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review 2017-03-07 17:32
The Darkling Plain
The Darkling Plain - Douglas R. Mason

The north-west of England,

13th Century

 

There was a patter of bare feet on the beaten earth floor and Aelfgyth, late but willing, was among the company nervously smoothing down a stained yellow robe from where it had been hitched up in a plaited thong belt. There was already a sweet smell of decay about the shabby room, but from the fresh stink she carried with her, it was likely she had been busy with the pigs when the summons came. She said, 'Here, Master. What do you lack?' and stopped with her head hanging down under the stares of Alain's men-at-arms.

The host put a hand flat on her chest and shoved her away. 'When will I teach you not to push yourself forward? This gentleman was speaking to me. Away. Bring a new loaf and cook a pan of eggs. And broach the barrel I fetched up yesterday. Lively now, or you'll feel the weight of my hand.'

She was off again at a run, hair flying in a dark brown pennant, and he was ready to wink and nod at Alain and draw him aside as far as space allowed.

[...]

The muttered conference with the host was finished and the man had a self-satisfied smirk on his face as he waddled across the floor to the seated figure. He never knew how close he came to having his head swiped off its stalk. But at the first words, Edward knew that the moment of truth was not yet.

The innkeeper said, 'Here's a stroke of luck for you now. Here's a gentleman looking to employ you. He'll give you a fair price and set you on your way …'

[…]

Edward relaxed, stood up slowly and nodded down at the innkeeper.

On his feet, he was seen to be a massive figure. His straw blond head was only an inch from the cross beams. The thick folds of his cloak could not conceal his breadth of shoulder and the bearing of a man trained in arms.

 

Set in what seems to be a straightforward late twelfth or early thirteenth century English provincial world in which there is still a clear distinction between Norman, Saxon and (encroaching) Welshman, this is a short book (less than 150 pages) and can easily be read in one night (I did). It is also a deceptively simple book: a younger son denied his birthright by his elder brother; a daughter deprived of her inheritance (following the death of her brother) by a wicked uncle; a beautiful Jewish girl whose father is killed when local people who are in debt to him set fire to his house; a wandering scribe and scholar who turns out to be a great nobleman and – more to the point – fearsome warrior.

 

Yet it is thoughtful, too. We see the world as it was, but also hear sensitive people questioning the mores of that world. And we realise once again that there are good – and awful! – people in every world and at every level of society. A great nobleman may have far more in common with the serving wench in a sleazy tavern than with his own brother.

 

An excellent story set in an unusual part of the country (Wallasey – opposite Liverpool – on the Wirral Peninsula), well worth reading, and suitable for teenagers, too.

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text 2014-03-17 23:11
Real names, articles and vomit {ReBlog}

I've read some virulently racist and anti-semitic sites, some from intellectuals like Texe Marrs, some from ridiculously stupid people like Aryan Nation. But this one is really an eye-opener, it concentrates on utter hatred for Jews (and like all anti-semites totally overestimates Jewish ability - Helen Suzman is credited with freeing South Africa and installing Nelson Mandela!)  but has plenty on the evils of non-whites and multiculturalism and is of course, homophobic. They misquote the Bible, attributing racism and anti-semitism to Jesus's words when it suits them.  Whether or not you are a follower of Christianity (I'm not, I'm an apatheist), that is right out of left court.

 

See what you think The Occidental Observer whose tag line is "White identity, Interests and Culture". The authors of the articles and reviews are extremely happy to give their real names the better to promote the spread of hatred. Check Author Archives and also Topics.

 

There is a book I sell well in the shop, Jewish Pirates of the Caribbean. Jews, mostly of Spanish/Portuguese, origin, who wandered about a bit after the Inquisition became traders in the Caribbean as they were forbidden to work for Christians, own land or slaves. Some of them became traders of the left hand - pirates. I wonder if the Occidental Observer got a hold of this book, there would suddenly be articles on how the Jews dominated the slave trade?  LOL.  That would be their style.

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text 2014-03-17 16:18
[REBLOG] Real names, articles and vomit

[Follow PetraX's link, it's important to know what's out there--RMD]

 

I've read some virulently racist and anti-semitic sites, some from intellectuals like Texe Marrs, some from ridiculously stupid people like Aryan Nation. But this one is really an eye-opener, it concentrates on utter hatred for Jews (and like all anti-semites totally overestimates Jewish ability - Helen Suzman is credited with freeing South Africa and installing Nelson Mandela!)  but has plenty on the evils of non-whites and multiculturalism and is of course, homophobic. They misquote the Bible, attributing racism and anti-semitism to Jesus's words when it suits them.  Whether or not you are a follower of Christianity (I'm not, I'm an apatheist), that is right out of left court.

 

See what you think The Occidental Observer whose tag line is "White identity, Interests and Culture". The authors of the articles and reviews are extremely happy to give their real names the better to promote the spread of hatred. Check Author Archives and also Topics.

 

There is a book I sell well in the shop, Jewish Pirates of the Caribbean. Jews, mostly of Spanish/Portuguese, origin, who wandered about a bit after the Inquisition became traders in the Caribbean as they were forbidden to work for Christians, own land or slaves. Some of them became traders of the left hand - pirates. I wonder if the Occidental Observer got a hold of this book, there would suddenly be articles on how the Jews dominated the slave trade?  LOL.  That would be their style.

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review 2013-12-08 17:16
The Jewish Onslaught - the paradox of anti-semitism
The Jewish Onslaught: Despatches from the Wellesley Battlefront - Tony Martin


"The paradox of anti-Semitism is that it is invariably up to the Jews to explain away the charges. The anti-Semite simply has to make them." - Jack Bruce.

 

***

 

I have put this book on my Fiction shelf because that's what it is, but you, dear reader, if you are one who peers around corners, sees prophecy in myth and has a little mirror mounted on your monitor in the office, you might disagree.

 

The book is an anti-semitic, conspiracy theory that will appeal to neo-Nazis, KKK, Nation of Islam and those who think that the Professors Texe Marrs, K MacDonald et al are correct in their pseudo-factual diatribes that Jews are indeed responsible for just about all the ills in the world and have plans to take it over! If you firmly believe that the famously fake Protocols of the Elders is up there with the Bible and that the history of the Holocaust has been greatly exaggerated if not entirely made up; if you 5 star Mein Kampf without even reading it; if like David Icke you believe that Jews might really be alien giant lizards with evil global domination plans, then order it quickly, this book is for you.

 

If you really aren't that sort of person and prefer to view life through a clear glass lens, then instead you might really enjoy, not to mention find informative, Jon Ronson's 'Them', an investigative, but humorous debunking of conspiracy theorists, religious fundamentalists of many stripes and colours and world-domination power groups.

 

I wish there was a bomb rating, something lower than a half-star anyway.

 

I read this book in Dec. 1993, that was a while ago! I am not necessarily current with my reviews ;-)>/i>

Source: www.goodreads.com/review/show/45017137
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review 2013-09-25 10:23
Defiant Heart - Marty Steere

This is Marty Steere's second novel, but for me this is the first that I'm reading after he kindly contacted me through my blog.

I was a little hesitant to read this book at first, partially because it contains a love-story, and love stories have, generally speaking, never been my biggest source of enjoyment. So I didn't really know what to expect of this book, but I agreed to read it, as its premise sounded pretty interesting, as it's set against the backdrop of World War 2, which, ironically, was not even the part that I found most interesting while reading.

What I did find interesting about Defiant Heart was that it is a moving multi-layered character-driven story. All characters are very well fleshed out and their actions, as their back-stories are revealed, make sense and make them appear as real people. From early on it makes you feel sympathy for the main protagonist, Jon Meyer, and utterly dislike the antagonist(s).

What surprised me the most about Defiant Heart, especially in the first half of the book, aside from been extremely well-edited, was that it touched up on topics that I didn't expect from it at first: teen-age bullying, anti-Semitism/racism, selfish parenting and so forth. That was a very surprising twist and it made the book a very interesting and also a very relevant read, as these issues are something that still poisons the society that surrounds us and as can be seen when reading the headlines in the news, as can be seen here and here.

This is definitely a book that is worth your time.

Marty Steere gracefully accepted to answer a few questions that I had for him, so please check out my author interview here.

This review has also been posted on my blog and on Amazon.

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