VIEWS FROM WEST PID

What fires up our imaginations to write and draw stories for this dog blog? Everything and anything, really. Read on…

Books:

🐾🐾🐾🐾 = as good as it gets on the subject.  Drop everything, , sniff out, scramble to catch up and ‘read’!

🐾🐾🐾 = well-written, entertaining, or informative.  Worth putting on your reading list.

🐾🐾 = Average read, will pass the time but does not exceed expectations – even modest ones. Ultimately forgettable.

🐾 = Seriously! There are many far better books out there on this subject. Don’t bother unless it’s a given as a present.


Corrs, we all know that Muttwits often look up at thems scratchy clouds, contemplating the size of the cosmos, the wonderful and the fantastical, and…erh, no they don’t.  They wants nosh. Nothing else. Never mind, Z&J will take a closer eyeball at all that fantastical stuff instead! Read on.

Until The End of Time – written by Brian Greene (2021)

Until the End of Time: Mind, Matter, and Our Search for Meaning in an  Evolving Universe: Amazon.co.uk: Greene, Brian: 9780241295984: Books
  • Publisher : Penguin (25 Feb. 2021)
  • ISBN-10 : 0141985321
  • ISBN-13 : 978-014198532

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Until the End of Time is Brian Greene’s exploration of the cosmos and our quest to understand it. Greene takes us on a journey across time, from our most refined understanding of the universe’s beginning, to the closest science can take us to the very end. He explores how life and mind emerged from the initial chaos, and how our minds, in coming to understand their own impermanence, seek in different ways to give meaning to experience: in story, myth, religion, creative expression, science, the quest for truth, and our longing for the timeless, or eternal. (courtesy amazon.com)

My take: Having had to start work at a very young age to support me out-of-work dad and siblings, I didn’t quite get a propa edication; but, had to make up for it ever since.  Part ways to do that was thru reading and thus, ending up knowing absolutely everything about nothing, and almost nothing about everything.  One of my great teachers on this quest has been the physicist Brian Greene – coz I’m interested in physics, lyk.  And there’s no better place to start for the complete beginner muttwit than his latest tome Until the End of Time.

Yu don’t need to know nothing about physics, evolution, quantum mechanics or any of thems other mechanicals bits and pieces – yu just gotta have an open mind.  In this fashion, Brian takes us on a wonderful journey from the big bang to the darkest heat death at the (?) ‘end of the universe’. Oh, and a lot of interesting stuff in between, such as god(s)/creativity/our unquenchable thirst for the understanding of life.  A great read and yuz don’t need a lot of mathmaticals to get the point, neither.  Check it out.


Daughter of Albion – a novel of Ancient Britain – written by Ilka Tampke (2016)

Amazon.com: Daughter of Albion: A Novel of Ancient Britain (9781250081094):  Tampke, Ilka: Books
  • Publisher : Thomas Dunne Books (19 April 2016)
  • ISBN-10 : 1250081092
  • ISBN-13 : 978-1250081094

🐾🐾🐾🐾

Set in Ancient Britain on the cusp of Roman invasion, Daughter of Albion is a mesmerizing novel about the collision of two worlds and a young woman torn between two men. Daughter of Albion transports the reader to the village of Caer Cad in southwest Britain, AD 43, where the dark cloud of the Roman Empire is gathering on the horizon. (courtesy amazon.com)

My take: enjoying well-written historical fiction across all time periods and cultures it was a real pleasure to stumble across [thanks to The Guardian] this wonderful writer from Australia who focuses on a little-known period at the dawn of time in Wales, British Isles (formerly known as Albion).  Amazon likens the book to Game of Thrones – no, wot piffle, it ain’t nothing like that at all. It’s real historical, innit!  In actual fact Ilka takes us on an intimate adventure into the shamanistic beliefs of the late bronze tribes who made up these remote northern Isles on the edge of Europe; and, how they clashed, absorbed and assimilated into the hegemonistic might of Rome and early Christianity. 

Delicately written with greater attention to character and lifestyle over action or mayhem (think Mary Renault).  Ilka Tampke imaginatively combines her understanding of the mythic belief systems of the period with her closer appreciation of the philology of the Aboriginals of her home country (continent) – thems original tribal inhabitants of Australia.  Fabulous, captivating and deserving of loving attention. And now joined by a recently published sequel:  Songwoman.  Ilka is someone to watch out for in the future.


Mordew – written by Alex Pheby (reprint 2020)

Amazon.com: Mordew eBook: Pheby, Alex: Kindle Store
  • Publisher : Galley Beggar Press (13 Aug. 2020)
  • ISBN-10 : 1913111024
  • ISBN-13 : 978-1913111021

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GOD IS DEAD, his corpse hidden in the catacombs beneath Mordew.

In the slums of the sea-battered city a young boy called Nathan Treeves [ekes] out a meagre existence by picking treasures from the Living Mud and the half-formed, short-lived creatures it spawns. Until one day his desperate mother sells him to the mysterious Master of Mordew. The Master derives his magical power from feeding on the corpse of God. But Nathan, despite his fear and lowly station, has his own strength and it is greater than the Master has ever known. Great enough to destroy everything the Master has built. If only Nathan can discover how to use it.  (courtesy amazon.com)

My take: I don’t often read fantasy, preferring my speculative fiction  closer grounded in imaginative science – SciFi.  But, thought I’d take a chance on this one as it offered an intriguing concept: Dickensian steampunk.  Sadly, it ended up a trudge thru a thick molasses of over-description exposition, verbose and confusing syntax and – well – all painted over a mundane storyline.  Just goes to show that one should never judge a book by its cover.  Especially when yu gotta spend metal bits on it.  Stay clear.  Want Dickens read Little Dorrit.  Want steampunk read Perdido Street Station by China Mieville.

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