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Book Blog

May 25, 2014

Louise de la Valliere (Review)

o we’re into the third book of the Ten Years After saga. We’ve seen the corruption of Louise in Court (a corruption that she, I have to say, willingly embraced – after all, it was her incessant babbling of how sexy the king was that brought his attentions around to focus on her). And then there’s Raoul, youthfully proud and making pretty much the same mistakes I, myself, made at that age. And through it all, the Musketeers (all advancing in age and power) flit about in the background (and occasionally get to make impacts to our story). Overall, I […]
May 18, 2014

The Powder Monkey (Review)

t’s been cynically stated that there are only two true plot lines, those being (a) a man comes to town or (b) a man leaves town. The Powder Monkey sees both of these come to play. Seaman Jack Jeens plods into our story along a countryside road, his dear ol’ mother at his back (he’s just given her half his wages, d’ya see, to keep the poor ald lady whole and hale), his schooner at anchor in nearby Torquay*. And that’s when he comes upon a poor little lad weeping in the lane, his mum and da passed on, his […]
May 11, 2014

Ten Years Later (Review)

‘ve noted before how confusing this series is (from a structural sense) – it’s been released as two books, as three, and including (or excluding) The Man in the Iron Mask. So the version I’m reading is the middle three of the The Vicomte of Bragelonne series, all about Athos’ son’s love for Louise de la Vallière, a confused country girl made even more confused by the glitter (and corruptive influence) of the court (she now has a position as a lady-in-waiting for Lady Henrietta, the English wife of the son of the French King, second in line to the […]
May 4, 2014

Chasing Fire (guest review)

Lynn Perry is a dear friend and a writer, and at one time a co-worker (in my rocket-scientist days). I love how she thinks and what makes her purr. And she’s getting her own little fanbase for her reviews. Enjoy her latest recommendation… e all know there are brave individuals out there risking their lives fighting forest fires.  That, however, is all most of know.  Although we read about fire fighters, see TV news clips of smoke jumpers, and pilots dropping retardant, most of us have no idea of the real job they perform. In her direct, exacting, and informative […]
April 29, 2014

Bartleby, The Scrivener (Review)

You’ll remember my love [sic] of Herman Melville HERE, how I couldn’t get his stuff down, not with a spoon-full of sugar, not at the point of a gun. I’ve read long windy lofty books, Atlas Shrugged, Anna Karinina, and currently, Quicksilver. I’ve liked them all to various degrees. But Melville, “He tasks me; he heaps me”. In other words, I could never get in tune with him. Even Billy Budd mauled me. But my crazy sometime’s daughter / sometimes groupie Denise mentioned this book years back with the old “You haven’t read ‘Bartleby, The Scrivener’? Oh, you gotta read […]
April 27, 2014

The Vicomte of Bragelonne (review)

Ah, how we associate with our heroic story heroes… Okay, see if you can stick with me here. First, we have the famous Three Musketeers, with the youthful heroes d’Artagnan, Athos, Porthos and Aramis. Then we have Twenty Years After, which looks at them in late middle age, where these allies of youth find themselves split two against two on matters of royalty (as well as pitted against an evil from their pasts). It is a bittersweet story about growing older, cooler, and more thoughtful. Then, we have the series of three books, The Vicomte of Bragelonne, Ten Years Later, […]
April 20, 2014

Infected (Review)

I mentioned this book (or rather implied it) HERE. Perhaps this just came at a point I wanted a good horror novel. Maybe it was one of those moments where the book and reader come together (so lucky Scott Sigler). But I really enjoyed his book Infected. It’s the usual yarn where of modern scifi where writers, with full understanding of the unlikeliness of interstellar travel, come up with other ways to do it besides big honking spaceships. In this case, it’s spores (nanobot spores, it turns out) that are seeded across the universe and fall to the ground, to […]
April 13, 2014

The Shame of Motley (Review)

Poor Lazzaro Biancomonte, recently dispossessed of his home in Biancomonte by stronger, sharkier nobles. And so, ever the hothead, the young fellow literally storms a count’s castle, demanding satisfaction. Of course, he is dragged before the count for a sobering talk, and suddenly Lazzaro realizes that (a) he’s about to get his ass killed and (b) this will kill his poor mother, reduced to peasantry by their downfall. But our count is a good fellow. He agrees to spare the young noble’s life… if…. he’ll dress in motley and literally play the fool for his count. The young man, now […]
April 6, 2014

The Gun (Review)

Another short story from Planet Stories pulp magazine in 1952, pulled down off my favorite supplier of eBooks, Project Gutenberg. The Gun is a shorty by Philip K. Dick, one of the famous (and struggling, I’m led to believe) writers from the golden era. So astronomers on a planet pick up a fusion flash from a world not too far off, a big flash, an end-of-civilization full-stop flash. They send a space ship out that way to check on it. Of course, all they find is a dead world, fused and cold without a living thing in its ruins. But […]
March 30, 2014

A Doctor at Calvary (review)

I‘m not going to get into the Shroud of Turin controversy. If you want to see conflicting opinions, check out the wiki page. It’s like an article written by a split personality. No, I’m focused this week on a book Pierre Barbet wrote back in 1953, a look at just what happened to Jesus once the Romans (and Jews) decided to dispose of him. Barbet takes the shroud and examines its photographs minutely, determining the result of every injury suffered by the person pictured in the shroud, the lashings, the thorned forehead, the nail holes, the spear in the side. […]