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review 2018-11-06 23:05
The Count of Chanteleine
The Count of Chanteleine: A Tale of the French Revolution - Jules Verne

I jumped at the chance of reading this book because I am still on a mission to read more stories by Jules Verne. 


This particular story is set during the French Revolution where the Count of Chanteleine is fighting for the country only to find out that his wife and daughter have been captured by the revolutionaries. The Count sets of to find them and keep them save. His efforts are too late for his wife who's already fallen victim to Madam Guillotine, so when he does manage to save his daughter, he goes to extreme efforts to hide her away and ensure her safety.


This is where the main part of the story sets in and this is also where the story turns into a bad daytime soap opera. 


Not one of Verne's best works.

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review 2018-10-22 22:06
Seducing Bran (Cade Brothers, #3) by Jules Barnard
Seducing Bran - Jules Barnard



The events of our past shape us into who we are, but they do not define who are meant to be. Seducing Bran is a reminder that a rush to judgment can have costly results. Bran and Ireland are stuck in the bad choices of the past. Can they help each other break the cycle? Barnard tackles serious subjects like sexism and self - doubt while casting a spell on a reader's heart. Ireland and Bran are caught in the middle of a battle of wills that could have dangerous repercussions for more than just their hearts. Jules Barnard spins a toe - curling, spine tingling romance that proves too irresistible to pass up.

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review 2018-10-10 11:21
Flash Time by Jules Boles

TITLE:  Flash Time:  The Discovery and Meaning of Cyclic Time


AUTHOR:  Jules Boles


PUBLICATION DATE:  September 2018




ISBN-13:  9781999712099


NOTE: I received a copy of this book from NetGalley. This review is my honest opinion of the book.



Interesting concept.  Flawed execution.

According to the author's hypothesis (and own words); Flash Time is

"the concept that time moves in repeating cycles of events, so the universe always exists and was never formed in a Big Bang as claimed.  Flash Time Zero moment or ‘effect’ occurs in a cyclical ‘instant’ in which events begin to happen again as they did before. In that ‘zero moment’ time begins again. This Flash Time model suggests the universe can ‘update itself’ faster than light via a Grid, when rotational energy imbalances trigger the ‘switch’ in Order outlined here, causing the Cycle to continue, as implied by Gödel (c1931) and Bell in 1964. This causal circle of events requires a faster-than-light cosmos thus removing the need for a slower-than-light cosmos using a ‘no communication theorem’. These issues appear resolved finally with a triple cycle entangled spacetime state where past, present and future act in unison during any one cycle, in which outcomes must conform to that pattern. Freewill is then maintained, yet depends on what was chosen in the last cycle, while usually being unknown, though not always (déjà vu applies here). Bell realised later a conflict with freewill, yet without the ‘non-linear triple cycle’ effect of entangled ‘triple time’ as above, and so decided against a perfectly repeating event sequence, even though one was implied. This Grid enables this to be so, since it appears to allow superluminal update speeds from local realism, and suggests a reform of the Dirac equation’s reliance on linear time."

I'm providing Boles's own words because I'm not entirely sure I understood completely what he was writing about.  Flash Time is an interesting concept.  However, while the author might be onto something, he does not do a very good job explaining the concept.  No-one doubts time is cyclical in terms of seasonal cycles, life cycles, nutrient cycles etc; but having time go around in a circle then just start from zero again after a catastrophe doesn't really work for me.  Time is still linear for those of us living on the planet.  Rotating through various natural cycles (Earth-wise or cosmologically) seems pretty normal and self-evident to me, but Boles didn't explain the whole start over concept to my satisfaction.  Or why a particular cycle couldn't go through eons instead of the few thousand years he suggested.

The author doesn't manage to adequately explain why his numerous examples are supposed to be proof of Flash Time, rather than just proof of insufficent data, faulty hypotheses/theories or someone buggering up the mathematics.  Boles criticises science for making assumptions and modifying/inventing new hypotheses, but he is quite happy to use the end-results of scientific studies when they suit his hypothesis.  The author also contradicts himself, makes a vast number of wild/unsubstantiated speculations, cherry-picks DNA/geological dating results, uses old (discarded) hypotheses, and generally provides no solid evidence for flash time.  This book is esentially a dissertation on what is wrong with various scientific methods and hypotheses, such as Carbon-14 dating (and other geological dating methods) and the Big-Bang.  All these less than 100% accurate scientific findings are supposed to be proof of flash time.  The author never states WHY this is supposed to be evidence of Flash Time, as opposed to evidence for something else, or even just evidence that scientists don't know everything.  Getting the maths wrong, does not prove flash time.  

The writing style of this book is not particularly pleasant as the reader has to wade through multiple repetitions, jumping around with disjointed topics (from neanderthals to the Big Bang in one paragraph), wonder where he got the information from for a large number of odd statements, and lack of cohesion.  An editor would have been useful.  It would be interesting to see what a physicist or cosmologist has to say about the Big-Bang chapter, since most of the theoretical physics went over my head there.

Flash time is an interesting concept, but I didn't manage to grasp the concept adequatley just reading this book, nor do I agree with the manner in which the author provides "evidence" for his hypothesis.  Further research is needed!


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review 2018-09-25 07:23
Around the World in Eighty Days by Jules Verne
Around the World in Eighty Days (Oxford World's Classics) - Jules Verne

TITLE:  Around the World in Eighty Days


AUTHOR:  Jules Verne


TRANSLATOR:  William Butcher


DATE PUBLISHED:  2008 (reissue)


PUBLICATION:  Oxford World's Classics


FORMAT:  Paperback


ISBN-13:  9780199552511



"With the words 'Here I am, gentlemen', Phileas Fogg snatches a day from the jaws of time to make one of literature's great entrances.


Fogg - still, repressed, English - assures the members of the exclusive Reform Club that he will circumnavigate the world in eighty days.  Together with an irrepressible Frenchman and an Indian beauty he slices through jungles and climbs over snowbound passes, even across an entire isthmus - only to get back five minutes late.  He confronts despair and suicide, but his Indian companion makes a new man of him, able to face even his club again.


William Butcher's stylish new translation of Around the World in Eighty Days moves as fast and as brilliantly as Fogg's epic journey.  This edition also presents important discoveries about Verne's manuscripts, his sources, and cultural references."



This is a fun, and occasionally nail-biting, romp around the World in 80 days - more or less.  Passepartout is a hilarious character that nicely complements Fogg's rather enigmatic personality.  William Butcher's translation is beautifully done, making it hard to tell that this is a translation from the original French.   All the extra goodies (introduction, notes, chronology, appendices) make this critical edition a treat.

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review SPOILER ALERT! 2018-09-04 17:20
Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Seas by Jules Verne
The Extraordinary Journeys: Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea (Oxford World's Classics) - Jules Verne

TITLE: Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Seas


AUTHOR: Jules Verne


TRANSLATOR: William Butcher


EDITION: Oxford World's Classics


DATE OF PUBLICATION: 2009 (reissue)


FORMAT: Paperback


ISBN-13: 9780199539277



"French naturalist Dr Aronnax embarks on an expedition to hunt down a sea monster, only to discover instead the Nautilus, a remarkable submarine built by the enigmatic Captain Nemo. Together Nemo and Aronnax explore the underwater marvels, undergo a transcendent experience amongst the ruins of Atlantis, and plant a black flag at the South Pole. But Nemo's mission is one of revenge—and his methods coldly efficient.

This new and unabridged translation by the father of Verne studies brilliantly conveys the novel's varying tones and range. This edition also presents important manuscript discoveries, together with previously unpublished information on Verne's artistic and scientific reference.




When a giant sea creatures starts sinking ships, Dr Aronnax (a marine biologist), his unflappable manservant Conceil, and hot tempered harpooner Ned Land, are invited to join the hunting parting in an attempt to catch it.  Well, things don't go as planned and they end up as the unwilling (sort of) guests of Captain Nemo. Thus commences the fascinating, fast paced, exciting, and at at times, terrifying adventures under the seas (with the occassional land expedition interrupted by cannibals) inside the Nautilus (which is in itself absolutely fascinating).  I love that Verne included such things as an underwater passage between the Red Sea and the Mediterranean, Atlantis, pearl fishing, shark hunting, a journey to the South Pole, giant squid and a host of other wierd and wonderful experiences. The relationship between Captain Nemo and Dr Aronnax is particularly fascinating, as is the development of the relationships between the unwilling guests.  Conceil is at times amusing, even though he doesn't intend to be.  Dr Aronnax is a marine biologist so every organism he comes across gets mentioned and classified, along with an encyclopedia worth of facts.  This might annoy some readers, but they can just be skimmed over those bits, though they will miss out on the ocean panarama described.  


This is another Jules Verne novel that got butchered and abridged in translation.  This new unabridged translation by William Butcher aims to be faithful to the original French novel and makes use of both manuscripts Verne produced while working on this novel.  I found this translation to be well done, with the narrative flowing smoothly.  The book includes relevant notes, which are of great help when Verne refers to scholars, ships captains, local politics and other goodies.  This edition also has in interesting introduction which discusses certain aspects of the book, what Verne intended with this novel from letters to his publisher, the bits his publisher insisted he change (he was worried about offending the Russians), amongst others.  The extra information adds additional depth to the story and I'm pleased it was included.





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