Michele Brenton Michele's Comments

Michele's comments from the South African Book Lovers group.

Note: Michele is no longer a member of this group.

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Jul 21, 2011 02:28AM

21857 I'm glad other people are enjoying this. There is much in it to enjoy. I certainly wouldn't want to put anyone off reading it. So I don't think I'll do a full review - just a star rating - and I think it is a 3.5 star for me. As the quality of the writing is wonderful.
Jul 17, 2011 05:52AM

21857 As I said on the no-spoilers thread - I *sort* of enjoyed it. I agree with you that the writing is good and I didn't think I was scrutinzing as I read. I genuinely tried to forget all the books I'd read before it reminded me of - but I couldn't pull that off. Which was why I found it so annoying. I wanted to lose myself but kept noticing the echoes. It was like a very irritating sense of deja vu which wouldn't go away. Even the end with the little girl in the jar made me think of Pullman's Dark Materials and the scene where Lyra finds the little lad who has had his daemon cut away. I think if the book had been longer and not fairy tale based so that there was a lot of newness for me to 'lose' the echoes into I might have managed to enjoy it. I just have that kind of mind - easily distracted out of a story if there is too much of the same irritation. Like when a car alarm or dog disturbs your sleep. Even when it goes quiet you can't enjoy the peace because you are waiting for them to start up again. I'd happily pass my copy to you if that was feasible - there are one hundred and fifty four pages of stuff after the book ends - so you missed quite a lot with your copy.
Giveaways! (131 new)
Jul 16, 2011 07:26AM

21857 Nine days left for the Goodreads Giveaway of Saturdays Are Gold by Johannesburg author Pierre Van Rooyen.

SIGNED BOOK-PLATED HARDCOVER WITH DUST- JACKET Two children growing up in 1940s South Africa are told to stay away from lonely places because there is a child abductor on the loose. What could possibly go wrong?

Young Maudie doesn’t realise she has a ‘gift’ that seems more like a curse to her brother Tadpole who is the only person aware of it.

If Roald Dahl, Gerald Durrell and Stephen King had teamed up to write a South African version of ‘To Kill a Mockingbird’ they might have produced something like this.

A moving, exciting, sometimes scary, sometimes laugh-out-loud funny adventure set against a South African backdrop so well described it is almost a character in its own right.

When you finish this book, the first thing you will want to do – is read it again.


Open until July 25th
Jul 16, 2011 06:44AM

21857 This book annoyed me. For the following reasons:

The cover is lovely and gave me the feeling it was going to be something different and unique.

Then as I started reading it seemed to be a re-hash of books and films I'd already read or watched before.

The ill mother sad son motif - was used by CS Lewis in the Magician's Nephew (which was the book the first part of TBOLT most reminded me) and was used in King & Straub's Talisman - and I felt it was done better in the original books.
The lonely boy retreating into a world of books - reminded me of The Neverending Story - again I preferred that book.

The other world in the garden - also CS Lewis, Travelling Magic by Elisabeth Beresford, Tom's Midnight Garden and in a more sinister world Labyrinth the film with David Bowie and Jennifer Connelly and I also saw a Spanish film called Pan's Labyrinth which had a baby brother being sought by magical creatures who wished harm to him and in these cases older sisters who had the task of deciding whether to save their sibling despite complicated feelings of jealousy.
Then there is of course the Company of Wolves which feeds into the Red Riding Hood section of the book as does again The Talisman by Straub & King - the good and bad wolves in that book have stayed with me for decades as iconic creatures and I cried at the fate of Wolf the good friend who tried to protect the herd.

Tie this all up with fairy tales we've heard before but slightly changed - which reminded me of the 10th Kingdom mini-series and I was getting majorly frustrated by a book that seemed to be nothing but echoes of things I'd enjoyed more.

Then the final annoyance. The story stops and there are lots of pages filled with waffle about fairy tales. That really made me cross - because if I want to read a literary discourse about the origins of fairytales I would search out the sources myself or look for a book specifically. I wouldn't buy what I thought was a fiction book.

If I had not read all the books I'd already read which covered the same material more originally and not watched the films which already covered the same ground more originally and more movingly - I would have enjoyed the fiction part of the book - but I would still have been annoyed at the sneaking in of 'education' at the end of what I had bought as a fiction book. Quite apart from the fact there was nothing in the 'educational' bit I didn't already know.
I really wanted to enjoy this book. The writing was great - but it felt like a book version of the creatures in the chapter of TBOLT about the woman who cobbled together new creatures out of old ones. Yes it was something new - but I preferred the original bits left where they belonged.

I'm just glad I bought it 'used' and didn't pay full price for this because even new this is a secondhand book in many senses.

Books to which I referred in this comment:
The Magician's Nephew
The Talisman
The Neverending Story
Travelling Magic
Tom's Midnight Garden
Studying Pan's Labyrinth
Jul 15, 2011 05:54AM

21857 I've read it all. I sort of liked it. I will discuss more later when everyone else has finished as I don't want to influence/spoil anyone's enjoyment.
Jul 15, 2011 05:49AM

21857 OH! :(
I really really really wanted to nominate Saturdays Are Gold by Pierre Van Rooyen - but I have been so busy dealing with the blasted printers who had stuffed up the launch of the hard cover version that I missed the deadline :( So I feel like a twit now for missing this opportunity. The book is now properly sorted out and should be available to buy online in hard cover next week - if we can get Amazon to get their system caught up and major relief - the copies for the Goodreads giveaway are on my table with the rest of the direct pre-orders. So that is good anyway. Now I need to find where on here to discuss The Book of Lost Things - which I actually managed to read in amongst all this panic. XXX
Jun 23, 2011 05:32AM

21857 Saturdays Are Gold Saturdays Are Gold by Pierre Van Rooyen Just wanted to let you know that Saturdays Are Gold by South African author Pierre Van Rooyen has been released on Amazon.co.uk and that Amazon has slashed the price by £4.50 down to £13.49 which is a 25% saving!! There is also free post & packing with Super Saver Delivery.

Which means you can get this 336 page cloth bound hard cover with gold embossed lettering plus lovingly designed dust jacket ( I know, but it is a gorgeous book even before you start reading it at which point it gets even better) for the same price you might pay for some paperbacks.

I've got my copies. I thought I'd let you know about the bargain price before Amazon changes their minds.
Recommendations (76 new)
Jun 21, 2011 09:24AM

21857 Saturdays Are Gold is now available as a special edition signed ebook :)

Saturdays Are Gold - Signed edition

If you go to the Amazon link on the US site there is a review up and some customer images of the 'extras' you get to make it a special edition ebook. It will only be available to buy in this edition for ONE month - after then a standard ebook will be put up for sale instead. You can download the first 5 chapters as a sample to see what you think of it. I'm pretty sure you'll be hooked!
Jun 11, 2011 02:48AM

21857 You can cover eight task in one go after 25th June by reading Saturdays Are Gold by Pierre Van Rooyen. It will be available as an ebook.

1. Read a book that has a word in the title that denotes a certain time, such as Today, Tommorrow, Yesterday, Monday - Sunday, Now, Future, Past etc.

Saturdays Are Gold

8. Read an indie publication.

Published by Endaxi Press - an indie publisher.

10. Theme : Seasons. Read a book that either depicts a season on the cover or where the season is an important element of the story.
Seasons are crucial to the narrative.

11. Read a book that has water on the cover (Ocean, river, bucket of water, etc.)
There is a red river on the front of the book.

13. Read a book where siblings are the main characters.
The two main characters are Maudie and Tadpole (Tom) a brother and sister.

23. Read a book written by a man
Pierre is a man.

24. Read a book that is colourful (min 3-4 different colours)
The front cover is brightly coloured with bright red, bright blue, bright green and bright yellow.

28. I see dead people. Read a book about ghosts, hauntings, etc.
The little girl in the book has visions about murdered children.

Saturdays Are Gold by Pierre Van Rooyen
Saturdays Are Gold
Recommendations (76 new)
May 30, 2011 05:41AM

21857 I would like to recommend Saturdays Are Gold Saturdays Are Gold by Pierre Van Rooyen by Pierre Van Rooyen.

The novel is set in 1940s South Africa. Pierre grew up in Johannesburg during that time and so it has an authentic 'voice' in the narrator - Tadpole. It is a thriller/adventure with paranormal overtones.

It is to be released in hardback and ebook on Saturday the 25th June and there will be a Goodreads Giveaway running until the 25th July for 3 signed book plated copies.

Here is the book trailer: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Yma1hY...

I have reviewed it on Goodreads if you would like to find out more.
Book Trailers (3 new)
May 30, 2011 05:33AM

21857 Saturdays Are Gold by Pierre Van Rooyen

Set in 1940s South Africa. Two Johannesburg children are warned to stay away from lonely places. There is a child abductor on the loose. What could possibly go wrong?

Here is the book trailer:
Introduce yourself (460 new)
May 30, 2011 05:26AM

21857 S - Series/Movie. What is your favorite series/movie based on a book? Harry Potter.
O - Oldest book you own? I have a lot of books from the 1930s - illustrated children's books passed down from my Mum.
U - Unread book. Which unread book is next on your to-read list? I don't plan I just grab whatever turns up next.
T - Time travel, which year would you go to if you could go back/forwards in time?
I wouldn't - I have too much respect for the temporal paradoxes that might cause. I've read a LOT of sci-fi and learned the lesson. ;)
H - Hero? Which fictional character do you admire? Don't admire fictional characters - I love some of them and regard some as fixtures in my life, but I'm not an 'admiring' or 'admired' sort of person - I prefer to be a friend. The fictional character I'd most like to have as a friend is Jeeves the Butler.

A - Age?
Old enough to wonder whether I should fib. Deluded enough still to think it is still just a number.
F - Favorite book?
Has to be Saturdays Are Gold by Pierre Van Rooyen
R - Random fact about yourself?
I hate spamming, but have to promote and get into a terrible tangle worrying about whether I am pestering people/not being pro-active enough.
I - Interest other than reading?
writing, publishing,cooking,blogging,making animations, book trailers,writing poetry,talking to people on facebook and twitter,new stuff on the internet,youtube, learning, learning,learning.
C - Character, who is your favorite character of any book?
Zaphod Beeblebrox - Hitch Hikers Guide To The Galaxy.
A - Author, favorite author?
I have different favourite authors for different genres.

topics created by Michele