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Natasha Bernal

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book

1000 before 30 #31: All the Light We Cannot See – Anthony Doerr

A hard start, languishing middle and tug at the heartstrings ending, 'All The Light We Cannot See' has rather sparse light moments within its pages. True, my expectations of a charm-filled read would have been dampened somewhat by a book... Continue Reading →

1000 before 30 #20: The Rubicon – Edward Frederick Benson

"Melodramatic piece of literary garbage." Those are the words that some would use to describe Edward Frederick Benson's 'The Rubicon'. Unfortunately I am one of those people. It's not like it wasn't well written, it just sounded insincere and overtheatrical... Continue Reading →

1000 before 30 #17 White Teeth – Zadie Smith

The best way to start reading Zadie Smith is right at the beginning - at least that's what critics believe - so I started on her first novel, 'White Teeth'. What a giant and amazing beast it is. White Teeth... Continue Reading →

1000 before 30 #15: The beautiful and the damned – F. Scott Fitzgerald

It's a tragedy when a young life is wasted - but it's hard to feel sorry for Fitzgerald's self-deluded, spoiled couple. What happens to a superficial and narcissistic couple when all their money runs out? This looks set to be... Continue Reading →

1000 before 30 #14: The water-babies – Charles Kingsley

It's the children's classic I never read - and believe me, it is a lot more sinister when you read it the first time as a grown-up. Although I read many of the old classics when I was growing up, The... Continue Reading →

1000 before 30 #12: Lady Susan – by Jane Austen

Austen's short epistolary novel on a rich family and one scheming woman tries the 'dangerous liasons' style... and fails to hit the right notes. If people spent more time talking to each other and less time writing letters, this story would... Continue Reading →

1000 before 30 #11: North and South – by Elizabeth Cleghorn Gaskell

Two worlds collide as a  factory owner and a vicar's daughter go head-to-head in North and South. Austen walked a fine line with difficult characters within Pride and Predjudice. Gaskell flattens that line with the force of a steamrolling engine.... Continue Reading →

1000 before 30 #7: The Circle – by Dave Eggers

'The Circle' by Dave Eggars, portrayed as a satyrical commentary on the early internet age, fails systematically to hit any of the right notes with predictable and lacklustre plot-twists. Look, I'm not meaning to say that The Circle wasn't an... Continue Reading →

1000 before 30 #5: Slaughterhouse 5 – by Kurt Vonnegut

Another cracking classic, this time from the sci-fi master himself. Scrawny soldier Billy is an unlikely target for alien species Tralfamadore, who pluck him out of World War II and decide to take him back to their planet to put... Continue Reading →

1000 before 30 #3: The Scarlet Plague – by Jack London

Another classic, this time set in a post-apocalyptic California. Everyone worthwhile has been wiped out after a mysterious disease swept throughout the world in the year 2013. Now just 60 years later, the primitive, pathetic shadow of the human race still... Continue Reading →

1000 before 30 #2: The King in Yellow – by Robert William Chambers

One of the classics of our time, this novella is one of the most disturbing pieces of work that I've  ever have the chance to get my hands on. This is the second in the series of 2015 reviewed novels... Continue Reading →

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