Some of my book reviews

Just click on the book cover on the left to see the review!

Adam's bookshelf: read

Purple Hibiscus
5 of 5 stars true
I have really enjoyed reading Purple Hibiscus by Nigerian born writer Chimamanda Ngozi Adiche. An admirer of her compatriot, the writer Chinua Achebe, who wrote, amongst other things, Things fall apart, she begins her novel with the word...
tagged: africa
0 of 5 stars true
It's my book, so no stars from me! But, please read on! Please get in touch with me (using the Goodreads private 'message' service) if you seriously wish to review this book. At this point in the history of my novel, 'critique'/'...
tagged: africa and south-africa
The West Rand Jive Cats Boxing Club
2 of 5 stars true
Fancy footwork and choreography figure both in boxing and jiving. And these two physical activities form part of the focus of Lauren Liebenberg's book set mostly in the late 1950s in a mining township near Johannesburg. Rock and Roll i...
The Castle in the Forest
2 of 5 stars true
Like his book about Lee Harvey Oswald, Oswald's Tale: An American Mystery, this one is also peculiar. It is a rather rambling, if not bumbling, fictional account of the childhood of Adolf Hitler and his bee-keeping dad. In Michelin Guid...
The Heart of a Dog
3 of 5 stars true
One of the marks of a good translation is that the reader does not feel as if he or she is reading one. This is certainly the case with Michael Glenny's translation of Bulgakov's The Heart of a Dog. This book was completed in the USSR ...
Götz and Meyer
2 of 5 stars true
It is 1941 or 1942. Every day, Götz and Meyer drive a truck between the Fairground on the left bank of the River Sava in Belgrade and the village of Jajinci on the southern edge of Belgrade. They run a regular transport service between ...
tagged: jewish, balkan, and germany
Dog Eat Dog
5 of 5 stars true
This book was a chance find in a charity shop ('thrift shop'), and is worth far more than 5 stars! This is a wonderful, witty, incisive, amusing story. It is set in and around Johannesburg in post-apartheid South Africa. It was, as t...
tagged: south-africa
Germania: In Wayward Pursuit of the Germans and Their History
1 of 5 stars true
Genug ist genug! I have reached page 98 of this, often puerile, disorganised ramble through Germany and its history, and I will go no further.
tagged: germany
A Golden Age
3 of 5 stars true
Until the end of 1971, Bangladesh, inhabited mainly by Bengalis, was known as 'East Pakistan'. West Pakistan, now all that remains of Pakistan is, and was inhabited by a Punjabi majority. In 1970, Sheikh Mujibur Rahman ('Mujib',a Bengali...
tagged: india and subcontinent
The Kaiser's Holocaust: Germany's Forgotten Genocide and the Colonial Roots of Nazism
5 of 5 stars true
HOW THE SOUTHWEST WAS WON One of the great stumbling blocks during the lengthy, eight year process leading up to the Union of South Africa in 1910 was whether or not to give non-Europeans the right to vote, or any political rights at al...
tagged: south-africa and germany
Auschwitz & the Allies
4 of 5 stars true
It is remarkable that given how many people were involved with the ruthless extermination of the Jews and many others in Nazi occupied Europe so very few people knew about it outside that vast area. This was the conclusion I came to aft...
tagged: germany
The Violin of Auschwitz: A Novel
2 of 5 stars true
On the back of this slender volume, Tatiana de Rosnay is quoted as having said, "Read this little book and it will haunt you for ever." Having read it, I doubt that it will. Everything that is described in this brief, concisely written ...
Kings of the Water
4 of 5 stars true
This fascinating and informative novel by Tanzanian-born author Merk Behr is set in the (Orange) Free State of South Africa, the country in which he was brought up and where he studied. It is set during the two days leading up to the Sep...
tagged: south-africa
The Food Of Italy
5 of 5 stars true
This book was presented to me by my sister who ran a successful restaurant, serving Italian food, in Italy for 16 years. Claudia Roden is along with Elizabeth David, Ken Hom, Arto Haroutunianand Nigel Slater, one of my favourite cooking...