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Monday, November 19, 2012

A Few Good Reads

Hello, Fire Enthusiasts.  Once again I feel the need to apologize for taking so darn long to get anything read around here. With my impossible schedule I just don’t have the time. If you only knew how many days and weeks I have brought my trusty Kindle to work never to open it. On the upside, if I start reading your novel, rest assured that your cover will be prominently displayed on my blog for weeks! *laughs* That’s good free promotion, my friends!

In any event, I have read some real good books of late which I think you’ve probably already heard about. They seem to be doing very well for as far as I can tell, and their respective authors have been making the rounds.

For the past couple of years I have almost exclusively read Independent or brand new authors. I think there is something about discovering great up and coming or as of yet undiscovered authors that really interests me. I hope there’s a bit of that in you as well.

The first novel I would like to share with you is The Book of Paul by author Richard Long. Here’s the synopsis:

"Everything you've ever believed about yourself...about the description of reality you've clung to so stubbornly all your life...all of it...every bit of an illusion."

In the rubble-strewn wasteland of Alphabet City, a squalid tenement conceals a treasure "beyond all imagining"-- an immaculately preserved, fifth century codex. The sole repository of ancient Hermetic lore, it contains the alchemical rituals for transforming thought into substance, transmuting matter at will...and attaining eternal life.

When Rose, a sex and pain addicted East Village tattoo artist has a torrid encounter with Martin, a battle-hardened loner, they discover they are unwitting pawns on opposing sides of a battle that has shaped the course of human history. At the center of the conflict is Paul, the villainous overlord of an underground feudal society, who guards the book's occult secrets in preparation for the fulfillment of an apocalyptic prophecy.

The action is relentless as Rose and Martin fight to escape Paul's clutches and Martin's destiny as the chosen recipient of Paul's sinister legacy. Science and magic, mythology and technology converge in a monumental battle where the stakes couldn't be higher: control of the ultimate power in the universe--the Maelstrom.

My Review: In the tradition of Clive Barker, Author Richard Long has created a world that is something like we have rarely seen. Joining science, magic and religion, and bridging this world's beginning to its terrible end, he has done something incredible. The Book of Paul is an astounding achievement with incredible characters of great depth, a body of near-perfect prose, wonderful pacing and a "voice" that will entice you through short chapters that prove to be a satisfying way of story-telling. Long takes us on a journey that is sometimes complex but at most times brilliant. He doesn't dazzle us with words, but with real dialogue and a plot unlike one we've ever seen. Prepare yourself reader, for having your mind blown is just the beginning.

Recently, I just completed reading Wishbone by author Brooklyn Hudson. Here’s the synopsis:

A Manhattan power couple survive a tragedy and attempt a fresh start only to be plagued by unexplained and disastrous careful what you wish for.

Kings Hollow is a quaint town, nestled in the serene Catskill Mountains of upstate New York. At first, their new home appears to be the miracle they prayed for, until a traditional children's game begins to destroy their bliss; Rachael is no longer herself and Julien is experiencing a string of bad luck and unfortunate accidents.
At the center of it all is seventeen-year-old Sarah, a part-time caretaker on the property.
Can Julien and Rachael escape the nightmare of Kings Hollow...or is this just Wishful thinking?

Wishbone is a multi-layered thriller incorporating several sub-plots; in the vein of Pet Sematary, What Lies Beneath, Misery and Stir of Echoes. Dramatic horror at its best, Brooklyn Hudson takes you on a suspenseful roller coaster ride of emotional turmoil and shocking events.

My Review: This book was two parts Twilight Zone and one part Stephen King’s Misery. I found the writing to be very good with top notch narration; I wasn’t tripping all over fancy description or decorative prose, but was just consistently led by the hand and taken on a ride well worth the effort. The main character is French and I found him so refreshing as we got to see as he slipped into his native tongue on many occasions, and watched him struggle with English as his anxiety or stress level spiked. Hudson did a very nice job in using the French, as well as figuring out ingenious ways of explaining him to us so we knew what he meant or was thinking.

The plot itself was quite gripping and different. I could never really guess where we were going, which was wonderful. The work was loaded with twists and turns that kept me guessing and willing to be led along. I hear there is a Wishbone 2 in the works which also leaves me guessing since I don’t see where we could possibly go from here. I guess I will just have to take Hudson’s able hand in mine and allow her to lead on. I think you will happily volunteer to be led once you have read Wishbone as well.

Lastly, I would like to tell you about the diary I just finished. That’s right. Diary. It is a novella that is entitled, 100 Unfortunate Days. It was written by Penelope Crowe.

The synopsis:
If you stumbled upon the diary of a stranger you might be compelled to read. If you stumbled upon the diary of a madwoman--how could you turn away?

"100 Unfortunate Days is a narcotic head-trip to the dark side of the narrator's mind. I've read books that gave me the creeps, read books that gave me nightmares, but until 100 Unfortunate Days, I'd never read a book that made me certain that the act of reading was inviting the attention of raw evil. Crowe delivers a blistering look into the furnace of madness, and does it with aplomb."

"Crowe has crafted a journal of 100 days that can make you laugh, sigh, and frown all in one "day". Theological, anti-spiritual, psychological, just plain weird... Crowe has a grasp of the reality and truth of this world and life that many others could never put into words - though they understand it to be true. 100 Unfortunate Days reads like the inner-workings of a dream - lyrical, powerful, and full of lessons, if you only know where to find them."

My review: Have you ever watched the film Pink Floyd’s The Wall? If not, you must at least be familiar with some of the songs. We get to see what Pink says and does, but have you ever wondered just what he was thinking? At first glance, Crowe’s work here might seem random. I assure you it’s not. Read it again. You will see a thread here and there, a method to the madness, as it were. This really is a brilliant piece, loaded with substance. Enter the mind of a madwoman. You’ll see glimpses, I think, of how she got there. I believe you’ll find traces of truth as well as slivers of insanity, and perhaps far worse. You may even find it dangerous to read this book – especially during three very particular times per day. If you have a cat, keep a steady eye upon it. It knows far more than it’s letting on.
We’ll talk soon.


  1. It's difficult for me to find time to read as well.
    The Wall's madness in book form - interesting!

  2. Those look like really interesting reads!!

    Enjoy Thanksgiving with your family, Jimmy!

  3. Jimmy!
    Thanks so much for the review.
    I LOVE that you compare the book to the works of Pink Floyd--I never thought of it this way but what a cool comparison--and I have to happily agree :)
    No apologies for your absence--we miss you of course but are just as happy when you resurface--and I for one today am THRILLED.
    Thanks again--this reveiw is MUCH appreciated.

  4. Thanks so much Jimmy...thrilled you enjoyed WISHBONE. Part II coming soon!

    xx, Brooklyn

  5. Some good reviews here for fascinating books. I've seen Wishbone around and about, but will look further with your recommendation. The Book of Paul also sounds really interesting. And we've talked about 100 Unfortunate Days. I definitely enjoyed that one.

    Hope your holidays treated you well.

    - Paul D. Dail

  6. What a lovely friend to all you are, Jimmy. Thanks for dropping by my blog. It's always so nice to read a message from you on a dreary,wet and windy morning here in Blighty. I like looking out for new reads too so will look to your recommendations here when I don't know which book to pick up next.
    I'm hoping to publish Love, Suzi x in the next few weeks. It's funny and based on things that happened to me at 35,000ft and in bite size pieces so ideal for you to pick up and put down in your busy life. Would love it if you put it here with these.
    I've never had a stalker before - you're the first - thanks for taking the time to find East is East on Twitter and FB!
    Best of luck with all you do too, my dear friend. *waves frantically from across the pond through the clouds* Teresa


Thanks for stopping by. I really appreciate you taking the time. I'll get back to you here or on one of the other social networks. It's not like we're not on all of them, right? ;) Also, if you're here to give me an award - bless you. However, your friendship and visits are more than enough. Thanks and blessings.