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AK’s book reviews

One of the lesser-known novelists who does not generally feature in lists of Edwardian writers, Stephen McKenna wrote with acuity and insight and this novel about a wilful young society woman in the years shortly before the First World War certainly is worth reading, if only to sympathise with the unsuspecting hero of the story who suffers from her unconsiderate behaviour. In passing it may be observed that Eric Lane seems to have been intended by the author to be a stock figure depicting heartbreak, because in the sequel to this novel, he encounters disappointment and disillusionment once again.
02/10/2015
There is something about this writer which is reminiscent of Balzac and indeed Balzac did base his character Camille Maupin on George Sand. Certainly Mauprat is one of the best French novels of the early 19th century, and despite this being the only one of Sand's books available on this website, it certainly does speak volumes for the breadth of mind of the author who has accurately depicted the anguish and the confusion of the main character and the passionate, even mediaeval love that eventually succeeds in changing his nature.
02/10/2015
Stephen Leacock certainly is the funniest of all humour writers, beating even Jerome K. Jerome. The short stories in this book simply make you erupt in laughter; not because the actions of the characters are portrayed as funny, but because the author maintains such a serious tone while describing utterly ludicrous scenes.

Especially recommended are "Boarding House Geometry", "A Lesson in Fiction" and "How to Avoid Getting Married."
09/09/2013
As an avid reader of Punch I can say that these essays are much less acerbic than many others written in a similar vein, which featured in that famous periodical.
'Happy Days' is a book for reading in idyllic summer afternoons in the garden with the sunshine streaming through the trees. That was the feeling it evoked in me.

Some essays at the beginning of the book are slightly infantile, but the succeeding pages deliver humour and fun enough to make the casual reader ignore, if not completely forget, this first impression. Certainly Milne wrote plays better than he wrote essays, but nevertheless he is still a very good writer in this branch of literature.
09/09/2013
Very, very interesting and unexpected. Most people know Stevenson only as the writer of 'Treasure Island' and 'Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde', but as the page on this website shows, he was a prolific writer who had many other books to his credit. This collection is much lesser known than his full-length novels but it is no less interesting. Personally I found it even better than 'Kidnapped'.

The description is crisp and the dialogue colourful. Not to mention that the action is, as is usual in other Stevenson stories, completely riveting.
09/09/2013
Absent-minded Mr.Pim brings upheaval into an English family when he happens to "pass by" one day. Happily, this chance incursion into their lives is the catalyst which brings certain romantic possibilities to a definite conclusion.

A.A. Milne excelled at play-writing and this is an example of the delicacy and perfection of his craft. Highly recommended.
09/09/2013
Written in what was supposed to be a footman's version of English, this book is enjoyable and amusing. It tells the story of Charles J. Yellowplush's different masters: one of whom sweeps a street crossing and another is an astute nobleman who gets ensnared in a very clever matrimonial trap set by his own father.
Altogether a good read.
07/15/2013
Barry Lyndon -- the story of an Irish boy who uses his wits to get ahead in life. He is involved in duels and wars from a young age (he is in his teens) and ends up making a name for himself as a gambler.
Thackeray\'s writing is distinctly clever. The reader can guess that Barry Lyndon purposely makes himself out to be better than he is, and his indulgent mother reinforces his inflated opinion of himself, when the sad truth is that he was extravagant, blase, avaricious, abusive of his wife and unbearably selfish.
07/15/2013
Incipient love, the inability to express it, and eventual tragedy through forced separation -- these are the themes of this lovely novel. The narrative is freely interspersed with sonnets written by Virginia's mother (Mme. de la Tour) which are mostly tributes to sentiment, and overall the book sounds naive -- which doesn't detract, however, from its pathos and its beauty.
07/15/2013
I have to agree with some of the other reviews. It is not even vaguely scary. The ghost is totally unrelated to the house; he might have appeared anywhere else. Somehow the author did not really do a good job with the story; it was difficult to believe and quite flat.
04/01/2012
Gloria Squitiro - A Skydiver Afraid of Heights
FEATURED AUTHOR - It’s her calling to make every husband on earth feel grateful they’re not married to her. Gloria Squitiro is the birth mother of Tara and Andrew Squitiro, and the cosmic mother of Alex, Nick, Pipo and Anna. Squitiro is an advocate and a dreamer who takes concrete steps to realize her goals and make a lasting, positive impact. Her passion is to get to the heart of issues so people need not be rescued at all. Gloria has been married to her husband (Funk) for 40 years. She became his campaign… Read more