Tag: Engaging

Philip K. Dick – Time Out of Joint | Review

Title: Time Out of Joint

Author: Philip K. Dick

Type: Fiction

Page Count: 192

Rating: 3.5/5

This book presents itself as one thing but is something very different. What we actually have is something a little bit like The Truman Show in which the protagonist slowly starts to realise that there’s something shady going on behind the scenes and his reality is being manipulated.

For me, I found that it the reading experience was a little jarring, because it kept feeling as though reality was fine and then suddenly it was nuts and then it was back to all just fine again. Maybe I wasn’t paying enough attention, but if that’s the case then it’s arguably the book’s fault anyway.

I just think that some of Dick’s other work was more engaging, and this just sort of felt as though he was rehashing old territory. Part of that might be because Dick has influenced a ton of people, and it’s not really his fault if this felt familiar because it’s been copied a bunch of times. It was still pretty good and worth reading, though.

Learn more about Time Out of Joint.

 


Bill Bryson – The Road to Little Dribbling | Review

Title: The Road to Little Dribbling

Author: Bill Bryson

Type: Non-Fiction

Page Count: 390

Rating: 4/5

This book is subtitled More Notes from a Small Island, and so as you can expect, it’s pretty much the natural and spiritual sequel to Notes from a Small Island. Arguably Bryson’s most successful book, that one charted his experiences as an American who’d moved to the United Kingdom and then spent a bunch of time travelling around it.

Since then, he’d moved to America and then presumably back to the UK again. It’s kind of hard to tell with Bryson sometimes because I don’t necessarily read his books in publication order and it’s my understanding that he’s headed backwards and forwards here and there. The good news is that I enjoy him most when he’s writing about the UK, possibly only because I live there and so it’s easy for me to picture the things that he’s writing about.

I also think that Bryson has continued to mature as a writer over the years. It’s not that his style has changed, but he has tightened it up a little bit and I think this book benefits because of it. He’s perfected the art of narrative non-fiction and has the knack of writing super engaging informational books on pretty much any topic he tries his hand at.

I will admit that from time to time I’ve found that Bryson’s humour can grate on me, but that’s okay because it wasn’t a problem here. I think it really depends upon his headspace at the time, because when he came across as petty and vindictive, he was having a pretty tough time of things while travelling across Europe.

Overall then, I enjoyed reading this one and would definitely recommend it if you’re a fan of Bryson’s travel writing and stuff. If you’re new to him, though, I’d probably go for Notes from a Small Island to begin with, although this wouldn’t be a bad place to turn to second. And so all in all, it’s a cracking book and I enjoyed it a lot, despite it being my second Bill Bryson book in as many weeks. He hasn’t started to get old yet, at least if we’re talking about my opinion of his books. Looking forward to more!

Learn more about The Road to Little Dribbling.

 


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