This is my review of the book Ashton Kirk Investigator by John Thomas McIntyre which I listened to as a librivox recording. https://librivox.org/ashton-kirk-investigator-by-john-thomas-mcintyre/
I enjoy librivox as I come across writers and stories that I have never heard of. Ashton Kirk is one such story. A sort of wealthy CSI from 100 years ago with his own team of helpers come investigators. It is a really good story and I will quote what is said about the book
“Ashton-Kirk, who has solved so many mysteries, is himself something of a problem even to those who know him best. Although young, wealthy, and of high social position, he is nevertheless an indefatigable worker in his chosen field. He smiles when men call him a detective. "No; only an investigator," he says. He has never courted notoriety; indeed, his life has been more or less secluded. However, let a man do remarkable work in any line and, as Emerson has observed, "the world will make a beaten path to his door." Those who have found their way to Ashton-Kirk's door have been of many races and interests. Men of science have often been surprised to find him in touch with the latest discoveries, scholars searching among strange tongues and dialects, and others deep in tattered scrolls, ancient tablets and forgotten books have been his frequent visitors. But among them come many who seek his help in solving problems in crime. "I'm more curious than some other fellows, that's all," is the way he accounts for himself. "If a puzzle is put in front of me I can't rest till I know the answer." At any rate his natural bent has always been to make plain the mysterious; each well hidden step in the perpetration of a crime has always been for him an exciting lure; and to follow a thread, snarled by circumstances or by another intelligence has been, he admits, his chief delight. There are many strange things to be written of this remarkable man--but this, the case of the numismatist Hume, has been selected as the first because it is one of the simplest, and yet clearly illustrates Ashton-Kirk's peculiar talents. It will also throw some light on the question, often asked, as to how his cases come to him.”
I enjoyed listening to this so much that I am now listening to the next one in the series, but that is for another day. I will record it as book 49 week 40 fiction 44 (audio books 8) non fiction 5
This is my brief review of the book Ivanhoe by Sir Walter Scott which I listened to recently as a librivox recording https://librivox.org/ivanhoe-by-sir-walter-scott/
This is a very very very long book and not one to read/listen to if one wants an action story. A whole chapter can pass by with almost no action, lots and lots of description about 12th century England, but not much action. I can see that it has become the basis on which many subsequent novels have been written about these times including probably a very large number of stories about Robin Hood and his Merry men, who feature quite considerably in the story.
The librivox summary for the book says the following :- Follows the fortunes of the son of a noble Saxon family in Norman England as he woos his lady, disobeys his father, and is loved by another. Set in late 12C England and in Palestine with Richard Cœur-de-Lion at the Crusades.
There are numerous detailed summaries of the plot lines available elsewhere, which are much better than mine. I did not really enjoy it and felt that it must get better so listened to the end. The fact that I listened to it as driving around meant that I did not really waste any time doing this as the driving was the primary activity, but I could not say it was enjoyable.
The level of detail of the description of the events being described was amazing. Walter Scott's imagination was incredible. All the more so in that it is obvious that his work and imagination has been used as the basis of much of our cultures view of the 12 Century today.
I am pleased I did endure it to the end as looking back it was worth it, and I will record it as book book 46 week 38 fiction 41 (audio books 7) non fiction 5
This is my review of the book The Elusive Pimpernel by Baroness Orczy, which I have listened to recently as a librivox recording Over the last couple of weeks having spent quite a bit of time in the car it was good to have a good story to listen to. It certainly helps pass the time away. It was so good that as we got near to the end my average speed got less so we arrived home just as the last chapter was ending. Perfect timing. But I am getting ahead of myself.
This is book three of book four in the Scarlet Pimpernel series depending on which list one is going by.
It is September 1793 and French Agent and chief spy-catcher Chauvelin is determined to get his revenge for the previous humiliations dished out to him at the hands of the Scarlet Pimpernel.
Chauvelin travels to England as an official representative of the French government tasked with looking after the interests of French citizens, but this is only a cover and his real purpose is to trick Sir Percy Blakeney into returning to France, where he can be captured and put to the guillotine.
On the guise of a challenge to a duel Sir Percy is forced to travel to Bologune. Sir Percy's wife Marguerite is tricked into going to France to watch and help with the duel, but she is captured and put into prision. The whole town of Boulogne is held to ransom with the threat of death on the breadwinner making sure that she does not escape.
Chauvelin seems to have hatched the perfect plan to capture and humiliate Sir Percy and stop the exploits of the Scarlet Pimpernel. But all is not quite what it seems.
This was a really good story, as it painted the scene and built the tension slowly up bit by bit. On the face of it it did seem as if Chauvelin had got Sir Percy Trapped. We spent a good few miles discussing how the Scarlet Pimpernel was going to get out of this alive, which of course is one of the problems of doing a series. The star has to escape to live for another day.
This was a good book really well read by Karen Savage and a very enjoyable story. Probably listen to next in series when next driving. This was book 14 week 12 fiction 13 (audio books 3) non fiction 1
This is my review of the book “Bernard Treves Boots A Novel of the Secret Service by Laurence Clarke”, which I listened to recently as a librivox recording. The observant will have noticed that there has been a slight gap in my reviews – well this is not because I have stopped reading or listening to books, but rather communication issues with the internet, due to travelling, power and BT Internet but hopefully now things back to normal and I will be able to catch up with my reviews.
One of the things I like about librivox is that it allows one to find new authors that I have never heard of, listen to them for a bit. If one does not enjoy what one is listening to move on to something else or listen to the full things.
I had never heard of Laurence Clarke before, but the title so intrigued me that I thought it would be worth giving it a go.
What a fascinating lovely story about a secret service agent in the first world war. How he manges to impersonate a corrupt army officer addicted to drugs and prevents a major attack on Portsmouth. This all takes place during the First World War, with a lot of action on the Isle of Wight.
An exciting story that has lots of twists and turns, and secret agents at every turn, either working for the British or the Germans. Far too complicated to go into any detail other than to say listen to it yourself on librivox
A very enjoyable book - This was book 33 week 28 fiction 30 (audio book 8) non fiction 3.
This is my review of the book “The Old Curiosity Shop” by Charles Dickens, which I listened to recently as driving. The version I listened to was a librivox recording https://librivox.org/the-old-curiosity-shop-by-charles-dickens-2/ and was beautifully read by Mil Nicholson. It takes over 24 hours to listen to so as you can work out I have been doing this for a number of weeks.
Maybe it is a male – female thing, but I found this story very hard to concentrate on as driving around, whereas Pauline had no trouble following the story. To me it was a series of Victorian cameo's about life in the mid eighteenth century, linked together as a tragedy.
The gist of the story line is as follows – To start with it is the story of Little Nell, a beautiful and virtuous young girl who lives with her grandfather in his shop of curiosities. Her grandfather loves her dearly, and Nell does not complain, but she lives a lonely existence without friends of her own age. Her only friend is Kit, an honest young lad who works at the shop, and whom she is teaching to write.
Unbeknownst to Nell, her grandfather is obsessed with their precarious financial position and is attempting to make Nell a good inheritance by winning at cards. He keeps these nocturnal activities a secret, but borrows heavily from the evil Quilp, a dwarf, in order to raise new capital. In the end, he gambles away what little money they own, and Quilp seizes the opportunity to take possession of the shop and make Nell's and her grandfather's lives a misery.
Indeed, her grandfather suffers a breakdown, which leaves him bereft of his wits. Courageously, Nell decides to escape Quilp, and she and her grandfather run away to the country to live as beggars, travelling into the Midlands of England. Quilp and his sly minions and accomplices, try and chase them, until circumstances bring Quilp to a stop.....
This was book 20 week 15 fiction 18 (audio book 4) non fiction 2
Friends this is my review of the book The Lost World by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, which I listened to recently as a Librivox recording.
This is the original story, that inspired Jurassic Park and King Kong. It is all about a strange tropical land in South America, that is trapped on a basaltic plateau, where time has stood still. The flora and fauna are mainly from a bygone age, normally found in the fossil record, but here they are alive.
Professor George Edward Challenge, found a sketch book that revealed these living dinosaurs, but when he tries to tell his colleagues about this they do not believe him. So an official investigation is launched to determine if his claims are true. This is the amazing story of what they found.
Not only do they find the world but due to a local guides treachery, they seem to be trapped on this amazing land. But all is not peace and light. They find an ongoing war between an ape like creature and local indians, who are locked in a bitter deadly war to control the land.
The apes throw captured local indians off the top of a cliff onto spikes below killing them for sport, so all does not go well for our heroes when they are trapped by the apes. But to say more would spoil the story.. Can our heroes escape from the apes, then they have to find a way out of the land without being killed. Finally there is the mystery of the sparkly treasure in the blue clay, and does true love win? Well that would be telling.
All I will say is that I am amazed that the final section of the book, it is very different to any film of TV show that I have watched.
This was an enjoyable way of passing the miles on the Motorway, and was book 9 week 6 fiction 9 (audio book 3) non fiction 0
Friends this is my review of the book The Invisible Man by H G Wells, which I listened to recently as an audio book whilst travelling. This is a book that had a lot of preconceptions. Of course I know all about the Invisible Man as I have seen the TV series.
Well it is nice to be surprised and proved wrong, even if the character that I thought might have been essentially good was in fact the opposite. But I am jumping the gun a little. The hero is a scientist, called Griffin, who manages to make himself invisible. Well that is so long as he is naked.
So with a bandaged face and a heavy coat and gloves, he takes a train to lodge in a country inn whilst he tries to discover the antidote and make himself visible again. But the locals become suspicious, especially when money starts to vanish. So he has to leave in a hurry.
He then coerces a tramp, Thomas Marvel, into becoming his assistant. With Marvel, he returns to the village to try and recover three notebooks that contain records of his experiments. When Thomas attempts to betray the Invisible Man to police, He chases him to the seaside town of Port Burdock, threatening to kill him. Thomas escapes to a local inn and is saved by the people at the inn, but Griffin escapes. Thomas later goes to the police and tells them about the "invisible man,"
Griffin's furious attempt to avenge his betrayal leads to his being shot. He takes shelter in a nearby house that turns out to belong to Dr. Kemp, a former acquaintance from medical school. He hopes that Dr Kemp will help him so he reveals his true identity, as the Invisible Man. He then goes on to explain how he invented medicine capable of rendering bodies invisible and, on impulse, performed the procedure on himself. He then recounts how he got to where he is, which involved theft of clothes from a theatrical supply shop.
He then suggests that he can make Kemp his secret confederate, and tells his plan to begin a "Reign of Terror" by using his invisibility to terrorise the nation, but sadly Dr Kemp denounces Griffin to the police. Things then do not progress well for the Invisible Man, and he is finally killed by the Mob.
The book ends with the revelation that Thomas, his initial assistant had kept the notebooks detailing the experiments.
This was an enjoyable book as book 5 week 4 fiction 5 (audio book 2) non fiction 0
This is my review of the book The Defiant Agents by Andre Norton which I listened to recently as a Librivox recording.
This book continues the story of the Time Traders and is book 3 in the series. The star travelling secrets brought back by time travellers have been unravelled, and both the Americans and the Russians are intent upon colonizing new worlds.
In a desperate move, the U.S. government decides to use a group of Apache volunteers in an experimental attempt to colonize a primitive planet. Travis Fox and a band of fellow Apache American Indians have their racial memories and survival abilities enhanced by the Redax machine and are sent to the planet Topaz, one of the few worlds of the ancient star empire that the US has voyage tapes to.
Sadly the Reds have “snooped” the tapes and get there first, and have a nasty surprise waiting for any ship that does not have the proper identification. This causes their ship to crash. Travis and some of his fellow Apaches survive the ensuing crash landing…but can they defeat the Reds and win Topaz for themselves?
Full of intrigue and adventure, this classic novel is a must, and listening to it meant the long journey went by very quickly. I was so intrigued with the story that I listened to it to the end even though the journey had finished.
A very enjoyable book as book 35 week 28 fiction 32 (9 on audio) non fiction 3
Friends this is my review of the book Nicholas Nickleby by Charles Dickens, which I listened to recently as a Librivox recording. http://librivox.org/nicholas-nickleby-by-charles-dickens/
Dickens is someone I have steered clear of till now, as I studied one of this books at school, and we spent so long dissecting each chapter, that the story line got lost and I thought he was dull and boring. So it was with mixed feelings that we started to listen to this book. Especially as the recording we were listening to was over 35 hours in length, so it was going to be quite a commitment to get to the end.
In fact it was totally addictive, and this was in no small part by the skill of the reader Mil Nicholson http://www.act2sc3.com/ and she claims on her website that as of January 2013 she has had over 100,000 downloads of her various recording on Librivox. Mil manages to bring the characters to life, through her clever use of various voices.
So what is the story about – even though it was written over 150 years ago, it is so up to date in it's themes. Banking and money lending scandals, sex slavery, child abuse, and poor schooling. Add to that illegal duelling, assorted scams, the theatre and various romances.
As the book is a so called classic there is great detail written on the plot elsewhere http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nicholas_Nickleby for example, which I am not going to repeat. But in essence the book is an adventure/romance about Nicholas' life from childhood and how he and his family goes from riches to poverty and back to riches again, with all the excitement of the various themes I have mentioned thrown in the pot.
This was a very unexpected enjoyable book so much so we are now listening to another Dickens epic during our travels.
This was book 24 week 18 fiction 22 (5 on audio) non fiction 2
Friends this is my review of the Return of Holmes by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, which I listened to as an audio book from Librivox http://librivox.org/the-return-of-sherlock-holmes-by-sir-arthur-conan-doyle/ , whilst making cards for orders for Cards with a Message
It is a collection of thirteen adventures, first published in 1905. Sir Arthur bring the great detective back and during the course of the thirteen tales, causes Watson to faint in the Empty House, demonstrates that cryptography is elementary in the Dancing Men), and gets engaged in Charles Augustus Milverton. He also manages to prevent a war in the in the final chapter the adventure of the second stain. This adventure also has Watson's statement that Holmes has retired, and forbids him to publish any more stories. Shame really as they are good fun.
This was book 18 week 13 fiction 16 (3 on audio) non fiction 2
Dyslexic doodles on photography, food (growing, cooking & of course eating), faith and other fascinating things. This is a personal blog expressing my views.