Strangers on a Train

26 05 2010

Título: Strangers on a Train

Autor: Patricia Highsmith.

Editorial: Penguin

Obra Adaptada: SI.

Nivel: Intermedio.

Reseña: This book is an adaptation from the original book written by Patricia Highsmith. You can also find a film version which was directed by Alfred Hitchcock in 1945 that became so well-known. 

´Strangers on a train´ tells a mystery story about Guy Haines, a famous tennis player, who meets Charley Bruno on a train. Charley proposes him a very strange plan `You murder my father and I’ll murder your wife´. From this moment, Guy’s life changes and he goes into a world of madness, lies and death; he cannot escape. 

In my opinion, this adaptation is rather limited and sometimes it is a bit difficult to follow the plot. But in general, it is a type of story from those days which seems interesting to me because it is evolved in an atmosphere of great tension.  I would recommend it as an entertaining book for those who enjoy classical mystery stories.

Valoración: 3/5

Sheila Cidón Brincones 2ºNI

At Risk

22 05 2010

Title: At Risk

Author: Patricia Cornwell

Level: Advanced

Review:   A Massachusetts State Police investigator, Win Garano, is called from the National Forensic Academy in Tennessee by his boss, the District Attorney, Monique Lamont. She is running for governor and she plans to use a new crime initiative called ‘At Risk’ to employ new DNA technology so she sends Garano to Tennessee to work a twenty-year-old unsolved murder. Although he doesn’t want to work the case, he must obey her, so he starts the investigation, but, while carrying it out , a shocking violent act intervenes.

The characters draw you in from the beginning although they are one-dimensional, so, since you can’t get enough information about them, it is difficult to connect emotionally with them.

This novel is a whodunit written in present tense, what makes you feel part of it, and in a style accessible to any reader with quite plain language, despite being a crime book, because it doesn’t go into the facts in too much depth. In fact, the story is underdeveloped, the plot is sketchy, it doesn’t flow together, and nothing is fully explained. Therefore, this plot, intriguing but easy to lose the thread of it, requires all one’s powers of concentration.

That style is what really hooked me; I kept reading the book in order to know what happened. I couldn’t put it down. In my opinion, the novel starts well, keeping you in suspense at the beginning, but then, just as the plot and suspense are rising, you start the new chapter and find out that the detectives have it all solved so you think you have missed some crucial paragraph somehow. And, finally, the novel is finished suddenly as though the writer had a deadline so, when I got to the end, I realized that some of the facts were still unknown and I wasn’t really sure about what had happened. I suppose the reason of this bizarre end is that the writer had already planned to write the second part, entitled ‘The Front’.

To sum up, as far as I am concerned, the book is readable, albeit not as good as other Patricia Cornwell’s thrillers.

Rate: 3/5

Natalia García 2ºNA

Book of the Dead

20 05 2010

Title: Book of the Dead

Author: Patricia Cornwell

Level: Advanced

Review:   The “Book of the Dead” is an old expression which comes from Ancient Egyptian funerary texts. It is the morgue logbook, a sort of ledger in which all cases are entered by hand. After reading this book, however, it will take on a new meaning…

Bestseller Cornwell’s 15th novel depicts a new Kay Scarpetta adventure. In this occasion, the pathologist forensic has just opened a modern lab in the apparently peaceful city of Charleston, offering expert crime scene investigation and autopsies. Soon, she is asked to consult the murder of a famous American tennis champ in Rome. At the same time, she has to deal with other violent deaths, facing a killer as deadly as any she has ever encountered.

Once again, Cornwell presents characters from previous Scarpetta books. For this reason, they are not well drawn, since we are supposed to know them. The main character is Kay Scarpetta, a strong, perfectionist and intelligent woman holding her own in a profession dominated by men. Besides her, we can find her usual colleagues and their tumultuous and tangled relations. They are Benton Wesley, an FBI profiler and former boyfriend; Lucy, her beautiful and brilliant niece and Peter Marino, an excellent detective but tortured because he is secretly in love with Kay.

Besides its rather one-dimensional characters, the story has loads of commonplaces, clichés and awful stereotypes, such as the arrogant and ladies’ man Italian carabiniere Captain Poma. Written in a style immediately accessible to any reader, it delivers Cornwell’s trademark grisly crime scenes, but lacks coherence and emotional feelings. In addition, sometimes the reader flounders in excessive forensic details.

To sum up, this is another whodunit full of twist bestseller, which I recognize its ability to entertain and enthrall, but only for diehard Cornwell fans.

 Rate: 3/5

Conchi Olea 2ºNA

Murder by Art

13 05 2010

IDIOMA: Inglés  

TÍTULO: Murder by Art

AUTORJanet Mcgiffin

EDITORIAL : Cambridge


NIVEL: Intermedio

RESEÑA: This book, written by Janet Mcgiffin and first published in 2009, is a murder mystery story.

The story takes place in Milwaukee in the USA during the summer. It starts on a hot August summer night when a young artist and a gang leader’s girlfriend are shot in the street, a woman dies mysteriously in the Mercy Hospital emergency room and a famous artist is killed at the opening of an exhibition of his work. Dr Maxine Cassidy and detective Grabowski find the connection between the events and they discover that these facts have not been accidental.

In my opinion, this book is rather interesting and the story is easy to understand. To sum up, if you like good thrillers, you’ll enjoy “Murder by Art” 


Isabel Iglesias Santamarina  2ºNI

La Fuga di Bach

11 05 2010

Titolo: La fuga di Bach

Autore: Regina Assini e  Susanna Longo

Editoriale: CIDEB (Imparare leggendo)

Libro adattato: SI

Livello: Basico

Genere: Giallo 

La prima ballerina d’un balletto è trovata morta, il commissario risolve il crimine dopo aver indagato tante piste, ma una fuga di Bach è sempre presente.

È la tipica storia poliziesca, con un assassinio e una protagonista che sembra essere la colpevole.

Secondo me il libro non è cosí interessante dal punto di vista letterario, invece la cosa più interesante è la quantità d’esercizi che troviamo in ogni capitolo, molto utili per imparare bene strutture e regole gammaticali. 

Consiglierei questo libro per questa grande quantità d’esercizi, anche il lessico è semplice e facile da capire, mi sembra molto utile per studenti del livello basico.

Valutazione: 3/5

Aurelio García Fernández  2ºNB

La fuga di Bach

31 03 2010

Titolo: La fuga di Bach

Autore: Regina Assini e  Susanna Longo

Editoriale: CIDEB (Imparare leggendo)

Libro adattato: SI

Genere: Giallo 

La prima ballerina, Irene Pavlovich,  è assente. Eleonora la sostituisce ed è il giorno più felice della sua vita. Ma subito questo essere in paradiso diventa un inferno.  La Pavlovich è morta ed Eleonora è sospettata dell’assassinio. Tutti a Milano sanno che c’è una gran rivalità fra le due donne a causa di Boris, il primo ballerino.

Il commissario Bonardi conduce l’indagine e pensa che Eleonora sia colpevole ma ci sono altri due sospetti ed inoltre qualcuno, non si sa chi,  perseguita Bonardi  con le note della Fuga di Bach.

Il libro ha una struttura semplice nell’ argomento ma ho trovato particolarmente interessanti gli esercizi alla fine dei capitoli perché fanno pensare abbastanza alla struttura grammaticale e alle frasi usate.

Lo raccomando!

Voti:   4/5

Margarita Bermejo 2ºNB

Mistero all’Abbazia

24 03 2010

Titolo: Mistero all’Abbazia

Autore: Maria Luisa Banfi e Simona Gavelli

Casa Editrice: Cideb

Livello: A2 


 Recensione:La storia si svolge  in un piccolo paese della campagna Lombarda. Marco e Anna vanno in vacanza alla casa dei nonni di Marco.

Anna è una studentessa di archittetura alla Università di Genova ; lei è molto felice di andare in campagna perchè le piace tutto quello che c’è li.  A lei piace moltissimo la spiaggia però le piace anche ogni mattone e rudere  dunque loro decidono di visitare qualche luogo storico e il più importante è La Abbazia di Morimondo. Fanno una gita all’Abbazia e quello che scoprono all’interno e fuori sono delle casse che gli sembrano sospette . Ma niente è quello che pare.

Il romanzo è molto interessante all’ inizio ma quando tutto è stato risolto non so se lo scrittore vuole lasciare la storia in suspense o vuole dirci che quello che c´è di fronte non è sempre vero perché l’apparenza inganna.

Valoración: 3/5

Felisa Conejero Rey   2ºNB

Mistero all’Abbazia

19 03 2010

Titolo: Mistero all’Abbazia

Autore: Maria Luisa Banfi e Simona Gavelli

Livello: A2 


Sintesi: Marco e Anna sono due fidanzati che sono andati nella casa di Marco nella campagna lombarda per le vacanze. C’è un’abbazia vicina alla casa di Marco, ma è tutto mistero intorno a questo luogo: non è possibile visitarla e ci sono alcuni frati che trasportano grandi casse all’abbazia. Così i ragazzi decidono di indagare che cosa succede lì. 

Opinione personale: “Mistero all’Abbazia” è un libro semplice e facile da leggere perchè la storia che racconta non è molto difficile da capire e neanche il vocabolario è complicato, e inoltre le parole difficili si spiegano nelle note a piè di pagina.  Penso che el libro sia divertente ma non mi piace molto il finale perchè è aperto, e dopo aver letto il libro non si sono scoperte tutte le cose che sono successe, ma per il resto io penso che sia un buon libro.

Valoración: 3/5

Claudia de Zárraga Mata   2ºNB

New Arrivals: The Man Who Smiled

16 03 2010

Título: The Man Who Smiled

Autor: Henning Mankell

Obra adaptada: NO

In The Man Who Smiled, Mankell’s fourth novel starring Kurt Wallander, investigations lead into the heart of an international crime syndicate.

For over a year, Kurt Wallander has been on leave from the police-force. After killing a man, he is riven with self-doubt and is on the verge of quitting the police-force when an intriguing new case arouses his curiosity and lifts his depression. A friendly but concerned lawyer comes to Kurt for help: Sten Torstensson’s father has died in a car accident, but he believes that it is anything but. He claims his father would never have gone driving in the fog, and certainly not at night.

However, two weeks later Sten is also found dead. He’s been shot. Kurt returns to take over the case, which will soon throw up leads that cast the entire investigation into a new light.

The Talented Mr Ripley

11 03 2010

Título: The Talented Mr Ripley

Autor: Patricia Highsmith

Editorial: Penguin

Obra adaptada: SI

Nivel: Intermedio

Review: “The Talented Mr Ripley” was written by Patricia Highsmith, author of other famous books as  “Strangers on a Train”. This story has been made into a successful and popular film starring Matt Damon, Gwyneth Paltrow and Jude Law. 

The book tells the story of Tom Ripley, an American young man, who starts a new life when  Mr Greenleaf, Dickie’s father, asks him to persuade his son to return to the U.S. In return, he would pay all his expenses. Dickie and Tom had met a few years ago but they had never been friends. Tom goes to Italy, where Dickie lives, and they start a friendship. However, Tom  had always wanted to become  a successful person as Dickie is, with enough money to live without any worries. He thinks it is the right time to get it, and  the best way is to kill and impersonate Dickie. Tom looks enough like Dickie so it isn’t difficult to use Dickie’s passport. He is a very clever person and finally he manages to deceive everybody, even the police who conclude that Dickie killed himself. 

From my point of view, the book is quite entertaining. Actually, I couldn’t put it down until the end. On balance, I ‘d recommend it as a good book for those who enjoy modern fiction stories.

Valoración: 5/5

Salome Menéndez  2ºNI

A Scandal in Bohemia

10 03 2010

Título: A Scandal in Bohemia

Autor: Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

Editorial: Penguin Readers

Obra adaptada: SI

Nivel: Básico


Reseña: este libro está formado por  breves relatos sobre aventuras de Sherlock Holmes, que te enganchan desde el principio.

Contiene un CD con un nivel de audición muy fácil de seguir, pues tanto el Sr. Watson con su lento modo de hablar como el Sr. Holmes con sus dilatadas explicaciones consiguen un ritmo muy adecuado para 2º de básico.

Valoración: 4/5

Jose Allende  2ºNB