The complete short stories of Roald Dahl, 1944 – 1953 completed.
Although I should have guessed from the title I was surprised to read quite so many stories centred around the author’s wartime experience serving in the Royal Air Force. The stories were interesting but rather flat. Moving on to the later stories I was struck by the similarity to such writers as Evelyn Waugh or perhaps Graham Greene. Characters appeared to have been plucked from a class that the majority of readers would see as caricatures not actual living, breathing persons. These too seemed to stop rather abruptly with the chance to leave just a little too much to the mind of the reader. On the whole I felt rather short-changed at having to do all the work myself.
.What the railways did for us, Stuart Hylton. completed.
A comprehensive breakdown of the effect of the coming of the railways in Britain. The upside and the downs. Although the advent of the railway age had a profound effect on the whole population, successfully bringing prosperity to some from all walks of life there were many effects not recognised in our nostalgic view of the transport system that appeared to do more than any other. An even-handed account broken down into sensible sections. Recommended for students of social history it reads more like a textbook than the usual humorous account. The only problem I had with the 212 pages of text before the bibliography and index was the size of font which had it been of the more common size would probably have extended the book to 300 very readable pages.
My rating. 4 stars out of 5.
Unexplained phenomena, A Rough Guide special.
Hengeworld, Mike Pitts. completed June.
Very much a book for the committed and knowledgable amateur or professional archaeologist, Interesting but disjointed and difficult for anyone just curious about this enigmatic world heritage site.
My rating 3 of 5.
Writing and script, Andrew Robinson, completed July.
A comprehensive guide to the origin and evolution of writing from the first pictographic scripts through to the present. A good read with many interesting aspects not only of interest to scholars of script. Good explanations of the people and methods used in the decipherment of ancient and not so ancient scripts whose users no longer remain.
5 stars of 5