I was almost put off by the cover, which does no justice to the content. No disrespects to the the cover model, but her smile is not haunting. However...moreI was almost put off by the cover, which does no justice to the content. No disrespects to the the cover model, but her smile is not haunting. However, this is a great book - beautifully written and very amusing. Mr Louden has managed to take a character with serious flaws, who acts in an almost stalker-like manner, and make the reader sympathise him.
I can imagine Richard Curtis and Working Title making a movie of this very amusing, heart-warming tale.
I have now discovered that the titke nd cover have changed -
If I had met Bev Spicer back in the early 80s, I would have fallen head-over-heels in love with her. I doubt she would h...moreLet's get this out of the way:
If I had met Bev Spicer back in the early 80s, I would have fallen head-over-heels in love with her. I doubt she would have noticed, though, as she was having too much fun researching material for this book.
"Bunny on a Bike" is a well-written, richly humorous and not at all salacious romp. We follow Bev and her best friend Carol through a short period of their lives as they are recruited into the Playboy empire in 80s London. The fact that they were both totally unsuited to their new profession is only a minor obstacle. From the traumas of the interview and entrance tests, the training in a Playboy mansion, and their employment in a casino, to the search for accommodation and the bathroom open to the elements, this book kept me smiling for hours. It reminded me of how innocent 1981 was compared to now. The only adverse comments I would give is that it ended rather abruptly and the formatting is unconventional. If you download a sample onto your Kindle and think it looks odd, just ignore that aspect - it starts to look normal after acclimatising with the first few pages.(less)
Well this is a book with a mixed bag of reviews on Amazon UK: some slate it, some praise it: some are downright insulting to the author.
I rather liked...moreWell this is a book with a mixed bag of reviews on Amazon UK: some slate it, some praise it: some are downright insulting to the author.
I rather liked it.
Be under no illusions: this is not a pleasant book; it is about a serial killer who focuses on women. They tend to be nasty characters that do nasty things to women. I had to laugh at one reviewer who decries the violation of women as portrayed in this book, and another who criticises the lack of loving sex. Hmm, if only twisted serial killers converted to indulging in loving sex: they’d all be cured.
OK, the police procedure is not realistic, but then who believes that Morse, Frost or many other fictional detectives are realistic? This is a work of fiction. Live with it.
In reality, there would be a specialist squad investigating the killings but, as with those other top ’tecs, DS Kate Neilson is on her own. Did the elusive Jennie ever exist, or is the sadly lovelorn John Simmons deluded about her existence and killing all these women? Or is the killer a fellow detective (the DCI has issues)? What is the involvement of the Wongs?
The first half of the book moved at a reasonable pace, the second half thundered along. Not all of it was to my taste, but I did enjoy it overall.
I don’t disbelieve the earlier reviews that mention many typos and errors, but I didn’t notice more than a couple, which means either I’m half blind, the story was good enough to make me not notice them, or they’ve been corrected.
You Wish is an interesting take on the old adage, “Be careful what you wish for”. The adage is old, but the writing here is fresh. Whilst not as acco...moreYou Wish is an interesting take on the old adage, “Be careful what you wish for”. The adage is old, but the writing here is fresh. Whilst not as accomplished a work as the other Terry Tyler novel I’ve read - Dream On, this, to me, is still a five star read.
It’s not perfect – chapter 12, I thought, needn’t exist – and there are some inconsistencies in the style: some is six star, some only four! The six star stuff were the parts concerning the weight obsessed Sarah and her decline into ... I can’t say, it would spoil the plot for others, and the sections about Petra and her obsession with ... no, can’t say, I don’t want to ruin it! The five star sections concerned Ruth and her family – straying into six star territory from time to time, and particularly when we learn what happened to her friend Jessica back in the 80s: it the pivotal moment for me.
What I consider the four star sections are where Ms Tyler gives us the back stories of the main characters up-front: it works in this book, but generally I like to have these drip-fed to me with the main narrative, or to be flash-backs partway into the story. However, in You Wish , it is done with style and panache, so don’t be put off, just be aware.
So my final pronouncement is that You Wish is a very accomplished first novel and fully deserving of all the four and five star reviews it has attained. Oh, and I think I’m turning into a bit of girl. (less)
OK, I'm a bloke, I do do this romance stuff, ordinarily.
This isn't ordinary.
I bought this book on Kindle after an exchange of Tweets with the author...moreOK, I'm a bloke, I do do this romance stuff, ordinarily.
This isn't ordinary.
I bought this book on Kindle after an exchange of Tweets with the author on Twitter. I shall not repeat here what was Tweeted. I was not actually expecting to enjoy it - Terry Tyler is a romantic novelist, after all. I was very much mistaken.
The prose is a joy to read. Ms Tyler gradually sucks the reader into the world of would-be rock star Dave Bentley - the man who never really grew up. It is, primarily, his story, but we also follow several others' paths to fame, fortune and misfortune. I've read other reviews where it is said there are laugh out loud moments:I found only one, as I found most of the humour to be gentle; it often brought a smile to my face on the London Underground. (I apologise to the attractive young lady who sat opposite me today and who thought I was leering at her, by the way.)
All I can say is that Terry Tyler is a damned fine writer and this is a damned fine book. Although very different, it reminded of the film 'Love Actually' in the way the different threads if romance and mishap are woven together.
I read this book quite some time ago after Karl was a guest speaker at Verulam Writers' Circle in St Albans, Hertforshire.
Not for the feint-hearted, t...moreI read this book quite some time ago after Karl was a guest speaker at Verulam Writers' Circle in St Albans, Hertforshire.
Not for the feint-hearted, this book has some horrible moments, but I was compelled to read on. The main character, Sean, is nasty, depraved and basically quite horrible. Karl actually makes the reader feel some sympathy for Sean by the time the rather explosive ending comes.
I’m not the greatest lover of short stories: I struggle to write them, I struggle to read them. The whole concept of the ‘slice of life’ that shorts u...moreI’m not the greatest lover of short stories: I struggle to write them, I struggle to read them. The whole concept of the ‘slice of life’ that shorts usually represent is lost on me. I normally want development; to know more about the characters.
The reason I love C L Raven’s short stories is that they are less ‘slice of life’, and more ‘slice that ends a life’. The twins that make up this writing partnership have a taste for the macabre and a bizarre sense of humour. In ‘Disenchanted’ they have allowed their characters to run riot through a series of stories based on fairytales. The originals were blood thirsty enough, but they lacked character and humour – CL Raven make up for that in spades. There’s blood, lust, longing and countless laughs.
The downside of the project is that by their nature, the original tales are a tad samey: damsel in distress, bold prince to the rescue, etc, so I found myself reading one story at a time and coming back to the book after several days or even weeks, usually in between full length novels. But that’s not a problem: it was good to know that I had some entertaining material I could dip into e as a quick read after I recently finished reading a deeply disturbing read about a serial killer.
I recommend this book to anyone who loves very dark and blood splattered humour, whether or not you are a short story lover. I’m awarding ‘Disenchanted’ 5 Stars for its sheer entertainment value. I’d also recommend CL Raven’s previous short story collection, Gunning Down Romance (Romance is Dead), which I enjoyed even more than this one. (less)
I first read this about 15 years ago. It seems that Dan Brown may also have done so.
The original book, and the revised edition I read several years la...moreI first read this about 15 years ago. It seems that Dan Brown may also have done so.
The original book, and the revised edition I read several years later, put forward compelling arguments in favour of an alternative history of the established religious version propounded in canonical teaching. Although cleared of plagiarism, Dan Brown appears to have drawn heavily on much of the source material as did the authors of 'Holy Blood, Holy Grail'.
The authors at no point claim that their theories are fact. They make it clear that they are putting forward a hypothesis regarding what might have taken place, based on many esoteric sources as well as sources accepted to be established historical fact. The amusing part is that although it is a well researched and well written thesis, it reads more like a thriller than any fictionalised accounts that followed - 'The da Vinci Code' included.
Reading 'Holy Blood, Holy Grail' led me to several other books -
- 'The Bible' (most people who claim to have read it have not - they have read sections of it, often as directed by a minister). - 'The Nag Hamiadi Scrolls in English' (translations of the so-called Gnostic Gospels) - 'Jesus the Man' by by Barbara Thiering (alternative theories by a biblical scholar about where and how the story of Jesus took place, based on learnings from the 'Dead Sea Scrolls').
- to name but three.
I would say that those three books, along with 'Holy Blood, Holy Grail' are essential reading for anyone who wishes to read up on and understand the origins of Christianity - for most people, the history will prove to be far stranger than most fantasy plots.(less)
Bloody, horrific and bloody horrifically hilarious.
Not for kids, not for the feint hearted, this trilogy of shorts is laced with sex, dismemberment, o...moreBloody, horrific and bloody horrifically hilarious.
Not for kids, not for the feint hearted, this trilogy of shorts is laced with sex, dismemberment, obsession and slick humour. I especially enjoyed the opening story, which had be shaking with laughter from the start. (less)
I've just seen a Tweet from Rebecca, quoting Harper Collins's comments about this book: "At times the writing is genuinely brilliant."
A...moreI've just seen a Tweet from Rebecca, quoting Harper Collins's comments about this book: "At times the writing is genuinely brilliant."
At times, the writing is far above averagely brilliant, and at others, higher. This is what sets Rebecca Hamilton apart from other authors of so-called urban fantasy. There are only so many ways that vampires, wiccans and shape-shifters can be portrayed, and in the end it comes down to the author's style as to whether or not it's a worthwhile read. In Rebecca's case, is certainly is.
This book is a joy from the opening line. If Rebecca Hamilton re-wrote the Yellow pages, she'd make it a great read.(less)
This was an OK thriller that was somewhat marred by poor editing/proofing and some silly typos ("Yea" is repeatedly used instead of "Yeah" near the be...moreThis was an OK thriller that was somewhat marred by poor editing/proofing and some silly typos ("Yea" is repeatedly used instead of "Yeah" near the beginning). I also found some of the conversations forced and unrealistic.
I found the overall plot quite intriguing, but the author has a tendency to 'info-dump' some of his ideas, and certain sections read like text books or opinion pieces rather than a novel. It would have had far greater impact if these sections could have been integrated into the narrative and portrayed as the views of the characters. An annoying trait is where the author introduces a character and immediately gives a potted biography for maybe two pages, thus interrupting the flow.
At times, the story reads a little like an anti-Islamic propaganda piece, and whilst there are some valid points, I found it discomfiting to read such an attack on that religion. (I'm an atheist, by the way).
That said, the book is not without merit, and the final quarter really lifts off and is quite gripping.(less)
I enjoyed this fast-paced, page turning thriller. If Dan Brown was half as good as his book sales suggest, this is the book he could have written – bu...moreI enjoyed this fast-paced, page turning thriller. If Dan Brown was half as good as his book sales suggest, this is the book he could have written – but he’s not, and he didn’t.
I know there are lots of books out there with religious themes of conspiracy and evil deeds, but this stands out, not least because the author has given the Templers and Catholics a break and has made up a religious sect in Turkey.
My one adverse criticism is that I think the author overcooks it at the end. It became immensely frustrating having half-a-dozen viewpoints constantly on a cliff-edge. At some point near the end I was screeching out loud: “JUST GET IT DONE WITH!” When he did get it done with the ‘secret’ was a bit of an anti-climax, because he’d ramped up too much tension before it was revealed.