Tag: Language

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 – Troilus and Cressida | Review

Title: Troilus and Cressida

Author: William Shakespeare

Type: Fiction

Page Count: 130

Rating: 4/5

I didn’t know much about Troilus and Cressida going into reading this, and so that made for a pretty interesting read. It turns out that I was already loosely familiar with the plotline from other takes on mythology, but I wasn’t really reading it for the plot anyway.

As usual, I was mostly gripped by Shakespeare’s masterful control of the English language, and it was an inspiring little read that left me wanting to read more. Fortunately, I have a bunch of other stunning Folio society editions of Shakespeare just waiting in the wings, so perhaps I’ll get to them sooner rather than later. Make of that what you will.

Learn more about Troilus and Cressida.

 


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