The Amulet Of Samarkand (Bartimaeus #1) (Jonathan Stroud)

This novel is set in a modern-day London that is ruled by Magicians. It is written from the perspective of a djinni (demon) and an undervalued magician’s apprentice. It’s tempting to compare the book to the Harry Potter series. Young boy. Magic. Sneaking around. Breaking the rules. Stern teachers. But the similarities really end there. What’s obvious is that Stroud can write about a complex world (and one I want to know more about) and making it interesting and funny. I’m used to slow beginnings in fantasy but this one started with a bang.
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The Mind Parasites (Colin Wilson)

“The Mind Parasites” came about when Wilson criticized a bloke named H P Lovecraft in one of his works. August Derleth, Lovecraft’s posthumous publisher and apologist, made a challenge to Wilson – saying, essentially “If you think Lovecraft was such a lousy writer, why don’t you do better yourself?” Wilson relished the challenge and set out to do just that. This book is the result. In fact, it can’t really be regarded as part of the Lovecraftian cycle – it takes too many liberties with the canon for that – but in its own right it’s an amazing work. We are not the top of the food chain; we have an energy predator which is feeding off of us and also restructuring the world in its image — this is the new world order. [Read more…]

The Journey To Ixtlan (Carlos Castenada)

“We only have two alternatives: we either take everything for sure and real, or we don’t. If we follow the first, we end up bored to death with ourselves and with the world. If we follow the second and erase personal history, we create a fog around us, a very exciting and mysterious state in which nobody knows where the rabbit will pop out, not even ourselves.” Yes, I would like to think these ‘teachings’ are real. No, I don’t think they apply to all of us in particular. We are all so very different and unique that nothing is truly the same for any us.  [Read more…]

Elvis (Albert Goldman)

Howdy Ma’am. Don’t you just wish ya coulda been a simple, hillbilly Southern boy who ate $100 worth of Popsicles in one night? Or an FBI informant who ended up wearing adult nappies (diapers) because of drug-induced incontinence? Or simply a racist red neck with an IQ of 70 who was ashamed of his penis (“Little Elvis“)? Recommended for anyone who wants to know the precise menu of Elvis’s Last Supper – simple but gut-wrenching. Goldman tap dances all over Elvis’ blue suede shoes. These 598 pages outraged Presley’s faithful fans (their creepy devotion is worthy of a book too) back in 1981. I didn’t want to tackle Goldman’s follow up book: Elvis, The Last 24 Hours in case the content became too lavatorial.
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The Undisputed Truth (Mike Tyson with Larry Sloman)

Despite being a boxing fan I never believed the Tyson hype, and his army of fan boys seem more like groupies. Firstly, I want to point out a few facts about his career. Before he went to jail he ducked George Foreman. After prison he avoided David Tua, Riddick Bowe, Ray Mercer & Oliver McCall (all these guys had iron chins despite some lapses in technique) and even paid Lennox Lewis 4 million dollars to not fight. Yes, he fought Lewis 6 years later – predictably getting his ass handed to him – but my point is, when Tyson knew an opponent was of the dangerous strong-willed variety, he refused to fight them. ‘Iron’ Mike indeed.
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Into The Cannibal’s Pot (Ilana Mercer)

If you are a typical brainwashed liberal don’t read this. Because your CNN/Hollywood/To Kill A Mockingbird/Kumbaya view of the world will be shaken and severely stirred. This book reveals what happens when an advanced nation built by European people, upon Christian principles, is deceived by the Cultural Marxist dream of racial egalitarianism. And in the name of “justice” and “liberty” surrenders political power to an African majority that has never shown the capacity to create or sustain a free, just, and civilized society. [Read more…]

84 Charing Cross Road (1987 US–UK)

charingcrossroad20“84 Charing Cross Road” is the best film I know about unbridled passion for books, for words, and the kind of intimacy that can take place when one person who loves words makes contact with another who shares, or at least appreciates, that passion. If you are the kind of observant, sensitive soul who can see someone sitting on a park bench and intuit their biography from the way they wear their scarf, hold their bodies and read their newspaper, you will *hear* all that this motion picture is saying, and it will move you to tears. [Read more…]

Across The Nightingale Floor (Lian Hearn)

acrossthenightingalefloorWhen I finished Lian Hearn’s first Tale of the Otori series (I won’t be going any further), I felt as though I’d been eating Hershey’s chocolate when I expected at least Lindt. Waiter, take this away and bring me some real food! Reading shouldn’t be hard work. Just skimming I struggled to stop my eyes from glazing over in utter boredom. The narrators each sound exactly the same. This is so lazy, research-wise too. Inserting Christianity into this mock up Japan was not wise either. Nor were the random earthquakes every ten pages or so. [Read more…]

MARILYN MONROE (Norman Mailer)

m-marilyn_monroe_mailer_relie_11aWe all know the tale by now. Behind the effortless cartoony-sexy fun were 63 takes, ten nervous breakdowns, not much love, and enough antidepressants to make even Robin Williams blush. I’d say read it as fiction or possibly a fictionalized story. It’s interesting (anything about Marilyn tends to be) but maybe check your facts in a couple of places? But this one is a winner thanks to some of the naughty pictures on display. I’m only kidding but there must be a reason why photographer Bert Stern gets a massive credit on the cover. [Read more…]

The Runaway Woman (Josephine Cox)

article-0-1b6c3db800000578-626_233x423Lets see what England’s fourth estate had to say about this potboiler. “Thanks to her near faultless writing, sympathies will lurch from one character to another, and as events reach their dramatic conclusion readers will find it impossible to tear themselves away.” News of the World. (Er, I don’t think so) “Written from the heart” Daily Mail. (Again, no. Written while persuading her publisher to deposit another advance into her bank account more likely) [Read more…]

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