Official Review: Odd Socks by David Clapham

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va2016
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Official Review: Odd Socks by David Clapham

Post by va2016 » 29 Jun 2017, 04:31

[Following is an official OnlineBookClub.org review of "Odd Socks" by David Clapham.]
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3 out of 4 stars
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This is a review of the book Odd Socks by David Clapham. The book is a contemporary fiction novel.

Andrew is a research student at the Cambridge University. He wants to work on the practical aspects of Mathematics. He accepts an offer as a junior lecturer at an obscure university in Northern England to pursue his career interests. In the same town, he meets his school friend Toby and his family. He grows fond of Toby’s sister Antonia and marries her. After Antonia dies while giving birth, Andrew stays single. In his late 50s, he meets adolescent Cathy on the streets of Vietnam. The reader is inclined to find out what transcribes between Andrew and Cathy in this captivating, beautifully narrated story.

The story introduces the mathematical problem of ‘Odd Sock’ to the readers. When we wash our socks using the washing machine, irrespective of how careful we are, we always end up losing one sock of the pair. More often than not, we end up with more lost socks than the ones that we could use, according to the probability theory of Mathematics. Many human beings feel that they are the ‘odd sock’ in their life situations, and this story exemplifies this through some characters in the story. The reader would get curious about what Andrew is going to do when Toby’s mother often prods Andrew to find a mathematical solution to the ‘odd sock’ problem.

In the initial chapters, there are pretty interesting narrations about Mathematics. Facts like how one can focus and concentrate only 2 or 3 hours on the subject without mental exhaustion are noteworthy. Mathematics’ importance in solving practical problems is stressed. The importance of the ability to explain complex mathematical problems in simple terms is also highlighted.

Andrew’s character is developed well and continues to raise the interest and curiosity of the reader. Toby’s character brings the artistic dimension to the story. Expressions like ‘an artist’s eyes are searching and sympathetic’ would be enjoyed by the artistic people. Antonia’s character exemplifies how a young adult would revolt against a domineering parent and cautions us to deal with adolescents and young adults carefully at our homes.

In the second half of the book, the story moves to Vietnam. There are detailed narrations about Vietnam’s culture, language, religion, society, work culture and the environment for the reader to know about Vietnam. While narrating about medical testing through trial runs, the author sheds light on several key characteristics of greedy multinational companies; such as, downplaying the side-effects of their upcoming medicines, using developing countries’ citizens at much cheaper compensation rates, using power and money to coerce medical organizations and associations to get positive results on the medical trials, tampering with demographic data, etc. The bond between Andrew and Cathy has been handled very carefully and with great care.

It is interesting to know that marrying outside the family from a different social stratum would help the family members stay potent. Though no data or information is provided to check this, it makes sense as a general concept. For the philosophically inclined, there is an interesting discussion about whether believing in God is compatible with being a scientist. There are several witty instances of Andrew’s classmate Freddie making fun of their professor, which the reader would enjoy.

Commas and periods are missing in several places; for example, after ‘put in Andrew’ on page 92. There are spelling mistakes (‘sucked him up’ spelled as ‘sicked him up’ on page 91) and wrong capitalizations (‘He goes down well’ instead of ‘he goes down well’ on page 174). There are several pages that are left blank without any explanation.

I found this story an intricate yet pleasurable concoction of various topics like Mathematics, Art, Science and foreign culture. It is a pleasant story that can be enjoyed by all audiences. There is no vulgarity, violence or goriness involved. The writing style is free-flowing and the pace is steady without any sulkiness. The interactions between the characters are pretty lively. To me, this book is a great weekend fiction read. This book is a candidate for a 4 out of 4 stars rating; but considering the mechanical errors in the book, I rate this book a 3 out of 4 stars.

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Odd Socks
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kandscreeley
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Post by kandscreeley » 12 Jul 2017, 07:21

I'm not sure that I would enjoy this story, but I'm glad that you did. I saw this to review, but I wasn't sure about it. Thanks for the review. Very informative.
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Post by rs1977 » 14 Jul 2017, 01:40

that's a comprehensive review that's been written. thanks.

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Post by bookiegalke » 27 Jul 2017, 08:55

A good fiction book to read to chase away boredom

-- 27 Jul 2017, 08:56 --

A good fiction book to read to chase away boredom

-- 27 Jul 2017, 08:56 --

A good fiction book to read to chase away boredom

-- 27 Jul 2017, 08:58 --

A good fiction book to read to chase away boredom
'if you encounter a man of rare intellect, you should ask him what books he reads'
Ralph Waldo Emerson

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Post by va2016 » 10 Aug 2017, 00:35

kandscreeley wrote:I'm not sure that I would enjoy this story, but I'm glad that you did. I saw this to review, but I wasn't sure about it. Thanks for the review. Very informative.
It's written in a slightly different fashion than the usual narratives of life experiences,
so, at first, one would tend to be a little bit hesitant to pursue with the reading. But I can assure
you that the read is worth it. If you have any specific questions that would clarify your
doubts, please let me know, so that you can make a choice whether to read it or not!

Thanks.

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Post by raizenagallo » 30 Aug 2017, 04:31

Interesting, I loved the fact that he used mathematics to explain practical things. It's also good that you get to learn more about Vietnam in this book. I would love to read the book myself. Thanks for the great review.

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Post by Reuben 92 » 06 Sep 2017, 11:13

I really like the conceit about the odd sock! This sounds like a satisfying read, mixing a lot of different subjects and thoughts. I will definitely add it to my 'maybes'. Thanks for such a detailed and interesting review!
"Every reader is, while he is reading, the reader of his own self. The writer's work is merely a kind of optical instrument which he offers to the reader to enable him to discern what...he would perhaps never have perceived in himself."
Proust

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