Tuesday, July 12, 2011


This is the third and final part of Edmund Morris's wonderful biography of Theodore Roosevelt.

This volume covers the years following his Presidency until his death in 1919.

His safari through Africa collecting specimans and hunting shows a man with a total inability to sit still,where many would just rest on their laurels, he was active continually.

There are the details of his attempt to secure a third term as a Progressive candidate. This attempt failed and this was the only part of the book that dragged for me. It is pure politics with all the machinations that big party machines bring to elections.

This is followed by his explorations in South America . This journey weakened him badly and added to the causes that lead to his premature death.

He was just a phenomenal human being, he never wasted a minute of his time,Police Commissioner, President of the United States, the most famous man in the world, author of 40 books, father of six, husband of two and Nobel Peace Prize winner.

He suffered tragedy in his personal life and suffered from ill health himself, but this never stopped him at all, it just seemed to make himself drive harder.

This volume like the previous two are not hagiographies, Roosevelt had many faults and was a great self promoter but these are small faults when all that he acheived is looked at.

Inconclusion he throughly deserves his place on Mount Rushmore. One of the greatest Presidents'.


This is the latest in a long standing series featuring Matt Scudder, ex-cop, dry alcoholic and private investigator.

The series has had some truely great episodes over the years.

This latest one is told in back story featuring the murder of a AA colleague of Scudder's from when he first stopped drinking. Its very heavy on AA and this may irk some but if you have read the series its all part and parcel.

It's not a bad yarn, not as strong as earlier reads but it was nice to catch up as I havn't read one of these for years.

VIXEN - Ken Bruen

The Vixen is a mad woman who starts bombing buildings as part of an extortion plan.

Her sidekicks are stupid and pliable and their actions obviously attract the attentions of police.

We have cocaine use, use of prostitutes, extreme violence, heavy drinking and that is just what the cops get up to.

This is totally

over the top and serious good fun.

This is the first of Bruen's books I've read and I will get more. This is what I call a great bath book, relax and enjoy and don't think too hard.


This is my favourite Ross Thomas novel.

It involves U.S government instigation of a

coup in a South American country, drug runners and the usual selection of odd ball dangerous characters.

Sex and violence and a great political thriller, say no more.


I usually love E.L.Doctorow but this section of short stories didn't do it for me.

They are culled from his entire career and I have the feeling

that they are the ones that have not made it to the starting lineup in previous collections.

I couldn't get into any of the stories, (I didn't get "Loon Lake" either so its probably me), he is a great writer but I'm missing something here.


Another totally outlandish tale but fantastic entertainment.

Lucifer Dye, ex-spy, just out of a Hong Kong prison and unemployed is hired to corrupt an entire city so that a rival "machine" can take over. There are some fantastic characters involved here.

All the usual Thomas trade marks, humour, subtle violence and killer writing. This tale even has a back story which most writers would be happy with as a stand alone. It explains Dye's upbringing in a Chinese brothel.

I wonder why these stories hav'nt

been made into movies?

Highly recommended as usual.

Friday, July 1, 2011


A novel of London society featuring a group of indiviuals who meet, have relationships and drift in and drift out of each others lives and talk about everything.

This was penned before 'A Dance to the Music of Time' so you would have to say that Powell has been influenced by this.

It has some humour and is a great read but for me what really stood out was how much was put to the reader concerning, religion, science and conservation, all things that are in the news today and this was written in 1928.

You can open this book at virtually any page and the characters are in conversation regarding some engaging topic. You could spend years discussing what the characters are discussing, truly a feat of authorship.


Durango is a town, a town that is kept solvent by allowing wanted persons to hideout in it - for a fee.

A recently released from prison Judge needs to settle back in Durango for a while with his son in law to try and establish who is trying to kill him.

There is a hitman cunningly disguised as a priest and some very amoral individuals all involved and a surprising twist at the end.

A very far fetched plot but great fun, enjoy.

BRIARPATCH - Ross Thomas

Benjamin Dill's sister gets murdered. She is a homocide detective. He goes out to her town to solve the mystery.

The story involves small town corruption on a grand scale. This isn't as funny as other books by Thomas but it is a very good story.

Concerning Ross Thomas there is only really really great writing and really great writing, so you are never disappointed.

AH, TREACHERY - Ross Thomas

I have managed to find as many re-published Ross Thomas's as are available and have made a pig of myself with them.

I have read them all previously,owned them and sold them which is a bugger because they are virtually impossible to get now.

Up until his death there was an annual Ross Thomas and it was eagerly awaited. I have never understood why he was not a super star, James Crumley is the same - great,great writing and loyal followers but not a household name.

This story is very political, concerning machinations amongst the Washington power brokers and missing "hush" money.

All the usual humour and cynicisim we expect.

This was his last book prior to his death and there ain't no more sadly.