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Cornwall: St Ives

1. We met a seagull.

2. We climbed on rocks.

3. View from our picnic spot.

4. The seagull that tried to steal our lunch.

5. Having fun with my shadow.

6. View of St Ives from The Island.

7. King of the world? (Yes, i just made a Titanic reference.)

8. Waiting for the bus.

Cornwall: Penzance

Having taken over 2000 photos with my camera and about 200-400 with my phone, the prospect of going through holiday photos was intimidating enough for me to have put it off for weeks. *deep breath*

1. Arrival at Penzance by train from Plymouth. It was nice to see St Michael's Mount again.

2. Someone's beautiful rock balancing. I was convinced these were glued or otherwise held together. On our way back i was proved wrong: some of them had fallen down!

3&4. Lovely views.

5. The closest i got to a puffin.

6. Our picnic spot.

7. The end of our walk through Penzance welcomed us to Penzance...

8. The front entrance to our campsite that we had managed to miss the evening before.

I Am Legend

(viewed 333 times)
Book Twenty Seven.

Post-apocalyptic dystopian horror! How could i not like this book? (It could’ve been crap, is how, but thankfully it wasn’t.)

I love horror, but mix it with science fiction and make it sound like a realistically plausible thing and apparently i love it even more. This books makes vampires not a scary mythical beast, but a disease that, in theory, could exist… which in my opinion makes the idea of vampires even scarier.

Matheson creates a darkly twisted, but ultimately hopeful ending… it’s just not the kind of hopeful you expect.

(Longer review at: marvelatwords.wordpress.com)

Notes From an Exhibition

(viewed 399 times)
Book Twenty Six.

It’s a quiet book. There are no huge revelations or action-packed scenes. It reveals its secrets slowly, over the course of the entire book, making each chapter a short story of its own that overlaps and weaves with the others.

I read it as much more of a character study than simply a narrative, and enjoyed it this way. I got to know these characters, their history, and explore how they each dealt with family, mental illness and death. No character was perfect, but neither was anyone entirely flawed. Seeing the same things from several points of view, and at different stages of the non-linear timeline gives the reader an omniscient perspective of events. It makes it hard to make any judgements on the characters involved and i finished the book with a sense that in spite of people’s intentions, life is random, unpredictable and completely out of our control.

As much as i can praise this books, as very well-written as it was… it’s just not my thing. I enjoyed it immensely for all of the above reasons, but it is not the kind of book i would usually read. I would not be able to read books like this too often; they would eventually bore me, i think. I need a little excitement, a little more humour and less normality. But as a one-off, i am very pleased i picked up this book.

(Longer review at: marvelatwords.wordpress.com)

Cornwall Camping

First day spent camping and walking the coast of Penzance. Perfect weather. Will it last? Fingers crossed!

The Thirty-Nine Steps

(viewed 437 times)
Book Twenty Five.

This book starts off with a letter/dedication from the author, who talks about enjoying books in which “the incidents defy the probabilities, and march just inside the boarders of the possible.” And that is a perfectly fine description of the book he wrote.

This book starts off with a letter/dedication from the author, who talks about enjoying books in which “the incidents defy the probabilities, and march just inside the boarders of the possible.” And that is a perfectly fine description of the book he wrote.

I’m not opposed to a good chase plot, but i do prefer them to actually include a bit of plot; if Hannay was actually working towards something or finding out information. Instead he was simply killing time until closer to the date of the predicted assassination, which seems entirely boring and pointless.

The writing was good, and the beginning and the end was some pretty wonderful stuff. The idea of the ‘chase’ section of the book works, it’s just a shame it had nothing driving it and ended up rather repetitive.

(Longer review at: marvelatwords.wordpress.com)

The Death of Bees

(viewed 374 times)
Book Twenty Four.

I enjoyed this book well enough. It was an easy read. With very short chapters i suffered from a case of ‘just one more…’ and finished it quickly. But as much as i enjoyed it, it wasn’t as good as i had hoped it would be. The blurb is very well written, and makes the books sound a lot more interesting that it actually is.

What bothered me the most was the feeling that this books just went on too long. The narrative style of three first person points of view and short chapters made the story move along quickly, but the story went on too long without enough actually happening. By about halfway through i was ready for the climax; i was ready to see how the story would end for these characters and i was ready to say goodbye to them. Instead a new character is introduced, who manages to eke out the book for a little longer. I hated the grandfather just as much as i was supposed to, but i was hoping for some kind of twist to his storyline, to make the extra pages worthwhile. It didn’t happen, and to me felt rather superfluous.

Overall i did enjoy the book, but i saw so much more potential in it, it was a shame. It was a nice enough way to while away a little time, but i know i won’t want to re-read it. That feeling more than anything is what disappoints me.

(Longer review at: marvelatwords.wordpress.com)

Native Tongue

(viewed 393 times)
Book Twenty Three.

It’s silly and funny and made me laugh out loud. The whole premise is ridiculous and only gets more slapstick as the book progresses, but the progression of the ridiculousness is so gradual, you barely notice it happening and don’t stop to question it.

The storytelling is actually very good. The small hints and subtle foreshadowing is perfection. A couple of times they caught me out completely, but often a small mention of something had me thinking, “I hope that’s…” and when it turned out it was, i could only grin with glee.

The characters i am divided on pretty much 50/50. The male characters are all well done, all interesting with diverse personalities. The females are a sack of shit.

It is immensely frustrating. On the one hand, Hiaasen seems to point at and mock the over-sexualised image of women (with a grotesquely over-large photograph of a naked woman at the nineteenth hole of a golf course or the dumbing down of a historical show in order to “show more tits and ass”), but he himself does nothing to make his female characters anything but typical clichés of this; they serve little-to-no purpose except as sexual objects for the male characters.

As much as i enjoyed all aspects of the book except the blatant sexism, i will never be able to give Hiaasen more than three stars until he writes more realistic female characters.

(Longer review at: marvelatwords.wordpress.com)