Tag: 1980s

Lucy Cruickshanks – The Road to Rangoon | Review

Title: The Road to Rangoon

Author: Lucy Cruickshanks

Type: Fiction

Page Count/Review Word Count: 440

Rating: 3.5/5

 

Lucy Cruickshanks - The Road to Rangoon

Lucy Cruickshanks – The Road to Rangoon

 

This is the second of two books that Lucy has written and which are set in Burma, and I was kind of expecting this one to be a sequel. It wasn’t, at least as far as I could tell, but that didn’t stop me from enjoying it. Perhaps it’s not the kind of book that I’d usually read, but I’m still glad that I picked it up.

Cruickshanks has a knack for establishing a sense of place, and when you’re reading this book it really feels as though you’re there. The plot was great as well, although I wasn’t too attached to the characters. I think the characters were better in the first book but that the plot was better in this one, so perhaps it just depends on what kind of reader you are.

Another good thing about this book was how quick and easy it was to read. I whizzed through it in two or three days and when I finished, it felt like I’d just got back from a holiday. It wasn’t much of a holiday though, because the book is set during the 1980s before armed conflict in the country led to it changing its name from Burma to Myanmar. Rangoon was also changed to Yangon, which means that even the title of this book helps to establish a sense of time and place.

 

Lucy Cruikshanks

Lucy Cruikshanks

 

Because of that, this novel is a sort of weird mixture between literary fiction, historical fiction and a sort of military thriller. I can’t think of anything that I’ve read that’s quite like it, and I read a lot of different stuff. I’d be interested to know what some of Cruickshanks’ inspirations were when she wrote this, although I also watch her talk about books on BookTube and so I already know what she’s into.

So would I recommend this one? Yes and no, because I don’t think it’s quite right for everyone. That said, I think if the synopsis sounds good and you have some sort of interest in Burma then it’s pretty much a no-brainer, because it’s well-written, well-edited and an all-round professional release. The only reason I can think of that someone might not like it would be if they’re just not that interested in the subject matter.

All in all, then, Lucy did a great job with this one and I think it was a worthy follow-up to her first book. She didn’t just try to imitate herself and that’s to be commended. Good stuff.

 

Lucy Cruikshanks - The Trader of Saigon

Lucy Cruikshanks – The Trader of Saigon

 

Click here to buy The Road to Rangoon.

 


Peter James – Billionaire | Review

Title: Billionaire

Author: Peter James

Type: Fiction

Page Count/Review Word Count: 322

Rating: 3*/5

 

Peter James - Billionaire

Peter James – Billionaire

 

This book is one of the oldest books in James’ bibliography, and it’s definitely a product of the times in which it was written – as the author himself admins in his introduction. It’s actually a reasonably well-written book, and certainly a sign of things to come – but at the same time, it feels old-fashioned.

There’s also the fact that it isn’t a crime novel, which is what James is most well-known for. Instead, it’s sort of a cross between an espionage novel and a thriller based on money and power, and the story line follows a man called Rocq who gets into an awkward situation involving gold and coffee stocks. It’s pretty confusing if you’re not into politics and the way that the world works – but with the added complexity of it being based on the way the world worked in the 1980s.

Overall, I wouldn’t say that this was a bad book – it just wasn’t as good as his others. It’s also not the kind of genre that I’d usually read – I find that a lot of spy thrillers are pretty much the same, and this one didn’t do much to make itself stand out. In fact, by the time that I reached the end of it, I’d already forgotten half of the things that happened along the way.

Really, you’re only going to love this book if you’re a big fan of the genre of writing, and I don’t think it has a huge amount of mainstream appeal. I read at least a hundred books per year, and this one’s the type that would be about bang in the middle if I were to list them in order of how much I enjoyed them. Because of that, I’d recommend reading one of Peter James’ Roy Grace books before giving this one a go.

 

Peter James

Peter James

 

Click here to buy Billionaire.

 


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