PAOLINI, Christopher

 B        Eragon            2002    Fantasy/Juvenile

OK if you haven’t read much fantasy before, derivative, some weaknesses


PARKER, T. Jefferson

 B        California Girl       2004    Crime

Assured, capable, none of the characters particularly engaging for me


 B+      The Fallen      2006    Crime  

In the ugly crime world, but not of it


 B-       Full Measure   2014    Novel (Crime sub-plot)

Capable enough snapshot of a young Afghanistan vet returning to rural hardships and divided subcultures, but I couldn’t enjoy the consciously ugly crime (sub)plot



 D        First to Die            Action/Crime

Dumbs down an already simple formula


PEAKE, Mervyn

 B        Titus Groan (Book 1 of the Gormenghast trilogy) 1946    Fantasy

Constant discomforting, lurid images, oppressive mood, grotesque population, crawling pace … but strangely compelling



 B+      The Dumas Club  1993 (trans.)    Crime

Intelligent, interesting on medieval occult and books


 B+      The Flanders Panel    1994 (trans.)    Crime

Intelligent, interesting on medieval painting


 B+      The Seville Communion  1995 (trans. S. Soto, 1997)           Crime

Nice style, strong characters, able plot


 B-       Captain Alatriste 1996 (trans. M.S. Peden, 2005)     Historical Fiction/Action

Disappointing: more jingoism than intelligent historical action


  A       The Fencing Master   1999 (trans.)    Crime

Sophisticated. Stunning climax


PETERS, Ellis 

 B        The Leper of Saint Giles  1981    Crime/Historical Fiction

Competent medieval whodunnit



 B-       Salem Falls     2001    Novel

Hooks for teen girls, but clichéd and a bit glib using difficult content salaciously rather than insightfully


POHL, Frederik    

 B-       Outnumbering the Dead  1990    SF

Relatively shallow future utopia


POSTMAN, Neil   

 C+      Amusing Ourselves to Death      1984    Non-Fiction (Essays)

Some valid attacks on TV undermined by absurd bias



 B+      Mort    1987     Fantasy/Humour

Some wonderful ideas and descriptions excuse a dumb climax


 B+      Pyramids  1989    Fantasy/Humour

Relished the charmingly silly first half, then it seemed to want us care about the absurd plot


 B+      Moving Pictures   1990    Fantasy/Humour

Yeah, another Pratchett. Some amusing bits - a workmanlike effort


 B        Small Gods     1992    Fantasy/Humour

Solid humour as ever but a bit dodgily preachy


 B+      Soul Music     1994    Fantasy/Humour

Competent. Discworld, drugs and Rock ‘n Roll


 B+      Jingo   1997    Fantasy/Humour

Competent – Pratchett’s spin on nationalism


 B+      The Last Continent    1998    Fantasy/Humour

Standard Discworld novel, with a few Aussie ‘in’ jokes


 B+      The Amazing Maurice and his Educated Rodents   2001    Fantasy/Humour

Funny, workmanlike plot, some charming characters, odd anti-Christian allegories


 B        Nation       2008    Fantasy

Some good moments undermined by gratuitous preaching


and Baxter, Stephen

 C-      The Long Earth    2012    SF

Very little Pratchett here. Moderately workable idea of parallel earths, but ill-disciplined pace – long, uninspired tangents


PRICE, Anthony

 B-       The Labyrinth Makers           1970    Crime

Competent plot, pacing; never soars; juvenile/puerile romance



 B+      The Shipping News    1993    Novel

Redemptive city to country feelgood story with strong episodes and dialogue


PULLMAN, Phillip

 C+      His Dark Materials     2003 (BBC Audiobook Edition)      Fantasy / Juvenile

Probably some original ideas, but I just couldn’t get past the cliché characters, scenarios, and bad writing and dialogue. Bailed early.