Wrong email address or username
Wrong email address or username
Incorrect verification code
back to top
Search tags: Louis-Bayard
Load new posts () and activity
Like Reblog Comment
review 2016-07-14 00:00
Lucky Strikes
Lucky Strikes - Louis Bayard Okay, to be completely honest, I requested this book because of its cover. I mean, of course, I also read the blurb, but the cover is what really tickled me bloomers: gorgeous! Thankfully, after having read the book, I can say the same for the actual story as well.

I think this might be the first time I only made one note on my Kindle while reading. I wasn't even searching for things to criticise because I was too damn busy with reading. I know right?!5VL2VD9.gif
And now that I'm done, I still can't think of anything negative, or anything that I would've liked to see differently at all. Which means this book is damn well near perfect.

I cried twice. TWICE! One time in the beginning, when Amelia's mother died (it's no spoiler if it's in the blurb, right?) and then another time near the ending (which I did could not have predicted to play out the way it did).

It's 1934 and 14-year-old Amelia, better known as Melia, runs a gas station together with her mother. She also has two younger siblings, Earle and Janey, who help out when they can, but are more focussed on being 'regular children' and going to school.

I LOVED that both Melia and her mother are self-made car mechanics. They can simply hear what's wrong with a car and then fix it. Wearing car mechanic matching overalls and taking care of shit the same way a man would do is very impressive, especially because this is set in 1934 when women were still supposed to wear dresses, and cook and clean for the menfolk. Well, as Melia could've said: "Ain't nobody got time for that!".

The story is told in the first person by Melia, and she writes the way she talks:

"I set there just in case she did"

"...and they come right into my bedchamber..."

It only took me two pages or so to get used to that. It's not like you have to try very hard to decipher those kinds of phrases.

It's a good thing Melia's such a strong character because after her mama dies, she has to take care of her siblings, keep the gas station running, and fight off the evil Goliath figure,  Harley Blevins, who wants to claim the gas station and add it to his gas station collection.

When Hiram Watts, an old and smelly hobo, literally comes falling out of a truck onto one of the gas pumps of Brenda's Oasis (the name of the gas station), Melia decides to take him in and convince the outside world that Hiram is her daddy. It's going to be a challenge to do so because that outside world is rather judgemental, having called Melia and her family the 'Gas Station Pagans' (which is also the original title of this book if I'm correct) because they refused to go to church and whatnot.

But guys, this book....it has everything you could wish for! Or maybe I should say that it has everything that I could wish for. It has dysfunctional characters, a strong heroine (who's far from perfect, mind you), a little bit of awkward romance, unconditional love, suspense, heartwarming actions, and gut-punching moments.
The writing is superb, I was totally convinced of the characters and the world surrounding them. Even though at times, nothing happens at all, I wasn't bored for a single second during these 320 pages.

Remember I was talking about the only note I made while reading? I bet you've been dying to read about it, skimming through the boring parts to get to it. OR, you just scrolled up again to look for it because the thought of it already left your brain again. Either way, here it is:

"Fuck me, this is like Little Women with gas pumps in Virginia!

And it sort of is! A book with strong female characters yet still leaving room for the male heroes to shine as well. Melia would be the Jo of this story, abbreviated name included. Brilliant. I'm giving this one 5 shiny brownies and a firm recommendation for basically anyone. It's targeted at young readers, and anyone who's over 12 years old should be able to enjoy it!

Thanks to the publisher for providing me with a copy via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review!
Like Reblog Comment
show activity (+)
review 2014-10-06 22:16
Mr. Timothy by Louis Bayard
Mr. Timothy - Louis Bayard
bookshelves: one-penny-wonder, published-2002, dickensphenalia, winter-20112012, victoriana
Recommended to ☯Bettie☯ by: Elizabeth Chadwick
Read from December 17 to 20, 2011


NOT SO TINY ANY MORE, that's a fact.

Bayard can write - he writes beautifully, and as such, this is not a book to be rushed. Savour every turn of phrase. It doesn't get the five stars from my good self because at the centre it has a paedophile ring.
Like Reblog Comment
show activity (+)
review 2014-09-04 09:16
Roosevelt's Beast - Louis Bayard

New #Review! ROOSEVELT'S BEAST, a novel based on the factual trip by Teddy Roosevelt and his son Kermit down an uncharted Amazon tributary.




4.5 stars for this thriller that is factual, exciting, and still spooky. The Amazon setting is miasmic, malarial, hallucinatorily real...Louis Bayard great job!

Like Reblog Comment
show activity (+)
review 2014-06-30 14:18
Review - Roosevelt's Beast by Louis Bayard
Roosevelt's Beast - Louis Bayard

I love historical fiction, but I've been bit in the arse with novels that feature real historical figures so I was a bit hesitant when I saw this novel on NetGalley.  I clicked the request button and I received a copy to read for review.  To be honest, it sat on my kindle for a couple of weeks.  I would pass over it as I scrolled through to find a new read because I liked the promise the title and cover spoke of, but was wary and didn't want to be disappointed.  


I am glad that I bit the bullet, as it were, and spent yesterday camped out in front of my air conditioner and went on a historical romp through the Amazon featuring my favorite American president and his son Kermit.  I recommend this novel for anyone who enjoys historical action-adventure fiction.  I doubt you will be disappointed.  

Like Reblog Comment
show activity (+)
review 2014-04-02 22:34
Roosevelt and the Heart of Darkness
Roosevelt's Beast - Louis Bayard

Offering an intriguing twist to the history of the 1914 Roosevelt-Rondon expedition to Brazil’s Rio da Duvida, “Roosevelt’s Beast” by Louis Bayard presents a disturbing story that is rich in atmospheric suspense. It is, in Bayard’s own words, “a psychological fantasy built out of historic events,” and the very setting—the River of Doubt—lends itself to the mythological feel of the work. While featuring the inimitable Theodore Roosevelt, the story’s main protagonist is his solemn and somewhat beleaguered son, Kermit Roosevelt, who has always traveled in his father’s authoritative shadow. When father and son embark on a late-night hunting foray, they are captured by a primitive tribe and saved from serious harm only to be exploited as hunters. Their quarry is a mysterious beast that leaves no tracks and eviscerates its prey. So begins a harrowing forty-eight hours, in which skeletons in the family closet come to light and the men come face-to-face with their greatest fears.

“Roosevelt’s Beast” is a fascinating literary triumph in the vein of “Heart of Darkness,” combining jungle adventure with the climactic suspense of old. Although there are some more graphic descriptions, the novel overall relies on ethereal suspense and trepidation, and it has the feel of an old-fashioned thriller, thankfully devoid of sexuality and unnecessary violence. Due to its setting, the dialogue is peppered with Portuguese, and while the phrases employed are translated or given enough context for understanding, anyone with knowledge of Spanish or similar languages will not need translations. The story itself unfolds as a flashback, and within that the mise en abyme technique comes into play because there are also flashbacks within the main narrative thread.

More posts
Your Dashboard view:
Need help?