Tag: 2005

Peter James – Dead Simple | Review

Title: Dead Simple

Author: Peter James

Type: Fiction

Page Count/Review Word Count: 470

Rating 4/5

 

 

This is the first Peter James book, and I was actually quite impressed by how good it was. As a general rule, I’ve found that he got better and better as time went on, so I was surprised to find that his first was pretty good. The main problems that I spotted were a couple of typos, but they didn’t really hamper my enjoyment.

It was also interesting because it was set back in 2005, which would have been when it was written. Mobile phones had physical keypads on them and the smoking ban was yet to take effect. Then there’s the fact that we’re introduced to a bunch of characters that appear throughout the rest of the series, and so it was good to get to know them from that initial meeting.

The good news is that you don’t need to read them in order if you don’t want to, and I’ve just been picking them up every time I see them in charity shops. It’s not a bad way of doing it, but it’s also not the best, because you’ll spoil yourself for bits of the characters’ personal lives.

 

 

The plot in this one revolves around what at first glance appears to be a stag night prank gone wrong. The groom has been buried alive in a coffin and the stag party, the only ones who know where he is, have been killed in a car crash. Enter Detective Superintendent Roy Grace of the Brighton police force, as he tries to figure out what’s going on in a race against time.

There were plenty of twists and turns to keep you going throughout this novel, and I was also taken by surprise by the big reveal at the end. James does a great job of setting your expectations and then subverting them, and I think it’s that which makes him a decent crime writer. That’s especially difficult to pull off when, as in this novel, the reader gets to see from the point of view of the suspects, as well as the police force.

All in all, this was a pretty solid book and a decent start to the Roy Grace series, although I also think that it gets better over time. Seeing as it’s the first book in the series, I don’t know why you wouldn’t start here, but if you are tempted to skip in then that’s fine too. Just make sure that you come back to it eventually, because it really is worth reading. It’s a decent example of what a crime novel should be and I know it’s easy to say looking back, but it seems obvious he was destined for great things.

 

 

Click here to buy Dead Simple.

 


Aaron Peckham – Urban Dictionary | Review

Title: Urban Dictionary

Author: Aaron Peckham

Type: Non-Fiction

Page Count/Review Word Count: 343

Rating: 7/10

 

Aaron Peckham - Mo' Urban Dictionary

Aaron Peckham – Mo’ Urban Dictionary

 

Aaron Peckham is the founder of UrbanDictionary.com, and this book is his first compilation of the best of the best user-submitted words to join the site’s database. As such, it’s basically a physical dictionary for street slang, although it’s already kind of out of date.

It’s fun, just like the website is – I wouldn’t say that the words included here are actually the best of the best, but the author has at least weeded out most of the rubbish ones, even if he’s not really the author because all of the submissions were crowdsourced from the community.

Imagine, if you will, somebody hitting a big ‘random‘ button a couple of thousand times, logging all of the results that came up, and then alphabetising them and putting them into book form. That’s basically what we have here, and I’m not saying that that’s a bad thing. After all, isn’t a regular dictionary pretty much the same thing?

 

Aaron Peckham

Aaron Peckham

 

So yeah, buy this if you fancy a bit of a laugh and you’ve used the site before, or if you grew up using it like I did. Who knows? If you’re a regular user, you might even see your own definition in there. But the chances of that are pretty slim, seeing as there are so many words on the site and this book was published in 2005, so you’d need a historical entry to make the roster.

Still, it’s worth owning, if only to show to your (geeky) friends. For a bit of extra fun, claim that the book came out before the website and see if they buy it. And if you enjoy reading and flicking through it, then who knows? Perhaps you’ll even buy the sequel – I know I did! No idea if there was a third book though, I kind of lost interest after that. The gimmick only works for so long, and for different lengths of time for different people. Good luck, folks.

 

Urban Dictionary

Urban Dictionary

 

Click here to buy Urban Dictionary.