Tag: Culture

Tony Hawks – A Piano in the Pyrenees | Review

Title: A Piano in the Pyrenees

Author: Tony Hawks

Type: Non-Fiction

Page Count: 312

Rating: 4/5

This non-fiction book tells the story of what happened when a middle-aged British comedian called Tony Hawks decided to buy a house in France, almost on a whim. He also decided to take his piano over there so that he could finally learn to play the thing.

It was a fun little book, and overall I found it to be a pleasure to work my way through it. My only real complaint would be that the pacing was a little off, in that it felt as though the whole book covered a period of just a couple of months or so.

Other than that though, there were some great little insights into French culture here, as well as a few smatterings of French dialogue that were enjoyable for me as someone who’s slowly but surely trying to learn the language. There were also some great little examples of culture shock or of misunderstandings, particularly when Hawks was trying to navigate the complicated French legal landscape to purchase properties and to build swimming pools, despite being utterly useless at assembling basic flat packs.

I’ve read a couple of Hawks’ other books at this point, and tonality and sense of humour wise, it’s pretty similar to those. That means that if you enjoyed Round Ireland with a Fridge, for example, then you’re probably going to enjoy this one too. Sure, his sense of humour might not be quite right for everyone, but Hawks has always made me laugh and he did so here, too.

There were occasional borderline sexist comments in it here and there, but then I suppose that gave it a certain sense of realness. He was a single bloke surrounded by Frenchwomen, after all. But overall, yeah.

Learn more about A Piano in the Pyrenees.

 


William Shakespeare – The Tragedy of King Lear | Review

Title: The Tragedy of King Lear

Author: William Shakespeare

Type: Fiction

Page Count: 134

Rating: 3.5/5

This is one of Shakespeare’s longer plays, and unfortunately that made it drag a little for me. I think it also suffered because I read it after reading Julius Caesar, which I pretty much loved. That’s not to say that there’s anything wrong with this book, it just wasn’t Shakespeare’s best, at least in my opinion.

Still, there’s a lot to like here, as well as a bunch of lines and quotes that are famous and which have spread into popular culture. I’m glad that I read it and I’m sure a production would be a lot of fun, but there are other Shakespeare plays that I’d recommend and prioritise.

Learn more about The Tragedy of King Lear.

 


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