Wednesday, 26 August 2009

Review:- Anita SHREVE – “All He Ever Wanted”

Publ: 2003
Pensby Library
ISBN: 0 316 86114 6
Genre: General fiction
Pages: 280p
Continuing to read books by this author
Rating: ***** **


What led you to pick up this book?
Continuing to read books by this author

Describe the plot without giving anything away.
Nicholas Van Tassel,a New England college lecturer, is a proud and orderly man but one night he is thrown from his usual equilibrium by meeting Etna Bliss. She is dining in a hotel downtown when a fire forces her to escape to the snowy streets outside. Amid the smoke and chaos of that night she is glimpsed, standing under a streetlight, by a Van Tassdel who was dining in the same room - a man who is so overwhelmed by the sight of her that he rebuilds his life around a single goal: to marry Etna Bliss. Riding a train south many years later, he unwinds his memories of the drama that followed and struggles to understand the mystery his life became on that night.

What did you think of the characters?
Van Tassel’s reaction to seeing Etna is so well encapsulated it is almost unbelievable – except to those of us who have met someone by whom they were completely enchanted. The emotions it then brings back from our youth are startlingly clear and true.

What did you think about the style?
Written as though by Van Tassel it has a wonderfully pedantic early 20th century style. Again – very believable.

Thoughts on the book jacket / cover.
Pretty irrelevant to the story – could have been much more relevant and much more attracting.

Would I recommend it?
Yes, though not Shreve’s most readable book.

Totally irrelevant side note:

I suspect it helps if you are a bloke and have been there – got the T-shirt.!

ANITA SHREVE – see "Resistance"

Tuesday, 25 August 2009

Friday, 21 August 2009

30 Old Books Worth Buying For the Cover Alone


Well worth visiting is a page on Abe-books by Beth Carswell. It shows 30 Old Books Worth Buying For the Cover Alone.

Amongst those shown are following:-




Thursday, 20 August 2009

Review – Owen SHEERS – “Resistance”

Publ: 2007
Pensby Library
ISBN: 978 0 571 23906 1
Genre: General fiction
Pages: 285p
Found by Serendipity
Rating: ***** ***


What led you to pick up this book?
Found on the new books shelf in the library.

Describe the plot without giving anything away.
I’m not normally interested in books set in an alternative future but this proved an exception. As the Second World War comes to an end the German invasion of Britain succeeds and high in a Welsh valley the menfolk disappear from their farms. In their place come a squad of German soldiers. The interaction between the farmer’s wives and the Germans forms the basis of the novel.

What did you think of the characters?

Well drawn.

What did you think about the style?

Easy to read and exciting in a low key way.

What did you like most about the book?

The realistic nature of what might have been.

Thoughts on the book jacket / cover.

Above average

Would I recommend it?
Yes.

Totally irrelevant side note:

At the end of the book is a fascinating chapter about the background to the story and the way in which the country prepared for the possibility of a German invasion.



Owen SHEERS (b 1974) is a Welsh poet, author and playwright. He was born in Suva, Fiji, but brought up in London and Abergavenny, and educated at King Henry VIII School Abergavenny, New College, Oxford, and at the University of East Anglia. As an actor he has played Wilfred Owen on stage, and has also presented arts programmes for BBC Wales. Owen's first novel, Resistance (UK Faber, 2007/ US Nan Talese/Doubleday 2008) will be translated into eight languages. His recent collaboration with composer Rachel Portman, The Water Diviner's Tale, an oratorio for children, was premiered at the Royal Albert Hall for the BBC Proms 2007. Owen is currently a Dorothy and Lewis B. Cullman Fellow at the New York Public Library.

Wednesday, 19 August 2009

Quotation

At the height of the Nazi blitz of London in 1940, special 'raid libraries' were set up at the reeking entrances to the underground shelters to supply, by popular demand, detective stories and nothing else. No more dramatic illustration can be imagined of the singular appeal of the once lowly and scorned whodunit as the chosen escapist literature of modern times in general and wartime in particular.
Howard Haycraft, from an essay published in the August 12, 1945 New York Times Book Review (Found on Nan's blog)

Review: Anita SHREVE – “The Pilot’s Wife”

Publ: 1999
Pensby Library
ISBN: 978 0 349 11085 1
Genre: General fiction
Pages: 294p
Continuing to read Anita Shreve books
Rating: ***** ***


What led you to pick up this book?
Continuing to read Anita Shreve books

Describe the plot without giving anything away.
A pilot’s wife in New England receives a knock on the door in the middle of the night to tell her that her husband has been killed in an air crash. As the investigation takes place she struggles to help her daughter and at the same time cope with the rumours and bizarre stories that emerge concerning her husband.
“An excellent novel about the ultimate unknowability of those closest to us.” – Daily Telegraph

What did you think of the characters?

Well drawn and the emotions of the main participants were very real.

What did you think about the style?
This is the second Shreve novel i have read and the style of the two were quite different but I liked this one almost as much as Resistance.

What did you like most about the book?
The combination of suspense and the drawing of the characters.

Was there anything you didn't like about the book?

Yes, slightly but to mention it would spoil the ending.

Thoughts on the book jacket / cover.
One of a series of quite attractive jackets designed by Duncan Spilling.

Would I recommend it?
Yes.

Anita SHREVE see Resistance

Thursday, 13 August 2009

Review:- Linda FAIRSTEIN – “Bad Blood”

Publ: 2007
My own copy (From a Charity shop)
ISBN: 978 0 7515 3807 6
Genre: Crime, Forensics, Courtroom drama,
Pages: 452p
Found by Serendipity
Rating: ***** **


What led you to pick up this book?
The plot sounded good in the blurb

Describe the plot without giving anything away.
Public prosecutor, Alexandra Cooper, has a tough case to prosecute. Brendan Quillian, a wealthy businessman from the Upper East Side, has been charged with hiring an assassin to kill his wife, but the evidence is flimsy and the defendant has one of the most successful defence lawyers on his side. Then an explosion in one of the tunnels being built to secure Manhattan's water supply kills Quillan's brother, one of the construction workers. Alex, together with Detectives Chapman and Mercer, discovers that Quillan's upbringing is very different from what they'd assumed, and within the cupboard of his estranged family there are many skeletons, not all of them metaphorical. In a cliff-hanging whodunnit, Linda Fairstein takes the reader deep beneath the New York streets...

Alex Cooper Series
1. Final Jeopardy (1994)
2. Likely to Die (1997)
3. Cold Hit (1999)
4. The Deadhouse (2001)
5. The Bone Vault (2003)
6. The Kills (2004)
7. Entombed (2005)
8. Death Dance (2006)
9. Bad Blood (2007)
10. Killer Heat (2008)
11. Lethal Legacy (2009)

What did you think of the characters / style?
Written by an expert in the field the plot is excellent and the style readable but the characterisation somehow lacks a certain depth. Ironically despite Fairstein’s own expertise and her undoubted knowledge of the subject she fails to make the characters live in my mind. A shame because if I had more sympathy with the characters I would undoubtedly want to rush through the series. as it is I feel I can take them or leave them.

What did you like most about the book?
The fascinating genetic information and the court room scenes.

Was there anything you didn't like about the book?
Instead of making the book more thrilling I felt the dramatic action side of the book actually detracted from the plot.

Thoughts on the book jacket / cover.
Average

Would I recommend it?
Not sure.


LINDA FAIRSTEIN, America's foremost prosecutor of crimes of sexual assault and domestic violence, has run the Sex Crimes Unit of the District Attorney's Office in Manhattan for more than two decades. A Fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers, she is a graduate of Vassar College and the University of Virginia School of Law. Her first novel, Final Jeopardy, which introduced the character Alexandra Cooper, was published in 1996 to critical and commercial acclaim, followed in 1997 by Likely to Die, which also achieved international bestseller status. Her nonfiction book, Sexual Violence, was a New York Times notable book in 1994. She lives with her husband in Manhattan.

Wednesday, 12 August 2009

Review – Matt REES – “The Bethlehem Murders”

Publ: 2006
Pensby Library
ISBN: 978 1 84354 603 0
Genre: Crime fiction
Pages: 264p
Found by Serendipity
Rating: ***** ****
(also known as “The Collaborator of Bethlehem”)


What led you to pick up this book?
It was on the new paperbacks shelf in the library and it looked like a cosy crime.

Describe the plot without giving anything away.
For decades, Omar Yussef has been a teacher of history to the children of Bethlehem. When a favourite former pupil, George Saba, is arrested for collaborating with the Israelis in the killing of a Palestinian guerrilla, Yussef is convinced that he has been framed. With George facing imminent execution Yussef sets out to prove his innocence. Yussef falls foul of his headmaster and the local police chief, Saba's home is bombarded by the Israelis and anoher murder takes place. But with no one else willing to stand up for the truth, it is up to Yussef act, even as bloodshed and heartbreak surround him.

What did you think of the characters / style?
At the outset it appears the hero is a typical cosy crime hero – the aging schoolmaster who endeavors to do what the local police cannot – solve a murder. It is soon apparent that this book is much deeper than that. The hero remains a wonderful character but the cosiness is taken out of the book as the Palestinian situation becomes more and more a part of the plot. "The Collaborator of Bethlehem is the best-and the rarest-sort of mystery: exciting and compelling, but it is also a deeply moving story that will, for many readers, shed much needed light on the conditions in the Palestinian territories." David Liss

Omar Yussef series
1. The Bethlehem Murders (2007)
aka The Collaborator of Bethlehem
2. The Saladin Murders (2008)
aka A Grave in Gaza
3. The Samaritan's Secret (2009)
4. The Fourth Assassin (2010)

What did you like most about the book?
I always like books which teach one about places as well as entertaining one. This one also had the added advantage of taking the reader through some of the moral dilemmas facing all parties in modern Palestine.

Was there anything you didn't like about the book?
No

Thoughts on the book jacket / cover.
Average

Would I recommend it?
Yes. Not just to those who enjoy a good crime novel but also to those who want to learn more about how it feels to live in a war zone and modern Palestine.

Quotations:
Yet the gunmen thrived, they whose accomplishments and talents were of the basest nature, they who would have been obliterated had there been law and order and honor in the town. Perhaps Bethlehem was their town, after all, and it was Omar Yussef who was the outlaw interloper here, peddling contraband decency and running a clandestine trade in morality.


Matt REES was born in the UK.

Tuesday, 11 August 2009

Review – Nicholas DRAYSON – “A Guide to the Birds of East Africa”

Publ: 2008
My own copy – Secondhand via Internet
ISBN: 978 0 141 03596 3
Genre: General fiction; topography; romance.
Pages: 202p
Recommended by a fellow blogger
Rating: ***** *****


What led you to pick up this book?
Recommended by a fellow blogger

Describe the plot without giving anything away.

A beguiling story that does for contemporary Kenya and its 1,000 species of birds what Alexander McCall Smith's Ladies Detective series does for Botswana.
For the past three years, the widower Mr. Malik has been secretly in love with Rose Mbikwa, a woman who leads the weekly bird walks sponsored by the East African Ornithological Society. Just as Malik is getting up the nerve to invite Rose to the Nairobi Hunt Club Ball (the premier social occasion of the Kenyan calendar), who should pop up but Malik's nemesis from his school days. So begins the competition: whoever can identify the most species of birds in one week's time gets the privilege of asking the object of his affection to the ball.
The subsequent mention of the birds is of minor significance but
Drayson turns an eagle eye on the foibles and follies of the people and politicians who roam the East African landscape.

What did you think of the characters?

Sympathetically but slightly simplistically treated they help to make it easy to side with Mr Malik in his hunt for Rose Mbikwa’s affections. The look at the Asian / British/ African mix of characters is in itself of interest and makes one aware of the multi-cultural; nature of Kenya.

What did you think about the style?
Gentle and witty.

What did you like most about the book?
The fact that whilst it was obviously going to have a happy ending one didn’t know how that was going to happen!

Was there anything you didn't like about the book?
No.

Thoughts on the book jacket / cover.
Simple and appropriate.

Would I recommend it?
Yes.

Quotations:

Mr Malik, as you already have guessed, is neither black nor white. he is a brown man, sixty-one years old, short, round, and balding. Most men go bald. Be in possession of one X and one Y chromosome, live long enough, and at some stage you will find your hair thinning, receding, or just plain disappearing, and the fact that follicles which depart the scalp seem to appear reinvigorated in nostrils and ears is usually of small consolation.

In the sense that he had always looked after his staff well and the business made money, Mr Malik was a good businessman. In the sense that he couldn’t stop worrying about the business all day and all night and all times in between, he was a bad one.

Harry Khan was only too happy to accept the invitation of his cousin’s wife’s sister’s youngest daughter Elvira... Her fiancé was unfortunately working in Dubai but she would be delighted to show Harry around the town. This time he booked into the Hilton. He hired a red Mercedes. Elvira showed him as much as she could of the city’s charms and more than she should of her own...

‘What do men want from women?’ my grandmother asked me one day apropos nothing at all as we waited to be served at the off-sales counter of the Crown and Anchor, one of the several public houses which were favoured in strict rotation as provendors of the daily bottle of sweet sherry she so enjoyed. Without waiting for an answers he said in a loud voice, ‘Sex’. Satisfied with the look she had created on my late adolescent features, she continued.
‘And what do women want from men?’
I shook an embarrassed head.
‘A good dancer.’
There is, I have come to realise as I have grown older and fonder of sweet sherry, much in this.

There is a distressing but not uncommon condition of presidents and other world leaders known as Worrying about Africa.... ...and frequent attacks of calling for Something to Be Done. The best remedy is invariably a stiff dose of domestic crisis.

Is it an endearing quirk among European explorers to imagine that every geographical feature they clap eyes on for the first time is in need of a new name, or is it just a plain silly one? As far as I understand it, humans have been knocking around this part of Africa for – give or take a birthday candle – three million years. The existence of the large wet patch in the middle of them had not gone unnoticed. ... But that didn’t matter to Dr Livingstone. Along he came and he didn’t ask the locals what they called this large lake at the top end of the Nile. he gave it yet another name, in honour of the elder of a tribe of white people on a small island five thousand miles away. Endearing, or silly? I really can’t decide.

‘Tok’ said the first bird.
‘Tok. Tok. Tok,’ said the second.
‘Tok. Tok. Tok. Tok. Tok. Tok,’ replied the first, which seemed to be some sort of turaco in-joke because both birds began a loud wheezy chuckle.



Nicholas DRAYSON is a novelist and naturalist. His first novel, Confessing a Murder, was critically acclaimed in the UK and US, and short-listed for The Age Book of the Year. His essay 'Strictly for the Birds' won the 2003 inaugural international WildCare Tasmania Nature Writing Prize.
Born and raised in England, he now lives in Australia, so instead of newts and sticklebacks in his pond, he now has frogs and galaxias. He is consultant to National Museum of Australia on platypus acquisitions.

Monday, 10 August 2009

Review – Anita SHREVE – “Resistance”

Publ: 1995
My own copy (from a Charity shop)
ISBN: 0 349 10728 9
Genre: Historical adventure / romance / general fiction
Pages: 222p
Found by serendipity
Rating: ***** *****


What led you to pick up this book?
The attractive cover and the blurb.

Describe the plot without giving anything away.
From Fantastic Fiction:-
As she has done in her novels Eden Close, Strange Fits of Passion, and Where or When, Anita Shreve once again leads readers into a harrowing world where lives are catastrophically overturned by emotion. Set in a Belgian village amid the wreckage of World War II, Resistance is a powerful exploration of passion, self-discovery, and sacrifice from one of our most accomplished storytellers. Just as the Nazi occupation forces have drained her village of coffee, meat, and chocolate, the war has also depleted whatever joy there may have been in Claire Daussois's marriage. On their small farm in the south of Belgium, Claire and her husband, Henri, shelter refugees - Jews, Allied pilots, and fleeing Belgian soldiers - before passing them along toward France and freedom. Claire nurses the wounded, acts as interpreter, and waits for the war to end - and, in a way she finds difficult to admit even to herself, for her own life to change. And it does, when an American B-17 bomber is downed near their village. The pilot, badly injured, is found by a young boy who turns to Claire for help in saving him. Henri is away on Resistance work. As the pilot heals and recovers in her attic hiding place, Claire begins to awaken to the possibility of love. Over the course of a mere twenty days, closed off from the world and the war in her farmhouse, Claire and Lieutenant Ted Brice experience a life-changing passion that neither has felt before. That their love is also haunted and impossible only makes it more precious. The war recedes in the face of their joy - before imposing itself once more with shocking suddenness and inconceivable horror. Resistance is the story of a young Belgian woman, an American pilot, and the small war-torn village that shelters them. Richly peopled and fearlessly, gorgeously passionate, it is a powerful exploration of emotion at odds with commitment. No reader who has loved - or resisted love - will forget this lucid and moving tale.

What did you think of the characters?
Excellently delineated and so believable. One felt an instant rapport and sympathy with each of them from the young boy who first found the pilot in the woods to the principal adult characters.

What did you think about the style?

Very suitable for the era and the place. It was written as though by someone who had lived in Belgium at the time which is probably the highest praise one can give a fiction writer.

What did you like most about the book?
It was compelling – the plot and the characterisation were both top quality.

Was there anything you didn't like about the book?
No.

Thoughts on the book jacket / cover
I love ‘moody’ covers and this conveyed the mood of the book perfectly. Well done to the publishers who could have gone for a garish crashed bomber scene!

Would I recommend it?
Absolutely.

Totally irrelevant side note:
When I get hold of a book that I think may merit an eight or nine star rating I may agonise for a while over the one star difference. But when a ten star book comes along there is never any question in my mind. It just is! How have I missed her for the twenty years she has been writing novels? Anita Shreve has gone immediately onto my ‘must read all her books’ list.


ANITA SHREVE (born 1945) is the author of nine critically acclaimed and bestselling novels. She began writing fiction while a high school teacher. Although one of her first published stories was awarded an O. Henry Prize in 1975, Shreve felt she couldn't make a living as a fiction writer so she became a journalist. She spent three years in Kenya, writing articles for magazines such as Quest, US, and Newsweek. Back in the US, she wrote freelance articles for magazines. Shreve later expanded two of these articles into the non fiction books Remaking Motherhood and Women Together, Women Alone. At the same time Shreve also began her first novel, Eden Close. With its publication in 1989, she gave up journalism for writing fiction full time. She lives in Longmeadow, Massachusetts.

Quotation

Books won't stay banned. They won't burn. Ideas won't go to jail. In the long run of history, the censor and the inquisitor have always lost. The only weapon against bad ideas is better ideas.
~Alfred Whitney Griswold, New York Times, 24 February 1959
(Found on Lisa's blog)

Review - Ellis PETERS – “The Holy Thief”

Publ: 1992
My own copy (from charity shop)
ISBN: 0 7515 0372 X
Genre: Historical crime
Pages: 275p
Continuing the Cadfael series
Rating: ***** **


A Medieval whodunit - Number 19 in the Chronicles of Brother Cadfael. The stories are cosily predictable. I do like the covers in the series that has calligraphy letters like this one. They remind me that it is time to do another article about covbers some time.

The plot - as found in Fantastic Fiction:-
At the height of the hot summer of 1144, a lucky hit by one of King Stephen's archers rids the Fen country of Geoffrey de Mandeville, Earl of Essex, who has amassed his castles and gold by robbing rich and poor alike. Thus, the Benedictine abbey at Ramsey, long used as a den for Geoffrey's raggle-taggle marauders, is returned in a thoroughly ruined state to the good brothers of that order. The news comes to Brother Cadfael or the Abbey of St. Peter and St. Paul in Shrewsbury in the person of the dour, raw-boned Brother Herluin who is soliciting funds and aid to restore Ramsey Abbey to its former splendor. Of much more interest to Cadfael is Herluin's companion, Brother Tutilo, a slightly built lad with a guileless face surrounded by a profusion of brown curls. But Brother Cadfael, long a shrewd judge of character, notes on that brow an intelligence that bespeaks more of mischief than innocence, and he muses that this Brother Tutilo bears watching. The arrival of a French troubadour, his servant, and a girl with the voice of an angel gives Cadfael a feeling in his wise bones that something is about to happen. It does. The late autumn rains bring flood waters right to the altar where the abbey's most precious possession reposes - the bones of Saint Winifred. Only Brother Cadfael knows that moving the holy relic can expose a long hidden secret. He never envisions that the results of disinterment will be the theft of the cherished bones...and murder. Suspicion quickly falls on a guilty-looking Brother Tutilo. But did he do it?

Ellis PETERS
– see The Will and the Deed

Saturday, 8 August 2009

Quotation

I come across some great quotations about books, reading and libraries. I have decided to put some of them on this blog. This first one was found on Nan's blog recently:-

A librarian, speaking about the library in 'The Giant's House' by Elizabeth McCracken:

"Space is the chief problem. Books are a bad family - there are those you love, and those you are indifferent to; idiots and mad cousins who you would banish except others enjoy their company; wrongheaded but fascinating eccentrics and dreamy geniuses; orphaned grandchildren; and endless brothers-in-law simply taking up space who you wish you could send straight to hell. Except you can't for the most part. You must house them and make them comfortable and worry about them when they go on trips and there is never enough room."

Wednesday, 5 August 2009

Review:- Andrew MATTHEWS – “The Swallow and the Dark”

Publ: 2005
My own copy
ISBN: 13579108642
Genre: Psychology; fantasy; war fiction; young adult;
Pages: 200p
Recommended by / Serendipity
Rating: ***** ****


What led you to pick up this book?
The cover and title/sub-title (Two lives, two wars)

Describe the plot without giving anything away.

A moving tale about mortality - one contemporary; one in the trenches of World War I Sam is sixteen, and at war with his own body, fighting an incurable illness that gives him only months to live. Time has suddenly become very important to him as he now has so little left. Nearly a hundred years ago, another Sam - a lieutenant in the British Army - is off to fight a different kind of war, on the Western Front. He knows that he may well not survive. Linking the two is a girl named Marion. But is Marion just a figment of Sam's imagination - a hallucination caused by his medication - or something far more extraordinary? Could she somehow be. a bridge across time?

What did you think of the characters?
Very realistic and the emotions of each Sam are well described. A very believable set of people.

What did you think about the style?
Powerful and absorbing. Excellent – one of those rare writers who can satisfy both child and adult readers within the same story.

Thoughts on the book jacket / cover.
Simple yet fitting and attractive.

Would I recommend it?
Unconditionally. To all ages.

Quotations:
“Sam hated it when his bopdy went out of control, and he was all illness and no him.”
“Sam had always pictured Hell as being filled with flames, and demons, and the wailing of tormented souls – but Hell was the sound of doors being slammed in the sky, and the ground trembling like jelly, and dark fountains spouting up out of the earth and a sweet-sharp stink of cordite that stung his eyes, nose and throat. Hell relentlessly repeated itself and repeated itself, rupturing time and space, while pale-faced men cowered with their mouths stretched wide to prevent their eardrums from being ruptured by the shock waves from bursting shells.”
“Sam had never seen a corpse before, though he’d heard them described as ‘looking peaceful’, but the young German didn’t look peaceful, only dead. He appeared to have shrunk and something was missing from him, as though he were a Christmas package from which the present has been removed, and at that moment Sam understood death.... Death had no honour, no dignity and no purpose.



Andrew Matthews’s talent is in making complex issues simple, and he relates to CEO's, middle management and high school students with equal ease. He entertains while providing audiences with the tools and inspiration to live more successful and more prosperous lives.

Tuesday, 4 August 2009

Review:- Elizabeth FERRARS – “A Legal Fiction”

Publ: 1964
My own copy
ISBN: 0 09 469460 5
Genre: Crime
Pages: 190p
Found by Serendipity
Rating: ***** *



What led you to pick up this book?
I enjoy Elizabeth Ferrars books – they are comfy crime typical of the 1960s.

Describe the plot without giving anything away.
A painting which went missing when a car was hijacked in the Scottish Highlands turns up a couple of years later in an auction in S England. It is spotted by a friend of the victim and together they hunt down the villains but might the friend herself be hiding something. You’ll have to read it to see.

What did you think of the characters?
Typical easy going Ferrars style characters.

What did you think about the style?

Hardly an effort to read this sort of fiction and the

What did you like most about the book?

Was there anything you didn't like about the book?
It has to be admitted that Ferrars and her style are getting a bit dated.

Thoughts on the book jacket / cover.
Poor.

Would I recommend it?
Yes to fans of cosy crime but don’t expect too much from it.

Elzabeth Ferrars – see ‘Foot in the Grave’

Review:- Lawrence WATT-EVANS – “TheTurtle Moves, Discworld's Story So Far”

Publ: 2008
My Own Copy
ISBN: 978-1933771465
Genre: Science Fiction / Fantasy Critique
Pages: 296p
Found by Serendipity
Rating: ****


What led you to pick up this book?
I am a Terry Pratchett fan and thought this might be a valuable addition to my Pratchett bookshelf. All in all it was a major disappointment. It merely summaries the Discworld novels and has few original thoughts. It was allegedly designed to give Discworld fans an extra fix but the needle broke!

What did you think about the style?
Not to my sense of humour.

What did you like most about the book?
The cover!

Would I recommend it?
Possibly as a reference document for an abbreviated summary of the plots of the Discworld books.