Thunderball (Ian Fleming)

The Bond originally conceived by the cinema was very much a creature of the 1960s. Yet the Bond of the books is a man of the 1950s. And like many men in the 1950s, eating an English breakfast 3 times daily and not only being unfit, but unable to even spell the word, seemed to be de rigueur: James is in poor shape it seems, 60 cigarettes a day (think of that in 2017….where would he even find a place to smoke that often!?) do not keep the doctor away. And he drinks like a fish. So M sends him away on a little vacation to recuperate…again. And, of course, each time James goes away to rest, someone tries to take him out. What a life huh? [Read more…]

If You Could See Me Now (Peter Straub)

The blurb of my copy of the book manages to drop three spoilers in the space of two sentences, and then reiterates one of the spoilers just in case I was slow on the uptake. I shall endeavor to avoid doing something similar. Straub brings class to horror unlike anyone I’ve ever read. He has literary tricks up his sleeve that will keep sophisticated readers happy throughout. He is a master of tone. And not just with the mystery he puts forth in this novel, but with the way he sets up our narrator as this haughty know-it-all faced with a town of plebeians that plague him. This book is a wonderful ride to take for that reason. [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 Voice Of The Night (Dean Koontz)

voice-of-the-nightYou cannot rush Dean Koontz. He will take his time. He refuses to be intimidated by the competition. He hasn’t built such a long and successful career by turning out tripe. I know now that he wrote quite a few under different names (take a bow Owen West). As a best selling author would get a bad rep from the critics if he/she published more than one book a year in the 1970s – and an author couldn’t survive on one book a year. Strange but true. [Read more…]

Syncing Forward (W Lawrence)

Ebook-Cover-11-19-2015Despite the slow start to the book, I really enjoyed it. At first I misread the synopsis and thought it was about time travel, so I was expecting something along the lines of Doctor Who. The underlying theme of people’s reliance on technology and the destructive direction humanity is heading was spot-on. The glimpse of what may be in human kind’s future was interesting and well thought out. This is a very different kind of apocalyptic novel.
[Read more…]

The Overnight (Ramsey Campbell)

OvernightRamsey Campbell was once a superbly original author. But like so many things in the 21st century, he’s gone to seed. Run out of steam. This novel concerns a group of workers at a new bookstore (which is haunted of course), and their fate when they have to work overnight at the shop. Boy did I have high hopes and boy did he let me down. I have nothing but contempt for the old git now. He churned this out on reputation alone, knowing many readers would be sucked in because of his past glories. Talk about taking the public for granted. [Read more…]

Christmas At Tiffany’s (Karen Swan)

11352798Chick lit sounds like a vaguely obscene phrase but that is what this is. I found Karen Swan’s writing very easy to read and despite it being a fairly long book, I found it very consuming and really warmed to the cast of characters within. I think my favourite thing about this novel is that you really don’t know how its all going to end up, there are clues throughout but nothing to spoil it for the reader, and I appreciated that.
[Read more…]

One Hundred Proposals (Holly Martin)

One-Hundred-Proposals-by-Holly-MartinThis book, my first chick – lit review, is one for the optimist in all of us. I may even read another one from this author. So get out your passport – because with Holly Martin’s novel, you are about to go around the world in the search of the perfect proposal. The journey is filled with laughs, misunderstandings, and most of all, love between two people who are afraid to share that sentiment with each other. [Read more…]

Wilt (Tom Sharpe)

articleCompellingly hilarious from start to finish. Tom Sharpe was a great British humourist and Wilt is possibly his best loved book. Sharpe drew on his experiences as a polytechnic lecturer in conceiving the character of hapless and unhappily married Henry Wilt, who spends his days teaching Lord of the Flies to disinterested apprentice butchers and his nights fantasizing about killing his less than sympathetic wife, Eva. [Read more…]

The Bridge Over The River Kwai (Pierre Boulle)

KwaiBoulle1b-193x300From the man who gave us Planet Of The Apes. First published in France in 1952, Monsieur Boulle called upon his own memories of being a captive of the Japanese in Malaysia, and how certain French officers were collaborators. (nothing new there!) But seriously, its one thing to have written two successful novels in different genres, but to have both made into iconic movies – in another language no less – is truly remarkable. [Read more…]

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