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review 2020-05-29 16:24
The Truth Is a Cave in the Black Mountains - Neil Gaiman,Eddie Campbell

For more reviews, check out my blog: Craft-Cycle

A well-written and perfectly crafted story that is pure Gaiman. I loved it. It was lovely and haunting and sad and suspenseful and just all around a great story. As usual, Gaiman also did a fantastic job reading it. I always feel like I'm curled up listening to a creepy bedtime story whenever I listen to any of his audiobooks. A fantastic reading experience.

My only complaint, and what forced me to give it 4 stars instead of 5, was the music. Overall, I enjoyed the music and at times it really added to what was happening in the narration. However, I don't usually listen to music when I read. At times, it was horribly distracting for me. There was a few times I got lost in the intense music and realized I hadn't been listening to the spoken words. I had to go back and listen again. Also, sometimes the music was way more intense than what was actually going on. It added a strange suspense to events that weren't very suspenseful, which was a bit odd.

Don't get me wrong; the music itself was great. It's just that sometimes it was a little too good and distracted me from the actual story.

The story itself is for sure 5 stars, but the audiobook listening experience was a little too intense at times with the music, which is why I bumped it back to 4 stars. Still a great read.

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review 2020-05-12 16:44
Refugees in Britain
The Other Side of Truth - Beverley Naidoo

I will attempt to write a spoiler free summary of this book before I tell you why I loved it. After a politically motivated, family tragedy in Nigeria those who survive are forced to flee for their lives. Two young children, Sade and Femi, are sent to England with a stranger under false identities. When things become more complicated in England than expected the two children, aged ten and twelve, are abandoned in the capital city. A lot of things happen, descriptions of which might spoil the story, but throughout the fear, shame, love, strength and ingenuity of the children is displayed.

I love this book. I felt for the children, for their wider family and their foster family very deeply. The challenges they face feel very real and how they deal with each, while sometimes causing more problems for themselves, is always understandable and evokes sympathy and empathy in the reader.

While it might have easily been a tale of hopelessness and despair, it manages to rise above both and leave the reader with at least a measure of optimism. We are led through the story by Sade, a girl of twelve, who has to navigate them both through stormy waters.

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review 2020-05-07 03:14
Ian Ludlow, Fake News, and the Return of the Soviet Union?
Fake Truth - Lee Goldberg
“If any of us get caught or killed,” Ian said, “the secretary will disavow any knowledge of our actions.”
“Who is the secretary?” [CIA Director] Healy asked.
“I don’t know,” Ian said. “It’s what the boss on the recording says to Peter Graves on every episode of Mission: Impossible, right before he wishes him luck and the tape explodes.”
“This isn’t a TV show,” Healy said. “This is reality.”
“You say that like there’s still a difference.”

Too often lately, life has been like one of Ian Ludlow's novels come to life. Which is a lot of pressure to work under, so much so that he's in danger of missing a deadline to submit his next book, without even getting it started.


Meanwhile, Wang Mei, the Chinese actress Ludlow recently helped defect, needs a job. And she's decided that seducing him is the way to achieve that. Ludlow's got connections, and he happens to be the only American she knows who trusts her. Ludlow is actually pretty easy to seduce, not only does he help her get a job on a TV show, he helps her with some PR to rehabilitate her image (with CIA guidance).


But back to the main story, Margo gets Ludlow brainstorming like he used to—not only to get a novel working, but she's pretty sure that he'll end up stumbling over an assignment so she can exercise her new-found skills. The official blurb sums up what they stumble upon in 1/3 of the words I'd take, so let's use it:

...the connection between a barbaric drug lord in Mexico, a homicidal rapist in California, a rogue citizens army in Texas, a raging TV pundit in New York, and two dead tourists in Portugal…before the President of the United States makes a catastrophic mistake that could resurrect the Soviet Union.

That sounds utterly ludicrous, but as things unfold it seems utterly plausible—and like something only a guy like Ludlow could uncover. And when it comes time for Ludlow and Margo (with help from Wang Mei and Ronnie Mancuso)* to stop this plot—the brakes come off and things get really ridiculous. I had a blast with it.


* I was really glad to see him again, by the way, he's a fun character


Mark Twain wrote, " Truth is stranger than fiction, but it is because Fiction is obliged to stick to possibilities; Truth isn’t." (and others have said similar things, but my rule is quote Twain as often as possible) Fake Truth is another bit of evidence of that. As outlandish as a lot of the plot points and technology in the book seems, Goldberg has talked in interviews about how all of the tech exists, and that he had to keep changing parts of the novel when the parallels between truth and his fiction got a bit too close. This reminds me of the Leverage creators talking about how they had to take real crimes and scale them back to use them in the show because they seemed unbelievable otherwise. Thinking about the events of the book—either mid-read or after—and knowing that there's a very strong possibility that things like this have and are happening? It's truly disturbing. It makes you want to jump into novels.


Anyway, back to this novel—Goldberg once again pulls off this great magic trick by taking a ridiculous plot and goofy humor and somehow creating a solid thriller. I've seen others try this and it doesn't work out quite as well. If he can keep this up, I'll come back as long as he's able to publish these. Laughs and action, characters you can enjoy (even if you don't think you'd want to be anywhere near them in real life)—Fake Truth is a great way to spend some time.

Source: irresponsiblereader.com/2020/04/28/fake-truth-by-lee-goldberg-ian-ludlow-fake-news-and-the-return-of-the-soviet-union
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text 2020-04-04 02:45
Reading progress update: I've read 100%.
The Truth About Love and Dukes - Laura Lee Guhrke

Glad that's done. Henry did get a last minute personality upgrade, but he was terrible for the majority of the book, so I don't trust it. Irene's sister and Henry's mother were barely present in the second half of the book, which is too bad since I liked them and their interactions with Irene much more than Henry and his interactions with her. But it's a book off my TBR and I get to roll now for snakes and ladders.

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text 2020-04-04 02:15
Reading progress update: I've read 90%.
The Truth About Love and Dukes - Laura Lee Guhrke

Irene's speech to Henry about all the reasons why he sucks was beautiful. I cheered her on the entire way. We can end the book now. No need for the final 10%.

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