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The Chosen One (Harper) Sam Bourne 4/5 When picking a Sam Bourne off the book shelf one is instantly reminded of a Dan Brown. The comparison is unavoidable. There is a similarity in the covers, right down to the font, and the back of the book even compares him to Brown. That being said I would like to look at his book not as a comparison that one clever marketing/publishing company have devised. Bourne’s protagonist, Maggie, used in one previously novel is now a member of the National Security Council and a foreign policy advisor to the newly elected US president. Losing her job at the same time as some scandalous revelations about the American president are revealed Maggie is sent on a roller coaster ride to discover who is behind the revelations, why now and why significant people keep turning up dead. It is an interesting study on the nature of politics. Why does a public vote for a certain person? How manipulated and controlled is the system? This book asks these questions from a slightly different angle. It is not about the voters but about the nominees. I do not want to give Sixteen Shades Of Crazy (Blue Door) Rachel Tresize 3/5 Looking at the cover of “Sixteen Shades of Crazy” and the tag line “Went out, got pissed. Same shit, different day”, you are left wondering where is this novel going to go. With all honesty, it’s takes a while to get into the storyline, the accents (even for those of use who have lived in South Wales) are pretty coarse, and detract somewhat from the storyline, but once that hoop has passed you are left with a story of the need to get out of the grey, humdrum, life that many of us lead. The focus of Trezise’s novel is on the wives and girlfriends of local band, in Aberalaw. In the heart of valleys, he ladies are forever stuck, their lives an endless loop, not least because there beloveds band is called “The Boobs”. The factory girl, the self employed hairdresser and the mother of three can be found throughout the UK, not only in south Wales, and although not everyone will look to drugs and drink to sooth the inadequacies in their lives, Trezise’s novel

too much away regarding the ending but it is an interesting analysis of American politics. I enjoyed this book. It is engaging. Something is always happening. A few of the conclusions are a little bit easy to discover before the protagonist but that is ok. It makes us, the reader feel smarter than the protagonist, and lets’ face it, as a reader we like feeling smart. Bourne writes a believable female narrative, even attempting, quite successfully, to analyse the contrasts within the female psyche. And finally, yes the comparison does have to be made. Bourne writes better than Brown, much better. But he doesn’t have a cliff hanger at the end of every chapter. You don’t sit on the edge of your chair unwilling to put the book down. This is not necessarily a bad thing. It means that a little bit of time can be spent reading the book. I could enjoy the plot rather than rushing through it always wanting to know what is going to happen next. I have not read all the Bourne books but I think I will be looking to locate a few others soon. Rachel Jacobs

strikes unerringly close to some real ways of life. That in itself could make this a difficult novel to enjoy, however, Trezise’s laces her work with comic moments that will have you tittering - ultimately breaking the monotony of the valleys as if your own ‘Johnny the Englishman’ has just walked in. By the end of the novel it is not only Wales, The Boobs and drugs that the main characters have in common but also Johnny the Englishman which takes them on a rollercoaster of emotions - whether to something new and exciting, or forever stuck in the monotony, we can’t say - because it would spoil it - but the sense of imbalance that this character causes is key. The frankness and openness of Trezise’s writing means that to truly enjoy this novel you need to embrace it. It’s ability to strike to close to the mark will make some readers uncomfortable and nervous. This is Trezise’s ability to tell an obvious story with a realism that scares you. Constantinos Kypridemos

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The Kaje - Issue 3 (July 2010)  

The Kaje is all about the arts - from the upcoming and underground through to the commercial mainstream. Issue 3 takes a look at: Ballet Boy...

The Kaje - Issue 3 (July 2010)  

The Kaje is all about the arts - from the upcoming and underground through to the commercial mainstream. Issue 3 takes a look at: Ballet Boy...

Profile for the_kaje