The Ghosts of Galway Ken Bruen “A failed suicide is a sad, sad *****” So begins “The Ghosts of Galway,” dropping the reader right into the action, as Jack Taylor, former Garda member and failed suicide, ends up, not kinder or wiser, but as a security guard, which he calls “Suicide by boredom.” Only things […]Read more "“The Ghosts of Galway” by Ken Bruen"
Brave Deeds David Abrams “We double-time across Baghdad on our twelve feet, a mutant dozen-legged beetle dashing from rock to rock, confident in its shell but always careful of the soft belly underneath.” One of the bravest of the brave deeds in “Brave Deeds” may be the daring decision to narrate the book in the […]Read more "“Brave Deeds” by David Abrams"
The Breathing Sea I is in the Literary category of The 50 Best Indie Books of 2017! Votes are deeply appreciated and can be cast here. And while you’re at it, why not mosey on over to the Science Fiction section and cast a vote for my pal Christina’s “A Space Girl From Earth”? Or […]Read more "“The Breathing Sea I” is up for an award! Votes are appreciated!"
Beasts of Extraordinary Circumstance Ruth Emmie Lang Oh goodness! you say. How could a book about a boy raised by wolves be anything other than cheesy? I mean, after “The Jungle Book” and “Julie of the Wolves,” it’s all kind of downhill, isn’t it? Well, I am pleased to say that “Beasts of Extraordinary Circumstances” […]Read more "“Beasts of Extraordinary Circumstance” by Ruth Emmie Lang"
Nerve Dick Francis “Art Mathews shot himself, loudly and messily, in the center of the parade ring at Dunstable races.” Thus begins “Nerve,” and thus begins Dick Francis’s career as one of the leading crime writers of the 20th century. Although “Nerve” was his second novel, it was the one in which he got the […]Read more "“Nerve” by Dick Francis"
The Cossacks Leo Tolstoy When he set off for the Caucasus in the early 1850s, the young Leo Tolstoy was in many ways much the same as most other young noblemen: caught up in gambling and chasing women, concerned with appearances and enjoying the moment. But even then Tolstoy was already thinking about other, more […]Read more "“The Cossacks” by Leo Tolstoy"
Prisoner of the Caucasus Leo Tolstoy I have, for my sins, agreed to write up an entry on Christian-Muslim relations in Tolstoy for the University of Birmingham’s project on Christian-Muslim relations in literature. I say “for my sins” because Tolstoy suffered from acute graphomania throughout his long life, and the disease must be contagious, because […]Read more "“Prisoner of the Caucasus” by Leo Tolstoy"
The Watchers Ellison Blackburn “The Watchers” series is a smart, unique pair of books about an archeologist, Mallory Jacks, who discovers a very unusual set of remains on a dig in England. Is it a hoax–or are our legends real? As I said about Mallory in my review of the first book, “If There Be […]Read more "“The Watchers” Boxed Set by Ellison Blackburn"
Dead Cert Dick Francis “Dead Cert” wasn’t the first Dick Francis book I read–that honor belongs to “The Danger”–but it’s his first novel in what would turn out to be a long and storied career, so it seems fitting to start my “classics of Dick Francis” retrospective with it. Reading “Dead Cert” after becoming familiar […]Read more "“Dead Cert” by Dick Francis"
Going Scapegoat David A. Buchanan David Buchanan opens “Going Scapegoat” with a story about getting warned when setting off from a very secure American base on a very safe trip to downtown Riyadh “not to get scalped by no Injuns.” This story sets in motion his examination of scapegoating mechanisms in post-9/11 literary and cultural […]Read more "“Going Scapegoat: Post-9/11 Literature, Language and Culture” by David A. Buchanan"