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.


Horror – who don’t lyk horror – ‘cept for ‘orrible muttwits?  But there are many kinds of horror as we shall see – real horror manifests upon the battlefield, creepy horror inside the head, and dreaded horror from those who you keep closest of all – your family that suddenly gets bitten…and turns.  An equally good substitute for the ‘horror’ descriptor for all three books below could be ‘harrow-ing’..

Lanny – written by Max Porter (2020)

  • Publisher : Faber & Faber; Main edition (2 April 2020)
  • ISBN-10 : 0571340296
  • ISBN-13 : 978-0571340293

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Not far from London, there is a village.

This village belongs to the people who live in it and to those who lived in it hundreds of years ago. It belongs to England’s mysterious past and its confounding present.  It belongs to families dead for generations, and to those who have only recently moved here, such as the boy Lanny, and his mum and dad.  But it also belongs to Dead Papa Toothwort, who has woken from his slumber in the woods. Dead Papa Toothwort, who is listening to them all. (courtesy amazon.com)

My take: Nothing so quaint as English horror – more subtle and brooding, and often less bloody than the American equivalent.  One such book is Lanny by Max Porter. It reads like a poem written in prose.  It not only plays with the English language to bursting point (so I luv it already), but twists yor brain 180 degrees between yor earflaps.  What starts out as a creepy village jack in the green – ends up prodding at the deepest fears that lie within us all, just the other side of sleep. The language is wonderful, the syntax is spaghetti, and the end result is a half-remembered nightmare we have all thought about the following day, until it fades away under the daylight deluge of normal life.  This is horror as experienced in those sudden waking moments in the darkest before dawn. Extraordinarily creepy. Furthermore, at the half-way point of the book (end Act I), the writer dissolves any pretext of who sez wot and to whom, and we get sucked into a terrifying vortex of illusions and emotions from there on in, often struggling for breath, with only the prickling of our skin forewarning us that something very very bad is about to happen.….

Kindle readers beware – One paw removed from the page because Max Porter occasionally plays with the written words in visual strips of half-finished sentences, in gashes and coils – wot don’t always work ryt on an e-reader!  But, hoo doggy, it sure does look nice.


The Forgotten Soldier – War on the Russian Front – written by Guy Sajar (1993)

  • Publisher : Potomac Books; Illustrated edition (October 1, 2001) (originally published 1993)
  • ISBN-10 : 1574882864
  • ISBN-13 : 978-1574882865

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“May well be accorded equal respect with War and Peace as the masterpiece reporting war’s reality.”—David Douglas Duncan, photojournalist and author of This is War! and War Without Heroes

“Sajer is blunt in explaining his reason for sharing his experiences: ‘to reanimate, with all the intensity I can summon, those distant cries from the slaughterhouse.’ He succeeds in doing just that. . . . This book will remain relevant because it explores the psychology of the soldier at war.”—Military Review

[[This] may be the book about World War II which has been so long awaited.”—Christian Science Monitor

“Eloquent . . . powerful . . . Critics have likened it to All Quiet on the Western Front.”—John Barkham

“Transcends language and nationality to address the human race.”—Chicago Sun-Times

My take: they say that the victor and not the vanquished write history.  This is not true. In equal parts, a deeply moving, and harrowing account of a young [17yrs old] boy joining an elite German fighting regiment and being sent to the eastern front.  Words defy me to write more of this remarkable experience – most of which details the rout of several German armies across Russian and Ukrainian winter landscapes, often falling back less than 300 meters before an unstoppable Red Army – except to quote the author: “surely the earth is meant for more than burying our dead”. Please, please read this if you have ever considered war to be possible and justifiable means to an end. Horrific!


The Gathering Dead Omnibus Edition – written by Stephen Knight (2021)

  • ASIN : B01HIOQKTK (available to Kindle readers only)
  • Publication date : June 23, 2016
  • File size : 2353 KB

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stench noun ˈstench
Definition of STENCH
1: stink
2: a characteristic repugnant quality
— stench·ful -fəl adjective
— stenchy ˈsten-chē adjective
3: military slang for Necromorph. See ZOMBIE.

As the zombie apocalypse sweeps through the United States, Special Forces operators Cord McDaniels and David Gartrell are once again thrown together–like it or not. Their mission is to protect a Texas laboratory struggling to develop an anti-necromorph vaccine before the entire country goes under! McDaniels has the vast might of the U.S. military at his disposal, but as millions of stenches march on the fortified laboratory, he begins to doubt whether it’s enough! (courtesy amazon.com)

My take: I don’t care wot yuz thinks, I love zombie books!  Sure, hold it against me if you must, but I’ve read a humongous bowlful of them over the years and I ain’t gonna stop nows for yuz or any other muttwit.  The one series that really stands out from some wonderful, hair-raising, dead-raising stories is The Gathering Dead by Stephen Knight, available on Kindle format only.  Simply put, it has all that you could ever want from a zombie apocalypse – millions upon millions of shambling monstrosities that sweep across America like a plague of locusts devouring everything in their way.  Descriptive, exciting, visceral action that leaves a trembling, sweaty finger across the swipe screen to reach into the carnage of the next page.  If you never read another zombie book in your short, warm-bloodied life – then for dog’s sake:  read this!


Snifz yuz next week!

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