D

 

DAHL, Roald         

 B        Completely Unexpected Tales      1949-1980 Short Stories

Collection of ‘twist’ stories. Hit and miss. ‘Galloping Foxley’ is a cracker

 

 B+      Boy      1984     Autobiography

Interesting, brief, readable stories from his childhood

 

DAVIS, Lindsay    

 C        Scandal Takes a Holiday  2004     Crime/Historical Fiction

Some OK research maybe, but overwhelmed by contemporary cliché characters and glib voice

 

DAWSON, Norma      

 B        An Ordinary Woman with an Extraordinary God       2004     Autobiography/Christian

Honest summary rather than evocative interpretation

 

DICK, Phillip K.     

 B        The Simulacra      1964     SF

This guy had six impossible ideas before breakfast...,

 

DICKSON, John   

 B        A Hell of a Life      1997     NF/Christian

Contrived apologetics, but at least an attempt to connect

 

DIAZ, Bernal    

 B+      The Conquest of New Spain   1570    History/Autobiography

Incredible eye-witness account of Cortes’ conquest

 

DONALDSON, Stephen 

 B-             Lord Foul’s Bane        1977     Fantasy

Some absorbing world/culture creation, but grandiose language doesn’t cover confused unsatisfying themes and action

 

 B        The Wounded Land    1980     Fantasy

Great imagination but lead characters and basic plot not engaging enough for series length

 

DONOGHUE, Emma  

 B        Room 2010     Novel

Competent realisation of a concept, but probably better as short story, or maybe a novella with a sequel

 

DOYLE, Arthur Conan         

  A       The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes        1892     Crime/Short Stories

Thoroughly enjoyable

 

 B+      The Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes      1893     Crime/Short Stories

Clever ideas, engaging lead characters

 

 B+      The Return of Sherlock Holmes   1905     Crime/Short Stories

Clever ideas, engaging lead characters

 

 B        Sir Nigel    1906     Historical Fiction

The 14th century semi-quixotic adventures of a starry-eyed teen gaining knighthood

 

 B+      The Lost World     1912     SF/Novella

The unforgettable Professor Challenger finds dinosaurs!

 

 B+      The Poison Belt     1913     SF/Short Story

Classic SF model – a short story based around a daunting ‘what if’

 

 B        The Land of Mist   1926     Short Story (Novella)

Doyle courageously defends spiritualism, exploiting his popular ‘Challenger’ characters

 

 B+      The Case-book of Sherlock Holmes   1927     Crime/Short Stories

Clever ideas, engaging lead characters

 

 B        When the World Screamed    1928     SF/Short Story

Professor Challenger in an oddly Gaia setting

 

 B        The Conan Doyle Stories  1929     Short Stories

Large collection of ripping yarns from 1883-1922: sea, sport, war, supernatural, medicine and history

 

 B        The Disintegration Machine    1929     SF/Short Story

Striking spin on how far scientists are responsible for the application of their research

 

DOYLE, Roddy     

 B-       The Slave 2000     Short Story

(in ‘Speaking With the Angel’; Ed. Nick Hornby)

Mid-life crisis monologue

 

DOZOIS, Gardner (Ed.)         

 A-       The Year's Best Science Fiction, Ninth Annual Collection    1991     SF/Short Stories

Best of 1991. Consistently good

 

DUMAS, Alexandre   

 A+      The Count of Monte Cristo     1844     Historical Fiction/Action

Huge (common) and coherent (rare) epic; Tolkienesque scope, Shakespearian vibe

 

 B+      The Three Musketeers      1844     Action/Historical Fiction

Action, flawed but heroic personalities, fascinating alternate historical values

 

 B        The Black Tulip    1850     Historical Fiction

Melodramatic romance, skulduggery thwarted at the 11th hour

 

DUNBAR, Robin  

 D        Grooming, Gossip and the Evolution of Language    1996     Anthropology

Ignorant, smug, crackpot pre-historical anthropology

 

DURRELL, Gerald     

 A-       My Family and Other Animals      1956     Autobiography/Humour

Amusing recollections of an animal mad kid about his eccentric family

 

 B-       Encounters with Animals       1958     Natural History

Video overwhelms text (here anyway)