logo
Wrong email address or username
Wrong email address or username
Incorrect verification code
back to top
Search tags: foreign
Load new posts () and activity
Like Reblog Comment
show activity (+)
review 2018-07-09 00:31
ARC Review: Stranger In A Foreign Land by Michael Murphy
Stranger In A Foreign Land - Michael Murphy
*sighs*

I hate writing negative reviews. 

Unfortunately, in the case of Stranger In A Foreign Land, there isn't a whole lot of good I can say. I liked the blurb, and the premise sounded promising.

The execution however left much to be desired. 

My first issue was with the amnesia itself, I suppose. While I completely bought the part where Patrick loses his memories, wakes up and doesn't know who he is, where he is, or how he got there - I bought that. I also agreed that it is likely extremely scary to wake up in a strange place with no memories of what got you there, and that you might fear for your life.

However, that does not mean that the loss of your memories also means the loss of your personality, or that a grown man suddenly becomes no more than a child in his actions and reactions. Limiting him to short sentences, with dialogue that felt stilted and unrealistic, didn't do him any favors. His actions didn't make a whole lot of sense to me either. 

Similarly, Jack is also not clearly defined beyond being Australian and having lived in Thailand illegally for 16 years, after having run away from Australia for some unclear reason, possibly related to his being gay, though how Thailand is better in that aspect, I don't know. While Jack rescues Patrick/Buddy and gives him a place to stay, and tries to figure out who Buddy really is, I never really got to know Jack either, outside of his easy-going nature, and his ethics. 

There is some sex as Jack and Buddy/Patrick have to share the one bed in Jack's ramshackle house, though it doesn't happen right away, and thankfully did not feel icky, as if Buddy felt obliged to repay Jack with his body for being fed and clothed and sheltered. Still, I felt as if Buddy clung to Jack only because there was no one else who spoke English, and no one else he felt somewhat safe with, so the romance was limited for me. While I didn't get the feeling that Jack was using Buddy for sex, I also didn't feel that Buddy/Patrick was in full control of his emotions and mental capacity to make the decisions he did. 

The 2nd half of the book, when Jack finds Patrick's brother, and Patrick reluctantly flies home to LA to meet the parents of whom he has no recollection, and the rude and aggressive behavior displayed towards these people he admittedly doesn't remember, really turned me against Patrick, and I no longer had any real sympathy for him. 

The ending, reuniting Jack and Patrick, left much to be desired. There was no mention of Patrick regaining his memories. There was no mention of how they can logistically be together, or any resolution of the issues they are still facing. It just ended. 

The writing itself isn't terrible, though dialogue is stilted and inorganic, and the sentences are somewhat choppy. What I did enjoy were the descriptions of the tropical locale, the seemingly authentic views of Bangkok and the surrounding areas. I though that the author did a fine job with those. 

This book didn't work for me. YMMV. 


** I received a free copy from the publisher. A positive review was not promised in return. **
 
 

 

Like Reblog Comment
show activity (+)
review 2018-03-22 16:44
Mandie and the Foreign Spies by Lois Gladys Leppard
Mandie and the Foreign Spies - Lois Gladys Leppard

Mandie, Celia, Mrs. Taft and Senator Morton arrive safely in London and take Jonathan, the young stowaway from Mandie and the Shipboard Mystery, along with them.

A telegram from an unknown source is waiting for Mandie and an unexplained message has been left at their hotel. Who is so interested in what Mandie is doing? And why don't they sign their names? Is this a new adventure-or danger?

When they decide to deliver Jonathan to his aunt in Paris, adventure begins. But what at first seemed like a simple mystery turns into a dangerous trap and an encounter with the disappearing stranger.

Mandie's in Paris and so are the spies! (from Goodreads)

Series: #15 in the Mandie series

Rating: 3 stars

I didn't like how Mandie treated Celia throughout this book, forcing her to go beyond her comfort zone with fear. I have a lot of fear and anxiety and if I had a friend like Mandie trying to force and manipulate me, I'd lose it.

Mini rant aside, I definitely like books with Jonathan better than those with Joe. (#sorrynotsorry) Jonathan is nice to Mandie and treats her as an equal (even if she doesn't deserve it), with some teasing. Joe just talks down to her and acts as if he's better because he's older and he's male. 

Uncle Ned was in this book, so that was a pleasant surprise. Uncle Ned makes everything better.

This was a more enjoyable Mandie book then some of the others, as the stakes were higher with the dangers being more than wandering around a ship pondering their missing fruit.

Like Reblog Comment
show activity (+)
text 2018-03-06 02:07
Reading progress update: I've read 63 out of 314 pages.
Lloyd George and Foreign Policy, Volume I: The Education of a Stateman, 1890-1916 - Michael G. Fry

I'm learning a lot so far, but the book reads more like a series of interconnected essays than a single narrative. Hopefully the book will develop a little more structure as it gets into the progression of his life.

Like Reblog Comment
show activity (+)
review 2018-02-13 09:43
Foreign Bodies - Various Authors,Martin Edwards

A coronet of the guards is murdered, his body absent from the crime scene. A Countess pleads with Hungarian police to protect her from her revenge seeking brother-in-law. A bed-ridden man manages to procure drugs even though he has no visitors. These are some of the stories to feature in the new collection of translated classic crime short stories.

 

This is a varied collection and as with most collated works, some of the stories were more appealing than others. There are some that remain in the memory, others that are recalled when the book is picked up again. The stories vary in length and tone, the authors nationalties cover the globe.

 

There is one name that will be recognisable amongst many in the collection which have passed by English speaking readers. I can finally say I have read something by Anton Chekov as the first story of the collection, The Swedish Match, is by the man himself.

There is an art to writing a good short story, particularly evident in a crime or mystery story. The author has few words to play with, must quickly set the scene, lay out all of the suspects, leave enough red herrings and reveal the culprit, all in the space of what would amount to a couple of chapters in a novel.

 

Some stories stand out more than others. Particular favourites include Footprints in the Snow by Maurice Leblanc, The Spider by Koga Saburo, The Venom of the Tarantula by Sharadindu Bandyopadhyay and The Puzzle of the Broken Watch by Maria Elvira Bermudez.

 

There are obvious influences from crime-writing stalwarts. Both Footprints in the Snow and The Venom of the Tarantula have shades of Holmes and Watson about them, for example, as does The Return of Lord Kingwood. Be sure to read the introductions to each author by Martin Edwards which provide an interesting overview of the writer, and which often note influences.

 

These are stories written before the advent of forensic evidence and fingerprints. It was detection and sometimes pure, old-fashioned luck, that solved the case. Many of them are puzzle murders, where logical thinking wins the day. When reading the stories it is easy to imagine the wonder and entertainment they created for contemporary readers. The twists have to be more logical, yet unforseen, though some, as in The Spider, would have appeared almost fantastical.

 

An interesting collection and a great introduction to translated fiction from the past. I’ll be looking out for more work by many of these authors should they become available.

Like Reblog Comment
show activity (+)
review 2017-08-25 18:38
Book #857 - 344,940 Pages Read
Foreign Agent: A Thriller (The Scot Harvath Series) - Brad Thor

Another solid entry in the Harvath series by Brad Thor, this one continues Thor's mastery of writing "faction", a tough gritty story set in today's real headlines. Harvath is after a Russian terrorist hell bent on pulling the US and Russia into the Syrian conflict by carrying out terrorist acts around the world. Harvath not only has to find this guy and stop a world war, but has to battle betrayal from his own side. Thor once again pulls the reader in to a taut, exciting read to the very end. He even manages to add a more complex human side to Harvath near the end that bears watching in future novels.

More posts
Your Dashboard view:
Need help?