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Books - book reviews and events

Book Review A Cold Season testtestteststarstar

by Alison Littlewood

Returning to her childhood home of Darnshaw, Yorkshire after losing her husband in Afghanistan, Cass tries to make a new life for herself and her son, Ben. But as a snowdrift cuts the strange town off from the outside world, a charming but sinister new headmaster arrives at the local school and Cass begins getting cryptic warnings from local people, it soon becomes clear that something is rotten in Darnshaw.

In fact, what’s going on in Darnshaw is so clearly telegraphed from the first few chapters that I hoped it was all an elaborate bluff, and spent much of the…

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Book Review Blowback testtestteststarstar

by John Lake

Single parents, Ukrainian gangsters, meddling teenagers and ineffective stoners come together in this uncomfortably realistic tour of Leeds’ drug-riddled underbelly.

Ex-heroin user Bea finds a bag of pills under her son’s bed. A Sri Lankan chemist is dropped off a roof. Drug-baron Dmitri is forced to spend Friday night with his diva wife and invisible children whilst simultaneously tracking down his missing DMT. Kidnappings, stake-outs, casual torture and trips to ‘The Royally’ ensue until the humour-laced climax and the statutory set-up for the final part of Lake’s Leeds 6 Trilogy.

Lake’s extremely over-written style is made up for by his…

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Comic Book Reviews Ultimate Comics: Spider-Man Vol 1

The latest graphic novels and comic books reviewed

Peter Parker is dead, but the radioactive spider that bit him and gave him all his awesome powers isn’t the only radioactive spider with the ability to give people awesome powers. Enter Miles Morales, a young kid with little more to worry about than what school he’s going to be attending next year. Miles’ uncle is accidentally in possession of one of the special spiders, and one thing leads to another…

Miles is a very different character to Peter Parker and his origin story is told in a very subtle way. His extreme youth, naïveté and inexperience make him instantly…

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Book Review A Year in the Life of Some Guy testteststarstarstar

by Oliver Ross

Estate agent Tim Calgon is in his 30s, still single, hates his job and is going through the motions living in a poky London flat – but over the next 12 months his life is about to change significantly.

After a spell living in New York, the Leeds-born bachelor is stuck in a rut along with his outspoken homosexual flatmate Garth, but not for long as A Year in the Life of Some Guy tracks a surreal 12 months for the cynical Yorkshireman.

From being disillusioned and unlucky in love, Tim’s luck starts to change when he is woken up…

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Book Review More Interesting Than Your Teacher testtestteststarstar

by Stuart Wright

Enjoy classic classroom facts without harsh lighting, heavy textbooks or the mundane drone of a teacher.

Bursting with bite-sized chunks of information, this book is brimming with the answers to some of life’s most common musings.

The perfect present for fact finders everywhere, More Interesting Than Your Teacher will tell you the answers to questions you have poured and pondered over, as well as those you hadn’t thought to think about. What exactly is a calorie? What is the largest number? Why does chrome rust on your bike, but not in your bathroom? Did you know that only five percent…

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Book Review Pigeon English testtesttestteststar

by Stephen Kelman

The fact its paperback edition has a reading guide with questions for discussion at the back betrays how important Pigeon English might become on the school syllabus. Told from the point of view of 11-year-old Ghanaian immigrant, Harri Opoku, the story follows his amateur investigation of a murder in his neighbourhood.

The innocent narrative is poignant and, at times, emotionally difficult to read. He and his older sister, Lydia are hounded by local gang members, his illegal immigrant aunt burns her fingertips to remain unidentifiable and his Ghana-based dad and baby sister regularly cut out over the phone.

The Pigeon…

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Comic Book Reviews Top Ten Graphic Novels of 2011

A round-up of the best comics of 2011

1. Holy Terror by Frank Miller

Living legend Frank Miller delivers a post-9/11 political carton exploded into a Batman-esque revenge fantasy! Some of Millers best art for years!

2. Criminal: Last of the Innocents by Ed Brubaker and Sean Phillips

Forget ‘film noir’ and ‘pulp fiction’ Brubaker and Phillips have become the masters of comic book crime comics. Last of the Innocents is their best work to date.

3. Snow by Benjamin Rivers

A gentle, self published, detective tale set against the backdrop of a modern recession in a Canadian city.

4. Klondike by Zach Worton

Historically accurate,…

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Book Review The Third Antichrist testtestteststarstar

by Mario Reading

It’s impossible not to judge The Third Antichrist by its cover. The latest offering in Mario Reading’s The Antichrist Trilogy displays an inverted cross on it’s cover and has a notable RRP of £6.66. Many will be intimidated away from reading this interesting and imaginative tale.

Adam Sabir, guardian of the lost prophecies of Nostradamus, is attempting to protect the foetus he has identified as the second coming. He is tailed throughout by the notorious De Bale siblings – a group of adoptees convinced that they must prevent the devil from reigning by allowing the antichrist to wreak chaos on…

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Book Review Comfort & Joy testtestteststarstar

by India Knight

Have you ever wanted to create the perfect, fairytale Christmas for your family, but struggled because the modern family set-up is sometimes so complicated?

Wife and mother Clara Dunphy has the answers. In a desperate bid to please her flamboyant mother, her husband (and his mother) and ex-husband, her eccentric half-sisters, her children and various others, Clara hosts a riotous Christmas dinner every year.

We meet Clara Christmas shopping on Oxford Street on the 23rd December 2009. After searching for the best – and therefore most expensive – presents she can find, Clara suddenly decides to get into the festive…

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Book Review The Rum Diary testtesttestteststar

by Hunter S Thomspon

The Rum Diary is re-released here as a film tie-in. Allegedly the result of Johnny Depp digging out a forgotten manuscript in his friend Thompson‘s archive, it is a novel that otherwise might never have been published. Depp told Thompson it should be published and Thompson subsequently decided that he needed the money. This presents an interesting tension upon opening the book. Should it have been published, or was it best left alone? Thankfully, Thompson does not disappoint.

The Rum Diary is written with that telltale gonzo style which readers will be familiar with. Here the voice is less relentless,…

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