Tag: Longest

Richard Branson – Losing My Virginity | Review

Title: Losing My Virginity

Author: Richard Branson

Type: Non-Fiction

Page Count: 520

Rating: 3.75/5

I’ve had this book lying around for a good few years now, but I’ve been putting off picking it up for whatever reason. It’s kind of strange really, because I remember giving the prologue a read back when I picked it up and quite enjoying it, I just never had the momentum to keep going. But that all changed when I had to travel back to Tamworth for a family engagement because it’s something of a tradition of mine for me to pick up my longest unread book.

One of the good things is that it’s actually misleading, because while this is quite long in terms of page count, it has pretty big text and a bunch of photographs in it too. It’s also just generally quite interesting, whether you’re a Branson fan or not. I can’t say that I knew too much about him going into it, but I had heard good things about this book and I knew that he was an interesting chap.

I guess the noteworthy thing here is the market that Branson was aiming for. It’s got a lot to offer just because he had an interesting, action-packed life, especially when it comes to some of his ballooning adventures. It also has a lot to teach you about what it takes to be successful in business, but they’re the kind of insights that you can apply at any kind of job, from a corporate role to self-employment.

I still haven’t made my mind up on what I think about Branson as a person, but I am glad that I know a little more about him. I think I pitched this book just about right because there’s no need to go out of your way to get to it in a rush. If you do see it lying around though, it’s not bad and worth your time. I’d definitely say it’s in the upper half of the “celebrityautobiographies that I’ve read throughout the years, at least in terms of quality.

It was also just a genuinely pleasurable reading experience, something that was nice and easy to absorb while still giving me a few little bits of food for thought. In fact, it basically set my expectations pretty well and then delivered exactly what I was hoping for from it. For a non-fiction memoir, I think that’s almost the best that you can hope for, and this really would have had to have been something quite special for it to stand out to me above all of the other great stuff that I’ve been reading.

This brings us on to the final question that I try to answer in my reviews, which is whether or not I’d recommend it. Honestly, I’d have to say yes, even if you have no particular reason for reading it. There’s a little something for everyone and while it’s not exactly going to hold up to a re-read, it was alright for a one time thing. Check it out, I guess.

Learn more about Losing My Virginity.


Joe Hill – Strange Weather | Review

Title: Strange Weather

Author: Joe Hill

Type: Fiction

Page Count/Review Word Count: 440

Rating 4/5

 

 

I picked up this book because I’d read and enjoyed some of Joe Hill’s stuff before and because my cat picked it out for me when I filmed a video of my cat picking my TBR. I thought it was a novel going into it, but it turned out to be a collection of what Hill calls short novels. I’d argue that it’s actually three novellas and one short novel, but that’s just semantics.

The interesting thing about this collection is that, as the title suggests, each of the stories relates back in some way to the weather. There’s a hail of crows, an out of control forest fire, a solid cloud and a rain of metal shards that wreak havoc on anything beneath them. With weather like this, you might want to stay indoors.

I suppose the most logical way to review this book would be to tackle each of the stories in order, so let’s start with Snapshot, which is the least memorable of the lot and which reminded me a little bit of The Sun Dog by Stephen King, Hill’s father. I didn’t think much of that story either, but I do like the idea of using a creepy polaroid camera as a plot device.

 

 

Up next we have Loaded, the longest piece, which started a little slow but which suddenly went nuts and which went on to have one of the bleakest endings I’ve ever come across. I liked it though, and I was impressed by what Hill had to say on the subject of guns. His opinion definitely comes across, but it doesn’t feel preachy. He just lays it out like it is and then leaves the reader to make up their own mind.

Then there’s Aloft, which follows what happens when a man volunteers for a charity parachute jump, immediately regrets it and ends up stranded on a cloud. There’s a lot of jumping backwards and forwards through time, which kind of annoyed me a little bit, but I can also see how it was necessary for the way that the story was told. I wasn’t the biggest fan though.

And then finally we have Rain, a sort of parody post-apocalyptic novel that works well on one level and not so well on another. I actually thought that the premise of it was pretty good and wished that Hill had run with it for real, but hey ho. All in all though, it was a great collection and I’d definitely recommend it. Enjoy!

 

 

Click here to buy Strange Weather.