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   BAM Books Art and Music reviews

       For the books, art and music we love at Hedleys.

       

How to Escape From Prison

David Hedley - Thursday, July 25, 2019

This is a remarkable story of how one man defied the odds and turned his life around to escape the prison system.

Already a New Zealand bestseller Dr Paul Wood's book is well written and such as books like Boys in The Boat and Red Notice it will hold you enthralled to the end. Confronting at times but not in a negative way it certainly makes you think!!

It is also very much a self improvement book and I would highly recommend it for teens especially boys but really for young people generally.

Likely to be our number one bestselling New Zealand book this year

Machines Like Me

David Hedley - Wednesday, June 12, 2019

I am a big fan of Ian McEwan and don't believe he has written a bad novel and in some cases like Amsterdam - On Chesil Beach - Nutshell and Atonement they are great novels. I was slightly put off by the cover of his new book Machines Like Me but once I was in to the story I realised its appropriateness and how clever the title was.

This is a book challenging us on many levels. It is set in Britain in 1982 but puts an alternative spin on history out of the Thatcher and Falklands era taking us to a world of AI where robots and advanced computers rule our lives and androids compete for the emotional love interest of human partners. Well known figures like Alan Turing are part of the story giving it all credibility.

But actually this book is also about the power of novels - “The imagination,” he says, “fleeter than history, than technological advance, had already rehearsed this future in books"

He is also clever in presenting the challenges mankind will face is a world of AI and robots and what we will do with our free time.

Not really science fiction it is tightly written contemporary prose and will inevitably polarize some people, However if you are a McEwan fan I doubt you will be disappointed and will be an ideal book to discuss at your next book club meet. I felt I needed to discuss with someone the moment I finished it.

David

Rock music biography

David Hedley - Wednesday, June 12, 2019

Music fans out there will know American rock band Wilco and the accomplished songwriter and founding member Jeff Tweedy.

Well he can do more than write songs. This memoir Let's Go - full title Let's Go (so we can get back) a memoir of recording and discording with Wilco,etc. is a great read. He really opens up and in particular is insightful about his addiction and fight against opiates which reveals what is going on in America around the prescription drug culture - frightening stuff.

However there is also lots of good insights into his music and the process of songwriting and he is full of wit - an excellent rock memoir. 4 stars at least. David

THE NOTE THROUGH THE WIRE

David Hedley - Wednesday, June 12, 2019

The Note Through The Wire by Doug Gold is the true story of a Yugoslav heroine resistance fighter and a Kiwi prisoner of war whose chance encounter changes their lives forever. This is a pacey story written like a thriller and well worth a read. Escape war stories without the gore and tragedy just keep coming out and this is one of the best for awhile. I couldn't put it down and read it in two nights. Perfect for men and women and all ages even teens.


LSD TRIP

David Hedley - Wednesday, June 12, 2019

T C Boyle is an excellent writer and his new book Outside Looking In takes you on a hell of a sixties trip.

Dr Timothy Leary and his experimentation around LSD is at the heart of this novel as US psychology students get swept up in a commune of free love and risk taking. Slightly hedonistic at times it is still well written and is witty, wry and wise and sure to entertain with fantasy those who missed the sixties. I loved it! David

Only to Sleep

David Hedley - Tuesday, March 19, 2019

Only to Sleep $37 by Lawrence Osborne is a very successful rewrite in the style of Raymond Chandler.

It is a new Philip Marlowe thriller and it is a delight to see this private detective character made famous by Raymond Chandler resurface for one more "job". Lawrence Osborne is an outstanding writer and this is an excellent story where Marlowe investigates a missing man and woman and a ton of cash all set between the border and badlands of Mexico and California. Crime noir at its best without a need for graphic violence 4 stars.

The Suspect

David Hedley - Thursday, March 07, 2019

I haven't read Fiona Barton before but she is on her third novel and this one is really gripping.

The Suspect is a little close to home for those of us who have daughters who like to travel but is compelling reading.

When two eighteen old girls go missing on their gap year in Thailand their families are thrust into the spotlight and head out to solve the mystery themselves. An excellent thriller.

Run Away

David Hedley - Thursday, March 07, 2019

Run Away by Harlan Coben is a great read. There is a reason he is one of the world's biggest selling thriller writers.

This is as good as any Lee Child and maybe better than many of his.

Once again the theme is familiar - a father who follows his daughter into a dark and dangerous world he never knew existed. Where criminal gangs rule.

Totally riveting if you like a pacy thriller.

The Wall

David Hedley - Thursday, January 24, 2019

John Lanchester's thrilling, hypnotic new novel is about why the young are right to hate the old. It's about a broken world you will recognise as your own-and about what might be found when all is lost.

In this new world you are either a defender or an other. You either defend the wall or live outside in the wilderness.

I am not normally a huge fan of dystopian novels but this was easy to read and gripping and oh so much meaning.

It could be one of my favourite thrillers of the year!

4 out 5 stars

Star of the North

David Hedley - Thursday, January 24, 2019

Star of the North by D B John is an outstanding thriller set in North Korea.

CIA agent sets about trying to rescue her twin sister from Korea. Totally believable and very much like "I am Pilgrim" as topical and set in contemporary times. Gives lots of credible insight into Korean life and horrors and threats around the regime.

Highly recommended and only $26 for a gripping 436 pages

David


 
 

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