PAOLINI, Christopher

 B        Eragon            2002     Fantasy/Juvenile

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


PARKER, 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


PATTERSON, James     

 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


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