Tag: Typical

B. A. Paris – The Break Down | Review

Title: The Break Down

Author: B. A. Paris

Type: Fiction

Page Count: 432

Rating: 4/5

I normally find thriller novels pretty hit and miss, but I’ve quite enjoyed what I’ve read of B. A. Paris so far. I might even be slightly more kindly disposed towards her because I was sent a copy of Behind Closed Doors, her first novel, ahead of its publication.

I think part of it is the fact that her writing just feels a little more polished to me. There’s a sort of style of writing that’s pretty common amongst thriller writers that just grates on me somehow, a way with words that just feels clunky and which pulls me out of the story. That doesn’t seem to happen with B. A. Paris.

Still, it wasn’t flawless. One of my biggest problems with it was a scene in which a group of French students steal a phone and then give it to the main character. I don’t want to say too much because I don’t want to spoil things for you, but it was kind of a Deus Ex Machina kind of thing where it all just felt too coincidental. And if it hadn’t happened, the whole story couldn’t have taken place.

Overall though, I did enjoy reading this, and I was particularly impressed by how gripping it was. I found it difficult to put down, and there wasn’t a slowdown in the story towards the middle, which I find is pretty typical in thriller novels. I think it probably also helped that it did some fun stuff with layout towards the end as we start to see a series of text messages, and this meant that the page was broken up and you could whizz through a dozen pages in just a couple of minutes. I think that layout might annoy some people, but not me.

So would I recommend The Break Down? Absolutely. It’s a refreshing little read in a genre that’s been done to death. In fact, I think that most people would probably enjoy it even if they don’t consider themselves to be thriller readers, and that’s saying something. It’s just pretty approachable, and it does a great job of the whole “twist” thing, to the point at which you could probably re-read it and still enjoy it because you’d start to look for the clues.

Now that I’ve enjoyed both this book and Behind Closed Doors, I think we can safely say that I’m a fan of B. A. Paris, and I’ll definitely check out more stuff.

Learn more about The Break Down.

 


Charles Bukowski – War All the Time | Review

Title: War All the Time

Author: Charles Bukowski

Type: Poetry

Page Count/Review Word Count: 288

Rating: 4*/5

 

Charles Bukowski - War All the Time

Charles Bukowski – War All the Time

 

War All the Time is one of Bukowski’s later collections, bringing together poems from 19811984 in a fascinating collection that actually breaks some of the trends that Bukowski had set during his earlier work. He’s mellower, but he’s also more preoccupied with death, and while he still races the horses, he’s slightly less of a womaniser.

If you’ve ever read Bukowski before then you know roughly what to expect here, although it’s worth noting that a few of the poems also play with prose and one of them is a long piece with multiple different sections. Some of them are the other way round, super short and to the point, but they’re delivered in Bukowski’s typical simplistic but effective style. It’s really remarkable how much of a punch he was able to pack, and Bukowski got better and better at that towards the end of his life.

Still, this isn’t my favourite Bukowski collection, but it’s still a pretty good book regardless. It’s particularly interesting to see him reflect upon the writers that have lived and died in his lifetime, as well as on lost loves and the various unpleasant things that happened to him. There are also some poems about cats, but they’re not particularly cheerful. Still, I could relate to them a lot because I have a cat too.

All in all, this is a pretty typical Bukowski collection and it was exactly what I was hoping for when I picked it up. I recommend reading some of his work if you get a chance, and this is a decent place to start. Enjoy.

 

Charles Bukowski

Charles Bukowski

 

Click here to buy War All the Time.

 


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