Tag: Pacing

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.

 


Robert Louis Stevenson – Kidnapped | Review

Title: Kidnapped

Author: Robert Louis Stevenson

Type: Fiction

Page Count: 232

Rating: 3.25/5

I’ve had this for a while but had been putting it off because I didn’t much like Treasure Island. My issue there was that I thought the story line was good but that the writing let it down, which is why I tend to enjoy adaptations of it more than the source material.

Here, I quite liked the character of David Balfour and I found the story a little more balanced with better pacing, and I also thought that Stevenson’s writing was a little more approachable. The downside is that there aren’t any pirates, but I can live with that.

True, I still don’t think that Stevenson is the writer for me, but I did think that was perhaps more accessible. I’m sure there are some pretty cool adaptations of it too, although I can’t say I’ve ever seen any. Now that I know the story, though, I can go ahead and check some of them out, I guess.

So would I recommend it? Well that kind of depends as it’s a complicated question with no easy answer. It’s not a bad shout if you’re into classics and you’re looking for something that’s a little more of an adventure. If you’re more of a general reader then perhaps you’re better off just skipping it. Huh.

Learn more about Kidnapped.