Sunday, March 15, 2015

and a couple more book reviews

hello there

yeah, time for a bit of a gander at a couple more books that i have read on the bus during the last couple of weeks. i suppose the most interesting thing of consequence for you that happened as i read these, other than that thing where the bus broke down in a demilitarized zone, is that i went to the tooth mender to get a couple of teeth not so much mended as extracted, look you see.

a quick look at the books i have read and a relatively spoiler-free overview of them would be the usual place to start here, so let me not buck that particular trend.

quick review? Dark Rising is a sort of celebration of classy 80s sci-fi mentalist action films only with a distinctly 00s and 10s edge to events, whereas Past Reason Hated is more of the same in regards of rural coppers and their unusual, predictable but nonetheless enjoyable choice of location from where to base investigations and so forth.

as is further usual or the norm, any links here to the books are not endorsements, business affiliations of mine or any sort of recommendation that you should use them for purchases. amazon is simply the shopkeeper that ships to most of the world, so it is easier to use them for you.

some scrolling text for the spoiler warning? sure, why not. although i think them Apple iGalaxy things and the Blueberry phones do not show it as scrolling text.


yeah, the above would be particularly true of the first one. and, indeed, the second.

and so on to the first, which is a book i got from Pound Land or something for, oddly, £1. which turns out to have been a bit of a deal, as Dark Rising and other books by the same author seem to cost a fair few more coins of money in general.

plot? lots of different things. mostly, however, it is all Iran, and how they have built a class and secret underground base and have clocked how to make some very smart - boss, even - black holes appear in it. something to do with a metal ball.

quite a few people get upset by the idea of this. Israel in particular, as it happens, as the radiation readings off of it suggest that Iran is about to go 'super nuclear'. America is annoyed too, but mostly because it sounds like Iran has got a really, really class toy, and they want it to.

to this end, Israel and America decide to send some people - Israel opt for a nuclear expert dude and a mental lady assassin to destroy it all, whereas the Americans send a super solider, Project Arcadian or something, to go and steal all the data on how you make quite class black holes.

not everyone is against this class black hole idea. the Iranian president, for one, thinks it is boss, as it will allow him to do interstellar travel. also, and you saw the spoiler warning, a space alien stuck on earth that has been hanging around in the Iranian desert, eating bedouins or whatever, is very excited as he/she/it believes it is a way home. the space alien dude is quite lonely, so that's nice.

i have to be careful here. the book was written by an Australian, and Australian writers have been known to get very Australian if they feel cheeked, to the extent that they would think nothing of taking a flight to somewhere in the world where they believe the cheek came from and punch the cheek issuer clean in the face.

if the story is quite preposterous, which i am not saying it is, then there is at least the fact that this is a remarkably well written novel, and worth every single penny of the £1 i paid for it. i believe there is a book before this one featuring the same characters, and some three or four after it. i would certainly not hesitate in trying another, in particular if i saw it going for £1. i just wish my copy had the classy red cover to it which features, at the time of writing, on the amazon link above.

before we move on to the next book, then, an update from the world of Gallagher. here it is, folks - the uploaded to that Twerker thing and then deleted image of Liam holding a backstage pass card thing for a recent gig by his brother, Noel.

due to the somewhat abrupt end of the band Oasis and relationship between Liam and Noel, this has been touted as big news. this is peculiar, as in recent interviews Noel, when not asking for money, has commented that he and Liam have spoken frequently in the last couple of years, in particular at Manchester City matches.

to be honest, nice one that they are speaking to each other and that, but it makes little difference to me or anyone else outside of the gossip factor, i suppose. i mean, Oasis were a brilliant band, but by the time of the last album were all clearly a bit bored with each other and getting somewhat stale in the sound of the vibes they were creating. no, i am not one of those advocating a big massive Oasis reunion, then. i would really love it if Liam went back to making music, as he is interesting. Noel's pedestrian, middle of the road and dull solo stuff gets him all of the money and praise that he wants, so one would assume he is happy; just could be happier with more money.

away from rock and roll, then, and back into the world of doing police work in a pub as far as possible with Peter Robinson, no less. Past Reason Hated is the third book off of that set my Aunty got me for Christmas, and once more features that copper, DCI Banks or Chief Inspector Banks or similar.

plot? you all saw that spoiler warning, yeah? the action starts not in a pub but in the bar of a rugby club. Banks is disturbed by a young lady copper, recently made a DCI or whatever it is. there has been a murder of a lady - a lesbian lady, no less - and she wants some assistance.

no one apparently knew that the lady was a lady lesbian, despite her living with another lady. this is not my experience of village life, under which everyone would just assume they were lady lesbians anyway, but no matter. the investigations - which happen for the most part in the many pubs that rural England has to offer - mean that people get to discover that she was indeed a lesbian. lots of people appeared to have reasons to want the lady lesbian dead, or at least in the opinion of this Banks fellow they did.

on the one side this was an enjoyable read, and somewhat more in depth and involved than the first two by the author i had read. on the other, it is incredibly superficial at parts - the view of rural England on lesbians is covered by a lady copper thinking to herself that they are "disgusting" at one point. also, the resolution of the crime, for the third time, relies on the culprit subscribing to the English way of doing things yet again. which is to say that they would have gotten away with it, clear, if, and i remind you again of the spoiler warning, they did not opt to simply confess for no apparent reason in the last couple of pages.

also, as the three novels have progressed, more and more of the police business is held in a pub. i am not sure if this is a dig at the stereotypical view of English life, but it seems that the police in the world of the author can only carry out interviews, or consider evidence, if they have a pint of mild bitter as they do.

i have purchased, on my travels, another two novels by Peter Robinson. i guess, for the most part, there is your review - whatever flaws or shortcomings exist, they are very enjoyable reads.

the backs of the books? i am not sure what purpose or assistance they would serve you in, but i have no problem showing you a picture of them if it is of interest.

i am if not confident then at least optimistic that the next two books i read will not be disturbed by things such as the bus breaking down in any sort of hotly contested area, or with any need for a tooth mender to take a hammer to my jaw. you never know, though.

if you are in the market for a book recommendation, then at present i am something like a third of the way through something called The Girl On The Train over on the e-reader. it has, so far, been brilliant. engaging, compulsive and involved reading. well worth your time, dear reader, well worth it.

in the mean time, hopefully the comments on these two books have been of use to someone somewhere!

be excellent to each other!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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