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The English Book Club Bulletin #2, june 2013

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Have a look at our selection of books and the opinions of our readers

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View, download or print the letter of the english book club by clicking below :

  • The Autobiography of Alice B. Toklas
    Gertrude Stein
    Londres : Penguin books
    2001
    Commentaire :

    Martine’s opinion:

    If you stay in Paris this summer you will enjoy reading this book. It is warm, the English vocabulary is easy to understand; It is full of stories about the first three decades of the 20th century in Paris. It is a simplification of what was obviously a complicated life for Stein and her partner Toklas (1907 until 1946). They lived at 27 rue de Fleurus.

    The narrative is essentially a chronology of a series of dinners, parties with the name of the people who came: Apollinaire, Picasso and their turbulent friendship, Braque, Matisse, Hemingway, Fitzgerald… And to finish, a walk in the Père Lachaise where Stein and Toklas were laid to rest forever.

  • Commentaire :

    Martine summary and opinion:

    The school year is almost over. Myron makes two neighborhood girls promise him if they are ever in trouble but are afraid to call their parents, they must call him “I won’t tell your parents”. When one of the girls turns up missing, Myron becomes a suspect because he helped her and was the last to see her. The plot is astonishingly intricate and the ending blew me away. At times you will believe that no crime has been committed and at times you will feel that there is no possible good ending. Every page makes you think that you are on the edge of a big clue that would alter the course of the book. There is another missing girl, unwanted pregnancy, drugs, crazy assassins called the Twins, a couple of high school teachers, a doctor who helped the girls. A modern mystery thriller.

  • Commentaire :

    Martine's summary and opinion:

    Twenty years ago, four teenagers at summer camp walked into the woods at night. Two were found murdered and the others were never seen again, Camille is one of them. Then there is Paul Copeland the protagonist whose sister is Camille, a widower with a dark secret, the person they feel is responsible due to the other murders he has committed. Stories of charity fraud, rape, politics, the KGB. Copeland’s mother leaves them and goes where? Paul doesn’t know. At break-neck speed the narrative travels through numerous places.


  • Field Grey
    Philip Kerr
    London : Quercus
    2011
    Commentaire :
    Ari’s opinion:

    My first Bernie Gunther novel, but a turning point in the series: Bernie Gunther, inspector of Kripo (Berlin Homicide division) in 1939 is suddenly engulfed in WW2. A very rapid pace, plenty of historical facts interwoven with quality fiction, extremely wry and deadly funny humor (very probably from the disillusioned way Gunther has to look at the mayhem laid before his eyes) and his indomitable will to live through it all. A highly likable character in an exceptionally good book.

  • The one from the other : a Bernie Gunther novel
    Philip Kerr
    London : Quercus
    2006
    Commentaire :

    Ari’s opinion:

    The next installment of the Bernie Gunther series, and the story of his forced flight from Germany at the end of the war, along with Nazi war criminals with whom he did not belong. A great plot, and riveting suspense to the end, as well as Bernie’s (now) famous dry wit. Another must-read.


  • A quiet flame : a Bernie Gunther mystery
    Philip Kerr
    London : Quercus
    2008
    Commentaire :

    Ari’s opinion:

    Now exiled in Argentina along with Eichmann and other famous Nazis, Gunther is called upon by the Argentine Secret Service to solve a series of murders and disappearance. Taking him back to his past as a Kripo detective, this latest book of the Gunther series is rife with plots and counterplots, the ability to lie and outwit everyone else very quickly becoming an absolute necessity. For those sensitive to court intrigues and other intricate meddlings, this novel will undoubtedly be a hugely enjoyable read.

  • Commentaire :

    Yvonne’s summary and opinion:

    Bill Watterson's masterpiece, Calvin & Hobbes, is probably the best comic strip of the world, with its reduced number of characters who succeeded in amusing both children and adults. It presents the outstanding vision of the world of a lovable little boy, Calvin, who is facing the hard reality of life with his overactive imagination in which his stuffed tiger Hobbes plays a great part. With him, the little boy can share his poignant observations, his metaphysical thoughts, and his simple exploration of humanity. The accuracy of the dialogues and the quality of the drawing are always a delight for the readers of this timeless comic strip.     


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