Revenge Of The Manitou (Graham Masterton)

The 71 year old Edinburgh-born author has an unusual pedigree. He used to write sex books like How To Drive Your Man Wild In Bed – 3 million copies of that one sold. He was also heavily involved as an editor for porn mags like Mayfair and Penthouse too. Then he became a prolifically successful horror novel writer. Interesting…anyway, this follow up to his earlier The Manitou is much more entertaining. At first I was leery as the book opened with the focus on an eight-year old protagonist, but I quickly warmed-up to Toby and the Fenner clan.  [Read more…]

The Brothers Karamazov (Fyodor Dostoyevsky)

This is probably the greatest work of fiction a human could achieve. Dostoyevsky bares his soul in this novel. He doesn’t hide behind irony, which allows an author the ability to maintain distance and ambiguity. And perhaps it is irony that separates the great novels of the past from the many contemporary novels that lack equivalent passion, honesty, and heft. The themes Dostoyevsky tackles along the way are significant and weighty. One thing that can overwhelm the modern reader is the morality here. The energy of it so intense. [Read more…]

65 Short Stories (W Somerset Maugham)

coverI think astrology and karma play a major role in whether someone is born to be a writer or not. By that I mean a creativity that cannot be learned by conscious techniques or formal education etc. The person concerned is usually moved internally to share something large with the world. And W Somerset Maugham was born to enthrall and entertain people with the written word. It was fate. Like some other literary titans, Charles Dickens and Jules Verne, he was an Aquarius. They usually possess personal charisma that effortlessly draws others to them, originality in their field of work, and are very broad-minded. [Read more…]

A Free Short Story

KOORANGA COUNTRY

min-min-lights_queensland_australiaIn the north west of Australia, above the Simpson desert, it is said the desert heat can become so intense that it causes hallucinations as real as anything physical for the sufferer. The unfortunate victim never recovers their nervous system.

Emmanuel Vincent, real estate mogul extraordinaire, a man plagued with poor impulse control and stress, was finally doing what he had told his shocked wife and colleagues back in Gemini Bay, England.

He was on a mission into the outback. Ten thousand miles from home. [Read more…]

River God (Wilbur Smith)

river-god-coverSpoilers ahead…If you are tired of the same old same old, I suggest you give this first novel of a 4 part series a go and treat yourself to a read that will stir your imagination like few others can. This is bloody long though, too long. But for sheer imaginative scope, River God is enthralling. This chronicles a transitional period in ancient Egyptian history of approximately forty years. The story is narrated by the charming eunuch slave Taita, whose secret passion for queen Lostris surprises us. For all his protestations of being no soldier he manages to be in the front lines of many battles, and his tales of them will have you on the edge of your seat. [Read more…]

It! (Stephen King)

king-book-coverKing did something special with IT, and I’m not sure exactly what it is….It might just be the sum of the entire equation which makes IT such a fantastic novel. A few times, I had to remind myself it is 2016, not 1958. (It was 2016, sorry…only 2 days into the new year and I’m already confused) If you are thinking of reading IT, it is definitely worth the investment. I’m glad I took the time to read it, savour it, and not rush through it. You got that? [Read more…]

The Island (Victoria Hislop)

the_island_v_hislop_novel_coverThe novel begins in present day London where Alexis is about to go on holiday and about to decide on major changes to her life. She’s going to Plaka in Crete, the place where her mother, Sofia, grew up. Her mother refuses to speak about her past but she gives Alexis a letter to give to an old friend, Fortina, who will tell her the story. Beautifully imagined, well-researched and evocatively told, this novel recreates a leper colony of the 1930s and follows its inmates and neighbours on the Island of Crete through the Second World War to the present day. [Read more…]

Tales Of The Unexpected (Roald Dahl)

dahltalesunexpectedIn sixteen short stories the reader is both enthralled and appalled at the depths to which some of the characters sink to when placed in various predicaments. This book is an absolute pleasure to read due to the fabulous writing and narrative skills of the author. Bold, unapologetic, devious, dark, and simultaneously lighthearted. [Read more…]

The Picture Of Dorian Gray (Oscar Wilde)

dorian-grayFrom Wilde’s shockingly outrageous preface to the fantastic conclusion there is a sense of beauty and exploration in this unique piece of prose. Touching on subjects that were taboo at the time of writing, he had to be subtle. Dorian’s exploration into the world of pleasure is filled with numerous metaphors for risqué acts. Both Dorian and the novel turn strange. You’d think the life of a young handsome sensualist would consist of orgies and opium, but Gray is more obsessed with perfumes, tapestries, jewels and world music. Don’t ask why. [Read more…]

Darker Than You Think (Jack Williamson)

williamsondarkerUnusual because it’s a werewolf story that isn’t just a werewolf story. The shape-shifters can take any form they can imagine, such as sabre-tooth tigers, anacondas, and others. And when transformed, they’re invisible, which makes them doubly formidable. Williamson offers a scientific explanation of this lycanthropic phenomena which is unconvincing, but imaginative. His werewolves exist not as a random force of nature, living only to kill and feed; no, they have a higher, more sinister purpose — to rule mankind. [Read more…]

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