion in the story, a greater empathy with the characters so that the heart-rending final scene is that much more poignant. On balance though I think I would recommend an edited version.

5 people found this helpful

My father read this when he was a boy.

Overall
5 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 31-07-17

This is a tremendous book. Perhaps it might seem outdated to reflect upon the conflict between employer and employee in what, I suppose, was the 19th century. However when you consider zero hours contracts, the gig economy and the way in which people still vote Tory its relevance has not diminished with time.