Book Review

Mini-Review Day!

The Pine Islands


When Gilbert Silvester, a journeyman lecturer on beard fashions in film, awakes one day from a dream that his wife has cheated on him, he flees – immediately, irrationally, inexplicably – for Japan.
In Tokyo he discovers the travel writings of the great Japanese poet Basho. Suddenly, from Gilbert’s directionless crisis there emerges a purpose: a pilgrimage in the footsteps of the poet to see the moon rise over the pine islands of Matsushima.
Falling into step with another pilgrim – a young Japanese student called Yosa, clutching a copy of The Complete Manual of Suicide – Gilbert travels with Yosa across Basho’s disappearing Japan, one in search of his perfect ending and the other the new beginning that will give his life meaning.
The Pine Islands is a serene, playful, profoundly moving story of the transformations we seek and the ones we find along the way.

My Review

This was a book sent to me through the NB Subscription I received as one of the runners for their Book Blogger’s Choice Awards. I’m quite happy with the fact that they send me books I’ve not only not heard of, but, ones that aren’t too overwhelming in length.

So, this was my first chance to read one of the lovely books they’ve sent, and it was an intriguing novella to say the least.

I would say that though this appears ‘high brow’ fiction, the humour shows it’s quite more appealing to a wider audience.

There was the issue of the translation though.

In my opinion, the humour did not work out as well in English, I was left slightly baffled at times and at other times I did get a chuckle.

Gilbert is not at all a likeable MC and I don’t think he’s meant to be, but he is one that at the very least is highly entertaining -and slightly overexaggerated most of the time-. The plot is not really a plot, if that makes sense, this is written just simply to be read, there’s no end game to it in reality other than the last page which tells you it’s done lol.

Anyway, a quirky odd read, I would say it was probably closer to a 2.5 at times, but since I don’t know how the translation really faired, I’ve given it the benefit of the doubt and rounded up.

The Friends of Eddie Coyle


Eddie Coyle works for Jimmy Scalisi, supplying him with guns for a couple of bank jobs. But a cop named Foley is on to Eddie and he’s leaning on him to finger Scalisi, a gang leader with a lot to hide. And then there’s Dillon-a full-time bartender and part-time contract killer–pretending to be Eddie’s friend. Wheeling, dealing, chasing, and stealing–that’s Eddie, and he’s got lots of friends.

My Review

The husband read this then wanted me to so we could watch the movie together. He asked me to read this like two years ago, so, it was time I just sat down and read it as it’s a relatively short book as well.

It was definitely interesting and different from my usual noir/crime reads.

I’m not sure that I liked it? But I didn’t hate it lol, I think it would work better as a movie so I’m ready to watch it and be more impressed.

Again, it wasn’t as if there was anything wrong with it, it was just a little too bland for me. But it was well written enough that I still felt it deserved three stars, just because something wasn’t highly entertaining doesn’t mean it was badly written, so I put it down to it clashing to my personal preference/taste.

Oh boy Eddie, I felt bad for you man.

Count Karlstein


No one in the village of Karlstein dares to leave their homes on All Souls’ Eve – the night Zamiel the Demon Huntsman comes to claim his prey.
But the evil Count Karlstein has struck a terrible bargain with Zamiel, and so the lives of his two young nieces, Lucy and Charlotte, are in danger. Their only hope lies with Hildi, a castle maidservant, and her fearless brother Peter. Can they save the girls from their dreadful fate? Only one thing is certain – the Demon Huntsman will not return to his dark wood unsatisfied!
A deliciously terrifying and wickedly funny Gothic tale, Count Karlstein is the first-ever children’s book by Philip Pullman, winner of the Whitbread Award, the Carnegie Medal, the Guardian Fiction Award and two Smarties Awards. Originally published in 1982, this new edition of Count Karlstein is a treat no Pullman fan should miss.

My Review

Usually, I adore anything Philip Pullman writes, I mean I may someday tattoo his name in a heart instead of the usually ‘Mom’ tattoo.

But, this wasn’t one I adored.

Wildly entertaining? Yes

A good read for Middle-Grade children? I want to say yes without hesitation but…but…I’m just not sure about the use of the word slut. Now, I’m not saying Middle-Grade children can’t handle it! Kids can always handle more than we think, YA, in general, is a good example of that, adults love YA books, but, they’re written for teens and despite what we may think of the content, there’s nothing wrong with it for YA aged audiences.

I just hate that the word Slut had to be used at all. And, that isn’t the only reason I gave it three stars lol, there’s not a lot of action for a book that should be packed with it. I think that my daughter would be a little bored in the lulls, but, the humour was on point and when there was action, it was delightful! So, I did enjoy this, I just didn’t love it. And I wanted to love it.

The Three Musketeers


Alexandre Dumas’s most famous tale— and possibly the most famous historical novel of all time— in a handsome hardcover volume.
This swashbuckling epic of chivalry, honor, and derring-do, set in France during the 1620s, is richly populated with romantic heroes, unattainable heroines, kings, queens, cavaliers, and criminals in a whirl of adventure, espionage, conspiracy, murder, vengeance, love, scandal, and suspense. Dumas transforms minor historical figures into larger- than-life characters: the Comte d’Artagnan, an impetuous young man in pursuit of glory; the beguilingly evil seductress “Milady”; the powerful and devious Cardinal Richelieu; the weak King Louis XIII and his unhappy queen—and, of course, the three musketeers themselves, Athos, Porthos, and Aramis, whose motto “all for one, one for all” has come to epitomize devoted friendship. With a plot that delivers stolen diamonds, masked balls, purloined letters, and, of course, great bouts of swordplay, The Three Musketeers is eternally entertaining.

My Review


I can cross it off my literary bucket list!


And guess what?

I totally loved it.

Dumas is hilarious and apparently, no one told me.

This book had me chuckling so much, d’Artagnan was really the main character, it’s his journey to becoming a musketeer, and the three Musketeers who are his friends and allies. Admittedly someone pointed out that Athos was the reason the plot existed once you saw how everything was connected but Porthos was definitely a hoot to read about.

I could probably have written a huge review on this, but, I don’t want to. I want to just sit back and enjoy recollecting all the adventures these guys had, and wishing that those five days of imprisonment did not exist as separate chapters.

Seriously, I loved this, and it made me appreciate Angel Mage even more because of it.

There’s so much adventure, humour, and bro-bonding.

By TheCaffeinatedReader

A Caffeinated Reader and Musician, destined to write lacklustre book reviews with the over-ample amount of free time.

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