Revolutionary

31 05 2014

A Place of Greater Safety by Hilary Mantel

 

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Georges-Jacques Danton: zealous, energetic and debt-ridden. Maximilien Robespierre: small, diligent and terrified of violence. And Camille Desmoulins: a genius of rhetoric, charming and handsome, yet also erratic and untrustworthy. As these young men, key figures of the French Revolution, taste the addictive delights of power, the darker side of the period’s political ideals is unleashed – and all must face the horror that follows.

Capturing the violence, tragedy, history, and drama of the French Revolution, this novel focuses on the families and loves of three men who led the Revolution–Danton, the orator; Robespierre, the cold rationalist; and Desmoulins, a fellow conspirator.

It’s a big book in every sense with a huge cast of characters and masses of action and detail across the terrain of revolutionary France. Impossible to justice to it in a few words but suffice to say it is a tremendous work – dramatic, fast-paced and exciting with plenty of politics and blood. Highly recommended.

 
stars-4-0._V5268001_





Hot, hot, hot

24 05 2014

Instructions for a Heatwave by Maggie O’Farrell

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It’s July 1976. In London, it hasn’t rained for months, gardens are filled with aphids, water comes from a standpipe, and Robert Riordan tells his wife Gretta that he’s going round the corner to buy a newspaper. He doesn’t come back. The search for Robert brings Gretta’s children – two estranged sisters and a brother on the brink of divorce – back home, each with different ideas as to where their father might have gone. None of them suspects that their mother might have an explanation that even now she cannot share.

 

As usual with O’Farrell it is terrifically well written and flows extremely well. It’s measured and slow paced and the characters are extremely well drawn. However, I struggled in places to maintain enthusiasm although overall would still recommend it even though it is not O’Farrell’s finest.

stars-3-5





Ego trip: Approximation of a playlist §66

11 05 2014

Bands who serve their leaders

You Keep Me Hanging On    Diana Ross & The Supremes
Wonderwall    The Mike Flowers Pops
There she goes, my beautiful world    Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds
Stepping stone    Gene Drayton Unit
Roadrunner    Jonathan Richman & The Modern Lovers
Battle Of Who Could Care Less    Ben Folds Five
Is this love    Bob Marley & The Wailers
Angel Face    The Glitter Band
Free Fallin’    Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers
Beat The Beat    Mari Wilson With The Wilsations
Davy’s On The Road Again    Manfred Manns EarthbandI love me
Stand And Deliver    Adam & The Ants
How Sweet It Is (To Be Loved By You)    Junior Walker & The All Stars
I Love Rock n Roll    Joan Jett and the Blackhearts
Hit Me With Your Rhythm Stick    Ian Dury & The Blockheads
Are you ready to be heartbroken?    Lloyd Cole & the Commotions
Forget Me Not    Martha Reeves & The Vandellas
The Tears of a Clown    Smokey Robinson & The Miracles








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