What I’ve been reading – The Devil Wears Prada by Lauren Weisberger

The Devil Wears Prada (The Devil Wears Prada, #1)The Devil Wears Prada by Lauren Weisberger
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I can see the flaws in this book – now that they’ve been pointed out to me. And I thoroughly relished it anyway. It’s a fun romp, packed with malice, fury and toney designer brand names, and easily tons superior to the sickly sentimentality and cop-out of the film.

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What I’ve been reading – No Place Like by Gene Kemp

No Place LikeNo Place Like by Gene Kemp
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Pete is no more than flotsam bobbing aimlessly on the waves, when he fails his ‘O’ levels/GCSEs and heads off to the local community college. Because that’s what kids in his situation do, and he doesn’t have any better ideas. He’s letting life happen to him. But gradually he begins to get his bearings, identify positive influences and helpful people, make a few friends, get a few ideas about things he might actually like and want to do.

It takes longer for him to spot the malign influences, the folks to avoid. Still longer to understand that not all wrong ‘uns can be harmlessly evaded, and confrontation isn’t always optional.

It’s a pivotal point in adolescent life, but Pete takes those first steps, gets a grip on who he might be or become. All without lasting hurt or mortal wound. But for a light, sweet YA novel, it’s amazing how clear it is that that’s partially his own efforts, and partially the merest luck and chance.

This is really beautifully written, simple and clear, economical, precise and extremely funny. The character of Pete’s dad is especially immortal and hilarious, and there are moments of his character’s contributions to the tale that are as funny as anything in Wodehouse.

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What I’ve been reading – Press: Enter by John Varley

Press EnterPress Enter by John Varley
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Almost the greatest thing ever written. If you think that’s hyperbole then you haven’t read it yet. Three things in it to watch out for: i) the flawed and bittersweet love, ii) the completely justified paranoia and iii) the microwave. Jeepers.

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Goodreads reviews: what I’m reading lately

 

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Press EnterPress Enter by John Varley

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Almost the greatest thing ever written. If you think that’s hyperbole then you haven’t read it yet. Three things in it to watch out for: i) the flawed and bittersweet love, ii) the completely justified paranoia and iii) the microwave. Jeepers.

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Image – Julian BurgessĀ  https://www.flickr.com/photos/aubergene/ via licence https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/

What I’ve been reading – Bethany by Anita Mason

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BethanyBethany by Anita Mason

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Sly, subtle portrayal of the implementation of cult structures and procedures in a social grouping. Complete with an abusive, narcissistic bully posing as caring commune leader, and submissive devotees serving dual function as enforcers – and all without ever being so crude as to explicitly state the purpose of the narrative. Compliance is rewarded, and consent vigorously manufactured to Newspeak assertions that up is down and the earth is – metaphorically – flat. Resistance and dissent are vehemently discouraged. But will one prospective mug/mark manage to evade the net?

Clever. And unsettling. Not a jolly read, but a memorable one.

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Image – Jenny Mackness https://www.flickr.com/photos/jennymackness/ licence https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/2.0/