Mine by Robert McCammon

 

Description: Adrift in the 1980s and slowly losing her mind, a heavily armed former ’60s radical kidnaps a baby with the hope, deluded as it may be, of returning her life to simpler times. The child’s mother, though, isn’t about to take it lying down and, along with a tracker, begins a cross-country chase to get her child back.

Good enough for a flat-line three yet I despised all the drug hallucination scenes, and boy were they lengthy. zzzz

4* Speaks the Nightbird
3* Mine
4* Gone South

Speaks the Nightbird (Matthew Corbett, #1) by Robert McCammon

 

Description: The Carolinas, 1699: The citizens of Fount Royal believe a witch has cursed their town with inexplicable tragedies – and they demand that beautiful widow Rachel Howarth be tried and executed for witchcraft. Presiding over the trial is traveling magistrate Issac Woodward, aided by his astute young clerk, Matthew Corbett. Believing in Rachel’s innocence, Matthew will soon confront the true evil at work in Fount Royal….
Evil Unveiled
After hearing damning testimony, magistrate Woodward sentences the accused witch to death by burning. Desperate to exonerate the woman he has come to love, Matthew begins his own investigation among the townspeople. Piecing together the truth, he has no choice but to vanquish a force more malevolent than witchcraft in order to save his beloved Rachel – and free Fount Royal from the menace claiming innocent lives.

4* Gone South
CR Speaks the Nightbird (Matthew Corbett, #1)

Somewhere down below there is a comment that this was written by a mid-life crisis guy who wasn’t having his bedroom needs resolved. Probably nearer the truth than said author would care to acknowledge. You can’t get away from the fact that this is written purely from a male POV, and some of it right from the playground and it would fail the Bechdel test in fine style.

However.

This was an eye-scorcher of epic proportions that at times felt rather long-winded and at other points I was breathless with anticipation. Quite the nail-biting period-piece murder-mystery.

Supernatural? No.

Horror? Hell no.

Just a riveting story that could have been a five star if McCammon shown more style, and have dropped a couple of scenes that were graphic and pointless.

Four Spanish coins from the belly of a turtle.

Roger’s Version by John Updike

bookshelves: one-penny-wonder, paper-read, hardback, hackers-and-computers, published-1986, summer-2014, abandoned, next, sciences, too-sexy-for-maiden-aunts, religion, sleazy, room-101, tbr-busting-2014

Read from November 26, 2013 to June 12, 2014

 

withdrawn from Kilmarnock College Library

4 opening quotes and I pick this one: god the wind as windless as the world behind a computer screen – Jane Miller, “High Holy Day”

Description from the inside front cover: As Roger Lambert tells it, he, a divinity school professor, is visited in his office one day by Dale Kohler, a young computer hacker who believes that scientific evidence of God’s existence is irresistibly accumulating.

Opening: I have been happy at the Divinity School. The hours are bearable, the surroundings handsome, my colleagues harmless and witty, habituated as they are to the shadows.

Did you hear this hit the wall? Doesn’t matter where in the world you are, if you didn’t hear the crash you would have felt the vibration. I want my trash reads to be clearly discenable as trash not couched in literary blurb so it is mistaken for a worthwhile encounter.

4* The Witches of Eastwick
AB Roger’s Version

Henry and June: From “A Journal of Love”–The Unexpurgated Diary of Anaïs Nin (1931-1932)

bookshelves: autobiography-memoir, spring-2014, too-sexy-for-maiden-aunts, published-1986, film-only

Read on May 04, 2014


Description: Taken from the original, uncensored journals of Anaïs Nin, Henry and June spans a single year in Nin’s life when she discovers love and torment in one insatiable couple. From late 1931 to the end of 1932, Nin falls in love with Henry Miller’s writing and his wife June’s striking beauty. When June leaves Paris for New York, Henry and Anaïs begin a fiery affair that liberates her sexually and morally, but also undermines her marriage and eventually leads her into psychoanalysis. As she grapples with her own conscience, a single question dominates her thoughts: What will happen when June returns to Paris? An intimate account of one woman’s sexual awakening, Henry and June exposes the pain and pleasure felt by a single person trapped between two loves.

Anais Min

Henry Miller

Nin and Miller

The Tribe by Stephen Poliakoff

bookshelves: play-dramatisation, published-1996, spring-2014, film-only, too-sexy-for-maiden-aunts, under-10-ratings, london, britain-england, cults-societies-brotherhoods, adventure, architecture, contemporary, lifestyles-deathstyles, ouch, casual-violence

Read from April 07 to 08, 2014

 

Description: The Tribe – Stephen Poliakoff (1998)
In this psychological drama, a real estate developer buys an old house in London, only to discover a group of bohemian squatters happen to be living there. While the developer intends to evict them, he soon finds himself intrigued by their lifestyle of free love and drug-fueled philosophical experimentation, and the longer he observes them, the more he longs to become a part of their world. Produced for the BBC, The Tribe stars Joely Richardson, Jeremy Northam, and Anna Friel.

From the interview with The Independent newspaper published today:

Poliakoff, the son of a Russian-Jewish father and Anglo-Jewish mother, grew up in a cultured household and attended Westminster School and Cambridge University. His fascination with the past stems from his parents, who were relatively old when he was born. “Their stories came from the 1920s and 1930s. They were both born just before the First World War, so that made all of the 20th century available.”

Chislehust caves.

Down House, today in the London Borough of Bromley was Darwin’s home.

3* Shooting the Past
2* Soft Targets
4* She’s Been Away
4* Playing with Trains
3* A Real Summer
WL Joe’s Palace
WL Capturing Mary
4* The Tribe

Young Henry of Navarre

bookshelves: published-1935, spring-2014, lifestyles-deathstyles, historical-fiction, biography, france, under-500-ratings, film-only, ipad, casual-violence, earlymodern16c-18c, epic-proportions, classic, families, gorefest, gulp, love, mental-health, military-maneuvers, newtome-author, ouch, poison, protestant, recreational-homicide, religion, revenge, roman-catholic, swashbuckler, too-sexy-for-maiden-aunts, tragedy, true-grime, war

Read from April 08 to 09, 2014


Description: Young Henry of Navarre traces the life of Henry IV from the King’s idyllic childhood in the mountain villages of the Pyrenees to his ascendance to the throne of France. Heinrich Mann’s most acclaimed work is a spectacular epic that recounts the wars, political machinations, rival religious sects, and backstage plots that marked the birth of the French Republic.

French Language, English sub-titles
Stars: Julien Boisselier, Joachim Król, Andreas Schmidt

[

Michel de Nostredame (depending on the source, 14 or 21 December 1503 – 2 July 1566), usually Latinised as Nostradamus.

Henry I, Prince of Joinville, Duke of Guise, Count of Eu (31 December 1550 – 23 December 1588), sometimes called Le Balafré (Scarface). In 1576 he founded the Catholic League to prevent the heir, King Henry of Navarre, head of the Huguenot movement, from succeeding to the French throne. A powerful opponent of the Queen Mother, Catherine de’ Medici, he was assassinated by the bodyguards of her son, King Henry III. (wiki sourced)

St. Bartholomew’s Day massacre began the night of 23-24 August 1572. Painting by François Dubois

Gabrielle d’Estrées et une de ses sœurs by an unknown artist (c.1594). Gabrielle sits up nude in a bath, holding (presumably) Henry’s coronation ring, whilst her sister sits nude beside her and pinches her right nipple. Henry gave Gabrielle the ring as a token of his love shortly before she died.

Assassination of Henry IV by Gaspar Bouttats


Reign 2 August 1589 – 14 May 1610
Coronation 27 February 1594
Predecessor Henry III
Successor Louis XIII
(wiki source) (hide spoiler)]

Terrific film based on H Mann’s biography of Navarre. Epically disturbing, fearsome and ghastly were those fanatical, religious times – so much blood spilt.

Highly recommended but there are some truly gruesome moments.

My Dirty Little Book Of Stolen Time

bookshelves: published-2006, paper-read, under-500-ratings, spring-2014, one-penny-wonder, fantasy, time-slip, love, too-sexy-for-maiden-aunts, denmark, copenhagen, amusing, next

Read from March 08 to 11, 2014

Description: In fin-de-siecle Copenhagen, part-time prostitute Charlotte and her lumpen sidekick, Fru Schleswig, have taken on jobs as cleaning ladies of dubious talent to tide them over the harsh winter of 1897. But the home of their neurotic new employer, the widow Krak, soon reveals itself to be riddled with dark secrets – including the existence of a demonic machine rumoured to swallow people alive. Rudely catapulted into twenty-first-century London, the hapless duo discover a whole new world of glass, labour-saving devices and hectic, impossible romance.

Many blurbs for this book, however this one is on the cover…

‘Unashamedley gleeful: a kind of topsy-turvy Jane Eyre with added time travel… Sit back, suspend your disbelief and enjoy’ Daily Mail

Dedication: For Matti, Raphaël and Laura

Opening: Last night I deamed I went to Østerbro again, flying towards my little quadrant of Copenhagen streets just as a fairy might, or a homing bird.

The beginning opens out in 1897 and our narrator is a street girl totally broke because her two main clients have abandoned her. The one to jail for fraud, and the other a bad oyster rendered him a metre under.

Too slapstick for my taste, although I am amazed at the scope that Liz Jemsen picks to wrie about.

4* The Rapture
4* The Uninvited
TR Ark Baby
2* My Dirty Little Book of Stolen Time
5* The Ninth Life of Louis Drax

Trivia: Liz Jensen is married to author Carsten Jensen:

5* We, The Drowned
3* I Have Seen the World Begin

Crossposted:
WordPress
Booklikes
LeafMark
Librarything
aNobii

Painted Love: Prostitution in French Art of the Impressionist Era

bookshelves: winter-20132014, art-forms, published-2003, e-book, france, paris, nonfiction, too-sexy-for-maiden-aunts

Recommended to ☯Bettie☯ by: Eleni
Recommended for: 3Ms and friends
Read from February 10 to 11, 2014

Free download here

Dedication: FOR JAMES
and to the memory of
JAMES EDWARD CLAYSON, S R

Opening: The existence of prostitution on a scale so widespread and obvious that it alarmed contemporaries was a distinctive and distinguishing feature of nineteenth-century Parisian culture.

Of course the temptation will be to fill up this thought-box with nowt but the scrumptious images and I promise not to spoil your future enjoyment, however there will be some that I can’t resist showing.

‘Les Demoiselles d’Avignon’ by Picasso. And we know where those two heads come from, don’t we children. HAH, life is fun.

Extract from page 14:

In a Figaro column, Zola claimed to find adultery rampant among all bourgeois women: “Among the bourgeoisie, a young girl is kept pure until her marriage; only after the marriage does the effect of her spoiled surroundings and poor education throw her into the arms of a love: it is not prostitution, it is adultery, the difference is only in the words.

I find that quite poignant as I am also reading The Kill at the moment and the adultery is manifold, and where no physical outcome is apparent there is still the tension involved with wild flirtations and teasing more than some can mentally cope with.

++++

What is this sleep thing people mention? I curled up with this book and immersed myself in Zola, Belle Epoque, suspicious professions, and the extraordinary tale of RollaAlfred de Musset, the picture, Henri Gervex and the censorious Beaux-Arts administration. I give you a taste of Henri Gervex:

Rolla 1878

A portrait of Marie Clotilde de Faret Legrand

La visite imprévue

La Toilette

Cafe Scene (1877)

Valley of the Dolls

bookshelves: radio-4x, recreational-drugs, spring-2012, classic, chick-lit, doo-lally, eye-scorcher, lifestyles-deathstyles, mental-health, north-americas, ouch, scary-clowns-circus-dolls, sleazy, too-sexy-for-maiden-aunts, re-visit-2014, play-dramatisation, women, winter-20132014, published-1966, new-york

Read from April 07, 1968 to February 07, 2014

 

** spoiler alert ** Description: Sex and drugs and shlock and more — Jacqueline Susann’s addictively entertaining trash classic about three showbiz girls clawing their way to the top and hitting bottom in New York City has it all. Though it’s inspired by Susann’s experience as a mid-century Broadway starlet who came heartbreakingly close to making it, but did not, and despite its reputation as THE roman á clef of the go-go 1960s, the novel turned out to be weirdly predictive of 1990s post-punk, post-feminist, post “riot grrrl” culture. Jackie Susann may not be a writer for the ages, but — alas! — she’s still a writer for our times.

Jacqueline Susann drama with Madeleine Potter.

1. Anne heads off to the dazzling lights of post-war New York in search of a career. Jacqueline Susann drama with Madeleine Potter.

2. One of New York’s richest men has proposed marriage to Anne.

3. Anne meets famous torch singer Helen, and Neely understudies the lead in a new musical.

4. Anne’s relationship with Lyon grows passionate, and Neely gets her big break.

5. Anne’s fallen for Lyon Burke, but her friendship with Helen is put to the test.

6. Set on showbiz careers in New York, Anne, Jennifer and Neely move in together. Jacqueline Susann drama with Barbara Barnes.

7. Jennifer is keen to marry Tony, and Lyon visits Anne’s family home in Lawrenceville.

8. New bride Jennifer visits Neely, who has become a big Hollywood star.

9. Jennifer is invited to star in French films and Anne gets work in the new medium – television.

10. Neely has won an Academy Award, but her second marriage is already on the rocks.

11. With Anne’s help Neely agrees to perform on TV, but this creates big problems.

12. Just as Jennifer finds love and happiness, tragedy strikes.

13. After the tragedy, Neely gets agitated and Anne gets a visit from an old flame.

14. Lyon is back and Anne still has feelings for him, despite being engaged to Kevin.

15. Betrayed by Neely and with Lyon becoming more distant, Anne turns to the dolls

This is just as bad as I remember it. Love me some trash. Isn’t it a shame that more of the rich and famous didn’t read this before their worlds imploded under their own addictions and vanity. Amy Winehouse, Michael Jackson etc etc

Theme tune: Dionne Warwick

Rustication

books-with-a-passport, giftee, published-2013, architecture, author-love, britain-england, families, eye-scorcher, gothic, lifestyles-deathstyles, lit-richer, love, mystery-thriller, paper-read, period-piece, recreational-drugs, victoriana, archaeology, dodgy-narrator, betrayal, bettie-s-law-of-excitement-lost, bucolic-or-pastoral, bullies, casual-violence, doo-lally, epistolatory-diary-blog, gambling, gangsters, gorefest, medical-eew, mental-health, ouch, revenge, sleazy, suicide, too-sexy-for-maiden-aunts, washyourmouthout-language, winter-20132014

Recommended to ☯Bettie☯ by: Laura
Read from May 08, 2013 to January 26, 2014

 

Synopsis: Christmas 1863. Seventeen-year-old Richard Shenstone has been sent down from Cambridge under a cloud of suspicion. Addicted to opium and tormented by disturbing sexual desires, he finds temporary refuge in the creaking old mansion inhabited by his newly impoverished mother and his sister, Effie, whose behaviour grows increasingly bizarre. Threatening letters circulate among the locals, where almost anyone can be considered a suspect in a series of crimes and misdemeanours ranging from vivisection to murder. Fans of Charles Palliser’s books, as well as readers of Sarah Waters and Michel Faber, will delight in this, his first new novel in over ten years. Hailed for fiction that is “mesmerizing, meticulous” (Entertainment Weekly), Palliser confirms his reputation as “our leading contemporary Victorian novelist” (The Guardian).

Another blurb: Charles Palliser’s work has been hailed as “so compulsively absorbing that reality disappears” (New York Times). Since his extraordinary debut, The Quincunx, his works have sold over one million copies worldwide. With his new novel, Rustication, he returns to the town of Thurchester, which he evoked so hauntingly in The Unburied.

Rustication:

1. To go to or live in the country
2. Used at Oxford, Cambridge and Durham Universities to mean being sent down

Well, that was a tricksy tale, and the core of Rustication being small town maliciousness, ugly letters and heinous crimes redolent of that within ‘Arthur and George’. Not that I need to have a cast of adorables peopling my fiction, however it was odd that there was no-one at all here to cheer for, to get behind. A technically clever novel that was bereft of any heart.

NB – for those who have marked this as horror, it is not.
3* no more, no less

5* Quincunx
4* The Unburied
3* Rustication
3* Betrayals
1* The Sensationist