Monday, 12 August 2013

2013 Reading Part 5

Another eight books read, partly thanks to a holiday with two whole days at sea - that story coming up shortly!

Red Sonja. The comic book somewhat ferocious heroine, contemporary with Conan the Barbarian and from the same pen of Robert E. Howard. The book cover appears to be a film poster here, but from a film I've never seen. The scanty armoured costume may look rather fetching and certainly allows for full and easy movement, but hardly practical as a layer of defence...

Anyway the book is nothing like the comics. It is set in the Ottoman wars of the 16th century and Sonia is not even the main character. Boo, hiss... But a decent enough tale of gore and chopping action none the same!

Lovejoy. Ian McShane and all that. It took me a while to get into this and I was tempted a couple of times to bail out but then it got going and I quite enjoyed Lovejoy's search for a fabled pair of duelling pistols and the murderer who had filched them.

Ooh... Ahhhh... and any other such noises you normally hear at a fireworks display. Because, believe me, this has lots of fireworks! A knock-out read of epic proportions. I hardly ever give a book a full 5 stars, as I feel it should really be excellent to deserve this. This is. It sets Robert Langdon off on another chase around the world, but this time he's woken up with a gunshot wound and minus his recent memory. Set against the imminent extinction of the human race due to over-population (some squirm-inducing statistics included - don't look forward too much to having great-great-grandchildren...) this is a brilliant, brilliant book. Couldn't put it down.

...and likewise...! Well, no - this is a bit of the sublime to the ridiculous I suppose but... Ju, Dick, Anne, George and Timmy the dog go off for a quiet holiday in a caravan and... well, more of the same really. Let's face it, their parents would have had them chained to the playroom in real life after the first of their adventures. But no, it's "Off you go you brats, don't think you're staying at home or coming on holiday with us, ruining our drinking and debauchery!" Here Jo the gypsy girl turns up again and her circus friends do laughably impossible things (Enid Blyton has the "india rubber man" wriggle in and out of the spokes in his caravan wheels at one point). But you just know there'll be crooks, guns and lashings of ginger beer and that it'll be up to Timmy as usual to save them from any real harm or normal teenage thoughts and urges... My word, George!!!! Your chest!!!!

The second of Bernard Cornwell's books about Thomas of Hookton, the English archer with a healthy lust for life and - ooh, watch out for that Inquisitor with the hot irons... too late... Thomas saves the day at the Battle of Neville's Cross, near Durham and then goes back to France, searching for the Holy Grail which he now knows was once in the possession of his family. His relation, the Harlequin, and the Church are seeking it too and so his life is going to be a bit hectic for a while yet. One more to re-read and then I can read the latest installment which is sitting on my Kindle, waiting patiently.

Another re-read, this is the second of Jasper Fforde's Thursday Next series and introduces both us and Thursday to the world of Jurisfiction inside books. Here the sinister government agency, Goliath, have caused Thursday's husband to have been drowned as a boy and therefore Thursday awakes to find herself the only one to remember him as an adult. A nice book crossover included - read this and Jasper Fforde's "The Big Over Easy" to understand!

So now I was in the mood for both comedy and a bit of nuttiness so went on to read the fourth book in Tom Holt's series of books about the magic firm of J. W. Wells & Co. Darn... the fourth... I haven't read the second or third yet... Stands alone so doesn't matter. Recommended.

"You know my methods, Watson!" The fourth Sherlock Holmes novel has him dealing with the aftermath of another tale that started overseas - so far only The Hound of the Baskervilles has dealt with crime that had its cause in the UK. This one is tied in with secret societies and moose horn-wearing special-grippers from America bumping off anyone who stands in the way of a "brother"... It's my first reading of the Holmes books and so far, so good!

Stay tuned - I'm already halfway through the second of the next eight books!

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