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Book Bites: 6 April 2014

Undisputed TruthUndisputed Truth
Mike Tyson (HarperCollins)
***
Book bru
Follows a similar course to its author’s career: shocking at the start, scandalous through the middle, but by the end, a bit of a bore. At 13 Tyson was dragged out of the gutter and told he would one day be heavyweight champion of the world. He didn’t have long to wait: by 20, he had reached the top – and a breathtaking amount of money, drugs and women. But the book’s failing is also his own: “Iron Mike” was the greatest boxer never to have a nemesis, and his unanswered monologue becomes tiring, despite his surprising, and endearing, erudition.
- Jennifer Malec @ProjectJennifer

A Long Walk HomeA Long Walk Home
Judith Tebbutt (Faber & Faber)
****
Book buff
Deftly captures Judith Tebbutt’s one hundred and ninety days in captivity at the hands of Somali pirates. Judith and her husband’s well-planned holiday turns into a nightmare when they arrive at Kiwayu, Kenya, an exclusive beach resort. Dragged from her bed on to a boat and across to Somalia, Judith hopes David will pay the ransom, and longs to see him again. She only learns of his death during a phone conversation with her son. In this painful memoir, Judith takes the reader into the hell of her captivity, mourning and fears – and the redemption of her resilience.
- Jackee Batanda @jackeebatanda

Spilt MilkSpilt Milk
Amanda Hodgkinson (Penguin)
****
Book fling
Another WW1 novel! But this one is deftly handled. Expect a grand soapy showcase of England from the beginning of the great war to the 1960s, chronicled through the lives of three sisters, Rose, Nellie and Vivian. They live in poverty and sisterly spinsterhood, making do in the unyielding landscape of Suffolk. Rose’s death forces them to take in a farm worker, Joe. Both sisters fall for him and so begins a mess – and a pattern that is inherited by the next generation.
- Jennifer Platt @Jenniferdplatt

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