Scarecrow – Matthew Reilly

  ‘The trooper’s head exploded like a can of tomato soup’

I love a good action film, better yet if it is put in the medium of book.  The best way to describe Scarecrow therefore would be to imagine the action set pieces of the Lethal Weapon films, the explosions of a Die Hard film, the car chases of Jame Bond and the body count of Total Recall. Combine all those together and you get the idea about the relentless and raucous show in store.

The plot, if you hadn’t already suspected is ludicrous in the extreme and pretty hilarious as well. Shane Schofield AKA Scarecrow is one of the worlds 15 best warriors and they have been targeted by bounty hunters, with a price tag of $20 million dollars on each of their heads. So it’s upto Schofield and his team to first of all survive and then find out why they have been targeted and by whom.

Happily the plot doesn’t get in the way of the action, it largely takes place of one or two pages at a time as the characters fly to a whole plethora of  international locations that are just waiting to be shot and blown up. The whackiness of the plot fits right in with the over the top action, if you are looking for something with realistic aspects then you’ll be disappointed. Happily for the rest of we are in for a jaunt that makes The Expendables look pedestrian.

Segueing nicely into the world of cinema, If I reviewing a film for a cheap tabloid newspaper then I would use Continue reading “Scarecrow – Matthew Reilly”

Sea Room – Adam Nicolson

At some point we have probably all fantasized about owning our own island, Adam Nicolson owns three, situated off the coast of Lewis in the Minch.   I couldn’t actually find them in my Atlas but wander upto the Hebrides and you will get a rough idea of the type of place they are.

Now I like my escapism as much as the next man (especially if he is Harry Houdini), and real life stuff especially so this fits the bill.

Above all this book is a celebration of island life covering everything from hermits, geology, history, nature, social history and an all round appreciation for the simpler things in life.

What you get for your money is grand vistas and the harsh natural world, 500 feet black cliffs, a celebration of all that is natural, the majesty of the cliffs to the brutal characteristics of the sea.  an immense feeling of time, as if you’re standing at the edge of the world.

There is cornucopia of wildlife to experience. Imagine standing amongst half a million puffins and hearing the cacophony of sound, although the sheer scale of observing everything is impossible, the way Adam Nicolson puts his observations down, it feels like the perfect picture. Continue reading “Sea Room – Adam Nicolson”

The Very Inspiring Blogger Award

So there I was yesterday, plugging away at a few draft posts when up pops a comment from the inimitable Letizia and her great blog which you shall all be checking out , telling me that I would got a nomination for the Very Inspiring Blogger Award. Now I’m the least egocentric person I know, in my humble opinion and not wanting to big myself up to much, here is the great write up I was given:

‘I recently discovered his blog but am enchanted with his writing style. His book reviews and musings on all things literary are wonderfully witty. I even ordered a book he reviewed just to see if I hated the characters as much as he did!’

Now my ego trip is subsiding, I should say another big thankyou to Letizia and I hope I can keep amusing, informing and entertaining you with my sometimes wayward and haphazard meanderings.  I’d tell you some future possible highlights but I haven’t written any yet so I best get to it, post haste.

Okay so without any further ado and asides I shall nominate some lucky bloggers for this award, bloggers who are inspiring, talented and probably have a very good dress sense to boot. In no particular order:

  1. Word by Word – A wander around all things good
  2. Delicately Clumsy –  A whimsical take on life.
  3. Boomie Bol –  A poetic turn of events
  4. nofriendasloyalasabook – An eclectic and darn good look through books
  5. A Rat in the Book Pile – A literary feast
  6. Discoveranddevour – A heartwarming jaunt through life
  7. TheWhyAboutThis – A mix of awesomeness

I could have written a lot more about each blogger (and blogette) but that’d spoil the experience and discovery, like knowing that Kevin Spacey is Keyser Soze before you watch The Usual Suspects.

I now also have to say seven things about me, because that’s the law of the award. I just did a post on this today so now I shall have to trawl the darkest regions for amusing things….

  1. I am rubbish at buying shoes, whatever I buy falls apart after 2-3 months. Cheap stuff, well made stuff, trainers, shoes, clogs, everything just hates my feet, and I wash them regular so it’s not that!
  2. I always try to turn up early when meeting friends (anything upto 5 hours has been known) so I can read.
  3. I enjoy watching, and then quoting obscure films endlessly and listening to 80’s film soundtracks, that was the best film decade ever.
  4. I have a bit of an obsession with maps and statistics, I’m not particularly good at maths but love the way numbers fit together.
  5. I was once on a roundabout in the snow and was being pushed off by a friend (Tanya Noble), fell off, rolled over in the snow and lost my glasses for a bit much to everyone’s amusement.
  6. Although I’ve been to Manchester Piccadilly station whilst waiting for a connecting train, I have never gone out of the doors and into Manchester proper. Just waited for a train to take me away again, and hope it doesn’t terminate at Bolton, which is probably the worst station I have ever stood in.
  7. I am one of those people who likes to travel….from an armchair. I like books and sitting down and not being hassled, so it’s the perfect way to explore the world.

Below are the rules for the Very Inspiring Blog Award so you can see I adhered to them and I have a liking for small print too, (honest).

1.  Display the award logo on your blog.
2.  Link back to the person who nominated you.
3.  State 7 things about yourself.
4.  Nominate 7 other bloggers for this award and link to them.
5.  Notify those bloggers of the nomination and the award’s requirements.

Stranger Danger

After four days of not reading, I got to wondering, do you really know the bloggers you follow?  No. Now I’ve answered that I suppose the time has come to rectify that with an introduction to myself for those of you that don’t know me (Somewhat belatedly as this may be, as I have been ranting on this page for some months).  The ideal intro is my About Bit, which I need to write better at some point and my (fairly) newly added Gravatar pic, the photo I think is the least unflattering photo of me that I have. But apart from that, there must be something to tell you that may interest you and some interspersed pictures of what I do to keep you entertained…..have a glimpse into my world and the crazy things that happen to me on a day to day basis…

Here I am photographed with a few chums talking about topical issues of the day.

I was once told that the way I form sentences gives people a headache. Continue reading “Stranger Danger”

Elephants Can Remember – Agatha Christie

The plot of this little number in brief is:

 ‘Did General Ravenscroft kill Lady Ravenscroft or was she the one holding the gun? Many years later their daughter would like to know, so her godmother Ariadne Oliver, asking Hercule poirot to investigate.’

I tried to like this book, as I do with every book I pick up but even the best authors in their genre sometimes let slip a drab, dull book.

The hallmarks that make Christie books fun are the good plots that keep you guessing, a touch of humour and a pacy plot.  I didn’t really find any of those things in this one.

Any story with Hercule Poirot (which has to be said in that Belgian accent) is usually entertaining, and he is on fine form it has to be said but the pedestrian plot doesn’t give him much to work with. His fixation on certain items that puzzled him didn’t help, as I was loudly remonstrating and pointing out the obvious. In a crowded place, in the middle of town. On a busy day.

The other character of the piece,Ariadne Oliver, (whois a reoccurring character in Christie books and whom I shall be avoiding after this showing) is completely annoying and a one joke character. She is forgetful sometimes. That’s it. Theres not a lot of mirth to be had after the first time she shows off her trait. She is a classic love or loathe character. Continue reading “Elephants Can Remember – Agatha Christie”

The Virgin Suicides – Jeffrey Eugenides

 As it’s a lovely sunny day outside, I decided it would be the opportune time to stay in with the curtains shut and review The Virgin Suicides by Jeffrey Eugenides, which is, along with The Remains of the Day, probably one of my favourite novels of the last forty years.

The Book relates the mystery surrounding five sisters who committed suicide, from the viewpoint of a narrator who is looking back and chronicling the events preceding the deaths right through until the aftermath.

Although not the cheeriest of premises, I was instantly drawn in. Partly because the book starts with a suicide in progress and like most people I become a voyeur when it comes to grim details in books. However horrible these things are they, are always readable right?

Mainly though I was drawn in through the atmosphere, not only is it bursting with brooding melancholy and nostalgia but has a timeless feel to it. There is haunting sense to proceedings as the outcome is preordained, and seems to be recognised by the characters who are seemingly powerless to do anything but play their part in the ensuing tragedy.

Like the film American Beauty, there is a troubled and depressed air, a sort of suburban darkness encapsulating the children and the full force of the visceral horror of growing up and mortality.  This coupled with the naivety and knowledge that most of the adults around them are all deeply conceited, scarred by time and clinging to all they have left in a vain way gives the whole affair an air of grim despondency. Continue reading “The Virgin Suicides – Jeffrey Eugenides”