Tag: Slump

Louis de Bernieres – Captain Corelli’s Mandolin | Review

Title: Captain Corelli’s Mandolin

Author: Louis de Bernieres 

Type: Fiction 

Page Count/Review Word Count: 438 

Rating: 3/5



I had high hopes going into this one and I’m sad to say that it left me a little disappointed. de Bernieres’ writing style is excellent and the actual book felt almost poetic because of the way in which it was written. The problem is that it just dragged on and on, and while the characters were realistic and fully fleshed out, I just didn’t relate to them. 

In the end, I was left with this feeling that there was all of this interesting stuff happening in the world and instead we were stuck with a slow burner of a romance, which isn’t my thing to begin with. I generally enjoy books that are set during war, and it is true that I liked some of what the author had to say here and the way that the characters related to the sheer hellishness of it all. It’s just that even the bits that I was interested in ended up amounting to little more than a line or two in someone’s letter

I think part of the problem was that I was expecting something more than I got. It’s a competent enough novel, it was just a little too slow for me, and I do think it would have benefitted from a little extra editing. It’s not exactly supposed to be fast-paced in the first place, and there are some interesting bits of character development. There’s also a lot of talking, too much of it for my liking, and while there are plenty of references to goats throughout, I was expecting it to have some sort of payoff instead of just feeling like a wasted metaphor.



But I’m still glad that I read this, even if I wouldn’t necessarily recommend it. I’m just a little mad at it because I ended up in something of a reading slump and only managed to get through the latter half of the book by reading 20 pages at a time before going to bed. I also now have no desire to see the movie, and in fact I’m not even sure how they’d manage to do it considering all of the plot could be squeezed into half an hour or so.

All in all, it was a bit of a disappointment, especially because it came highly recommended. I went out of my way to read it, and that’s definitely not worth doing. If you can pick it up cheap from a used book store, be my guest. Otherwise, just don’t bother.



Click here to buy Captain Corelli’s Mandolin.


Laszlo Bock – Work Rules! | Review

Title: Work Rules!

Author: Laszlo Bock

Type: Non-Fiction

Page Count/Review Word Count: 406

Rating: 3.5/5


Laszlo Bock - Work Rules

Laszlo Bock – Work Rules


This book was interesting, but it also dragged a bit and got a little tedious towards the end. In fact, the only reason that I picked it up is because I had to write a review of it for a client, although with that considered it was actually pretty good. Bock used to work for Google and spearheaded many of their innovative HR campaigns, and in this book he shares his secrets on how they approached people management.

It’s interesting because they ran all sorts of different tests to see what worked and what didn’t. Many of their findings were counterintuitive, which Bock explains by comparing it to aircraft design during the war. The designers noticed that certain parts of the plane such as the wings and the tail were more likely to be damaged on the aircraft that were returning from combat, and so they focussed their attention on reinforcing the cockpit. Why? Because the planes that were damaged in the cockpit weren’t returning at all.

Because of all of this, it’s a pretty interesting read. It’s a masterclass in thinking outside the box and has a bunch of great ideas on how to keep people happy and engaged in the workplace. I just think it would have been more enjoyable if it had been 100 pages shorter, and I don’t think that Bock’s writing style did it any favours. It’s not that he’s a bad writer, it’s just that writing isn’t his main thing. He does a good job of conveying information here, but I’m not necessarily convinced that it flowed well or that it built up and conveyed a sense of emotion.

Still, if you want to learn how Google does things then there aren’t any better books than this one to help you to understand the way their minds work. Bock also sources pretty much everything he says and so there’s also a comprehensive appendix at the end if you want to read any further on any of the topics that are covered. I just wouldn’t recommend picking this up as your main read because it might put you in a bit of a slump. I read it a chapter at a time in bed and it worked out just perfectly.You can make of this review what you will. Read it or don’t bother!


Laszlo Bock

Laszlo Bock


Click here to buy Work Rules!.