What fires up our imaginations to write and draw stories for this dog blog? Everything and anything, really. Read on…
🐾🐾🐾🐾 = 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.
Wot a speshal week – three books and all of ‘ems four paws! Pure luck innit? Usually having to trudge thru pulpy froth to find anything decent to offer yuz. But not todays, dog-dammit, not rightnows!
The Assyrian – written by Nicholas Guild (2021)
- Publisher : Scribner (reprint 2014)
- ISBN-10 : 147678387X
- ISBN-13 : 978-1476783871
The Assyrian is an epic of love and war set during the Seventh Century B.C. Two men, born of different mothers but both sons of the king, grow up as close friends and rivals for the lordship of the world. [The novel is] an exciting, full-blooded epic peopled with dozens of memorable characters. (courtesy amazon.com)
My take: There are certain special books in one’s life that are like old friends. You may not have greeted them for many years – and I first read The Assyrian in the mid-80s – but when you turn the very first page the vivid memory of that first kiss or handshake comes straight back at you as if it had never left. The Assyrian has always been a favourite historical novel of mine. Nicholas Guild’s visceral story, packed with brutal violence, sex, and the exoticism of a forgotten civilization, is nothing short of staggering entertainment. Think early Wilbur Smith, Gary Jennings or Robert Elegant. Writers of books you simply can fall into, emersed into ancient and compelling worlds of war, love and intrigue – robust and compelling characters giving witness to unique and imaginative stories. Dog dammit, wot more do yuz want on your Kindle for six quid?
By Force Alone– written by Lavie Tidhar (2020)
- Publisher : Head of Zeus (2020)
- ISBN-10 : 1838931279
- ISBN-13 : 978-1838931278
‘As eclectic as the Sword in the Stone and as ruthless as A Game of Thrones, this retelling of the whole Arthurian legend stands alongside the very best’ Daily Mail.
‘By Force Alone eviscerates the complacent posturing of the Arthurian myth, explodes the well-worn conventions of the tale and from the shiny jagged pieces assembles a wholly fresh rollercoaster ride of cheap violence, vicious magic and messy human truth’ Richard Morgan.
‘A twisted Arthur retelling mixing the historical and the magical with a very modern eye. Brutal and vicious, funny. Adrian Tchaikovsky.
My take: we all own certain books that we wish we’d written ourselves – erh, I have a lot of ‘ems that I wish had me humble X on the front cover. By Force Alone is very near the head of the queue. A bold, gobby, in-yor-face narrative on the legend of King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table. ‘cept that it all feels like its rolling along in ‘70s South London glamour/grime instead of Glastonbury, right gnarly geezers for errant knights, and a well ‘andy sawn-off shotgun to wield instead of noble Excalibur. Honestly, turns all thems classic and countless retellings of the legend into stories only fit for pussies. This King Arty is brutal, totally bonkers and very funny. And if Arthur really had existed he was probably a criminal like the right hardened c – king in this book. Mental!
Icebound – Shipwrecked at the Edge of the World – written by Andrea Pitzer (2021)
- Publisher : Simon & Schuster UK; 1st edition (7 Jan. 2021)
- ISBN-10 : 1471182738
- ISBN-13 : 978-1471182730
Since its beginning, the human story has been one of exploration and survival – often against long odds. The longest odds of all might have been faced by Dutch explorer William Barents and his crew of fifteen, who on Barents’ third journey into the Far Arctic in the year 1597 lost their ship to a crush of icebergs and, with few weapons and dwindling supplies, spent nine months fighting off ravenous polar bears, gnawing cold and seemingly endless winter. This is their story. (courtesy amazon.com)My take: who don’t like a rip-roaring story of adventure abouts the icy up top, beyond the Artic Circle? Who ain’t marveled at the frost-bitten and insane exploits of Shackleton, Scott or Amundsen? Exactly! Icebound is a distillation of all our exploratory heroes of the past, re-told in a thriller-style narrative on the very nature of exploration itself. And not just the frozen wastes of the other end of the world; but, takes the read into the far darker regions of mankind’s need hoist anchor and sail into the vast and empty beyond. An enjoyable and very informative expedition into the very heart of whiteness.