So here I am, re-writing my Book Review blog post, after I had managed to accidentally delete it. What an idiot. I’ll try to remember what it was I wrote first time, although this will probably be more succinct.
I know that I started off my telling you that one of the good things about catching a train each day is that I get to read. I prefer to read a good book, rather than look at rubbish on Facebook or play some stupid game. So far this year I have finished four books:
- Hell and High Water – Sean Conway
- Mister B Gone – Clive Barker
- The cyclist who went out in the cold – Tim Moore
- The Moth – Various
Hell and High Water is all about Sean Conway’s attempt to swim up the coast of Britain, via a detour up the coast of Ireland. The adventure is beset with problems to overcome and people telling him it couldn’t be done. It is also full of random strangers helping out, and how and why he grew his iconic ginger beard. I learned all about tides, and why he could only swim at certain times. The book is ideal if you want something different, but set in places that you could easily visit.
The cyclist who went out in the cold is proper bonkers. I’ve read a few of Tim’s books before, and they are always an enjoyable read. His trip around London via a Monopoly board was a great way to visit the places of names that we all know. Again his trip around Italy following the route of the toughest Giro in history, on a wooden wheeled bicycle from the 20’s was bonkers. I loved it. So I was really looking forward to reading about his latest mad adventure, and it is mad. Buying an east German shopper, adding an extra strut for support and then cycling a new Euro route which roughly followed the old iron curtain.To make it harder (more fun/interesting), he set off from the north of Finland in winter. If you like irreverent travel books, you’ll love this.
Mister B Gone is a damn fine horror novel. I’ve been a fan of Clive for almost 30 years, ever since I stumbled across of copy of the Books of Blood and The Hellbound Heart. The latter he wrote a screenplay for, and then directed the film, which became the iconic Hellraiser. (Looking forward to the remake Clive). In Mister B Gone, the main protagonist is a demon, dragged out of hell by a crooked Arch Bishop, and follows his adventures above ground. The book is also notable as it cleverly breaks the fourth wall. I managed to pick up a copy for 1p from Amazon, plus postage, so there is no reason for not finding it.
The Moth is simply a collection of true stories, but that description doesn’t even scratch the surface. The idea is from before technology, when people would gather round a story teller, like moths round a flame. Before the book, story telling evenings were organised, and then the best were collected into this book. Some are sad, some are happy and some are downright strange, but they are always interesting. One thing for sure is that you have to take your time with this book, as invariably you’ll need a few minutes to reflect upon the magnitude of what you’ve just read. I’ve lost count how many times I cried. If you rush through this book like a trashy Dan Brown novel you’ll miss the beauty that is ‘The Moth’.