I received this book in a free promotion advertised in the Facebook group, With Your Coffee. At that time there was a lot of pornography being pushed in that group, and I engaged in some jocular conversation with the author about hesitation to download it in case it turned out to be pornographic, like so many books these days that are plugged as being "romance". Ms Bruce said that she did not consider her work at all pornographic, but would be interested in feedback on this. She suggested that it would be a good idea if Amazon gave "romance" stories a 5 penis rating in addition to the 5 star rating, to enable readers to stay within their preferred porn parameters, and said she looked forward to discovering how many penises I would award to her book.
I was encouraged enough by this light-hearted approach to download the book (people who write real filth generally get all sniffy about Their Art when you ask them if it's porno) and I am delighted to announce that I can happily award this book no penises at all.
Aside from being a clean, decent read, the book was well worth downloading in any case. It's part detective mystery, part love story, part Western, and with the age-old and enduringly popular "girl disguised as a boy" trope. The characters are believable, the writing good, and Bruce's narrative has a lightness of touch that is all too sadly rare in romance novels, which so often seem to take themselves Very Very Seriously. I loved it, and will certainly look for more from this author.
Wednesday, 22 May 2013
Monday, 20 May 2013
Thursday, 16 May 2013
This darkly satirical comedy, depicting a failed schoolmaster’s attempt to take on the American political system evokes memories of Our Man in Havana. Mr Attwood has the true comedian’s lightness of touch, and there is hardly a dull moment in it. Particularly fine were the descriptions of Our Hero’s experiences as a schoolmaster. The action moves well throughout the book, and although I found the ending a little abrupt, on reflection I don’t know that the more conventional, drawn-out epilogue chapter would have added anything worthwhile to it.
Comic fiction lives or dies by its characters, and this is a particular strength in Spill. Even minor characters are lovingly drawn; no cardboard cutouts here, they are all real and alive. A traditional third person narrative is used, with subtle shifts to its tone depending on the point of view. I have always felt that it is in his use of narrative that a writer shows his true quality, and Mr Attwood passes this acid test with flying colours.
There were a very few proofreading errors, but by and large the book’s presentation is excellent, providing a good, clean read.
All in all, the book is a joy to read, and will particularly appeal to anyone who has worked in the education system, or in politics.