Tag: Re-Read

Agatha Christie – Witness for the Prosecution | Review

Title: Witness for the Prosecution

Author: Agatha Christie

Category: Fiction

Page Count: 288

Rating: 4/5

This collection brings together a bunch of Agatha Christie’s short stories, including the title story here, which I’ve also seen performed as a stage play. It was excellent as a play, and it was equally excellent as a story, even when I was consuming it for a second time. Better yet, it’s also bundled in with a bunch of other pretty good reads, although none of them quite stand out like Witness for the Prosecution.

Some people find that Christie’s short stories aren’t quite as good as her books are, while others argue it’s the other way round. Personally, I’d say that it depends, but I do think that a few of her short stories are her best pieces, especially if you go and read Miss Marple’s Final Cases, which was a masterpiece.

Here, some stories are great and some are just good, which is pretty much what I expect from any given collection by any given author. Overall, though, it’s on the stronger side, and definitely one that’s worth picking up. In fact, if you’re new to Agatha Christie, you could do a lot worse than to go and watch Witness for the Prosecution in the theatre and then to pick up the book so you can read it.

For me, this book worked effectively as a re-read, because I’d already read all of the stories that were within it from other sources. In fact, I whizzed through it so quickly, mostly just re-reading the stories that interested me the most, that I forgot to post a review. So I had to catch back up.

Learn more about Witness for the Prosecution.

 


Dan Simmons – Hyperion | Review

Title: Hyperion

Author: Dan Simmons

Type: Fiction

Page Count: 484

Rating: 4/5

To begin with, I wasn’t too sure that I was going to like this one, because it’s one of those books where it sort of throws you straight into the world and if you can’t keep up, that’s your own problem. I usually find that’s quite off-putting, and it comes down to the strength of the story. Here, the story was easily enough to keep me going.

But there’s also the fact that it was extremely well written. It’s one of those books where I would have read to the end regardless of my actual enjoyment just because I wanted to learn what I could from the writing style. I also think this is definitely one that you could re-read and because of the new perspective, you’d get an entirely different experience.

Another thing that I liked was the structure of the book itself. It was reminiscent of The Canterbury Tales, although I haven’t actually read that and so I don’t know how valid the comparison is. When you combine the structure, the worldbuilding and the quality of the writing as a whole, you’re on to a winner.

It’s just a little heavy duty, although I’d argue that it’s easier to read than Dune was. That’s partly because you can break it up into the individual microstories, and also because there’s a pretty constant pace throughout, whereas I found that Dune sometimes felt a bit “stoppy and starty”. I think they’re both must-reads if you’re a serious sci-fi fan, although perhaps not if you’re only a newbie to the genre.

I’m somewhere in between, in that I’ve read my fair share of sci-fi but I don’t particularly enjoy it above any other genres. Horror is much more up my street, and so reading this has made me keen to try out The Terror, although I think I’m going to have a little wait between the two. I’ve also read one of Simmons’ novellas in a collection called Dark Visions that he was in with Stephen King and George R. R. Martin, and I found the same thing then. I need a bit of downtime after reading Simmons.

Still, I’m glad that I picked this up and I will probably continue with the rest of the series, although I have no plans to do it immediately and I might not get to it in time to join in with the readalong that’s happening on BookTube. For me, that’s fine, because it seems as though Simmons is an author who’s like a fine wine that should be savoured and enjoyed every now and again, instead of with every meal. And that’s just fine.

I’d say overall, if you’ve been thinking about giving this book a try, you should. If you haven’t, don’t. It lived up to my expectations, I guess.

Learn more about Hyperion.