Review of The White Princess

May 31st, 2015  |  Published in historical fiction, Literary comparison, Reviews, Writer and Research

This is a review of The White Princess by Philippa Gregory, the latest in her Cousin’s War series


A good read, but like the other volumes in the Cousins’ War series, this one is compromised by being overlong. Historical fiction readers expect meticulous detail and the writer’s specific interpretation. Like other volumes of this series the White Princess delivers. This is a revisionist history portraying Henry Tudor as a tyrannical, paranoid ruler and pretender to the throne. It also hints at being anti-royalist.
Read the rest of this entry »

Ex Machina film review

May 22nd, 2015  |  Published in Dark Tales, e-news, film, Horror, Reviews, science fiction, Self Publishing, Social Issues, Writer and Research

Brilliant re-imagining of Frankenstein myth Read the rest of this entry »

Sleepy Hollow – Review and literary comparison of original story and film adaption

May 5th, 2015  |  Published in American Gothic, Dark Tales, English teacher resource, film, Horror, Literary comparison, Reviews, Writer and Research

Sleepy Hollow – traditional American Gothic Read the rest of this entry »

Review – The Children Act by Ian McEwan

April 30th, 2015  |  Published in Dark Tales, Reviews, Self Publishing, Social Issues, Writer and Research

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.

Read the rest of this entry »

Blade Runner – Review The Final Cut (Amazon Instant Video)

April 24th, 2015  |  Published in Dark Tales, film, Horror, Reviews, science fiction, Self Publishing, Social Issues, Writer and Research

I need ya, Deck…I need the old Bladerunner, I need your magic Read the rest of this entry »

Review – It Follows – traditional horror

April 16th, 2015  |  Published in Dark Tales, film, Horror, Reviews, Writer and Research

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 »

Review on Classic Horror – A Must Read

April 14th, 2015  |  Published in Dark Tales, Horror, Reviews, Self Publishing, Writer and Research

Delphi Edition of the Complete Works of Bram Stoker Read the rest of this entry »

Review on profound and moving read

April 13th, 2015  |  Published in Reviews, Self Publishing, Writer and Research

 This Boy’s Life: A Memoir (Paperback)

Read the rest of this entry »

Inspired by Lovecraft – Homage to Lovecraft

April 6th, 2015  |  Published in Dark Tales, Horror, literary history, Reviews


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.

Review – Guns of August

April 5th, 2015  |  Published in History, Reviews, Self Publishing

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: