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Paddy samurai maybe 50 books in a year

  • #1
    Registered Users Posts: 2,999 ✭✭✭ Paddy Samurai

    So far this year i have managed to read 2 and am nearly finished my 3rd.

    NO1.The drawing of the Dark by Tim Powers.

    This is a great book ,a fantastic read with great ideas and i can't explain it any better than the blurb.

    This is a historical fantasy set in 16th century Europe. Brian Duffy, an aging sword-for-hire is employed by the mysterious and ancient Aurelianus as a bouncer at the Vienna inn where Hertzwesten Beer is brewed. The story follows him on his travels and leads us towards the confrontation between East and West, a confrontation in which magic and the supernatural are the main weapons.(got it online at

    NO2.CONSTANTINOPLE the last great siege 1453 by roger crowley.

    Historic account about the fall of constantinople(istanbul) to the muslin ottoman empire.Its easy to read so if you like history give this one a try.
    (bought in chapters bookshop bargain table)

    Currently reading MY war by colby Buzzell,will let you know whats its like.



  • Got this book off a mate did’nt think I would like it ,I was expecting American gung ho bullsiht .Nothing could be further from the truth ,its based on a 2004 milblog by the author ,which can be found online.

    Posted to Mosul in late 2003 buzzell gives a great insight into what it was like as an American soldier in Iraq .Very easy to read, episodic in layout he talks about the daily life of his fellow soldiers , the battles they fought in , and the Iraqi people both allies and enemies that he met on a daily basis.

    Well worth a read.

  • Althought i'am not a fan of his "sharpe novels" i have to say this was a great historic based novel of the famous battle and the weeks leading up to it.I flew through this book,unputdownable,a real page turner.The amount of detail is great ,you are not only getting a great story but also a very enjoyable history lesson.Tried to catch him out by checking historic details on line but cornwell is top notch.
    There is a look inside option on if you want a taste.

  • Have been reading this on and off since xmas. I love anything about the crusades/templars but found this to be tough going. Its a fictional historical mix about the the founding of the templars ,and the “secret “ treasure that they found buried beneath the Temple Mount. Although it gave a good feel for the politics and time period I think the Templar story has been done better by many others. The cardboard characters I lost interest in and did’nt really care what happened to them. I have’nt read any other books by jack whyte so I don’t know if this is his usual fare or if he can do better. Apparently this is going to be a trilogy,i won't be bothering with the rest.

    To be avoided.

  • Not my usual reading fare, but definitely a book I feel everyone should read. I first heard of Anna Politkovsjkaya on the BBC news after she was murdered in Russia in 2006(rumoured to be a birthday present for Mr Putin).I bought her book shortly after ,but only got around to reading it this month. You don’t hear much about chechnya these days but what you read in this particular book is on a par with what the Nazis did in occupied territories in WW2.People at the moment are talking about gaza and genocide while not really understanding the meaning of genocide, if you truly want to understand genocide read this book. It makes gaza look like butlins holiday camp and the israelies like the red cross.

    Below is what Thomas de waal of the guardian had to say.
    “The murder of the journalist Anna Politkovskaya leaves a terrible silence in Russia and an information void about a dark realm that we need to know more about. No one else reported as she did on the Russian north Caucasus and the abuse of human rights there. Her reports made for difficult reading—and Politkovskaya only got where she did by being one of life's difficult people."—Thomas de Waal, Guardian”

    Anna Politkovskaya R.I.P. A BRAVE WOMAN

    After this one i will definitely be going back to some lighter fictional reading

  • Due to an dispute with authority,paddy samurai is now banned

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  • Just got out today!.Got a lot of reading done in prison,so on to the books.

  • I liked this book alot ,it's about a British sniper platoon in al al-almarah in Iraq. Coincidentally last week I saw Johnson Beharry VC on the BBC news , his story it tied into this book. It’s non stop action, you will fly through this book it’s very easy to read, and it gives a great insight in to modern day battle in Iraq.

    If you liked Ross Kemp in Afganistan do not miss this book.

    As usual you can check out the online reviews, I think it’s up to 120 x 5 star ratings at the moment on amazon.

  • Can’t praise this book enough , a great read if you like books about ancient Rome. Way better than Simon Scarrow or Con Iggulden , this gripping and moving novel tells of the fall of the roman empire and one man’s attempt to stay true to his beliefs. It’s a book i will keep in my collection and not lend out, i don’t want to lose it.

    According to Wikipedia The character of Maximus is loosely based on the real-life Marcus, who was declared Emperor of the West by his legions in Britannia but was soon executed. The Germanic invasion that Maximus defends against was the real Germanic invasion of Gaul in AD 406.

    Also check out tha amazon reviews for yourself.

  • This Guy has a huge following at home in Poland ,and around the world now that his books are been translated into English. As a big fantasy fan I was looking forward to reading something new by a new author. Also having read the numerous reviews praising his work I thought I was in for a treat. To tell the truth I found it tough going and his type of story telling a bit dated. The main character Geralt I liked, I just got bored with all the folksy monsters and fairytale characters. Maybe in the future I will try another of his books but I won’t be in a hurry.

  • It may look like I'am falling way behind in the 50 book quest.But the fact is I am currently reading 3 books at the moment.

    Shadowmarch by tad williams 25% read

    Atilla by William Napier 50% read

    Shadows edge by Brent Weeks 60 % read

    I think I got a fright when I checked out the amount of unread books under the Bed.

    Tyrant by valerio Manfredi
    The steel remains by richard Morgan
    Furher-ex by Ingo Hasselbach
    Bone of the hills by conn iggulden
    Bloodheir by brian Ruckley
    Beyond the shadows by brent Weeks
    Rides a Dread legion by raymond Feist
    The darkness that Comes Before by R.Scott Baker
    Brethren By Robyn Young
    Empire of Dragons by Valerio manfreidi
    Armageddons Children By Terry brooks
    The World and the void by Terry Brooks
    Scar Night By Alan Campbell
    Warrior of Rome By Harry Sidebottom

    In the post:
    Green River rising by Tim Willocks
    Assegai By Wilbur smith

    Also RR Martin's, Scott Lynchs ,bernard Cornwell (not sharpe)and peter v bretts new books due out this year.Maybe I should read 4 or 5 at the same time?.

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  • Damn its worse than I thought,just found another bag of unread books

    Heretics of dune by frank Herbert
    Prelude to dune by Brian Herbert
    Chapterhouse of Dune by Frank Herbert
    Shadowfall By James Clements
    Blown By Philip Jose Farmer
    The illuminatus trilogy by Robert Shea
    Empire in black and Gold By Adrian Tchaikovsky
    Homecide by David Simon
    Von Bek by michael Moorcock

    Might have to hire someone to read them for me?.

  • Got some great deals in chapters the weekend.Six books for 30 euro.

  • I have read lots of books about the Romans both fiction and factual.Eagle in the snow by wallace breem(no 8 in this log )is still my number one fiction choice in this genre.
    I love historic fiction especially when the story is good and well researched.This book ticks both boxes,it reminded me of conn igguldens genghis khan series.This first in the series deals with attila's captivity as a child hostage in rome,and his journey back to his homeland.As well as Atilla story, there are some other interesting strong characters whose stories cross Atilla's path.I did enjoy Atiila and will read part two of this series.

  • Definitely won't reach 50 books this year.Discovered evony( online strategy game ,so hav'nt read a book in a week.Hope the novelty wears off soon so I can get my life back.

  • Ok the old saying never judge a book by its cover is true , when I first saw this trilogy online, I though it looked like a cheap ripoff of the video game assassins creed. A friend gave me part one in the trilogy and recommended that I read it. I was determined to dislike this trilogy from day one ,but I must say despite that I enjoyed part 1 a hell of a lot and this one that I just finished was better, I look forward to part 3 and would recommend this to anyone who likes fantasy or a just a good read.

    Plenty on in depth reviews on link below:

  • Found this to be tough going,a mixed bag really.I liked most of the characters and disliked others(rooftoppers/funderlings),and it was this that really slowed me down.
    I found it hard to read the sections about the characters i disliked.Having said that the book did rally at the end with an exciting conclusion .The conclusion makes me want to find out what happens in the second volume ,so i will read part 2 at some time in the future.

  • Excellent read, really enjoyed this book.
    Great story,great characters in a unique continuation of poe's classic. Would recommend this book to all readers not just Horror,as it has something for everyone.I did'nt find it particularly scary,but I did find it to be an engrossing story.Would love for a follow up to be done.

    Amazon Review:"In this most gothic of Robert McCammon's novels, setting is key: the continuing saga of the Usher family (descended from the brother of Roderick and Madeline of Edgar Poe's "Fall of the House of Usher") takes place in the weird and picturesque heart of the North Carolina mountains."

  • Enjoyed this book big time,the only other prison book i have read was the green mile by king.Very easy book to read and i liked the characters good and bad alike.
    If you liked shawshank redemption this could be one for you.

    The narrative focuses on 72 hours in the life of Green River Prison - from the lockdown imposed by a Nietzschean warden through the manic tribal takeover by the inmates to the anarchic cathartic showdown between prisoners and the National Guard. Each of these three movements are structured around the character of Dr Ray Klein - a (falsely accused) rapist who has spent three years working in the Aids-infested infirmary and who has to weigh his chances of parole against the conflicting dictates of freedom, conscience and survival.Set this against a backdrop of volcanic racism, bootleg whiskey, homosexual rape and unbridled power-lust and you get some flavour of the raw, twitching world of Green River Rising. Willocks carefully side-steps any jukebox liberalism or knee-jerk sentiment, opting instead for a Hobbesian outlook which barely contains an almost biblical sense of imminence. This is the asocial in all its stagnating violence, a theatre without an audience, a spectacle of physical appetite in which control is the only currency.
    For a lad from Stalybridge (now a doctor in London), Willocks has an uncanny ear for the rhythms of US prison slang. Indeed the lengths that the characters go to to cast aspersions on each other's birthright provide the book with moments of pure poetry. Not since Seth Morgan's Homeboy has doing bird been captured with such metaphorical flourish.
    There is a philosophical depth to the novel that keeps it one step ahead of its macho-swagger. Willocks teases out of his story the mechanisms of its subject - the way in which the prison itself is an admission of failure; the sense that the institution is not there to eliminate, or even to punish, individual transgression, but functions instead as society's unconscious, a place into which we can sublimate our deepest loathings and fears.

  • This is a good read ,reminded me of a similar story Dawn of Empire by Sam Barone which i was'nt mad about.
    I think this is a better version on a similar theme, isolated eastern city under siege defended by unwanted outsider.Its a good read with good historical detail/accruracy , great characters and plenty of action.
    WARRIOR OF ROME, PART ONE: Fire in the East
    Harry Sidebottom, Michael Joseph, 2008, £12.99, hb, 414pp, 9780718153298
    warriorofrome.jpgFire in the East is part one of Dr Harry Sidebottom’s Warrior of Rome series and his first novel. He is a leading authority on ancient warfare, and the impressive appendix contains the historical details which are required reading in tandem with the unfolding story.
    In the third century AD, the Roman Empire is in turmoil as civil war tears Italy apart and emperor follows emperor in rapid succession. Out of the darkness comes a barbarian, Ballista, prince of his tribe and diplomatic hostage. Seventeen years pass and in 255 AD the Persian Sassanid Empire attacks Rome’s eastern territories, sweeping all before them. Ballista, now a citizen and sometime imperial favourite, is newly appointed to the post of Dux Ripae. In charge of the defences along the banks of the rivers Tigris and Euphrates and all the land between, he is empowered to hold this very edge of Empire.
    The novel is a master class in ancient warfare. Vast amounts of actual historical information are expended and one wonders how much is left for the remainder of the series. The story is skilfully constructed, harrowing at times with an imaginative scope. The clarity of observation of the minutiae of war and period detail reveals the author’s command of his subject. His characters, mostly male, are well defined and realistic and illuminate the different nationalities and passions prevalent in the empire at that time. Women play little part: the wife left behind and the feisty but tempting brigand’s daughter.
    This is a riveting book, the dominating feature being a city under siege. Dr Sidebottom generously acknowledges the debt owed to past historical novelists who have influenced him. The reader feels confident in the historical accuracy, but whether Warrior of Rome will become the mighty series that is envisaged remains in the gift of historical fiction fans. -- Gwen Sly

    Plenty of reviews on amazon:

  • Eh.....not sure what to say on this one, writing style a bit dated ,but with some interesting ideas.
    Lots of weird sex , strange characters etc.
    Might try another one before i make up my mind about just for research purposes.
    In this sequel to The Image of the Beast, Herald Childe continues what started out as a murder case - a very gruesome one, admittedly - but which has now become a struggle against the strange and deadly beings who have taken his wife, who threaten his manhood and who threaten mankind itself.
    His seems a hopeless quest. He is fighting not people but inhuman, unhuman monsters from another universe. They take grotesque physical forms, they recklessly indulge cruel whims - and they are utterly sex-crazed.
    There's Vivienne - amazingly beautiful - who used to be Joan of Arc. But she has false teeth and she comes, literally, to pieces. Her lover is a snake-like horror whose needle teeth drip aphrodisiac venom. There's Count Igescu, a real live vampire. And these three are surrounded by a crowd of ghastly aliens, grisly characters in a science fiction nightmare. But for Childe there is no waking up. It is no bad dream. Though no one else will believe him, he knows this is for real ..

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  • This second book in the series is a good one and well worth reading.I personally think its better than the first one and i am looking forward to number 3 in the series.

    "Winterbirth is written with great assurance and tells a gripping story that builds to a grim climax. No one who enjoys heroic fantasy should miss this" The Times "An intriguing and imaginative story... particularly evocative" Dreamwatch

    Product Description
    As ever greater battles are fought between the Black Road and the True Bloods, so each side in the conflict becomes ever more riven by internal dissent and disunity. Amidst the mounting chaos, Aeglyss the na'kyrim gradually masters the remarkable powers that have been unleashed upon him by his crucifixion. Twisting everything and everyone around him to serve his own mad desires, he begins to exert a dangerous, insidious influence over the course of events both near and far. Orisian, lord of the ruined Lannis Blood, faces not only the consequences of that malign influence, but also the machinations of his supposed allies and the stirring of the long-dormant Anain, the most potent race the world has ever known.

  • Gripping true story of the tragic 1996 Everest climb. Flew through this book,easy to read ,not to be missed. Review
    A bank of clouds was assembling on the not-so-distant horizon, but journalist-mountaineer Jon Krakauer, standing on the summit of Mt. Everest, saw nothing that "suggested that a murderous storm was bearing down." He was wrong. The storm, which claimed five lives and left countless more--including Krakauer's--in guilt-ridden disarray, would also provide the impetus for Into Thin Air, Krakauer's epic account of the May 1996 disaster.

  • Action packed read with a good story and good characters,some parts wer'nt to my taste but i still think Richard Morgan has a good book here worth reading and i look forward to his next book.I understand this is his first fantasy novel,but that he has written some top notch sci fi.Hope to give one of these a try when i get a chance.

    "Bold, brutal, and making no compromises - Morgan doesn't so much twist the cliches of fantasy as take an axe to them. Then set them on fire. Then put them out by pissing on them."Joe Abercrombie
    What else can I compare it to? It has the explosive violence of, well, Richard Morgan (only about twice as explosive), the moral ambiguity of vintage Moorcock (but about three times as dark), with the explicit sexual content of Martin (only about ten times more explicit, and I'm not kidding), the harsh language of Scott Lynch (times about 1,000,000). If those things put you off, really, don't bother. The first couple of pages will probably give you a bit of mouth sick. The lyricism of Patrick Rothfuss? Not so much. The languid descriptions of Robert Jordan? No. The charming rural laughs of Eddings? No. No. No.

  • Ok first off, i'm a big fan of all things Templar.
    This i think is one of the better Templar fiction books out there.Really enjoyed the characters , the story and this authors view of the templar "secret" .
    I have already ordered part two of this trilogy.
    Only minor gripe was the "now we have it now we don't" routine with the grail book.

    From Publishers Weekly
    Debut novelist Young climbs aboard the Templar bandwagon, but sets the bar high in this initial installment of a trilogy on the Knights and the last crusade. Christendom's desperate attempts to maintain a foothold in the Holy Land against a furious Muslim jihad is embodied by Sir William Campbell, a young, idealistic Knight Templar, and the devout Baybars Bundukdari, the sultan of Egypt, determined to rid the region of Western influence. Young shifts between the rival camps; there is plenty of battlefield action, and a romantic interest for William in Elwen, the beautiful young niece of his fallen mentor. There's also a mystery for William to solve: the disappearance of the Book of the Grail, which contains the explosive (and heretical) agenda of a secret group of Brethren within the Knights Templar. Combining rich historical detail, clever plotting and engaging characters, Young has crafted a historical thriller that will have readers turning pages and envisioning the sequel. (July)
    Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

    Product Description
    One young knight, bound by faith, driven by valour, begins a quest to protect a secret that could change the course of history irrevocably.

    A richly detailed, epic historical adventure set in Paris, London, Egypt, and Palestine on the eve of the last Crusade, Brethren tells the story of a young knight’s search for a mysterious (and potentially deadly) book belonging to a secret organization within the Knights Templar.

    When young Will Campbell joins the most powerful organization in Europe, The Order of the Knights Templar, he finds himself drawn into a world of intrigue and danger. He is charged with recovering a heretical book stolen from the order’s vaults—but what Will doesn’t know is that the book, in the form of a Grail Romance, hides the covert plans of a secret group within the Temple known as the Anima Templi: the Soul of the Temple. Whoever controls the book controls the fate of the Templars—and it seems that everyone around Will is ready to kill to possess it.

    Brethren also traces the rise of Baybars Bundukdari, an ambitious commander in the Egyptian army, who, after assassinating the sultan, takes control of Egypt and Syria. The two stories come together during Baybars’s campaign for a new Holy War that will cripple an empire and bring the Crusaders to their knees.

    Cleverly combining two narratives—East and West—author Robyn Young gradually reveals the many links that bring two great cultures to war, creating a multifaceted world of sultans, troubadours, priests, and knights; strong-willed women and foul-mouthed murderers; sieges, battles, courage, and betrayal. With nail-biting battle scenes, a wonderfully complex villain, and an encyclopedic grasp of historical detail, Brethren brings this fascinating period vividly alive.

  • Enjoyed this book immensely.As a big fantasy reader ,its great to try someone new and not be dissapointed.This is the first book i have read by Clemens and it won't be the last , have already ordered part 2 of this series.


    Four millennia have passed since the gods came to Myrillia, creating the nine lands of peace as a haven from the nightmarish, accursed Hinterlands. In all this time nothing has disturbed the harmony of the nine lands.

    But now the goddess of the Summering Isles has been murdered. The only witness is Tylar de Noche, a crippled and disgraced former Shadowknight. As he holds the dying goddess, her last breath bestows a powerful blessing on him-a mark that heals his broken body. A mark that many see as proof that he killed a god. A mark that unleashes a powerful force of darkness within him.

    Chased across Myrillia by enemies both human and ethereal, Tylar must uncover and face down a being powerful enough to kill an immortal-the true godslayer. For if he fails, all of Myrillia will fall into shadow

  • Ok ,have been arguing on and off with the mates about this for the past year or so.We are divided down the middle fairly equally in numbers.
    Graphic novels?....literature or not?.I have not been including them in reading log as i don't think they belong here.But after much debate and also having seen a post on AH about this issue,i have decided to compromise.
    I will list the graphic novels i have read ,but not count them towards my 50 books read in a year.
    (LOL maybe i should be a politician)

    BORGIA Power and incest by Jodorowsky +

    WANTED by Mark Miller++

    The WALKING DEAD (book 4) by Kirkman++

    SOLOMON KANE by Scott Allie++

    The HILLS have EYES by Jimmy Palmiotti++

    LOCKE & KEY by Joe Hill+

    WAR OF THE UNDEAD by Bryan Johnson+

    SAMURAI LEDGEND by Di Giorgio +

    WHITE DEATH by Rob Morrison+


    REVERE (revolution in silver)by Lavallee ++

    AUSCHWITZ by Pascal Croci

    THE FILTH by Grant Morrison++

    REVELATIONS by Paul Jenkins+


    LONE WOLF AND CUB Vol12 by Kazuo Koike+

    REX MUNDI (the valley at the end of the world) BOOK5 by Arvid Nelson++

  • I really enjoyed this trilogy alot and was pleased with the concluding Fall of Thanes.As other people have said already it was a bit bleak,but i loved the characters ,the story setting and the graphic battles.I also liked that you never knew whos going to die next as Mr.Ruckley is not afraid to kill off any of the main characters.
    I think the fact the main charcter Orisian died in the end made his journey more epic
    I look forward to reading some more books by Mr.Ruckley

    fall-of-thanes.jpgBrian Ruckley’s unremittingly bleak Godless World trilogy finds its conclusion with Fall of Thanes, and it’s increasingly obvious that this trilogy was well-named indeed. The descent of a recognisable if basic human civilisation in to barbarity and madness, when higher functions are stripped away by the increasing power of Aeglyss, the half-human, half-kyrinin hybrid, is shown in brutal clarity by Ruckley. Having co-opted the armies of the Black Road and given them a victory over the True Bloods, the power flowing through Aeglyss is corrupting both him and all those around him – random acts of senseless violence abound, and base instincts seem to be overtaking all of the people’s of Ruckley’s wintery world. His taking the rotted city of Kan Avor, reclaimed from the floodwaters, as his base, is a clear symbol of his relationship with decay.
    Orisian, the Thane of what is left of the Lannis Blood, continues his mission to defeat Aeglyss by delivering the woman Krina to him – he alone has the vision that she is the key to the half-breed’s defeat. Although there is a touch of Frodo about Orisian, in that he is central to the defeat of the darkness, yet is somehow not as sympathetic as he ought to be, his mission in this volume feels more purposeful and central than it did in the last, and you feel for his ever dwindling retinue as they are gradually picked off by enemies or driven insane by the madness sweeping across the land.

    Meanwhile, Kanin, Thane of the Black Road’s Horin Blood, is only prevented from falling in to madness by his overwhelming need for vengeance over Aeglyss, who killed his sister Wain in the previous volume, Bloodheir. Gathering a force of men around him by sheer force of will, his fate is tied up with that of Aeglyss right to the end. As a character who started out firmly on the side of bad, back in Winterbirth, Kanin has become, if not likeable, then at least sympathetic, caught up in a train of events that he helped to start, events that he has not been in control of for quite some time.
    We also follow the fate of Orisian’s sister, Anyara, as she is taken south to the capital of the True Bloods as a hostage. There she encounters the High Thane’s chancellor, the Shadowhand, now a puppet of Aeglyss, and his wife. There is a touch of Macbeth about the High Thane, Lheanor, and the havoc wrought by Aeglyss through his proxy is of a different kind to that happening to the north. It is here that we meet again possibly Ruckley’s best creation in terms of sheer force of character, the morbidly obese criminal mastermind Torquentine, who does his bit for the forces of good, even if it is in the name of self-preservation.
    Ruckley drives the story along nicely, with a mounting sense of chaos pervading everything, that only the strongest characters are able to resist for any length of time,with a denouement that is violent while perhaps not being quite as dramatic as I had expected. The presentation of Aeglyss as a kind of Christ-figure, suffering on behalf of the people of the world in order to deliver a changed reality, is much more explicit in this volume (at one point he actually has himself crucified to enhance his powers), and the counterpoint between his physical deterioration and his burgeoning power is well handled. Despite the fact that he is the root of the carnage sweeping across the land, it’s possible to see him as a victim of these events too.
    If things took a slight dip in the middle volume, Fall of Thanes was for me a strong conclusion to a very enjoyable trilogy, a sequence of books that embodies everything I enjoy about traditional epic fantasy, and I look forward to seeing what Brian Ruckley does next.

  • I finished this a while back,but had to think about what i would say about this one.I am a big Tim Powers fan and this is the fourth book of his that i have read.Although i enoyed the story and it is well worth reading it was not as good as his previous books were.

    I./ On stranger of my top ten books,read it in 3 days.
    2./ The Drawing of the Dark...again one of my Top ten, read in about the same time period.
    3./ The Anubis Gates, another big favourite of mine that i flew through.

    This book took a lot longer,because i was not mad about the spy setting.I had gone through my spy genre phase a long time back and had read about the cold war/WW2 spy etc till i was sick of them.
    This is still a good read ,but i would say don't read it unless you know who Philby and Burgess are,or you will miss a lot of the impact.
    Having said that i still love his unique imagination and the way he can tie the most unlikely historic characters and fantastical events into intriging stories that should'nt work.......but do(maybe its down to the ton of book research he does).
    Philby - SOE agents in occupied franceWW2 - Laurence of arabia - Noahs ark - jinns - mount ararat -occult happenings in post war Berlin etc,etc Review

    This supernatural suspense thriller crosses several genres--espionage, geopolitics, religion, fantasy. But like the chicken crossing the road, it takes quite a while to get to the other side. En route, Tim Powers covers a lot of territory: Turkey, Armenia, the Saudi Arabian desert, Beirut, London, Paris, Berlin, and Moscow. Andrew Hale, an Oxford lecturer who first entered Her Majesty's Secret Intelligence Service as an 18-year-old schoolboy, is called back to finish a job that culminated in a deadly mission on Mount Ararat after the end of World War II. Now it's 1963, and cold war politics are behind the decision to activate Hale for another attempt to complete Operation Declare and bring down the Communist government before Moscow can harness the powerful, other-worldly forces concentrated on the summit of the mountain, supposed site of the landing of Noah's ark. James Theodora is the über-spymaster whose internecine rivalry with other branches of the Secret Intelligence Service traps Hale between a rock and a hard place, literally and figuratively. There's plenty of mountain and desert survival stuff here, a plethora of geopolitical and theological history, and a big serving of A Thousand and One Nights, which is Hale's guide to the meteorites, drogue stones, and amonon plant, which figure in this complicated tale. There's a love story, too, and a bizarre twist on the Kim Philby legend that posits both Philby and Hale as the only humans who can tame the powers of the djinns who populate Mount Ararat.

  • Enjoyed this book , gives you an insight into the mexican mind and also why the USA will find it hard(if not impossible) to beat the Mexican Drug Barons.Strangely while giving you plenty of reasons to avoid travelling to the Sierra Madre,also makes it seem like a place worth paying a visit (not just for the drugs).
    Flew through this book,very easy to read.
    bandit-roads_682142f.jpg Bandit Roads by Richard Grant

    Bandit Roads by Richard Grant (Little Brown, £16.99), a former winner of the Thomas Cook Travel Book Award, is worth buying for its first and last chapters alone, which have already appeared in the Telegraph Magazine. They manage to convey the author’s fear for his life so vividly that as a reader you are almost as frightened on his behalf.
    The book tells of Grant’s exploration of Mexico’s wild western Sierra Madre. Before setting off there he was told: “If you go up in those mountains, you’ll get shot on sight, no questions asked, and the guy who shoots you will probably still have a smile on his face from saying hello.”

    Michael Kerr telegraph

    American version known as "Gods Middle Finger"

    Plenty of reviews here

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  • Mentioned in work that i was going to see the film.Everyone insisted i should read the book first.So took break from my current book of choice,with a borrowed copy from work.Liked this book alot ,very easy to read and beautifully written ,read it over 3 nights.
    Makes you think about what you would do in similar circumstances.

    Might leave the film till it's out on DVD now as i have too many films i want to see and not enough time.

    From Publishers Weekly

    Starred Review. Violence, in McCarthy's postapocalyptic tour de force, has been visited worldwide in the form of a "long shear of light and then a series of low concussions" that leaves cities and forests burned, birds and fish dead and the earth shrouded in gray clouds of ash. In this landscape, an unnamed man and his young son journey down a road to get to the sea. (The man's wife, who gave birth to the boy after calamity struck, has killed herself.) They carry blankets and scavenged food in a shopping cart, and the man is armed with a revolver loaded with his last two bullets. Beyond the ever-present possibility of starvation lies the threat of roving bands of cannibalistic thugs. The man assures the boy that the two of them are "good guys," but from the way his father treats other stray survivors the boy sees that his father has turned into an amoral survivalist, tenuously attached to the morality of the past by his fierce love for his son. McCarthy establishes himself here as the closest thing in American literature to an Old Testament prophet, trolling the blackest registers of human emotion to create a haunting and grim novel about civilization's slow death after the power goes out.

    Have decided to continue my book log here,as theres no chance of 50 books a year,for the forseeable future.