Wednesday, 26 February 2014

Book Reviews 2014


     The Return by Joseph Conrad

March 4th

Alvan Hervey arrives home from work and discovers that his wife has written him a letter, even though she knew he'd be home for dinner.

He reads it and the ground opens up underneath his feet.

It seems Joseph Conrad gets a mention in every book on writing I've ever set my eyes on,
so I felt it was almost my duty as an aspiring writer to pick this up when I came across it at my local library. It's only a small book so I was able to read it in a couple of sittings and it's
about time I read another 'classic'.

I wouldn't say this was the most gripping thing I have ever read and it's not exactly a page turner in any sense. But it is a thoroughly intense affair and captivating in it's own way as we experience from all angles the horror and frustration of the main character as he deals with the discovery of his wife's unfaithfulness.

It was first published in 1898 in a magazine called 'Tales of Unrest' but it is surprisingly easy to read and accessible unlike a lot of books of that period. In fact it could well have been written in the modern era.

Alvan Hervey, the main character, lives in a world of straight lines and hastily folded evening papers, a world that lacks passion and spontaneity. This perhaps is his downfall and ultimately, I think the downfall of his marriage too. I like the overall message, the overall theme of this book.


2nd March 2014

Write a Novel and get it published

by Nigel Watts and Stephen May

I have read a few fantastic and very helpful books over the years on the subject of writing but this is the first one that I feel the need to stick to my desk and have it in full sight whenever I am writing! It is a must read for anybody wanting to progress as a fiction writer and contains more than just the nuts and bolts of what you need to know.

All the chapters are easy to read and extremely helpful and encouraging. I particularly liked the chapters on Plotting and the Eight-Point Arc but every chapter is full to bursting with useful and essential knowledge about writing.

I won't say much more about this book which receives a 10/10 from me because I need to go and fix it permanently to my writing desk, immediately, before I forget.



February 26th

I have been concentrating on my writing so far this year and it seems I have been neglecting my book reviews. So here, better late than never is my first review of 2014. As usual I will be perfectly honest about what I think but hopefully positive and charming in the process ;)

A pleasure cruise on his father's boat turns into a disaster for Kyle when his friend Brie is hit by a powerboat and disappears under the lake. Underwater and mortally injured she discovers a secret cave with a mysterious pool full of magical green water with miraculous properties.

This is a book that I got free on my kindle a while ago and being a short read I thought it was time to give it a go. This is my second Mike Wells book having previously read Lust, Money & Murder Book One. There are so many parallels between the two, notably their length but more strikingly their easy reading value but also their overall 'thinness'.

This is a very short book which can easily be read in one sitting but I preferred (as I usually do) to chew it over for a few days. It is a mildly entertaining piece of escapism. However the plot is as thin as the characters are and like 'Lust, Money & Murder' it very much felt like I was reading something in a short story magazine. Not a woman's magazine this time but perhaps a Young Adult Fiction one.

It was also a bit of a disappointment to find that the story didn't end (at the end) but was to be continued in Book Number 2, which is available I'm sure at Smashwords as well as other places like Amazon. Offering part one of a series FREE is a clever and useful sales technique but it's helpful to be warned before hand!

Overall fans of Young Adult Fiction would probably enjoy this more than a middle aged bald bloke like me but it was ok.

It just didn't blow me away in any shape or form. It was more like a gentle breeze than an incoming storm. Give this a go if you can get it free or relatively cheap like I did, I'd be interested to know what you think. Feel free as always to contact me, I don't bite. Not unless you ask me nicely.

 I may even do you a book review but I will be brutally honest if necessary ;)


My next book, a non fiction book on writing.


  1. Sounds interesting. Will add it to my check it out list.

  2. I'd love to see what other people think. Thanks for popping along to me blog

    Ally :)

    Still loving the 52 book challenge :)