Tag: Airport

Danny Wallace – More Awkward Situations for Men | Review

Title: More Awkward Situations for Men

Author: Danny Wallace

Type: Non-Fiction

Page Count/Review Word Count: 280

Rating: 9/10

 

Danny Wallace - More Awkward Situations for Men

Danny Wallace – More Awkward Situations for Men

 

Danny Wallace is the perfect example of a writer whose personality is his selling point, but that’s okay – he seems like a genuinely nice guy and an entertaining chap to be around, although he does manage to get himself in to his fair share of awkward situations.

Here, he’s dealing with being a parent for the first time, a plumber who refuses to conform to societal norms, his weird friend Colin who gets in to just as many weird situations as Danny, and many, many more.

From what I understand, the book was compiled from a column that he wrote, and so each individual story (about each individual situation) is presented individually and usually only lasts for a couple of pages. But the clever thing here is that the stories are often interrelated, often with recurring jokes or characters. When you think about it, it’s not surprising – after all, that’s how life works, and at the end of the day this is a book about Danny’s life. It’s a good job his life is pretty interesting.

My favourite awkward situations? The one where he had to walk through London wearing a placard and shouting ‘The End is Nigh‘ was pretty good, and so was the story about how a picture of Danny hugging a monkey ended up on billboards across the world. But really, it’s the relatable stories which are best, like his struggle to surreptitiously take a picture in an airport for his Twitter followers. We’ve all been there, man. We’ve all been there.

 

Danny Wallace

Danny Wallace

 

Click here to buy More Awkward Situations for Men.

 


Dan Brown – Deception Point | Review

Title: Deception Point

Author: Dan Brown

Type: Fiction

Page Count/Review Word Count: 585

Rating: 6/10

 

Dan Brown - Deception Point

Dan Brown – Deception Point

 

Ah, wonderful – another ridiculously long review to write about a Dan Brown novel. Deception Point is one of his ‘minor’ works, written and published way before the Da Vinci Code and featuring a different set of characters to the ones that are featured in the Robert Langdon series.

Broadly speaking, it’s about a meteorite that’s discovered that could hold proof that aliens exist, and the subsequent attempts by [spoiler removed] to recover it to stop the discovery from going public. Sounds good, right? Yeah, well maybe it would have been at half the length.

I’m not saying that Brown’s writing is tedious to read – far from it, it’s the equivalent of easy-listening music and it’s true that you feel smart when you plough through 100 pages in an hour. It’s just that, in this case, the story seemed to go on forever – while he’s noted for his twists and turns, there were too many here with no substantial story line to carry them along.

 

Dan Brown

Dan Brown

 

Yet despite all this, it’s still a good read if you compare it to the other books that you’re likely to get in an airport’s W.H. Smith – just don’t buy it from Waterstone’s, there’s so much more out there that you could be reading instead.

It is, at least, suspenseful, and it keeps you guessing right until the end. You can’t trust anyone, which gives each of the characters an extra dimension that they wouldn’t otherwise possess. It just drags on, it really does – by the end, you’re almost angry at Rachel Sexton (the protagonist) for surviving.

I still have a couple of three hundred words to write so, like Dan Brown, I’m going to pad this thing out by talking about the cover. I’ll give it its due – it’s eye-catching and appealing, and just abstract enough to relate to the contents of the book without being too explicit. I like that.

 

Tom Hanks as Robert Langdon

Tom Hanks as Robert Langdon

 

And here’s a little known fact about Dan Brown – between graduating from university in the mid 80s and writing his first novel ten years later, Brown dabbled in music and pursued a career as a popstar. He released an album of children’s music that sold several hundred copies, and then formed his own record label to release a second album of contemporary music for adults.

In fact, in 1994, Brown released an album called ‘Angels and Demons‘ which used the ambigram that was later used for the novel of the same name for its artwork. He even moved to Hollywood to pursue a career, teaching classes at a prep school to support himself.

It’s not for me to tell you what to read – if you’re a Dan Brown fan then by all means, go and read and enjoy Deception Point. If, like me, you’re just a regular reader, skip it and go for one of the more mainstream books – Angels and Demons is probably the best one of the lot.

But if you only read one book every year, don’t make it this one – that’d be like having porridge for your last meal. Be extravagant, choose a good book that will broaden your horizons and make you look at the world in a new way. Choose Charles Bukowski or Irvine Welsh. Choose anyone, just don’t choose Dan Brown – you’ll thank me in the long run. But if you’re like me and you read a dozen books a month then go for it.

 

Charles Bukowski - Read him instead...

Charles Bukowski – Read him instead…

 

Click here to buy Deception Point.

 


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