A beautiful and sad novel which is impossible to fit into any particular genre, explores the complex moral issues raised by a religious family’s decision to refuse medical treatment to their son Adam as it involves a blood transfusion. Adam, 17, almost 18 – and this is crucial to the story – agrees with them.
Archive for April, 2015
I need ya, Deck…I need the old Bladerunner, I need your magic Read the rest of this entry »
From the opening lines Ray’s autobiography is imbued with a personal touch which contrasts Mick Wall’s cynicism. Read the rest of this entry »
Today I watched, It Follows, a traditional horror film. The main idea is that an entity follows people and kills them. You become pursued by the entity once you have had sex with the person who is currently being pursued by it.
Read the rest of this entry »
Delphi Edition of the Complete Works of Bram Stoker Read the rest of this entry »
Minutes ago I saw an advertisement which featured an image that I have used and paid for on my Ebook novel In Jeopardy. I hope this person/organization has paid Shutterstock for the use of this image as I did. I am aware I don’t have exclusive rights to this image. However, I find this confronting given that I changed the previous cover of In Jeopardy when I found the image had been used on another book cover after mine had been published.
Imagine yourself peering into a bookshop window at the other side of the country and seeing your book cover on display with another title? In this case the proprietor (a) removed the book from the window (b) was very helpful and disclosed full details of the use of this image, which was legitimate. None the less really frustrating. My jaw dropped when I discovered that a friend on Facebook had used this image to promote one his own ventures. Even more disheartening was when I discovered that he had recently viewed my post displaying this cover.
Original cover is at the top left
New cover – recently viewed on Facebook is at the top right
A serious adult story must be true to something in life. Since marvel tales cannot be true to the events of life, they must shift their emphasis towards something to which they can be true; namely, certain wistful or restless moods of the human spirit, wherein it seeks to weave gossamer ladders of escape from the tyranny of time, space and natural law.
H P Lovecraft
My stories deal with the hidden and disguised; things we see that we do not recognise or that we wilfully put aside because they are too challenging. The characters in each story I write are forced to understand what they have ignored, potentially to their peril. In that sense, ‘the evil’ or the supernatural which wreaks havoc in characters’ lives can also be seen as beneficial. However, cruel and horrifying events in these stories are, these events also bring enlightenment, however partial or conditional.
Every serious writer of horror and the supernatural should read Lovecraft.
Classic History of Tragic Events
As the centenary of Gallipoli approaches I return to this famous account of the beginning of the First World War. Here’s my review as posted on Amazon.
I’ve recently read a number of recent accounts of the prelude to World War 1 and decided to compare these to my old, cheap Bantam Books 1980 edition of The Guns of August. I dusted it off and began.
And found it hard to put it down. Tuchman’s work may have its deficiencies, as other reviewers have suggested, but her writing is far and away the most dramatic and exciting. She has the novelist’s power to bring events and characters to life in the reader’s mind and to give her writing the thematic richness of a great and profound narrative. Reading this book again after many years reminded me of the tragic texts of war, such as Zola’s The Debacle. Tuchman’s prose leaps from the page and she imbues her writing with her views and values. The title of one of her other books, The March of Folly, is consistently brought to mind as Tuchman is unsparing in her criticism of those who she sees as playing a part in bringing Europe to disaster. Almost every page contains a memorable quote or example of razor-sharp writing, but here is just one example, on Czarist Russia: “The regime was ruled from the top by a sovereign who had but one idea of government – to preserve intact the absolute monarchy bequeathed to him by his father – and who lacking the intellect, energy, or training for his job, fell back on personal favorites, whim, simple mulishness, and other devices of the empty-headed autocrat”. Read this depiction of Nicholas aloud to hear the sharp, incisive voice of condemnation, the harsh rhythm of contempt for an appalling ruler.
Tuchman is simply indispensable to your understanding of the Great War. I’ve not studied History academically for some time now so I do not know where Tuchman’s book stands among specialist scholars. But for the general reader and amateur historian of the First World War, it is the best introduction to the period it covers and will likely inspire you to read further. As a companion volume, by the way, Tuchman’s The Proud Tower is equally fascinating.
For more reviews I’ve posted go to: