Saturday, 14 November 2009

Two Book Reviews

I haven't managed to write anything myself for a while, but here are some books written by others that I have thoroughly enjoyed reading.

I have recently read two books which I found were real “page turners”. Quite by coincidence, they follow a similar theme in both being about a person raising the ghosts of the past at the behest of someone else. That, though, is where the similarity ends.

Past Imperfect by Julian Fellowes - perhaps better known as the actor who played Lord Kilwillie in “Monarch of the Glen”, and wrote the screenplay of “Gosford Park” - tells the poignant stories of six women who were part of the glamorous London Season of 1968. Julian effortlessly evokes the customs and snobberies of this upper-class world in which he himself grew up, and in which anyone who was not of the right social calibre would remain for ever an outsider.
(ISBN 978 0 7538 2541 9)

If I Never, a first novel by Gary William Murning, tells a tender, romantic tale amid crime, drugs and violence in an un-named northern town. It is not the sort of book one would normally expect a Vicar to recommend, and is not for those who are squeamish about bad language and graphic images. However, it is a riveting read. Gary, whom I know personally, is not from Julian’s privileged background but is very much a gentleman; yet he still brings vividly to life the sort of world that, mercifully, neither he nor most of his readers have experienced at first hand. (ISBN 978 7 9065581 4 7)