Tag: Sense

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.

 


Agatha Christie – The Hollow | Review

Title: The Hollow

Author: Agatha Christie

Type: Fiction

Page Count: 224

Rating: 3.5/5

This is pretty much just your bog standard Agatha Christie book, but there’s nothing wrong with that. It’s also one of those books that, for me at least, is more about establishing a sense of place and time than it is about someone solving a murder mystery.

This is also a Hercule Poirot book, although the detective doesn’t necessarily get too much page time. For me, that’s no bad thing, as Poirot can be a little insufferable at times and so he’s generally best in moderation.

This was also a cracking little piece because of its dialogue, which made me chuckle quite a lot. It’s unusual for me to actually laugh out loud when reading a book, but it happened here and took me by surprise. Sure, the mystery itself isn’t one of Christie’s most gripping, but the dialogue and the setting more than make up for that.

Overall, I’d say that this is a decent enough Agatha Christie book, but it’s pretty mid-tier when you compare it to some of her big hitters. It’s worth a read and I would recommend it, but not for your first foray into her work. It’s more one for completionists or people who are reading the whole Poirot series.

Learn more about The Hollow.