Category: Authors K-O (By Surname)

Miriam Margolyes – This Much is True [REVIEW]

Title: This Much is True

Author: Miriam Margolyes

Type: Non-Fiction

Page Count/Review Word Count: 438

Rating: 3.5/5

Miriam Margolyes is something of a national treasure, which I think is quite interesting because I’ve only really known who she is for a couple of years or so. It’s only been a month since I learned that her surname is Margolyes and not Margoyles, and I still don’t know how to pronounce it.

Margolyes is basically known for just being an interesting person who spins an entertaining yarn, and that’s really all she ever wanted to be. She’s always been proud of her ability to get on with people and to entertain them, as well as to adlib on pretty much any topic that’s required.

The interesting thing about this read is that I was reading it at roughly the same time as listening to David Attenborough’s Life On Air on audio book, and there were some surprising parallels and similarities. It was cool to hear them both talking about what it took to make it on the radio. They both talked about how important it was to speak as though you were only talking to a single person.

Margolyes has lived such an interesting life that her autobiography was always going to be fascinating, and I’d argue that some of the more interesting moments were when she was talking about her early life, before she was famous. She also doesn’t pull any punches when she talks about things like her sexual awakening, as well as sexual assault and homophobia, amongst other aspects of life as a lesbian in the sixties and seventies.

You can tell from watching her interviews that Margolyes is a gifted raconteur, and she shows that here. I’ve heard that she narrates the audio book and so that’s probably also worth checking out, but I was also pretty happy with reading the printed word. Her voice certainly comes across in the way that she writes things.

My biggest gripe would probably be that Margolyes is a bit of a name-dropper, but that’s fine for a memoir. It’s actually quite impressive to see how many different people she’s met throughout her life, and they come from all sorts of different walks of life. And more interesting than the people themselves were the anecdotes that she told about them.

All in all then, it’s a pretty decent memoir and definitely one that you should check out if you’re interested in learning about Margolyes’ life. In fact, it’s a pretty good memoir in general and has lots of tasty food for thought.

Learn more about This Much is True.

Richard Osman – The Bullet That Missed [REVIEW]

Title: The Bullet That Missed

Author: Richard Osman

Type:  Fiction

Page Count/Review Word Count: 426

Rating: 3.5/5  

The great thing about these books is that they’re so popular that it’s easy for me to pick these up from charity shops. That does also mean that I get to them a little bit after their release though, but that’s fine by me because that’s exactly what kind of series this is – it’s not one of those where I can’t wait for the next one and pre-order it as soon as it’s announced.

In this book, the Thursday Murder Club investigates yet another murder, to the point at which I’m kind of starting to wonder how they’re gaining access to so many cases. Osman does explain that in the narrative, but it still strains the limits of credibility.

Still, it’s a decent little murder mystery, and the whole point of what Osman does is that it’s also a lot of fun along the way. I think if you judged this book purely as a mystery novel then you could poke all sorts of holes in it. But it’s not a pure mystery, in the same way that Terry Pratchett’s books aren’t pure fantasy novels.

I also like the way that the side characters see their fair share of character development as the novel continues. There are some cute little relationships going on that even I’m in favour of, and I’m not a fan of romance in novels. Perhaps that’s just a sign of how good of a job Osman does with his writing.

Lately, I’ve been reading on the exercise bike at the gym, and this was a fantastic book for doing just that. The time flew by because it’s such a page-turner that it made me want to stay on for an extra ten minutes just to see what was going to happen next. I also thought it did a great job of staying consistent from start to finish, and so it never felt as though it was running out of steam.

Honestly, this might be my favourite book in the series so far, and I think a lot of that is because Osman has done such a good job with the characterisation up to this point that it feels like hanging out with old friends. There are actually quite a lot of characters to keep track of, but it never gets confusing.

All in all then, if you’ve read to this point, keep on reading. Otherwise, find something else.

Learn more about The Bullet That Missed.