A Pride of Poppies is a GLBTQI+ anthology which focuses on the period of the First World War. The aim of the stories in this anthology is to give us aA Pride of Poppies is a GLBTQI+ anthology which focuses on the period of the First World War. The aim of the stories in this anthology is to give us a look into how it would have been for these marginalized groups of society to live, work, and even fight during one of the bloodiest wars known to mankind.
Personally? I found all the stories to be incredibly moving, though each in their own way of course. Some made me laugh a little, some made me cry, and some just had me sitting quietly and staring at a wall for a little while. There is no doubt that all the authors in this book have done their very best to be as historically accurate as possible - even to the slang used by the characters in stories.
This is a book that is well worth reading no matter what 'group' of people you belong to. At the end of the day, the stories all are telling the lives of people who are simply people, trying to get by in a very hard time, and somehow just trying to manage. And that can be very important indeed.
Five out of five, and I still think I'm rating it too low....more
A great read. Somehow just reading through the scripts brings the voices of all these fantastic characters jumping back into your head, and you can'tA great read. Somehow just reading through the scripts brings the voices of all these fantastic characters jumping back into your head, and you can't help but grin at some of the stage direction as well. Well worth getting a copy for any fan of comedy in general.
Also how is "Goodbyeee" somehow more poignant written down?...more
Dodger by author James Benmore was a book that I had found entirely by chance. A friend and I were discussing what we term as 'published fan-fictionDodger by author James Benmore was a book that I had found entirely by chance. A friend and I were discussing what we term as 'published fan-fiction' and both the works of Dickens and Victor Hugo entered our discussions, prompting a search to see what we could find. Needless to say, I came across Dodger.
Before reading the novel, I decided to look into a little bit about the writing process and was pleased to see that Benmore had given himself the challenge of keeping the characters as in-line with their Dicken's given fates while creating a new chapter in the Artful Dodger's life. Something for which I thank him, as it is so easy for people to use other interpretations to allow for some sort of shock twist which usually ends up being not that shocking at all.
Dodger begins with the return of Jack Dawkins - the Artful Dodger himself - to England, after six years in Australia, working on the farms. In face, through this farm work, Jack has become a respectable gentleman, and is merely traveling to London to take care of business affairs there. Along his travels he is joined by a Vicar and his family, and encounters the new Police Force for the very first time.
If, at this point, you have already guessed that we learn that Jack has not changed all that much, then well done to you. While he has an official pardon from the Governor of New South Wales, he is only allowed in England to do the business of someone else, and had only been chosen to do such business because of his youthful connections. Returning to London and discovering many of these connections dead or gone is a shock to Jack, but he is always able to adapt and continue on, determined to finish the task - it's his neck if he doesn't.
When I first went into this novel I had expected something that could be considered along the lines of a penny dreadful - a quick, cheap thrill using familiar characters to lure in the readers. Something that you would enjoy, but might not find yourself deeply engrossed with. Happily, my expectations were not to be true. Though Dodger is no where near the length of it Dickensian origins, Benmore manages to fill each page with exactly the right amount to keep you going. The characters we know have changed and are yet still familiar and characters new to us feel as though they could have found their own place among the original work.
The one downside - if it may be called that - is that you will see nothing of the grim that Dickens showed of London. It is not that it is no longer present, but simply that we are seeing London from the point of view of a person who was considered part of that grime, and counts it as the happiest times of his life. Jack Dawkins loved the underclass of London, and in Dodger we see it as he sees it - a life of surprising freedom, if you know what you're doing.
The next book is Dodger of the Dials. I look forward to reading it, and I hope that Benmore has managed to keep up the same feel of London and the same excellent writing which he has produced with this novel.
Five stars because it genuinely deserves more praise - and fans - than see available to it....more