Sunday, December 29, 2013


Pre-Second World War espionage at its best. Ordinary people doing extraordinary things.

Its important that the facts of Nazism never be forgotten - there can be no revisionism by historians either.  These historical fiction novels are important from this view alone plus this is a great read

Highly recommended.

Friday, December 27, 2013


What an absolute gem this was. There are French spies, Russian spies, German spies and Polish spies all working in Warsaw in 1937.

Colonel Mercier , a French Military Attache is tasked with intelligence gathering in the city and through the diplomatic circle that his work takes him through.

There are no James Bond manoeuvres just solid plodding and this makes for very intense reading as failure is fatal. Reviews I've read state that the book is historically accurate as well which is always a bonus.

Highly recommended if you like your espionage stories real.  I won't watch the TV series as the book was so good it would not be able to compete, even with David Tennant.

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

ONE SUMMER, AMERICA, 1927 - Bill Bryson

Cross the Atlantic with Charles Lindbergh, a record breaking season with Babe Ruth, massive flooding of the Mississippi River, Al Capone,mass murder of school children and much much more.

Bryson segues from one topic to another in his usual easy to read informative style.

1927 was a big year for America , lots of good and bad things happened.

Buy this and read it and then  you will read it again as there is far too much information in it to be absorbed in one sitting.

Its not as good as a "Short History of Everything" but that's unfair comparison anyway considering how good that was, but this is close.

Tuesday, December 17, 2013


This is a really well written story descriptively as well as in  the way it is told.  For me its not a stunningly brilliant book that will stay with me forever but worth the effort.

What it did do for me was highlight what a stunning screenplay "Apocalypse Now" is. I'm not one for comparing books with films but how the three credited with the screenplay managed to interweave this book into their movie is brilliant.

I assume Michael Herr did most of the serious writing.  There is lots of his book "Dispatches" in the movie as well.  But little subtle bits are lifted out of this work. The throwing of the helms mans body into the river with no thought translates to the execution of the Vietnamese woman in the sampan.  The Russian to Dennis Hopper.

A good book, its written of its time and I doubt you will find better writing when describing a jungle anywhere.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013


This is still a delight to read after 40 years.  It is a remarkable adventure story without any of the silly Hollywood scenes, just three men on a really long walk.

Suspend your belief and read away its great fun.

GIRLVERT - Oriana Small

Sub titled a "Porno Memoir" its actually about a woman so badly damaged that she got into porn to have some self esteem. And it wasn't high end porn either it was bottom of the draw violent gonzo where the female performer is totally degraded.

A product of drug addicts she ended up with a major cocaine habit on which she blew all her income.  That, and being saddled with a boyfriend who was more pimp than friend she did eight years in this scene and ended up with nothing.

The book finishes with her marrying a guy in the porn scene, she's sobered up and is now a performance artist, which I believe is code for she still does porn  but its not as nasty and vile as what she was doing.

This is a very sad book, the fact that a teenager is so badly damaged prior to getting into this scene is an eye opener and I've been around.

Its also poorly edited and reads like its been dictated straight off a recorder. Not a nice read at all.  If you watch too much pornography read this, its an instant cure.