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A lot more to learn

Everyone at some point has stood under the stars and wondered about our place in it all.

This book helps with that journey. The universe is incredible and our fascination since we first began to evolve has grown. Now we are discovering more and more, opening doors held closed by outdated theories and the constraints of religion.

I loved how the harder scientific aspects were made easier by great graphics and photographs. A companion to the tv series, I would recommend watching the matching programme after each chapter.

A must in these radical times of personal focus. It's a big universe. Look up from the phone and search for some answers.

A masterpiece

I was completed fascinated by this masterpiece of story telling. It is historical by nature and to experience the emotional journey of a young girl in such different times. There are some remarkable surprises and many reminders of how certain things haven't changed.

Tess is vulnerable. The opposite sex is omnipresent and driven by their own needs. The tale revolves around her attempt to to remain true to herself. The reaction of the men she encounters says a lot about how misdirected society was.

Being able to survive the threat of genuine poverty is central to events. This is a different kind of hardship to today's standards. Expectations are far lower and more realistic. Enough food and roof is all that matters. The richer man sees her as an easy target. Her true lover is all too hung up on moral standards influenced by the religious fanaticism of his father and destroys the joy he finds.

Our heroine wishes to help her family financially and this leads her into a world all too ready to take advantage of her loyalty. The detail that Hardy gives us of rural life is absorbing. You can read this book to learn if nothing else.

I loved how the writing drew you close to Tess and you wish so much for her to find the happiness she deserves. Hardy's narrative voice is perfect and he makes you think long after reading.

Great fun

Great fun. Made me laugh out loud.


I wanted to give this three and a half stars. I love the subject matter and the easy way we can enter the world of the norse gods. The language is uncomplicated and the book avoids the sprawl of other tales of this nature. The pace is keen and engaging throughout.

Herein lies my dilemma. As a writer myself I was aware of the lack of depth in the descriptions. I'm not sure if this work is aimed at adults or a younger audience. It can work for both (as can most books!).

I got a little tired of the over use of Yours Truly and Humble Narrator phrases. Perhaps I was supposed to. Loki is an anti-hero to like and loathe in equal measure.

I was confused by Loki's motives. Again, maybe he was too. Did he seek acceptance or destruction? I wondered if the author really knew. And if Loki is such a child of chaos, why is he so scared of it at the end?

Wonderful, colourful.

A wonderful, colourful trip through a British year. I learned while I loved. It makes you want to get out there, see and hear for yourself and generally appreciate all four seasons.

Infinitely better than phone scrolling, this is a book in all its glory. Read on.

Simple yet deeply moving

A story of a small community in the days of genuine hardship when one man is affected enough by what he sees to try and make a change.

There was an emphasis on routine, on things being kept like they always had been. With that comes the outdated religious views that should never apply to a modern and caring society.

This book achieves great depth through simplicity, no mean feat. Hopefully it can act as a stimulus to most readers and get them to examine their own lives and ensure they aren't stuck on return and repeat.

Besides all that heavy stuff, it is an enchanting insight into a small community in a time before image and self obsession became so dominant.

Worth reading

I love John Wyndham so this was good to read. As a story I found it to be a slow builder. There is a lot of technical detail and references to various organisations. The story plays out with great believability.

Taken as a science fiction thriller, it lacks obvious confrontation and the usual head on battles you get from Hollywood. This makes it different and doesn't bother me. It feels like a child of its time.

The rising of the water must stand as a stark warning to us in the climate change century. Wyndham has no romance or human heroics in this scenario. Selfishness and combat is what the human race falls back on when under pressure. I hope he is wrong because the high tide is coming.

Worth reading!


Absolutely perfect book that gives you great insights into most of the key archaeological discoveries and expeditions in history. Beautiful colour photos enhance the concise, clear and informative text. It just made me want more.

There is included an overview of methods, examining the effectiveness of them as well as the morality. Disputes over results are handled fairly.

Maybe an updated version could be considered in a few years time.


Being a collection of shorter stories and one novella makes the reward of stars more difficult and has to reflect the overall impression. The fact is I found most of the stories to be good, a couple less so.

Let's start with the positives. The main tale is well known but perhaps less read than it should be. The struggle between Jekyll and Hyde has parallels with most people's experiences. We all have a darker side. That this is set at a time full of such contrasts just adds to the experience.

I also loved Olalla. The mysterious girl he becomes infatuated with and the strange place she inhabits creates a thrilling tension. The ending was a little disappointing.

Markheim is gripping. To be in the mind of a killer made for an interesting journey. That ending felt much better, after the devil had intervened.

Negative for me were the stories told in the authentic Scottish dialect. All very well except I lost the will to try and understand it!


A very factual book and what fascinating facts they are! I found myself constantly marvelling at the level of human endurance in such a country and further amazed by the unique qualities of Tibetan society.

Anywhere that gets you away from the sensationalistic, greed driven world we have created seems like a paradise. To think that there are those who would impose our Western culture on something as unique as this.

The writing is precise, not flowery or sentimental, not self gratifying or judgemental. I was routing for the author all through. There is an element of sadness because of what is now gone. A vital piece of historical significance.

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