Fantasy themed short story. Not bad, taking into consideration that this story was written when the author was 17 years old, we have to praise his fertile imagination.
Dec 24, 2017
I came to know about this book through Men’s Adventures Paperback from the Facebook group. My first reading on the western genre, written beautifully by Robert Vaughan, friends from the group had told me that he was one of the under rated, prolific writer.
The hero of the novel is an old man named Cade McCall. One writer Owen Wister visits his palatial home to write his biography. And the story is revealed through the pages of the writer.
Cade McCall life changes when civil war breaks, he enlists in the army leaving his love life. After surviving the battle he was captured and held in prison camp. There he makes friends with Jed, Pogue and Dolan they became inseparable. They hatch a fool proof plan for escape but someone in their circle leaks and Cade gets the punishment. After the war he was released he goes back to his home to find that his lover had married his brother believing Cade had died in the war.
The author of the book Robert Vaughan
As the life turns sour Cade leaves the house and helps his brother in paying the mortgage. On the way Cade was abducted from a bar and made a sailor against his wishes. When the time came Cade escapes from the clutches and became a free man. Destiny makes him a drover, there he finds Abilene a city without law. He fights the villains and uphold the law. The ending is so fast and I was not satisfied because much of Cade’s story is not fully narrated then I came to know at the end that this is a part of his adventure.
The story has all the action, romance and suspense. I liked the book and eagerly waiting to read other books on McCall.
My rating 5 Stars.
Dec 16, 2017
Many years back I have read his biography. This book recalled most to my memory. The book provides lot of information on one of the Founding Fathers of United States of America, Benjamin Franklin.
Dec 5, 2017
Couple of days back I received a copy of Theatrics, a graphic novel from Net Galley in exchange for an honest review. Written by Neil Gibson, illustrations by Leonardo Gonzalez, Jan Wijngaard colorist and Jim Campbell letterer.
The story is not that much complex but the story is well narrated via panels. The hero of the novel is Rudy Burns, tall, handsome and attractive Broadway actor. One night while coming out of a bar he was attacked by ruthless criminals. Rudy retaliates but he was assaulted from the back, pounded mercilessly by the thugs.
Rudy wakes up to find he had lost his good looking feature which is very much needed for Broadway. From then on he comes to know he has lost his money, girl friend and his home. Nobody gives him an opportunity. Finally like every beaten soul he makes up his mind for suicide. Before trying to kick the chair Rudy sees a mail and reads it, which tells him how hard he had come up in the life.
Rudy changes his mind, Sammy gives him a idea to become a boxer. Little bit hesitation first then Rudy understands that taking up boxing is also a kind of acting. Sammy creates a myth that Rudy now known as Barbarian Count.
And Sammy utters these golden words:
“What everyone really wants is not just a story, but a distraction from their tough lives. They want to escape. It’s why they drink. It’s why they read. It’s why Broadway is so popular. It lets people escape. People want to be entertained”.
“If you want to get rich, sell to the rich. If you want to get filthy rich, sell to the dirt poor”.
“You look like a monster, but you care like a father. You’ll scare the opponents, but charm the punters”.
Rudy Burns life turns as he wins matches one by one, his career graph finally shows a upward curve. Now Sammy pushes Rudy further by making him fight with famous boxers, with that ends the first volume of the novel.
In the final pages the author has given some examples of how the graphic novel is done and what fine tunings they have to do before final print.
The artwork and coloring are excellent. The artwork for Rudy Burns character before and after the accident and panel showing the life of Rudy from the tears (the image which I have given below) are worth mentioning. A good method they had followed is instead of giving chapters they separated as Act 1 and Act 2.
An entertaining graphic novel set in 1920s. I enjoyed it very much.
Dec 2, 2017
A superb suspense thriller of the Dark Knight set in the Victorian age. Bruce Wayne returns from London to find that Gotham city crime rate has intensified. The story is by Brian Augustyn and illustrations by Mike Mignola.
The original artwork is by cooey2ph, I reworked in Photoshop
Batman has to face the notorious Jack the Ripper prowling the gas lit streets of the city later Bruce Wayne has been charged of murders and locked up in Arkham Asylum.
Book cover (when you enlarge the image you can see a building named after the illustrator)
Batman using his detective skills nabs the real Jack the Ripper. And who is that person is a revelation for us.
Batman confronts Jack the ripper
The art work is not that good but the Dark Knight costume is awesome. Given above are the two images right from the story book and another from the art work cooey2ph in a website.
Nov 28, 2017
I have already read Akay brothers “Jason Cage” and have some knowledge of how their storyline will be. But this short story The Undead: A Tale from the Night is entirely different. After reading couple of pages I had a doubt is this is from Stephen King!
Our dead are never dead to us, until we have forgotten them.
– George Eliot
The above line is the first line of the book, the idea I grasp from the blurb and this line is entirely different after reaching the final page.
A first time father expecting a baby is the one line of the story. The story is told in first person narrative. The book has many gory moments as mentioned in the blurb we surely need guts to read. I have read this book 2 times, for the second time it really took me two days to sit and read it again.
This story is for the fans of mystery & thriller, fans especially those who like Stephen King will praise this book on the writing style.
Nov 23, 2017
Another wonderfully written concise book on History. The introduction part is very much captivating.
Alexander is the greatest conqueror of all time. He ruled a domain that encompassed the Aegean, Mediterranean, modern day Turkey, Syria, Egypt, Persia and India (small part).
Alexander’s mentor Aristotle
The author has given much information on Alexander and as well as about his father Philip of Macedon & Alexander's tutor Aristotle. The book has vivid description on the war tactics used by Alexander. A chapter is allotted how Alexander used myths, legends and psychology in conquering the enemies.
The author has mentioned Alexander’s oratory skills, his compassion towards his soldiers, enemies etc.
Quotes of Alexander from the book:
“We are free men, they are slaves… they will be fighting for pay… we, on the contrary, shall fight for Greece, and our hearts will be in it.” – Alexander to his troops on the eve of the Battle of Issus, as quoted by Arrian.
“An army of lions lead by a sheep is better than an army of sheep led by a lion.”
Nothing is impossible to him who will but try.
“The Strongest” – Alexander on his death bed when asked who he wished to name as his successor.
A very good book and I like to recommend this to history buffs like me. My rating is 5 stars.
Nov 17, 2017
“I will be seated at night in my secret study,
Alone, sitting upon a stool of brass;
A flame shall leap forth from the solitude,
Granting that which is not believed to be in vain.”
The book is concise and well written about the life of Michel de Nostredame, better known via the Latin form Nostradamus. He was born on December 14th 1503 in a small commune called Saint-Remy-de-Provence in the south of France. Nostradamus grandfather was a decisive force in his life. He studied medicine at the age of 14. Married to Henriette d’Encausse and had two children.
When the plague swept Europe, though Nostradamus was a physician he was not able to save his wife and children. After that he wandered over France. Later he settled and started his profession along with his study in occult.
In the year 1547, he settled in Salon-de-Provence, there he married a rich widow Anne Ponsarde, she give birth to six children. Nostradamus moved away from his medical profession and took up occult science. He published almanac which became a hit and he become famous. Even the Queen of France Catherine de' Medici consulted him and later appointed him as Counsellor.
After publishing 11 almanacs Nostradamus wrote the famous Century it had over 1200 quatrains, unfortunately only 946 of them remain today. At that time people like him are termed heretics and Inquisition prevailed. Nostradamus cleverly wrote the quatrains which would include not only the true languages of the old Masters— Latin and Greek— but also Italian and even a dialect from the Provence area of France which was unique to the region.
The author has written neutrally about Nostradamus prophecies. And he has made clear that we have to decide by our own wisdom.
A good book for reading from Hourly History.
Nov 12, 2017
There are many questions pops up while reading the novel such as what is the relation between Russian Tsar and British in World War I? Why Tech Billionaire and drone manufacturer Martin Hendriks finances a Bulgarian black market smuggler? Why Martin wants to start a war between US and Russia? all these are neatly answered by the author. The villains Mankedo and Martin Hendriks are more intelligent and calculative in their steps. Sometimes they outwit our hero Pitt. We can comprehend Clive's unique formula of intertwining four separate plots of the story and merging them in the final chapters without flaw.
Inclusion of Dirk Pitt Jr. and Summer Pitt characters adds the needed pace to the story, we can feel Pitt Jr. showing of his father Dirk Pitt skills and humor. That's not all St. Julien Perlmutter aids Pitt's kids in finding the lost treasure which in turn help in Dirk Pitt's adventure. I find that Pitt Jr. and Summer have shared Pitt's action parts.
I enjoyed the action scenes of Dirk Pitt, for example the technique used by Pitt for escaping from the closed tunnel, when the NUMA submersible was damaged by the villains the escape seems to be remote but the coolness of Dirk Pitt emerges once again, understanding the scientific fact of anoxic water and its importance in the destruction and getting hold the RDS-5 bomb in the climax, what more a Dirk Pitt fan needs.
This novel is for Clive Cussler and Dirk Pitt fans like me.
Nov 8, 2017
Nov 6, 2017
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
A free comic book I downloaded through Google Play Books. I am a fan of time travel stories and Doctor Who is about time travel. I was little bit disappointed when story ended in 20 pages with a cliffhanger. The writer is Alex Paknadel and superb artwork by illustrators Mariano Laclaustra, Pier Brito & Nico Selma.
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Nov 4, 2017
The Ghost who walks enters the chronicle room to know about the story. The year was 1757 when Marianne and her son Chris (11th Phantom) were returning from France to Denkali on board Ile De France. But the Singh brotherhood headed by Ashar and his pirates surrounds the Ile De France and tries to kill Chris, the Phantom intervenes and both Phantom and Ashar take up their sword to settle. The cunning Ashar fires two shots on Phantom subsequently the Bandars and Muri tribe enters the ship and the pirates are overwhelmed. They escape, the tribes people takes the wounded Phantom and his son to the skull cave.
The Phantom's right hand and his face are badly wounded. The medicine man treats and Phantom loses his right arm and his face becomes disfigured. The 10th Phantom hands over the good sign ring to the 11th Phantom and his son takes the oath. As the 10th Phantom regains his health after some months he vows to kill Ashar. Then the 10th Phantom leaves the skull cave and practices with his left arm for combat.
Did the 10th Phantom took revenge over Ashar? and how did the Phantom died are all revealed in the remaining pages on the comic book.
Phantom uses a different mask after he recuperates and Phantom undergoing vigorous training to get his health back made me thought of Rocky movie.
The artwork is excellent with a good story line and enjoyable read for Phans (short for Phantom fans).
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
The book is around 50 pages and the author has made into two parts. The first part deals with Apologetic's with articles about the message of Jesus, the alternative, the religion, God's creative process and The Plain Truth.
Part 2 The White Stone, the articles include The Secret, My own story, Are you ready?, Activating the promise.
The author Will Edwards have written so beautifully and elaborately about the secret in understanding the bible. Such as what really is Kingdom of God, the White stone. He had pointed out what the bible really says and what we really should understand. Another instance is the difference between religious and spirituality.
A good book. The note from this book I like to share:
Jesus was, most notably, misunderstood by the religious people of his day: the very people who, if their hearts had been pure and their minds had been open, should have understood him.
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Oct 28, 2017
"We hanged him in front of Kingsbridge Cathedral. It is the usual place for executions. After all, if you can't kill a man in front of God's face you probably shouldn't kill him at all...
I was responsible for his death...
He was the last of many men I sent to hell, but he made me think of the first..." - Ned Willard, a spy in Elizabethan court.
I have read "The Pillars of the Earth" but not the second Kingsbridge series "World Without End" and this book "A Column Of Fire" the third series can be read as a standalone novel.
What more drama can one need as the author Ken Follett has chosen turbulent 16th century England. The novel touches the rise of legendary Elizabeth Tudor, how she became the Queen and how she used the professional secret service to hold to her throne till her death. With the actual historical characters the author have used his imagination to create most lovable and most hate able fictional characters. I like to write about the 5 most important characters.
1. Ned Willard
A Kingsbridge resident and son of Alice who lost her fortune by the intervention of Catholic church. Then he witness the burning of a Protestant believer in Kingsbridge which made him emotional to choose Elizabeth, she promising religious tolerance. Ned wanted his country to be a place where Catholics and Protestants don't kill each other and for that he thought that Elizabeth Tudor should ascend the throne. A significant reason for Ned to join Elizabeth Tudor side first as an assistant to his patron Sir William Cecil and then to the spymaster Sir Francis Walsingham.
His life saw four essential women one his mother Alice, 2nd his lover Margery, 3rd his wife Sylvie Palot and 4th Queen Elizabeth. Unfortunately all his loved women predeceased him. Each character on their own, influences his life and his progress which we can grasp from the novel. And finally the author has made a question did Elizabeth was tolerant to Catholics? did she achieved what Ned thought off?
2. Sylvie Palot
Daughter of Giles Palot a printer in France. They belong to Protestant church and France Government killed Protestants without mercy. They secretly sell Protestant bibles. Sylvie falls in love with Pierre Aumande (an illegitimate son of Guise family) unknown to her that Pierre is spy sent by Francois the duke of Guise to know the whereabouts of protestants. On the day of their marriage Pierre betrays Sylvie's family, she loses her father and her fortune. Then she and her mother lives in a pathetic condition. I had to shed tears when I read that she was not having any money to buy food and she was tempted to become a whore. Penury drives her to that extent but God intervenes and saves her from the sin. She then becomes a seller of papers and ink in France. But her religious faith makes her to sell bibles. Sylvie a smart and daring girl she goes outside her country and orders bibles then she imports them into her country with necessary bribe. Her life makes a turn when she meets Ned Willard, knowing his past life she marries him. They make a great pair, unfortunately she cannot bear children and dies at the hands of Rollo, Margery's brother.
A girl from Fitzgerald household who loves Ned but political intervention makes her to marry Bart, son of Earl of Shiring. Later her father in law rapes her and she gets pregnant unknown to Bart. Even though she is Catholic she does not like her country to be with war with one another. During Ned's visits to Kingsbridge Margery loses her control and they make love. Again she becomes pregnant and bears a son resembling Ned. With her husband Bart she gives asylum to many Catholic priest sent by his brother Rollo who is also known as Jean Langlias a conspirator along with France and Spain help tires to assassinate Elizabeth. After Bart's death she marries her love of her life Ned. In later years she has to choose the side did she made a good choice? her decision becomes the pivotal point of the novel.
4. Pierre Aumande
The most loathsome character we will ever despise in A Column Of Fire. Born as an illegitimate he was not accepted by Guise family. He lives by deceiving others until he meets duke of Guise Francois. He asks him to penetrate the protestant group and get the address of the persons. Pierre finishes the task but he did not gets the due acknowledgement. After the death of Francois, Pierre acts fast and becomes the advisor to Henri, son of Francois Guise. His progress is halted by his marriage with a maid. Later he kills her. The author has picked up the interpretation of Jean-Louis Bourgeon, that the Guise family was behind the St. Bartholomew massacre. And Ken Follett cleverly uses Pierre and Henri characters in the massacre. Pierre does all the sins in name of God, at the end he gets the needed punishment.
5. Rollo Fitzgerald
Very cunning and intelligent antagonist of the novel, his involvement with Pierre increases the pace of the novel. A staunch catholic believer who despises Elizabeth and Ned Willard. The person who sacrifices his life for the cause and becomes Jean Langlias the most wanted criminal in England. He is the reason for not allowing Margery to marry Ned, conspires with Pierre to eliminate Queen Elizabeth, becomes the secret messenger for Mary Queen of Scots when she is in imprisoned in a castle, later a reason to her death, killing Sylvie Palot, burning protestants in Kingsbridge, cheating Alice, along with catholic church and the sin goes on. His final mission is to kill King James I in the parliament. Did he succeeded in his plan? The most elusive man hunted for many years and how he was caught are in the remaining pages of the story.
There are many more characters which adds pace to the story. One such is Ebrima Dabo first a farmer in West Africa, then a soldier, a prisoner of war, a slave in Seville, a soldier again in the Netherlands and at last a rich Antwerp iron maker.
I liked the vivid description given by the author on St. Bartholomew's day massacre, the conquest of Spanish Armada and the execution of Mary Queen of Scots. I also read the article about the cover design, the artist using the images of stacking burnt out papers and the symbol of Tudor in the center emphasizing the theme of the novel.
As I mentioned already what more drama is needed for the historical fiction buffs like me. I thoroughly enjoyed the novel. A big thanks to Ken Follett for making me to read, rejoice and live with the 16th Century characters for the past one month.
Oct 20, 2017
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
This book is very handy to know about Ivan IV also known as Ivan the Terrible. Ivan's grand father managed to free Russia from the Mongol horde. When Ivan was 3 years old he became the Grand Prince of Moscow.
Though he became the King at very young age, the country was ruled his regents. He was made to starve by them. After attaining the rightful age Ivan punished those who tortured him.
Much information is provided how Ivan came to known as Ivan the Terrible.
A good book recommended for history buffs.
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Oct 9, 2017
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Less information about the Maya's. The book is good at getting basics about the birth of this civilization. Not much is given about the kings also.
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Oct 3, 2017
Boeing B-17 Flying Fortress (daylight bombing) picture comment from Wikipedia, B-17 Flying Fortresses from the 398th Bombardment Group fly a bombing run to Neumunster, Germany, on April 13, 1945, less than one month before the German surrender on May 8
…. Just before dusk I went out to fetch some wood. In the semi-dark shed, crammed with logs and tools, something stirred. I sensed a human presence. I pushed the door wide open to let more light. Only then did I notice a flap of field-grey military coat sticking out from the between two logs. Calmly, I locked the shed and ran back to the cottage. In the kitchen, Mrs.Pietrzyk, tired and worn after the restless night, was busy cooking. Gasping for breath, I told her what I had seen. But she was not surprised. She already knew. Staring full in my face with her ancient, all knowing eyes, she said, as if quoting from a holy book, 'Whoever comes under my roof seeking shelter, no matter who he is, no matter what he believe in, he will be safe with me'. In a flash I understood. Shocked, I watched her fill a tin bowl with hot dumplings and pour pork fat over it. 'Hold it child', she screeched in her usual way. "Take it to him'. As if mesmerized, I blindly obeyed and went back to the shed. It seemed as deserted as before, even the field-grey flap had disappeared. I stood benumbed, the hot dish burning my fingers and filling the air with a strong smell of food. There was a brief commotion behind the pile of logs and unkempt head suddenly popped out. I saw the pale face of the German, a boy rather than a man, staring at me in terror. He grabbed the steaming bowl from my hands and fell on the food with unspeakable greed. He was still trembling from hunger and fear. For a long while I watched him blankly. I felt no pity, no hatred, no joy.
Ivan Konev : He was a Soviet military commander who led Red Army forces on the Eastern Front during World War II, retook much of Eastern Europe from occupation by the Axis Powers, and helped in the capture of Germany's capital, Berlin.