Tuesday, 5 March 2013

Tuesday Book Reviews

                                      The Bicycle Runner by G Franco Romagnoli

From the start I felt like the book was obviously written by someone who’s first language wasn’t English and it was poorly edited. Towards the end of the book, I found out the author died and left the manuscript in a draw, where his second wife found it and published it. That explained a lot.
Because of the above reasons, I would disagree with the publisher’s description ‘lyrical in language, rich in sentimentality, and possessing the magic of a classic Fellini film.’ While it is a lovely story of growing up in fascist Italy, it’s not lyrical in language and does not really possess any magic.

Saying that, I did find the book a light and easy read that kept my attention. It got jumbled in places, but I find most memoirs are like that anyway so that didn’t put me off at all.

Towards the end though, once he returned to Rome, I got bored. I scanned most of the last few chapters like it was a chore to read which is a shame as I had enjoyed the rest of the book.

My favourite parts of the book were Frontale and its weird and wonderful characters, especially Zia Elena (yes, I did google earth the village), Magda’s ‘joie de vivre’ and honesty and was very pleased she found a man and Gian’s childhood in Rome. I loved his stories of all the mischief he got up to!

I would recommend this book if you didn't know anything about Italy, fascism and their role in the Second World War as it’s simple to understand and not boring in regard to the politics involved. I would definitely recommend purely on his childhood stories alone.

Article 5 by Kristen Simmons

This book was only ok for me. 

The relationship between Chase and Ember was too obvious, just like Mills and Boon has a template for their stories, the relationships and the character traits, I felt this book was following a formula as well.

I didn't feel like I'd wasted my time reading it but I'm not really bothered if I read the next on or not though.

I was thinking about it for book club and I'm glad I didn't pick it in the end. I think it would have been to dull.

However, on a positive note, I did love the idea behind the story. It's a scary thought that countries do become like this all the time and their people are living like these guys and if it wasn't for us taking in refugees, they would end up like Ember's mum.

So on that note alone, I think it's a good book for the age range it's recommended for. 

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