Tag: Honest

Agatha Christie – The Pale Horse | Review

Title: The Pale Horse

Author: Agatha Christie

Type: Fiction

Page Count: 266

Rating: 3.5/5

This is nowhere near the best of Agatha Christie’s books, but even here when she’s average I guess at best, she’s still better than most other writers. Plus I could be a little biased there because neither Hercule Poirot or Miss Marple appears here, although Ariadne Oliver does and she might well be my favourite of all of Christie’s supporting cast of characters.

I also quite liked the idea of the pale horse and the way that was used as a recurring theme throughout. Christie is great at doing that and we’ve seen her do it throughout her career with the various different books that play with nursery rhymes. This book is like a twist on that I guess, and with the added bonus that Ariadne Oliver is basically just a mouthpiece for Christie to share some of her own thoughts on life as a writer.

What’s kind of funny is that in many ways, she’s more open and honest about her relationship with writing here than she was in her autobiography. She always seemed to think of herself as more of a housewife than as an author, despite the fact that she’s one of the bestselling authors of all time.

So when it comes down to the question of whether or not I’d recommend this one, it really depends. If you’re new to Christie then it probably makes sense to start with one of her more well-known books instead of going for this one. Yeah.

Learn more about The Pale Horse.

 


Bill Bryson – Notes from a Big Country | Review

Title: Notes from a Big Country

Author: Bill Bryson

Type: Non-Fiction

Page Count: 320

Rating: 4/5

This book is basically a collection of short columns that Bryson wrote after returning to live in America after spending most of his life in the UK. Because of that, it has a lot of insights to offer on the cultural differences between the two countries. Better still, it still mostly holds true today, despite the fact that it’s now a little dated. In fact, there was a reference in there about programming a VCR.

For the most part, though, I thought this was a lot of fun, and Bryson’s sense of humour is on top form. Believe it or not, I’ve actually found him to be a little bit whiny in some of the previous books of his that I’ve read, but he’s back at his best again here and to be honest, this was just what I needed at just the time that I needed it.

I guess that’s because it was easy to read through and I got through the whole thing in just a couple of days. I’m trying to get through the last of the books on my unread pile and so I was kind of worried that the only books that I’d have left would be boring reads that couldn’t hold my attention. And then I picked this one up and it was just a true joy.

I think part of that is because of the format of the book, which is essentially a collection of articles that Bryson wrote for the newspapers. That keeps it short and sweet and while there’s no overall theme other than the investigation of America through the eyes of an ex-pat, other than that it’s all just a bunch of fun little vignettes. And what is there for you not to like about that?

Learn more about Notes from a Big Country.