Wednesday, 14 November 2007

Amazon the vine, vine voice

I was delighted last week to be invited to be a member of 'The Vine' . Amazon promise to send me free books in exchange for honest reviews on their website. They say that a 'select' group has been invited - well I am in the top 2000. I dont know if that has anything to do with it. -

My first review is for the Sarajevo Haggadah which I started with trepedation as it looked so long but I soon changed my mind and found it one of the most interesting books I have read this year. I now intend to find out more about this amazing book and would love to see the real thing. Here is my review -

I am so pleased to have had the opportunity to preview this book prior to publication. The Sarajevo Haggadah is a real book with a turbulant history and many of the details in this well researched novel are based on historical truths. As I was curious myself about the Hebrew Codex I checked out some details and found that the book has an estimated present value of around $700 million - no wonder this rare and beautiful book has a chequered past. Geraldine Brooks introduces the story via a book conserver from Australia who travels to Bosnia to carry out sensitive restoration. The storyline then hops through a possible past as recorded and as imagined by the writer. Some of the stories are quite harrowing and I was particularly moved by the young Jewish girl who becomes a member of the partisans to save herself from extermination- not a piece of history I had been familiar with. Due to the excellent background details the stories are always plausable and each one is a fascinating insight into the real lives of people of that particular time in history. A love story runs alongside the short stories. To be honest my only slight dislike in this book is the 'Miss smartypants know it all book restorer' who I feel would probably have to be acted by Juliette Binoche or some such person if and when the film comes out. Are there really people out there with 2 degrees and a Phd in book binding, no strings or ties, incredibly beautiful - of course! flitting from country to country on UN missions to conserve valuable books? No doubt all the bright young girls at school will now want to be book binders on the strength of this. Anyhow despite my little complaint a really worthwhile and informative read.


E Thayer said...

My Amazon reviewer ranking is about 7K, was previously around 8K. Was invited to be a Vine Voice too, so that can give some idea of how "exclusive" the club is or isn't.

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