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Review: ‘Addicted to Death’, by Matthew Redford

Addicted to DeathPublished By: Clink Street

Publication Date: 2015

I.S.B.N.: 9781910782071

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

My Review

Pros:

  • Amusing, I enjoyed the homour ans storytelling
  • Well-developed characters
  • Good plot
  • Unexpected villain
  • Entertaining twits (and I do mean twits, not twists)
  • The plot twists were good too
  • Timely social satire

Cons

  • A little heavy on the puns. One after another after another got a bit repetitive at times
  • Some of them just weren’t funny

Overall

A very enjoyable way to spend an afternoon. I picked the book up to get it read, expecting that it might take me a few days as some of my review books do, and couldn’t put it down for several hours. It put me in mind of Jasper Fforde’s Thursday Next books, the humour and absurdity is on a similar level. I recommend it if you enjoy those books.

4/5

Review: Strange History, by Bathroom Reader’s Institute

Published by: Portable Press

Publication Date: 14th June 2016

Format: Paperback

Price: $15.99

I.S.B.N.: 9781626865839

Blurb

From the 20th century to the Old West, from the Age of Enlightenment to the Dark Ages, from ancient cultures all the way back to the dawn of time,Strange History is overflowing with mysterious artifacts, macabre legends, kooky inventions, reality-challenged rulers, boneheaded blunders, and mind-blowing facts. Read about…

*The curse of Macbeth
*Stupid history: Hollywood style
*The secret LSD experiments of the 1960s
*In search of the lost “Cloud People” of Peru
*The Swedish queen who declared war on fleas
*Unearthing the past with the Outhouse Detectives
*The Apollo astronaut who swears he saw a UFO
*How to brew a batch of 5,000-year-old beer
*The brutal bloodbaths at Rome’s Coliseum
*Ghostly soup from ancient China
*The bathroom of the 1970s

And much, much more


My Review

Honestly, if this was supposed to be a humorous look at history I was only mildly amused. I only laughed a couple of times in the whole book. It’s a book that is part of a series covering strange facts. I can’t say I’d buy any of them if this one was an example. 

There were errors, most obviously the whole section on Easter, which aggravated me particularly because every year someone spouts the bunnies and Eostre nonsense (there are no surviving myths) claiming it’s all ancient mythology and then I have to hit them with a copy of Ecclesiastical History (The Venerable Bede) and again with Teutonic Mythology  (The Grimms), until they shut up. A book claiming to be about (the funny side of) history needs to be better than rehashing debunked rubbish. I may be being picky, but referring to the English and Welshmen who made up the armies of the Hundred Year’s War as ‘British’ is a misnomer; until about 150 years ago ‘Britain’ and ‘British’ referred to pre-Roman  people or the island specifically. The British didn’t fight the French during the Hundred Year’s War, the English did, and the Welsh were recruited for their bows. There was some pretty complex politics involved. 

And Joan of Arc heard voices because she was eating rye bread infected with ergot.
*bashes head against wall*

I’m sorry, I hadn’t realised how much this book irritated me. I like funny history books, the world can be a funny place amd history more so because the past is so alien, but funny, accurate history is preferred, at least by me.

Not recommended, although if you want a mildly amusing time when you defecate, this might do the job. I can think of better bog reading though.



August Reviews: part 2

And I returneth with a small number of book reviews. I hadn’t planned to post this set of reviews yet but I managed to read two fairly long books yesterday and thought it would be sensible to post them rather than waiting ten days.
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Review: Comets! by David J Eicher

comets

 

In 1975, at the age of fourteen, David Eicher fell in love with the Universe. until then he had wanted to be a doctor, but became entranced by Comet West and has been fascinated by comets ever since. Consequently he gave up his medical aspirations and became the editor of Astronomy magazine and author of seventeen books about science and history instead. This volume was written in early 2013 in order to be available in time for the arrival at naked-eye visibility of Comet ISON later this month. Comet ISON is expected to be a ‘Great Comet’ – a particularly bright comet that will put on an impressive show for observers here on Earth.

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Criminally good books

I’ve just finished reading a couple of good books:

Silent Witnesses

Nigel McCrery

and

The Burglar Caught by a Skeleton

And Other Singular Tales from the Victorian Press

Jeremy Clay

 

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Review: ‘Did I Say That Out Loud? Conversations About Life’ By Kelly McDermott Harman

Wegost Press

2013

18145304

This e-book is 87% true, 13% blarney, according to the author; a collection of humorous personal anecdotes. I couldn’t help but laugh as Kelly described conversations with her family and friends, including the one with her sister about getting concussion from a drunk man three weeks before a further head injury in a car accident, or the time she had to help said sister explain to their parents why she had left her husband, the conversation she had with her family paediatrician about her sons being serial killers in training (creative cricket death was involved), or her mother’s story about quilt shops and concealed weapons permits.

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