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The Woman in White

Imagine the fattest man you’ve ever seen, make him exceedingly handsome, charming, clever and gallant, Italian, and a Count, add a wardrobe of brightly patterned waistcoats, and then pour in a healthy dose of Machiavellian cunning and manipulation. This gives … Continue reading

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Breakfast at Tiffany’s

I imagine that a great many people have seen Breakfast at Tiffany’s at some point, and enjoyed it as an iconic Audrey Hepburn movie, but have never read the book.  To misquote Roald Dahl (from his retelling of Cinderella): I … Continue reading

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Book Review: Charles Dickens’ A Tale of Two Cities

A Tale of Two Cities provides a window into the terror and madness of the French Revolution. It immerses the reader in the abject poverty, hopelessness and powerlessness of the French working classes. Men and women scrabble in the mud … Continue reading

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Book Review: Ann Patchett’s ‘Bel Canto’

Bel Canto is devastating and beautiful. It is exquisitely written, sucking you into the story from the very first page. It is a tale of hopelessness, humanity, empathy, and love. In a desperately poor and brutalized country, where citizens are … Continue reading

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Book Review: Michael Chabon’s ‘The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay’

The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay is the epic tale of fifteen years in the lives of Joe and Sam, boy geniuses and would-be heroes. Their story is interlaced with quirky period detail. References to music, people, sporting events … Continue reading

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Book Review: Rian Malan’s ‘My Traitor’s Heart’

My Traitor’s Heart lays bare the anxiety and fear created by ‘otherness.’ Malan wrestles with the primitive instinct that categorises people into ‘us’ and ‘them.’ He finds himself, defined by his race, ethnicity and name, on the wrong side in … Continue reading

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Book Review: Alan Paton’s Cry the Beloved Country’

Cry the Beloved Country uses the simple story of the Reverend Stephen Kumalo, and tragic events that unfold around him, to illustrate the pain and suffering of South Africa’s racially divided society. Set in 1946, two years before apartheid became … Continue reading

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