Thursday, 23 November 2017

Black Friday Sales and a lack of reviews...


I haven't been reading much over the last couple of months and that was kind of brought to a head this week when I was doing a few book reviews to post...and I have only EIGHT sets of notes for books to be reviewed left. Three are Game of Thrones novels, the horror book I just finished, a thriller and 3 political memoirs. That was a bit of a shock really as usually I have two months of reviews to choose from! If I want to keep doing review posts I guess I better get moving on the reading! Erk! 

On the bright side, I have been trolling on Amazon for Black Friday deals and found a nice pile of cheap dvd box sets which I just had to grab...Elementary 4, Scandal 5, House of Cards 4, Grimm 6, Gold Rush 7, Madam Secretary 3, Blacklist 3 & 4, Bering Sea Gold 5. No spoilers about any of these please as I'm not caught up on them!

Plus, getting a few more essential things in for the festive season! You can't scrimp on the chocolate!


Have you grabbed anything in the sales yet? I've got a few books but those will be in my Saturday Roundup!

Chuckles Chat #44

Welcome to Chuckles Chat where great blogging minds unite to discuss the topics of the day mainly in the book and blogging world. I'll be sharing my thoughts on a topic and then inviting you all to share your thoughts. It's ok to disagree but PLEASE be respectful of each other's views! All of the comments on my blog are moderated and offensive posts ie racist, bigoted will not be published! 

NB: I don't follow or leave comments on blogs run by Google Plus, or DISQUS as I refuse to join something just to leave comments, and I won't allow them to follow new people, update my profile or post tweets 'on my behalf'. I won't comment on any blog that makes me sign in using another account.  

I've changed the planned topic this week and decided instead to do a post about the authors we don't read.

I'm always looking at recommendations on Amazon and they always tell me about a ton of new apocalypse books by Indie and self published authors that I haven't discovered. The down side is that they continue offering me books by authors I don't like! Now surely if I've clicked 'I'm not interested in this item' for the first four in a book series, they should get that I won't want book five!!! I think there should be an 'I'm not interested in this author' option for rejecting a recommendation. Then we could eliminate the need to individually reject every future book those authors do. It would make life a lot easier! I spend way too much time rejecting books in long running series by authors I don't like.

Moving on, lets take a look at the author we don't like. If an author writes a book where I give it 1 or 2 stars, I don't automatically write off the author. If I didn't like their zombie series, for example, I will still try their urban fantasy or apocalypse series to see if I like that. It has worked out well in some cases. I suppose that is logical...I mean I don't like everything that Stephen King or Richard Laymon wrote but it didn't stop me reading more of their stuff. y'know? I think in general authors deserve a second chance unless I really really hated their writing style. If it is just plot or character that put me off, I usually give the author another try. Sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn't. I hated the two fiction books by Alice Sebold but I read her non-fiction memoir and thought it was a great read so that's an example of a different type of book by an author working out better for me.

But sometimes you just find that you don't like anything a particular author publishes. If I've tried maybe two or three 'first books in a series' and not liked any of them, I then call it a day on the author. There is only so much time I can devote to an author whose work is just not appealing to me, for whatever reason, not with so many other books out there waiting for me to try them. There can be many reasons for it...they might have a habit of having whiny or idiot MCs that I just don't care about, it could take too long for them to get to the point of the story, it might be unrealistic dialogue or each book has the same plot hashed out with different characters. For example I read three books by Ryan Casey and each of them started with an idiot MC failing badly at a job interview. This annoyed me as I felt the author was showing no imagination in his plots, just re-doing the same plot with different MC and different reason for the bad interview. The author's actual skills as a writer were fine but there just needs to me more to his writing than failed job interview plots! That gets boring!

Do you give authors a second chance if you didn't like or didn't finish the first one? How many different series by that author are you willing to try before you stop looking at their books? Or will you try each new series and keep trying in the hope that you will find one that you do like? Would you like an Amazon option to reject an author completely?

Wednesday, 22 November 2017

Game of Thrones Gossip #43 The Greyjoys

Welcome to my Game of Thrones Gossip, where us fanatics get the chance to discuss everything we love about this amazing TV series. I decided to do a whole series of these discussion posts that let us say everything we want and enjoy every second of it! Please feel free to comment fully and without restriction!

I have to warn you that it is important that you have seen all six seasons before reading any of these posts because these posts and blogger comments will be exploding spoilers all over the place. If you haven't watched the series and plan to, be warned that it's a bad idea to be here right now! I take no responsibility if you read on and things are spoiled for you.

Now I'm looking at the main characters introduced in season three, what our season two characters were doing and looking at all the bests bits. Enjoy the season three posts! This week it's The Greyjoys!

Balon Greyjoy is Lord of the Iron Islands, father of Yara and Theon Greyjoy. His rebellion against King Robert led to the death of his older sons Rodrik and Maron, and the removal of son Theon as a hostage to his loyalty in the future. Left with his daughter Yara, he groomed her to rule as a man would have done, raising her in the ways of the Iron Born. The return of Theon to Pyke is a difficult time for all of the Greyjoys.

In season two, Balon is disgusted to see Theon covered in bling and looking more like a Stark than a Greyjoy. He thinks that his son has become soft and forgotten what a Greyjoy is. He mocks Theon for being Robb's mouthpiece and wearing gold that he did not take from a dead foe, as is the Iron Way. He is unwilling to be kind to Theon in any way and seems to enjoy taking his boy apart. Balon also takes pleasure in singing Yara's praises to her brother to get him angry. He refuses to accept Robb's terms, indicating that he will never be given a crown but will take anything that he wants when he wants it. He decides to launch an attack on the North while Robb is busy with the Lannisters, declaring that Yara will lead the attack,while Theon has to prove himself on a lesser task. However there is one moment of emotion from Balon when Theon bitterly reminds him that he let Ned Stark take Theon away from his family.

In season three Balon receives a box from the Boltons with part of Theon in it and declares that Theon disobeyed his orders and must face his punishment, and that he now has no son, disgusting Yara. Ramsay tells him to withdraw all troops from the North or get more pieces of Theon posted to him. Balon ignores the threats.

Yara Greyjoy was the only child left to her father after his rebellion against King Robert killed two sons and saw another taken away. She had to be tougher than everyone else to earn her role as her father's heir, and command of her own ship. Yara decides to find out what Theon is like by concealing her identity from him when she meets him off the ship. She finds him to be vain, arrogant and more concerned about women than anything else. She allows him to grope her so he can be shamed when her true identity is revealed to Theon by their father. Yara is pleased to get the praise from her father which is used to belittle Theon, and is to be trusted by leading the attack on the North. She watches with her father as Theon is baptised again to dedicate himself to his father and the Drowned God.

Yara is to take her fleet of 30 ships and capture Deepwood Motte, home of House Glover while Theon is given a very minor role. She is amused by his manner and how his crew have no respect for him, unlike her men. The next time she sees Theon is when he has taken Winterfell and she mocks him again for killing the Stark children and disobeying his orders. However, she does soften and asks Theon to come back to Pyke with her while he still can, knowing that he can't hold Winterfell for long and will likely be taken by a furious Robb Stark.

When the Boltons take over the North, Yara is horrified to see what is in the box that they are sent and is furious that her father is just giving up on Theon in his hour of need. Getting nowhere with Balon, she declares that she will take her people to the Dreadfort and rescue her little brother herself.

Theon has been taken captive by Ramsay Bolton in the aftermath of his men betraying him at Winterfell. He is unaware that he is at the Dreadfort, thinking he is being held and tortured by Northmen loyal to Robb. He is helped to escape by a young man who appears to be a servant, and is helping Yara. After the escape the boy appears again to save him when the armed men catch up with him. An emotionally drained Theon starts to talk about his regret at betraying Robb as the Starks were the only family he had ever known. He confesses that he killed two orphans and passed them off as the Stark boys to fool his men. Moments later he realises he is back in his prison cell and the boy has betrayed him in some way.

The boy is now in charge of the torture and he asks Theon to play a game, guessing where he is and why they are being tortured. Theon believes he is in the North being held by the Umbers or Karstarks but he gets tortured again and loses the game. The next time they meet, Ramsay castrates him. Theon is broken and begs for death but is told that he is too valuable to kill. Ramsay decides to rename him Reek because he smells so bad. Theon is forced to agree to his new name and all hope is gone from him. He is probably well aware that taking Winterfell was a bad mistake as was not going home with Yara when he was able to.

Can't Wait Wednesday

Can't Wait Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted at to spotlight and discuss books we're excited about but haven't read, which may not even be released yet. 

NB: I don't follow or leave comments on blogs run by Google Plus, or DISQUS as I refuse to join something just to leave comments, and I won't allow them to follow new people, update my profile or post tweets 'on my behalf'. I won't comment on any blog that makes me sign in using another account.  

This Week-Melanie Karsak

Every day, I pray my sister survived the wasteland--and that the bond between us will be enough for me to find her.

One hundred and sixty-seven years ago, a solar coronal mass ejection devastated civilization. In the blink of an eye, technology died. Destroying the grid might not have brought about our end, but the solar superstorm blighted the land and made us sick. After the crisis, lawlessness ruled, and societies fell. This is the hellish world my sister Ash and I grew up in. If it's not the landscape trying to kill you, the wailers who roam the wasteland at night will.

Now our home, The Park, teeters on the brink of extinction. When the annual shipment of supplies from Low Tide outpost failed to arrive, my sister led a small scouting party to find out what happened. But she never came back. No one did.

I can either hope for a miracle or mourn her for dead. I can't live with either option. The elders won't let me leave. But nothing will keep me from Ash. The unexpected arrival of The Dead Troupe--part-nomads, part-performers--offers an unexpected opportunity to find her. Now I just need to survive the sunburnt earth where the wailers roam and none but the Dead Troupe survive.

I loved The Harvesting series by this author and though I'm not totally sold on this story, I plan to at least try a sample of this to see what it is like, based on liking the author. It came out on October 18th so I'll grab a sample soon!

Tuesday, 21 November 2017

Book Review: The Fractioned People by JD McKenna (Winterhaven #3)

It’s been six months since the world was wrecked and shattered by the sudden, inescapable violence of The End. Three months after a violent excursion into the town of Bemidji, the warriors of Winterhaven have decided that the time to seek out other, farther-flung survivors, has arrived. With peace and mercy intended, brave Wolven are preparing to set out into the region, ready to provide assistance and begin the process of rebuilding. 

In the Deep South, the forces of rebellion have begun to gather, and the Mad King Lucas will soon discover that the men and woman beneath his rule will not so easily succumb to his evil machinations. Our allies have begun to strike back, and a long awaited reunion may soon draw near. 

My Review: 
At Winterhaven, work continues on expanding education and work opportunities for everyone while diplomatic talks with other settlements begin. Admiral Bullsworth's Navy are facing off against the forces of self appointed President David Hightower and other world powers are about to make themselves known in this new world. In the South the rebellion heats up with attacks on Lucas and his followers. 

Gretchen is put in charge of education and apprentice training at Winterhaven to get more of a structure into place to prepare the kids and the young adults for working life at the compound. I must admit that I didn't understand the explaining of these guilds that were being talked about. It went right over my head. Jack continues to debate his future relationship with Liz while Elizabeth feels humiliated by her own attempts to get together with Jack, in the light of the time he spends with Liz.

Bear watches with concern as an armed militia march on St Cloud. He decides that he must risk getting word to the Colonel about what is coming if there is any chance of an alliance between them. But will the Colonel accept the help of the Wolven in defence of the town? Lynn and Elizabeth go to Grand Forks to speak to the three factions-The Mayor who runs the area, the self sufficient army base and the students who were abandoned and had their supplies taken by the Mayor. The diplomacy is going to be tricky when none of the factions trust each other or want to work with each other.    

John decides to take his chance to escape but is immediately grabbed by the Underground who reunite him with Junior. Now they have to get word to Olivia who is up to her neck in rebel activity as hatred of Lucas and his regime grows in her. She leaves on her latest mission before John can get in touch with her but he gets information that her mission has been compromised and he and Junior lead a group to go and help her. Admiral Bullsworth is about to find out exactly what resources President Hightower has behind him and is unaware that his enemy is consorting with the Chinese in an international crime syndicate.

There is some action in the form of the St Cloud attack, the hunting of the traitor and the Navy battle but not as much hair-raising tension as the first two books. I liked the excitement of the road trip and the drama of the student rescue in those. There is a lot of the conversations on the diplomatic missions of Lynn and Bear, and chat about the systems that need to be set up at Winterhaven. I get why these things are there and I don't dislike them but I do like action! However, I don't like the David Hightower parts of the plot at all. This plot didn't really interest me at all I'm afraid as he feels like a mockery of a James Bond bad guy.  

My biggest issue though was the murder committed by the traitor. I was really mad when this person was killed as this is one of my favourites. Now I can cope when a character I love is killed off if the reason for it is good ie saving someone etc but I hate seeing a character killed off when I feel it is just being done to solve a plot problem, which is how it feels in this case. I'm also a bit unhappy that characters who featured heavily in book one like Reyes have just been abandoned from the plot. That is disappointing.

While it was still a decent read, this book lacks the entertainment of the first two books. I feel that there is a heavy focus on diplomatic talks and personal issues, and as a result there is less action which is what I loved in the earlier books. What concerned me more is that at the end of this book it says the next book will have more on President Hightower and his 'allies' and frankly I don't enjoy that storyline at all so I'm unsure if I'll continue with this series.

Read October 2017.
3 stars

Book Review: EMP by Wilson Harp

In a flash of searing light, the world changed. A massive solar flare has crippled the modern world and brought chaos and destruction. David Hartsman is stuck in the remote farm town of his youth on what was expected to be a short visit to check on his ailing parents. While his wife and his daughter are hundreds of miles away at home in Chicago, David must face the dangers associated with his own survival and the pressures of not being with his family. In a worldwide catastrophe, every struggle is personal.

EMP is the dramatic story of one man and his struggle for survival in a world that is falling apart.

My Review:
David's relationship is in a bit of trouble so he takes the opportunity to visit his parents in his old home town. While he is there, an EMP hits and everything comes to a stop. The community decide that they must work together under the guidance of lifelong prepper Ted to try to limit the damage and look after each other.

David is an ordinary guy on a visit to his parents, dealing with the usual issues. His relationship is falling apart, his mother is being treated for dementia and his father for a heart condition. His first worries when the solar flare causes an EMP is that his parents will no longer receive their vital medications and his partner is too fat away to reach. Ted is a lifelong prepper who has been getting ready for disaster, along with Hurricane Katrina survivor Kenny and they have a self sufficient compound that can look after themselves, but they agree to share some of their produce to help the rest of the town. Anne is David's old flame and she becomes one of his closest friends.

There are other people in the town who have other ways of doing things. There is another homestead which is set up as a party compound where women are given all the comforts they want or need in return for their services for the men there. Kenny still has to face a certain amount of small town racism when he gets into a fight with the man who has been stealing off everyone, and the town is divided about the punishment.

It's a decent enough story. It covers the initial confusion of the EMP event and how quickly the community gets organised with trying to supply everyone with the essential, preparing toilets and graves, and getting people into work groups according to their skills. I found this quite interesting to read and there is certainly nothing wrong with the writing or the way the story progresses. However I did feel it was lacking in the drama and tension that other apocalypse books offer. For example it talks about the suicide of 200 people in the town who can't cope with the new world they live in but it was dealt with in a somewhat clinical manner without any real emotion to it which left me disconnected from any feelings towards the dead.

There are a few crimes in the book. The thief story leads to the racism side plot which I didn't feel was necessary in the plot and it took one of my favourite characters out of the main plot, which was disappointing. The other action concerned the fate of a few people who tried to leave town, which leads to a shooting incident between the town and troublemakers. Again, I just felt that it lacked the tension I would have wanted in those scenes and I'd have liked to see this kind of scenario expanded on.

A decent, well written apocalypse book but I don't think I'd read on with the series. If you prefer your apocalypse with community rather than violence then you might enjoy this one. 

Read September 2017
3 star

Top Ten Tuesday

Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created here at The Broke and the Bookish in June 2010. This feature was created because we are particularly fond of lists here at The Broke and the Bookish. We'd love to share our lists with other bookish folks and would LOVE to see your top ten lists!   

NB: I don't follow or leave comments on blogs run by Google Plus, or DISQUS as I refuse to join something just to leave comments, and I won't allow them to follow new people, update my profile or post tweets 'on my behalf'. I won't comment on any blog that makes me sign in using another account. 

This week was a thanksgiving themed topic which we don't do in the UK so I'm doing my own thing again. Ten Topics I love watching on TV or reading about!

1) Snakes 
I LOVE watching shows with snake catchers who remove them from urban areas without harming them, and setting them free. Guys like Steve Irwin, Simon and Siouxsie (Snake City), Nigel Marven etc are good to watch. As for me, yes given the chance I would stroke the snakes! I've got a couple of books on South African snakes, and venomous snakes around the world. My uncle is scared stiff of snakes but luckily he lives in the UK!

2) The Tudors and Plantagenets
I love docs about all things Tudor/War of the Roses and my book collection has a pile of fiction and non fiction on Henry VIII, his wives, his children and his court. I'm fascinated by Anne Boleyn in particular but love finding new books on the other Queens especially if they have been given twists. The War of the Roses fascinates me and I've been to a couple of castles in Yorkshire and Lancashire! Would love to visit York and Tower of London, Hampton Court!

3) Cookery
TV wise I can't get enough of Masterchef, Great British Menu, Great British Bake Off, Hell's Kitchen, The Restaurant etc Masterchef Australia and Bake Off are my favourites. The irony is that I don't enjoy cooking, I do very little of it, I rarely eat out and I tend to look at the easiest meals possible! But I love the competitive cooking element and drooling over the food!

4) Fish
I am all over shows like Deadliest Catch, Wicked Tuna, Cold Water Cowboys, Swords, Big Shrimping, Trawlermen...Again I have no interest in actually going fishing, I don't eat much fish generally but there is something about these shows that I really enjoy. I've read a few books related to Deadliest Catch boats. I love books about sharks-fiction horror or non fiction and films like Jaws. I got bored with Shark Week on TV though as some docs were disappointing.

5) War
I have books and documentaries on WW1, WWII, American Civil War, Vietnam, Falklands War, Gulf Wars and the War on Terror. I've got big history books about most of these wars and I've always watched docs about terrorism and war, including things like nuclear war. I bought my first nuclear war book when I was 10! I was always a strange child!

6) Crime
I have a big collection of crime docs-everything from gangsters and Jack the Ripper to serial killers and infamous robberies. OJ Simpson trial to JFK assassination. I have football hooliganism and . I also like reading about true crime, terrorism, scandals and so on. I like films and TV shows based on true crime as well. I have a lot waiting to be watched!

7) Royals
I wouldn't term myself a big Royalist but I am interested in the docs about various members of the Royal Family. I also watch films and TV shows about the roysls including things like The Crown, Victoria, The Queen, and even some of those cheap TV films about William and Kate! I don't read much about the Royals though but I might look at a few of these biography ones at a later date if time allows.

8) Disasters
I watch docs and films about any disasters-mining, air crashes, sea disasters, terrorist attacks, oil spills, football disasters etc. I've got a few books on these subjects waiting to be read including the book written by one of the Chile miners. Looking forward to that film as well! I watched live coverage of that and unfolding terrorist attacks. I guess I like to see what is happening around the world.

9) Politics
Politics fascinate me. I love sitting up on election night watching UK and US elections. I read political biographies and behind the scenes books of elections and governments. I read memoirs of Republicans, Democrats, Tories, Labour, Liberal, UKIP etc. I love political docs and films and TV shows. LOVE The West Wing, House of Cards, Scandal etc and I'm always watching Sky News, CNN and BBC. 

10) Mountains
Ever since I read Into Thin Air, I've had an obsession with mountain climbing expeditions. I've read about climbs all over the world but I paricularly love books about Everest and K2. I'd love to see these mountains to photograph them. I have lots of mountain docs and a ton of books I've still to get through. 

Monday, 20 November 2017

Around The Blogs With Chuckles

We all enjoy snooping and lurking on other people's blogs right? Why not share those entertaining things you found with other readers and bloggers too! Welcome to Around the Blogs with Chuckles, where I take time out to show you some of my favourite blog posts from the previous seven days and link you up so you can check them out.

This Week!

1) Book Review-Endurance by Alfred Lansing 
AJ looks at one of the most amazing adventure stories in history. 

2) Book Review-The Woman Who Fooled The World by Beau Donelly & Nick Toscano
The story of a wellness blogger and her lies about having cancer making her money 

3) Books That Tricked Me
The books that weren't the expected plot... 

4) Book Review-Origin by Dan Brown
Mogsy takes a look at the latest Robert Langdon offering.

5) Authors Reviewing Authors 
Can their reviews be objective? 

Chuckles Goes Sampling

Seeing Kermit surrounded and almost buried in leaves kind of reminds me of my relationship with books. I'm pretty much buried in them too! I have no more space in my house for the books I buy and piles are sitting on the floor which isn't good and I can't read them quick enough because I keep buying!!! I've battled to reduce the tbr without success this year but now Kermit and I are embarking on a new plan to reduce the book buying and give me a chance to reduce the tbr at last. The Plan? Download samples instead of buying!

This is what I looked at last week:

1) Ryan Casey-When Darkness Falls
Alex is running late to an interview after being stuck in traffic. He decides to cut the other cars off by using a lane beside his, his car scratching others as it shoots through. He decides to let the lift door slam on a woman behind him so he isn't late and then realises she is one of the people interviewing him. Sophie and her boss spot a huge CME coming from the Sun and they know in minutes that the world will change forever. The CME hits Alex and others on the road, electrcuting people in their cars. 

I'm really not sure about this one. I don't like Alex at all. He is selfish and thoughtless, and from the reaction of his wife to his interview fail, he's like this all the time and she is very long suffering. I would like to see more of Sophie and the disaster but how annoying would Alex get? My other issue is that I have now looked at three books by this author...two EMP and one zombie and all three start off with a dreadful MC at a job interview gone wrong and a disaster hitting on the way home from it. That to me shows a lack of imagination in both character and plot. I don't want to read the same plot rehashed with a different MC I don't like. I won't be reading on with this, or trying any more by this author.

Sunday, 19 November 2017

Chuckles Cover Love #52

If there is one thing that makes a great book even better, it is when it has a cover that we love! The cover design is what catches the eye as we browse through a bookstore shelf or check out the Amazon or Goodreads recommendations. The right cover makes me look closer at a book, to read the blurb and maybe make a purchase. A poor cover might mean I never look at the blurb at all.

This week-Juliana Haygert!

I haven't read this series but I love the covers!



Saturday, 18 November 2017

Chuckles Weekend Roundup

Welcome to my new feature Chuckles Weekend Roundup where I will be looking at what books I've received, anything interesting I've done or bought or watched and other random stuff. I'll be taking a look back at what happened in my blogging world too, sort of like The Sunday Post that some of you do! 

Please note that I'll be visiting your STS/SP as normal, but I don't follow or leave comments on blogs run by Google Plus, or DISQUS as I refuse to join something just to leave comments, and I won't allow DISQUS to follow new people, update my profile or post tweets 'on my behalf'. I am the only one who does that on my social media! I won't comment on any blog that makes me sign in using another account. Sometimes, I have problems leaving messages on blogs hosted by Wordpress-they try to block me because I deleted my account with them but I will persevere as it only happens the odd time!

It has been quite a stressful week all in all. We had arguements with the sofa people over whether or not we still owed them money (I got an apology and £50 worth of flowers!), a persistant cough that only comes at night when I lie down and is driving me mad, no reading done at all, a ton of housework  and a general feeling sorry for myself time. To cheer myself up, as you do, I went to Amazon for a bit of retail therapy in the sales. I got a few cheap dvd box sets and a few films for my dad. That ended the week nicely.
On the plus side I finally bought a new duvet-a warm and toasty puffed up 15 tog duvet and I love snuggling under that! It'll be perfect if we have that ultra cold weather that we are threatened with by weather people every year! My dad has a new 13.5 tog one on his bed too. Winter is coming and I'm ready! I've been hiding under the duvet watching snakes, cookery and old Coronation Streets from the 1980s! Just two downloads and a free prequel through an offer for newsletter subscribers!
A bit of a mixed week on the blog. Updates automatically installed by Firefox and Windows made using blogger this week slow and useless so it took ages to catch up on comments. I think I'm just about there though. I got visiting blogs for a half decent amount of time which is also ok. I even managed to get some book reviews done! I didn't find the time to watch any films though so no film reviews. As always you'll find a link beside all my posts for last week to make it easier if you want to stop by.
Book Reviews
George RR Martin-A Game of Thrones
Mike Kraus-Final Dawn 1 & 2 
Mike Kraus-Surviving the Fall 1 & 2
Mike Kraus-Surviving the Fall 3, 4, 5 
TR Schumer-Death Catch (Fearless #1)
Nevil Shute-On The Beach
Regular Posts 
This week I did Chuckles Goes Sampling and Around The Blogs With Chuckles. On Cover Love I looked at TD Shields, Top Ten Tuesday was part two of my apocalypse team, and Can't Wait Wednesday was Patricia Briggs.
Chuckles Goes Sampling
Chuckles Cover Love
Around The Blogs With Chuckles
Top Ten Tuesday
Can't Wait Wednesday
Discussion Posts
 This week on Chuckles Chat I looked at the topic of Sexual Harrassment, with it being in the news at the moment and my Game of Thrones Gossip was a season two review of the best bits.

Chuckles Chat
Game of Thrones Gossip
Film Reviews
none this week 
Special Posts 
none this week
Book Tags/Blog Awards 
none this week
Book Challenge Updates 

My Goodreads Challenge-196/200
TBR books I own but haven't read-813
Currently Reading/Next Up
I've read about twenty pages of a political memoir but that really doesn't count! I'm planning to try a bit of horror next.
Next Week On The Blog  
Next week I'll be sampling and going Around The Blogs as usual. Cover Love will feature Juliana Haygert, Top Ten Tuesday is about things I like to read about and watch on TV, Can't Wait Wednesday is back to the apocalypse, Chuckles Chat is about Celebrity Whinging and Game of Thrones Gossip goes on to season three and The Greyjoys. 

Friday, 17 November 2017

Book Review: On The Beach by Nevil Shute

After a nuclear World War III has destroyed most of the globe, the few remaining survivors in southern Australia await the radioactive cloud that is heading their way and bringing certain death to everyone in its path. Among them is an American submarine captain struggling to resist the knowledge that his wife and children in the United States must be dead. Then a faint Morse code signal is picked up, transmitting from somewhere near Seattle, and Captain Towers must lead his submarine crew on a bleak tour of the ruined world in a desperate search for signs of life. On the Beach is a remarkably convincing portrait of how ordinary people might face the most unimaginable nightmare.

My Review: 
The idea of the book is very good. Nuclear war has destroyed life around the planet and the people in Australia are the last left alive. It is here that the remaining naval forces are gathered and the people are waiting for the toxic radiation to reach them and kill them too. Now if that isn't a sobering plot then I don't know what is. Can you imagine knowing that in the next few weeks or months, radiation is going to make you seriously ill and then give you a painful death? What is it like to have pills that will kill you quickly and when do you use them? I've been curious about the book for years but had never read it.

I'm afraid I seem to be one of the minority who didn't love this book. To be fair to the author, it was written a long while ago when a lot of books were quite slow in plot and heavy in description. In these older books women are often seen either as the good housewives or the bad girls with loose morals so I did go into this book fearing that I was not going to like the characters and that the plot would be too slow. It turned out exactly that way.

I just didn't understand the characters. Bearing in mind that they are going to die in the weeks and months ahead, their decisions just seemed pretty crazy to me. Peter wants a new job with the Navy but not one that takes him away for too long as he doesn't want to be away from wife Mary when it happens. OK, why is he caring about a new job at this point? Why not spend every available moment with Mary? Peter's new commander Dwight is reluctant to get involved with Moira as he doesn't want to cheat on his wife. Considering his wife was in America which has been covered in radiation all this time, it is obvious that his wife is either dead or already doomed so why worry about morality now?

The female characters were the worst. Moira is an obnoxious, rude woman whose dates with Dwight are painful to read about. She walks all over him, insists that everything be done her way and even sabotages their boat to stop him winning a race. I have no idea what the point to that was but she is an attention seeking, self obsessed tart. I despised her. Then we have Mary. She is the good little housewife who is so sadly deluded about everything. She accuses Peter of wanting to kill her with the pills so he can run away with another woman. Run WHERE? Everyone else on the planet is dead!!! Stupid woman. She is in total denial, sending Peter out to find things to use in the garden next summer and declaring the radiation will somehow stop before it reaches them. Yes there would be people like that but she was so frustrating that I wanted to throttle her.

Even the plot itself is not what I expected. It is all about Moira's dates with Dwight and Peter's new job. Everyone is going about their business and pretending things are all fine and barely mentioning what is coming. I expected more about the war instead of these dull day to day things, maybe flashbacks or something. It was just very slow and boring for my personal tastes. 

Read September 2017
2 stars.