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Showing posts from November, 2013

Conversations With Spirits by E.O. Higgins

As has become customary in reviews of note, I must once again lead with a disclaimer – this one born of my own stunted temporal sensitivity; for me, time in publishing terms stopped when I left the book trade, in 2011, and therefore when I make reference to things published recently, recently might encompass more time that one might reasonably expect. Therefore, when I say that recently there has been a mini-spate of publications wherein someone challenges Sir Arthur Conan Doyle to flaunt his misguided beliefs in the face of scientific inquiry, you might be surprised to know that this includes Hjortsberg’s diverting crime novel Nevermore, first published in 1995, as well as the whimsical Oscar Wilde mysteries by Giles Brandreth, Arthur & George by Julian Barnes, one of the Flashman novels from George MacDonald Fraser, and lots of lower level self-published drivel flotsamming about the waters of the Amazon.com.
Sadly for Mr Higgins, my favourite Sir Arthur is definitely Hjortsberg’s…

The Testimony by James Smythe

Trawling Twitter at dire o’clock in the afternoon desperately, quixotically, searching for meaning and /or distraction I found a tweet which told me that some author or other was giving his book away on the Kindle-ma-bob. Usually, these tweets are from nasty Americans who taunt the UK book-buying  and /or downloading public with novels that are not permitted to be sold to UK book-buyers and / or downloaders (and probably aren’t worth the reading in any case). This one seemed to be, genuinely, from a ‘real’ person (@BlueDoorBooks I think it was), with the backing of the publishing house, having been shared by them. What? I follow Harper Collins?! Why on earth… Oh yeah, to get free books.
So I downloaded it, via – shudder – Amazon Whispernet and there it was on my bottom-of-the-range Kindle, for which enhanced audio content is NOT AVAILABLE*. It begins well in the fractured, multi-narrative that has become a little bit popular in the wake of Lost, only in much shorter instalments. On mat…