Book Review – Goodbye, Columbus

I enjoyed reading these stories although ultimately they left me with no overriding emotion other than I’m glad to have read a book by Philip Roth and I probably won’t be busting a gut to read another.

Don’t get me wrong, the writing is really good and I can see the conflict and social status causing the affair between Neil and Brenda in Goodbye, Columbus but ultimately I’m not sure what that’s supposed to show me other than such things happen to people? The affair was doomed from the start and I’m sure both characters knew that but carried on anyway knowing there was an end always in sight.

The Hollow by Agatha Christie- Book review

This is an absolutely superb book. Agatha does it again.

A country house weekend where the highlight was going to be Sunday lunch with Hercule Poirot who was staying nearby. The Angkatells own The Hollow and invite assorted guests and family members for the weekend. In the hands of Agatha Christie, you know someone isn’t going to make it to Monday morning.

For me, there were two mysteries.

The first was – who was going to be murdered? The death doesn’t occur until Page 101 (in my version) and so there was a debate going on in my mind as to who was going to be the victim. I thought I knew and I was right, because this was the character most featured in the introduction.

Then there’s the murder scene when Poirot arrives. He thinks it’s been staged for his benefit and he’s half right, but then he realises he’s not been considered and that it’s a coincidence that the highly staged murdered scene is in front of him as he arrives.

As to who did it – well I couldn’t decide between three of the characters and it turned out not to be any of those three, so I was wrong about that.

The characters are without exception interesting, have quirky characteristics, and also ‘know’ more than they let on. There are family secrets aplenty. This book is recommended.

The Hollow by Agatha Christie- Book review

This is an absolutely superb book. Agatha does it again.

A country house weekend where the highlight was going to be Sunday lunch with Hercule Poirot who was staying nearby. The Angkatells own The Hollow and invite assorted guests and family members for the weekend. In the hands of Agatha Christie, you know someone isn’t going to make it to Monday morning.

For me, there were two mysteries.

The first was – who was going to be murdered? The death doesn’t occur until Page 101 (in my version) and so there was a debate going on in my mind as to who was going to be the victim. I thought I knew and I was right, because this was the character most featured in the introduction.

Then there’s the murder scene when Poirot arrives. He thinks it’s been staged for his benefit and he’s half right, but then he realises he’s not been considered and that it’s a coincidence that the highly staged murdered scene is in front of him as he arrives.

As to who did it – well I couldn’t decide between three of the characters and it turned out not to be any of those three, so I was wrong about that.

The characters are without exception interesting, have quirky characteristics, and also ‘know’ more than they let on. There are family secrets aplenty. This book is recommended.

Book Review – Goodbye, Columbus

I enjoyed reading these stories although ultimately they left me with no overriding emotion other than I’m glad to have read a book by Philip Roth and I probably won’t be busting a gut to read another.

Don’t get me wrong, the writing is really good and I can see the conflict and social status causing the affair between Neil and Brenda in Goodbye, Columbus but ultimately I’m not sure what that’s supposed to show me other than such things happen to people? The affair was doomed from the start and I’m sure both characters knew that but carried on anyway knowing there was an end always in sight.

Bech: A Book – Book Review

This is a very entertaining book and extremely well written. John Updike must have been ever so pleased with himself after writing this book about such a smug, clever, and witty writer!

Henry Bech isn’t a sympathetic character. I don’t like him. He can’t say anything without trying to be clever in that insufferable way some people have who want to always show how intelligent they are. He also seems to be a magnet for the ladies. But, this is fiction isn’t it? Bech’s sword is mightier than his pen.

The book is about Bech visiting an Eastern Europe still behind the Iron Curtain, taking drugs with his girlfriend / mistress and then sleeping with her sister, visiting a girl’s academy in West Virginia, spending a few days in London and meeting a gossip columnist, and finally being inducted into a literary society.

This is a writer’s testament as to what it was like to be a writer in America in the 1960s.

Mystery Groups – Discount Book

Do YOU have trouble putting IKEA furniture together? Yes? Here’s a Buddhist group who can help

40 odd groups that are surrounded in mystery. Little is known about them, hence the shortness of the book and the low price.

Buddhists for Peaceful Ikea Furniture Assembly (BPIFA)

Buddhists belonging to this group can be phoned by purchasers of Ikea flat-pack furniture and asked to come along to the purchaser’s home to provide a peaceful environment when the furniture is being put together. BPIFA have discovered a more harmonious environment promotes more peaceful furniture assemblage and encourage IKEA customers to use their services.

The BPIFA even bring along spare Allen keys just in case there aren’t enough provided. One satisfied customer, George T Trent of Oklahoma said, “Without those Buddhists, why that furniture might still be unmade to this day – those Oms really calmed me down, especially when I felt like shooting the instructions with ma shotgun. Those Buddhists really made things easy. They were non-threatening in every way, but I am not sure I could wear orange all day.”

This is just one example of the fictional groups covered in this book at a discount.

How the Yeti was named and other stories.

I have written eleven stories including the obituary of a former flying ace who died along with his guide dog as they free-climbed Mount Robson. There’s a rejection letter to William Shakespeare for his play “Hamlet” and an explanation for the building of Silbury Hill in England. I also researched, from ancient texts, the story of how the Yeti received its name.

Discover these stories in this book – available at a discount between 11th January and 18th January.

You can also read an updated rendering of the Three Musketeers and discover the true meaning of words such as aroma, portfolio, and drastic. 

The Call of Cthulhu – Book Review

This is the classic horror tale from H.P. Lovecraft about the mystery of the cult of Cthulhu, conjuring up a dark and terrifying world. An island appears from the bottom of the Pacific Ocean during an earthquake. The buildings don’t seem to be built in a recognisable way to the crew of a small vessel who have the misfortune to land on the island and encounter the dreadful squid-dragon creature. The only survivor is brave enough to steer his boat straight at the monster, tearing it to pieces, however when he looks around the creature is recombining itself somehow.

The cult of Cthulhu is practised in remote parts of the world. When the earthquake starts, people who’ve had contact with the cult go insane and have terrible nightmares.

There is little dialogue in this story and it’s almost all description, telling the reader not showing them.

Mystery Groups – Discount Book

Do YOU have trouble putting IKEA furniture together? Yes? Here’s a Buddhist group who can help

40 odd groups that are surrounded in mystery. Little is known about them, hence the shortness of the book and the low price.

Buddhists for Peaceful Ikea Furniture Assembly (BPIFA)

Buddhists belonging to this group can be phoned by purchasers of Ikea flat-pack furniture and asked to come along to the purchaser’s home to provide a peaceful environment when the furniture is being put together. BPIFA have discovered a more harmonious environment promotes more peaceful furniture assemblage and encourage IKEA customers to use their services.

The BPIFA even bring along spare Allen keys just in case there aren’t enough provided. One satisfied customer, George T Trent of Oklahoma said, “Without those Buddhists, why that furniture might still be unmade to this day – those Oms really calmed me down, especially when I felt like shooting the instructions with ma shotgun. Those Buddhists really made things easy. They were non-threatening in every way, but I am not sure I could wear orange all day.”

This is just one example of the fictional groups covered in this book at a discount.

Bech: A Book – Book Review

This is a very entertaining book and extremely well written. John Updike must have been ever so pleased with himself after writing this book about such a smug, clever, and witty writer!

Henry Bech isn’t a sympathetic character. I don’t like him. He can’t say anything without trying to be clever in that insufferable way some people have who want to always show how intelligent they are. He also seems to be a magnet for the ladies. But, this is fiction isn’t it? Bech’s sword is mightier than his pen.

The book is about Bech visiting an Eastern Europe still behind the Iron Curtain, taking drugs with his girlfriend / mistress and then sleeping with her sister, visiting a girl’s academy in West Virginia, spending a few days in London and meeting a gossip columnist, and finally being inducted into a literary society.

This is a writer’s testament as to what it was like to be a writer in America in the 1960s.