Tag: Single

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.

 


R. Saint Claire – Local Haunts | Review

Title: Local Haunts

Author: R. Saint Claire

Type: Fiction

Page Count: 298

Rating: 4/5

Disclaimer: While I aim to be unbiased, one of my short stories is featured in this collection.

Building on from the disclaimer, I suppose the first thing that I should mention is that my review is only valid for the other stories in the collection, because obviously I can’t exactly review a story that I wrote myself. Although for what it’s worth, I do think it’s one of the best short stories that I’ve ever written.

The stories here are all be different horror BookTubers, and the theme is that they’re stories from our own “local haunts”, i.e. places that are near to where we live. That means that there’s a huge amount of diversity here, and I think that Regina did a great job of corralling all of the authors together and successfully getting them to participate and meet deadlines.

I will say that I noticed the odd typo here and there, and I’m also not sure why some stories use single quotation marks and some use double, especially considering I originally used doubles and in the book it has singles. But they’re minor things and they don’t detract from the overall enjoyment, at least for me.

Overall, my favourite thing about picking up this book was the fact that I’m already pretty familiar with a bunch of the authors here and so I was looking forward to getting to them anyway. I enjoyed some stories more than others of course, but that’s always the case with short stories and so I’m not too surprised about that. I’d recommend giving it a go, and not just because my story is in there, especially if you’re into indie horror.

Learn more about Local Haunts.