Book Reviews: Astin, Lane, Roth, Iggulden, Johnson

So I’m finally getting around to writing some small reviews of those books that I’ve finished reading. (More detail on the books that I’ve read and am planning on reading can be found on the “Reading List” tab, just up the top there…)

There and Back Again: An Actors Tale – Sean Astin
This book was really quite interesting to read. As an avid Tolkein fanboy, I’m always looking for new insights and tidbits into the worlds he created. Sean Astin’s book does just that, amongst other things.
The book opens with a brief look at Seans life leading up to the films, after he was a child actor (The Goonies, though mentioned a few times, aren’t explained in vivid detail. Something I can only be thankful for). It provides a good look at some of the behind the scenes stuff with LoTR and how he felt as an actor whilst filming it.
At times, it seems as though Astin is a bit of a petulant child, moaning about how Ian McKellen never had that much time for him personally, amongst other things. That said, it’s refreshing that Astin acknowledges this and admits it is one of his flaws. All in all, a good book for Tolkein fans!

Life on the Edge – Keith Lane
Keith Lane is not a writer. He is just a man that walked along the cliffs where his wife killed herself, everyday. Keith Lane also saved a lot of lives. In his book, Lane shares his feelings and experience of everything that happened to him, from meeting wife Maggie, to her tragic demise and on to becoming the ‘hero’ that he is. I use inverted commas there not because I don’t think of Keith as a hero but because I’m sure he wouldn’t think of himself that way. He’s just a guy that patrolled the cliffs. In a very poignant story Keith tells all and hopefully inspires people to try to be decent in their daily lives. A truly lovely, if a bit sad, read.

Divergent – Veronica Roth
A dystopian future, unlikely romance, violence and a shady conspiracy. What else is there to a smashing book? Roth delivers all in her novel about young teen Tris and the strange circumstances she finds herself in for being a bit different to everyone else. I have nothing else to say apart from: GO READ THIS BOOK!!!

Quantum of Tweed – Conn Iggulden
Albert Rossi, the gentlemans outfitter from Eastcote finds himself in the unlikely situation of becoming a hired assasin. A true parody of the Bond series, Quantum of Tweed grips you all the way through, with its only flaw being that it is much too short!

The Name of The Star – Maureen Johnson
Every now and then, a book really grabs you and won’t let go. It starts screaming at you when you aren’t reading it, because you SHOULD be reading it. This is one of those books. TNoTS is chilling, funny and just downright spectacular. I thought it may be a bit girly for me, it’s told from the perspective of a teenage girl at a London boarding school, but I was shocked by how un-girly it was. A new Ripper terrorises London, following in the footsteps of old Saucy Jack, the original Ripper (I’m aware that made him sound a bit more ‘gangsta’ than he needed to be…). Terror breaks out and Rory, our protagonist, is in the middle of it all! Is the Ripper caught? Does Rory survive? If you want to know, or even if you don’t want to know, READ THIS BOOK! You will thank me later.

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