I think this is more of a "cult book" set in future dystopia it tells the story of violent city gangs and the authorities' way of dealing with them. TI think this is more of a "cult book" set in future dystopia it tells the story of violent city gangs and the authorities' way of dealing with them. The reading is made more difficult as the author has invented his own furturistic slang (which will of course evolve) which does help to enter into the world the reader is experiencing. The story is however a little basic and did leave me wondering exactly what the fuss was about. there is a little twist in the tale as to how the unwelcome members of society are dealt with in the futuristic correction facilities....more
HP Lovecraft is a 20th century version of Edgar allan Poe. Hi stories are not gore but rely more on the unstated and the suggested. this is an eclectiHP Lovecraft is a 20th century version of Edgar allan Poe. Hi stories are not gore but rely more on the unstated and the suggested. this is an eclectic mix of several stories. The title story is a full novel (though shorter) telling the story of an expedition to Antarctica, a large part of which is lost, and the horrifying discovery made there. the second and third tales are of houses, not classically haunted, but with evil pasts and evils going on. The final stroy is of an experiment / adventure into the unknown. The stories tend to involve some dream sequences or half seen half imagined evils, although some are more graphic, and the major horror comes from the reader's imagination. Some of these stories are linked to the underlying trend in HP Lovecrafts work of the Old Ones and the writings of the Necronomicron but others are stand alone.
The stories are not as involved with the depth of charachterisation and plot development of "Dracular" or "Frankinstein" but have the same air of lowly evolving mystery.
This group of 4 stories are a good intorduction to Lovecraft for those unsure. ...more
WARNING. No true plot spoilers but suggestions of how the nature of story turns and how charachters develop.
In some ways the real star of this book isWARNING. No true plot spoilers but suggestions of how the nature of story turns and how charachters develop.
In some ways the real star of this book is the wonderful cornish Mansion: Manderlay. The story appears initially a typical romance set in Cornwall but the charachters are much deeoer than than that. The beautiful rebecca is overwhelmed by the life she suddenly finds hersef in after a whirlwind romance; Mrs Danvers, the housekeeper, insists on maintianing the memory of the old Mrs De winter; he hansome husband Maximillian de Winter seems overly sensitive about his first wife, what is there to be afraid of.
As the story develops the initial romance turns into a darker tale of secrets, half truths and downright lies. And a masterful twist to end it....more
We all know about the film even if we have not seen it, or at least seen the end of it. But this is the story written bythe man himself. It tells theWe all know about the film even if we have not seen it, or at least seen the end of it. But this is the story written bythe man himself. It tells the story of one of the forgotton parts of the First world War. Less famous than the Somme, Gallipoli and Jutland this is the story of an assault on the underbelly of the Ottoman Empire, how a British Army Officer united a rag tag group of nomadic Arabs and formed a fighting unit. It is fairly low on action scenes but does describe effective use of explosives and sabbotage. It is much more focussed on the mindset of T.E Lawrence and his understanding of Arab culture and customs. He was a rebel, a maverik but he could organise lead and get results. This book is even more relevant today than when I read it over a decade ago and describes desert warfare in the early days of airpower and before the largescale use of armour when men fought men as they did in Flanders, and when leaders rode or marched with their troops and did not sit behind computers.
although the historical accuracy has been questioned it remains primarily an adventure story and even if it is only based on facts rather than being a true account it remains a fantastic story with much to teach about the arab culture....more
I had gone off Terry Pratchet a little with his books laking the variety and "craziness" of his original masterpieces but this has restored my interesI had gone off Terry Pratchet a little with his books laking the variety and "craziness" of his original masterpieces but this has restored my interest. it ontroduces new charachters in the form of Tiffany Aching (a not so simple country girl who dreams of being a witch) and the Nat Mac Feegles who are the "Wee Free Men" of the title. The Feegles are the most drunken anti-social fairy folk invented who are yet the co-heros of this work. they are fomous for six things: drinking; fighting; stealing; drinking and fighting; fighting and stealing; and drinking, fighting and stealing. Tiffany seems somehow to be able to calm and even command them, as she explores the hidden dream world.
As with many of Pratchets later books this story has an underlying theme which is the darker side of the fairy stories and of dreams. It addresses the persecution of spinsters deemed to be witches by the church in European / American history which still goes on in some paerts of the world. It also addresses moral issues in Fairy Tales such as what was jack's Right to steal the giants gold and comit murder. Mostly it explores the perception of dreams and the all to present and indisticnt distiction between what you see and what you wish to see.
Pll this with classic Prathcet comedy take on reality and observations of the owrld. ...more
Excellent and funny irreverant look at many of the fantassy books. probably helps to understand some of the jokes if you have read HP Lovecraft, JRR TExcellent and funny irreverant look at many of the fantassy books. probably helps to understand some of the jokes if you have read HP Lovecraft, JRR Tolkein etc. Still many of the jokes e.g. those featuring featuring the Grim Reaper can appeal to anyone with a macarbe sense of humour. Unfortunately a weak ending lets down the otherwise excellent book....more
We all know what happened in Pompeii yes. Yes but we know the grand historical story not the personnal story. This story takes into the lives of someWe all know what happened in Pompeii yes. Yes but we know the grand historical story not the personnal story. This story takes into the lives of some of the people involved in the last days of Pompei. The protagonist gonist (being an engineer) possibly has more insight than most that something might happen but all through the story we know what is happeneing, the Romans and their slaves can only guess. The story, in typical Harris style, is much more than thr story of vesuvius which lends only the backdrop to the proceedings. There is plot and twist, underhand dealings, a romantic interest and murder in mind.
The tension builds as everything comes to a head simultaneously when human and natural forces lead to imminent destruction without chance of escape....more
I found it difficult going reading the Kindle version without the befit of maps. the story still unfolds of a perceived plot for germany to invade BriI found it difficult going reading the Kindle version without the befit of maps. the story still unfolds of a perceived plot for germany to invade Britain. It is worth remembering that this book was written 11 years before the start of the First World War, and a few refwerences to the possible outcomes of what was to become the battle of Jutland (or Skagerak) are made.
The charachters are not well devleoped but the plot turns around espionage and the tale revolves around the intrigue and possibilites of the invasion plans. The main protagonist and narrator is a civil sevant in a Government department (FCO equivalent) who joins a friend (whose origins are never made clear) for what is on the surface of it a yachting holiday but the true nature becomes clear as they explore the riddle of the sands (being the islands and shallow channels off the coast of Germany) and they meet some of the charachters who seem to be involved with the plot....more
ANyone who has watched television in the past 20 years in UK will know the name David Attenborough but his link with television is much more than thatANyone who has watched television in the past 20 years in UK will know the name David Attenborough but his link with television is much more than that, his career is Television in the UK. best known for his natural history programme making and presenting this nbook tells the story of his life in TV. Starting with his failed application to work on radio and the letter saying "We are television. Have you heard of us and would you like a job?" through his days with early live television, his off the cuff expeditions for London Zoo which wre filmed on clockwork cameras onto his time as controler of BBC2 and intorducing britain to colour TV and then revelling in his later wildlfie epics. This is the story of the early days BBC TV in and his passion for wildlife. It also takes time to deal with some of the more personnal matters such as the death of Sir David's wife, but much of it reads like a schoolboys advesnture in the jungle. Highly reccomended...more
Basic plot. Someone is transferrerred into a parallel universe some of which seems to be of his own creation. Nothing is quite waht it seems and he haBasic plot. Someone is transferrerred into a parallel universe some of which seems to be of his own creation. Nothing is quite waht it seems and he has to be careful not to be caught out by performing seemingly mundane day to day tasks which in this universe have serious conswquences.
If you have read my review of "Martians go home" by the same author you will find the next comments familiar.
Having set up interesting plot lines with some depth to the charachters there is a rather abrupt ending (not to say it doesn't have its twists) but it is as if the author suddenly found he had something better to do and wrote a quick ending whihc does tie up all the loose ends rather than develop the threads. As such a fairly dissapointing, albeit quick read....more
This book is set in early 19th century Cornwall and deals with the protagonist, Mary, moving form her home to live with her maternal aunt and her husbThis book is set in early 19th century Cornwall and deals with the protagonist, Mary, moving form her home to live with her maternal aunt and her husband at Jamaica Inn on Bodmin Moor . There are mysteriousgoings on at the Inn, why does no one stop there and how does the family survive without the custom usually associated with an Inn. the shady side of Cornwall shows up too with smuggling and wrecking involved in this story of violent crime in a wilderness of countryside. Mary finds her morals and her loyalties stretched and her early romantic encounters add to her dilemas. Some of the charachters are a little one dimentional (e.g. violent drunken smugglers. But some are deeper and mary herself finds conflict with her feelings towards several people she encounters....more
OK this book is a horro book and you expect some death and gore. However it starts to address some interesting philosophical matters such as the naturOK this book is a horro book and you expect some death and gore. However it starts to address some interesting philosophical matters such as the nature of good and evil and the relationship between paranormal events and the scientific observations around ghost sightings etc.
unfortunately there are long graphic descriptions of unpleasant deaths, most of which have nothing to do with the plot other than to say "things are getting worse Boss" with multiple charachters intorduced simply so they can be killed in a very unpleasant manner. there is also a detailed descriptiopn pf a car chase which looses something in the written word as oposed to cinema surround sound. All the while the situation around the main charachters deteriorates into what we would these days (the book first published 1980) would call a zombie movie with to all intents and purposes crowds of brain dead individuals intent on killing anyone who is not brain dead.
In summarry, the book could be 200 pages shorter and basically have the same plot, alternatively a bit more concentration on the philosophical issues raised would make it far more interesting and challenging. ...more
Closes the waek ending of the first book and introduces many new charachters we come to love. aain best if you have read some of the books he is maingCloses the waek ending of the first book and introduces many new charachters we come to love. aain best if you have read some of the books he is maing fun of to enjoy all the jokes....more
The books always amove slower thsn the television programme however this particular one takes about half the book to get going. In fact about half theThe books always amove slower thsn the television programme however this particular one takes about half the book to get going. In fact about half the book before The Doctor really makes an appearance.
The book revolves around the staff and some patients of "The retreat" a former victorian mental hospital or lunatic asylum. One patient has diiaries of two staff members 100 years ago and history appears to be repeating itself. \the 8th Doctor (Paul McGann, although in a book it hardly matters) in his inimitable way links the pieces together with the lurking evil and the crises 100 years apart are solved and connected....more