The Big Book Review Top 100 Books…. and a few more

23Feb/111

The Handmaid’s Tale – Margaret Atwood

The Handmaid's Tale - Margaret Atwood

The Handmaid's Tale - Margaret Atwood

Top 100 Book:: Number 48
Star Rating:: *****

Quick Review::

Wow-ee! This book, blew me away! No wonder so many of my book loving friends recommended it! The Handmaid's tale was first published in 1985 by the Canadian Author Margaret Atwood, interestingly this was based on Chaucers, The Canterbury Tales.

Not too dissimilar to the idea behind 1984 this story is set in the not too distant future where the US Government has been overthrown and a totalitarian life is being inforced on the citizens.

The book follows the tale of Offred, seperated from her husband and daughter when the Republic of Gilead was formed. She is a fertile woman and belongs to a Commander only to procreate.

A lot of the stor is deeply unsettling, especially to those who go against the rules.. much like 1984. Instead of Big Brother you have the Angels. This is a truly haunting tale of a future no-one would dare dream of, but it was still a fascinating read, I found myself turning page after page desperate to find out what would happen to our protagonist.

This book has once numerous awards and been adapted for TV, Film, Stage and Opera. A compelling read I heartily recommend it to you. A very worthy Top 100 book.

If you read it let me know,  I would love to know your thoughts.

12Oct/100

A Confederacy of Dunces – John Kennedy Toole

A Confederacy of DuncesTop 100 Book:: Number 95
Star Rating:: ****

Quick Review::

This hilarious novel set in New Orleans in the 1960’s focuses on the life of Ignatius J Reilly a very well educated but incredibly idle man still living with his mum in the local neighbourhood. For reasons disclosed early in the book he finds himself having to go out and find a job and the novel goes on to describe his colourful adventures with characters in the French Quarter.

This book cleverly brings together the stories of several other minor characters as the climax to the book draws nearer. It is an enlightening read and very entertaining. Incredibly easy to read, highly addictive and laugh out loud hilarity I can very much recommend this book to you.

Written by John Kennedy Toole, this book was not released until 11 years after his death. It was a joint struggle to get it published by his mother, Thelma Toole and writer Walker Percy. Thank goodness they went through the struggle! Toole was posthumously awarded the Pulitzer Prize for fiction in 1981.

7Jul/101

How I Paid For College – Mark Acito

How I Paid For College - Mark AcitoRecommended by:: Jonathan Whiting
Star Rating:: ****

Quick Review::
Ferris Bueller Meets Adrian mole in a hilarious novel set in the 80's. Meet Edward Zanni, a teenager in New Jersey, USA whose aspirations to study at the prestigious Julliard School in NYC are quashed when his father refuses to pay his tuition fees. Thus ensues the subtitle of the book

" A Novel of Sex, Theft, Friendship, and Musical Theater"

Edward and his merry band of friends go on a mission to get his entry to musical theater by any means possible!

I thoroughly enjoyed this book, a cracking debut by author Acito. It is exactly my kind of humour and my style of writing. An easy, laid back read full of sex, theft and friendship :)

I heartily recommend it to you.

5Apr/100

To Kill A Mockingbird – Harper Lee

To Kill A Mockingbird - Harper Lee

To Kill A Mockingbird - Harper Lee

Top 100 Book:: Number 5
Star Rating:: *****

Quick Review::
To kill a Mockingbird is one of those books that almost everyone has heard of! It is one of those books that a lot of kids read in school (unfortunately I was not one of those) and is still a top seller 50 years after it was written.

To kill a mockingbird is a semi-autobiographical novel written through the eyes of Scout Finch a young girl growing up in a fictional town in Alabama. I absolutely love the fact that Lee chose to write the book through the eyes of Scout, the innocence makes the book just so much more appealing to read. Covering so many touchy subjects Lee manages to make the book so playful and pure through the eyes of a child.

The main plot of the book focuses on Scout’s father Atticus Finch, a very well respected lawyer in the town he is handed the case of a black man accused of raping a white girl. In a time where prejudice was rife across the US the Finch family have to deal with the racial reactions to Atticus being given the case. Written with warmth and humour this beautifully written book explores love, hate, friendship, family and race in the deep south of America.

This is a truly moving book, I found myself getting very emotional throughout the book, I could relate to Scout’s innocence about race and prejudice and the struggles her father faced trying to give his children a normal upbringing. A truly magnificent book that is very much worthy of its top 100 status. If you haven’t read this yet I recommend that you do before you read anything else.

4Aug/091

The Curious Incident of The Dog in The Night- Time – Mark Haddon

The Curious Incident of The Dog in The Night- Time - Mark Haddon

The Curious Incident of The Dog in The Night- Time - Mark Haddon

Top 100 Book:: Number 59

Star Rating: **** 1/2

Quick Review::

Meet Christopher Boone, a 15 year old boy living in Swindon with Asperger’s syndrome. One day he discovers the neighbour’s dog Wellington has been murdered with a garden fork and he makes it his mission to discover the murderer.

Described as a murder mystery novel with a difference Christopher opens a can of worms that will transform his life, and affect all of those around him. An award winning novel by Mark Haddon that is a real pleasure to read.

Detailed Review:: *SLIGHT PLOT SPOILERS*

19Feb/093

Northern Lights – Philip Pullman

Northern Lights - Philip Pullman

Northern Lights - Philip Pullman

Top 100 Book :: Number 8 (The whole trilogy)

Star Rating:: ****

Quick Review::

Northern Lights, The first in a trilogy of books follows the story of Lyra an Orphan in a world parallel to ours. After losing her friend Roger she embarks on a mission to find him… Along the way she discovers horrible experiments, scientists and unravels many mysteries….

Detailed Review:: *SLIGHT PLOT SPOILERS*

21Dec/081

The Wasp Factory – Iain Banks

The Wasp Factory - Iain Banks

The Wasp Factory - Iain Banks

Top 100 Book :: Number 93 recommended by Steven F

Star Rating:: *** 1/2

Quick Review::

Iain Banks controversial debut highlights the day to day activities of Frank Cauldhame. Frank is no normal 16 year old boy his stories throughout the book contain violence, horror and pure grotesque scenes. But don’t let this put you off, behind the horror and violence is a very confused young man.

Detailed Review:: *SLIGHT PLOT SPOILERS*

12Nov/086

Life of Pi – Yann Martel

Life Of Pi

Life Of Pi

Top 100 Book :: Number 51

Star Rating:: *****

Quick Review::

After the sinking of a cargo ship Pi Patel is left drifting on a lifeboat with a Bengal Tiger, Hyena, Orang-utan and a Zebra with a broken leg. This book follows Pi’s journey along the pacific, the highs the lows and the sickening times he endures.

Detailed Review:: *SLIGHT PLOT SPOILERS*