Tag: Solid

Richard Dawkins – The Magic of Reality | Review

Title: The Magic of Reality

Author: Richard Dawkins

Type: Non-Fiction

Page Count: 272

Rating: 3.5/5

This book is a bit of a weird one because it takes the form of a series of responses to questions, and so every chapter in the book is based upon a question like, “When and how did everything begin?” It’s a pretty simple setup that allows Dawkins to tackle some of the bigger questions that people have, but it does also mean that it feels as though something’s somehow lacking.

Don’t get me wrong, the science was solid and Dawkins made his arguments well, and I do feel that I’ve learned a bunch of stuff here. At the same time, it feels a bit like he’s set out to try to explain everything and then settled for just a few frequently asked questions. I’m not sure what he could have done differently though, because if the book was two or three times the length, it would have ended up feeling long and drawn out.

Still, it was a pretty good way to keep my brain trained and to learn a few new lessons about science and stuff. This isn’t necessarily the best non-fiction science book on the market, but I polished it off in 24 hours or so and was happy with it, even if it was just okay. After all, I’m slowly working my way through everything that Dawkins has ever written, and this is probably one of the most approachable. All in all, I’m glad I read it and maybe you’ll like it too.

Click here to learn more about The Magic of Reality.


Peter James – Dead Simple | Review

Title: Dead Simple

Author: Peter James

Type: Fiction

Page Count/Review Word Count: 470

Rating 4/5

 

 

This is the first Peter James book, and I was actually quite impressed by how good it was. As a general rule, I’ve found that he got better and better as time went on, so I was surprised to find that his first was pretty good. The main problems that I spotted were a couple of typos, but they didn’t really hamper my enjoyment.

It was also interesting because it was set back in 2005, which would have been when it was written. Mobile phones had physical keypads on them and the smoking ban was yet to take effect. Then there’s the fact that we’re introduced to a bunch of characters that appear throughout the rest of the series, and so it was good to get to know them from that initial meeting.

The good news is that you don’t need to read them in order if you don’t want to, and I’ve just been picking them up every time I see them in charity shops. It’s not a bad way of doing it, but it’s also not the best, because you’ll spoil yourself for bits of the characters’ personal lives.

 

 

The plot in this one revolves around what at first glance appears to be a stag night prank gone wrong. The groom has been buried alive in a coffin and the stag party, the only ones who know where he is, have been killed in a car crash. Enter Detective Superintendent Roy Grace of the Brighton police force, as he tries to figure out what’s going on in a race against time.

There were plenty of twists and turns to keep you going throughout this novel, and I was also taken by surprise by the big reveal at the end. James does a great job of setting your expectations and then subverting them, and I think it’s that which makes him a decent crime writer. That’s especially difficult to pull off when, as in this novel, the reader gets to see from the point of view of the suspects, as well as the police force.

All in all, this was a pretty solid book and a decent start to the Roy Grace series, although I also think that it gets better over time. Seeing as it’s the first book in the series, I don’t know why you wouldn’t start here, but if you are tempted to skip in then that’s fine too. Just make sure that you come back to it eventually, because it really is worth reading. It’s a decent example of what a crime novel should be and I know it’s easy to say looking back, but it seems obvious he was destined for great things.

 

 

Click here to buy Dead Simple.