Tag: BookTuber

Alan Bennett – Talking Heads | Review

Title: Talking Heads

Author: Alan Bennett

Type: Fiction

Page Count: 272

Rating: 3.5/5

I was pretty excited when I spotted this going cheap in a charity shop because I’ve read and enjoyed quite a few Alan Bennett books and this is one of his most well-known. I also know that it’s a huge influence on fellow writer and BookTuber Charlie Heathcote, and indeed his Our Doris series is also a series of monologues.

But dare I say it? I think Charlie’s book is better. It certainly made me laugh more, and while the two obviously have a lot in common, I think Charlie leaned more towards writing a good book while Bennett leaned towards writing a good monologue for TV/radio. It’s a subtle distinction, but it just meant that for me, I felt as though I was missing something.

I think that this book is probably better suited to people who are already Talking Heads fans. That’s kind of what it feels like, a sort of spin-off from a TV show. It reminds me of the A Bit of Fry and Laurie book, which was basically just the scripts from the show. It was okay, but seeing them actually performed was better.

I am still glad I read this though, and Bennett as always raises some interesting points and discussion subjects. It just wasn’t quite on the same level as The Lady in the Van, The Uncommon Reader and some of his others. I felt like that about The History Boys too, so maybe it’s just a case of the books sometimes being overtaken by their hype.

Learn more about Talking Heads.

 


Ruth Ware – In a Dark, Dark Wood | Review

Title: In a Dark, Dark Wood

Author: Ruth Ware

Type: Fiction

Page Count/Review Word Count: 360

Rating: 3.5/5

 

Ruth Ware - In a Dark, Dark Wood

Ruth Ware – In a Dark, Dark Wood

 

This is Ruth Ware’s first novel, and if I’m honest, I think you can tell. It’s super slow for the first couple of hundred pages, with all of the action and the fairly predictable conclusion all jammed in right at the end. In that respect, it’s a little bit like the opposite of The Woman in Cabin 10, her second book, where it started really well and then just petered out towards the end.

I still read this book in just a couple of days, but then I also spent a lot of time travelling. I think that’s a blessing, because by condensing the story into a short period of time, it helped the momentum that there was to keep going. I buddy read this with a BookTuber friend of mine who said that he liked the flashes forward into the future, but I was kind of the opposite. I know that they were there because if they weren’t there, there wouldn’t be any drama. But at the same time, I didn’t think they really worked, at least until the end where it all came together.

I guessed who did it and why, as well as calling a few of the other “twists“, but I think that’s the point with novels like these. I’ve never really read one where something his totally taken me by surprise, and yet I’m pretty sure that’s the point of these modern psychological thriller style novels. Part of that might be because the people always seem to be fundamentally unlikeable and part of that is because it always seems to depend upon whatever weird relationships people got up to in the past. You end up feeling as though you need a pHD in gossiping just to follow what’s happening.

Still, for what it was, it was pretty good, and the fact that I read it so quickly can only count in its favour. I have mixed feelings about the book, but more positive than negative. I doubt I’ll re-read it, though.

 

Ruth Ware

Ruth Ware

 

Click here to buy In a Dark, Dark Wood.