Finally after almost seventy years I’ve just read George Orwell’s account of his involvement in the Spanish Civil War, fighting with the Workers Party of Marxist Unification or POUM, against the facists, until it was declared Trotskyite and therefore illegal. Inevitably this led to thousands from the International Brigade being arrested and imprisoned without trial.
Sound familiar? The same tactic is still being used today. Nothing changes…
Here’s what I had to say in my short review:
on 28 September 2017
All my life I have wanted to read Eric Blair’s Homage to Catalonia. It is his personal account of fighting in the front lines against the facists during the Spanish Civil War. Blair (Orwell) fought in the Communist Brigade (POUM) and was wounded. Like most memoirs it can be a bit long-winded. But it doesn’t detract from the fact that it is a tale worth reading.
So there you have it folks. If you love a good story well told, read it for yourselves…
It would appear that what I said at the end of yesterday’s post has done some good.
on June 29, 2017
Format: PaperbackVerified Purchase
Before I read Jack Eason’s historical fiction novella, Autumn 1066, I knew nothing about Britain’s entry into the Middle Ages. I had no idea there was an end of Anglo-Saxon dominance. My interest centered on other well-known war histories. All of that changed reading the first pages of Autumn 1066. His introduction to two warriors, Aldred and Cynric brought the story to realistic life. Eason’s description of various army leaders in fierce competition for the throne set up the background for why the battles took place. The intrigue and intertwining of the characters relationships and motives to win kept my interest. Eason moved the story along with vivid descriptions of hand-to-hand combat, volley of arrows raining down, and shield walls set up and broken. One clever leader borrowed the Roman tactic of the armored Turtle formation that made the warriors invulnerable to anything hurled at them as they marched uphill into battle. Jack Eason kept a good balance between historical facts and a compelling story, well worth the read.
Don’t forget that today (Friday 30th June, and tomorrow Saturday 1st July, you can download a free copy of the Kindle version of Autumn 1066 for yourselves.
…but well worth the wait. Here is what the Flemish author of the award winning crime novel Baudelair’s Revenge – Bob Van Laerhoven, had to say about my extremely short historical novella Autumn 1066.
As a Fleming, I knew that my knowledge of Britain’s entry into the Middle Ages was sketchy before I started reading Jack Eason’s Autumn 1066, but, after having read his novella, I must admit that it was also based on clichés and vague concepts. Autumn 1066 remedied this thoroughly. Eason has the gift of condensing and presenting historical facts in such a way that, although manifold and thoroughly researched, they hinder in no way the suspense of his war-story. Eason paints a clear portrait of the growing tensions between various factions competing for the throne, and the leaders of various armies, but also of the common soldiers, ordinary men who were forced to fight the wars of the nobility. For his vivid, and shocking, description of the battlefields, Eason focuses on two such ordinary warriors, Aldred and Cynric. When he describes the man-to-man fights and the deadly swarms of arrows, the reader can actually feel the fear and the agony of the warriors. In spite of the extensive historical background, Eason’s cast of characters, high and low, doesn’t degrade into stereotypes. They remain people like you and me, tackling life as best as they can when they are poor, and victims of greed and the overwhelming desire for power when they are rich. Writing historical fiction is all about keeping equilibrium between a passionate story and historical facts. Jack Eason has done that remarkably well.
Hopefully Bob’s review will appear soon on all Amazon sites. So if he and Sally Cronin can deliver, why can’t everyone else who promised to write a review!
By the way, I uploaded the Kindle version yesterday at the KDP base price of US$2.99. Depending which Amazon outlet you use, determines the price you will pay. But if your quick off the mark, you will be able to get yourselves a free copy tomorrow (Friday 30th June 2017) and (Saturday 1st July 2017).
If you are a book lover, then common decency dictates that once you’ve read a book, to show how much you enjoyed reading it, you post a review. That is the accepted norm…
What I’m about to tell you cannot be stressed enough – the reality of the situation is that without reviews, a book soon dies.
As I always review every book I read, it should come as no surprise that I’ve just posted one for the book pictured above. You can read it below. It’s just a shame that the few who bought a copy of my latest Autumn 1066 haven’t done the same thing. Ask yourselves one simple question – in the end what is it that attracts you to a particular book? Forget about the cover. That’s nothing more or less than window dressing designed to attract the eye of the non-reader.
Instead take a long hard look at the reviews a book receives. I’ve said it before and I’ll continue to say it until the day the cows come home. When you take the time to think about it, it’s a no-brainer. Carefully considered reviews are what sell books!!
Now here’s my review for Bernard Cornwell’s Stonehenge 2000BC:-
Which only goes to show how little people appreciate a brilliantly written novel when it is presented to them by …
, 5 Jun. 2017
This review is from: Stonehenge: A Novel of 2000 BC (Kindle Edition)
Stonehenge 2000BC is not a book to be instantly dismissed. And yet that is precisely what so many readers have done in the past. Which only goes to show how little people appreciate a brilliantly written novel when it is presented to them by one of today’s most celebrated writers. Don’t be one of Bernard’s detractors. Instead be one of his fans.
Come on people, if you bought a copy of my latest, follow my example – write and post a review! If I can find the time to write a short positive one for Bernard’s novel, then so can you. Falling back on the old excuse of ‘I’ll get round to it’ is completely unacceptable, and you darned well know it!
Top Customer Reviews
Don’t forget there’s plenty of space below these reviews on the Amazon site of your choice to add your own. Two positive reviews is a good start…
Every now and again you come across a book that really affects you. Louis is one of them that really got to me. Here’s what I said back in 2012 in my review:
on March 2, 2012
Take a child of mixed race born in the early twentieth century and give him over to a woman, not his birth mother, to bring up. Then when he is twelve, send him away from his home country to a boarding school in England, then on to Oxford University. What do you get from this far from unsatisfactory beginning – Derek Haines’ hero Louis, an intelligence officer in the employ of the British government?
Half Egyptian, half English, fluent in many languages and adept at his job, we follow Louis through his many guises and name changes, a requirement for his own protection in the nineteen twenties and thirties, and more particularly so, through the second world war.
In short, Derek has written a beauty here. If you love history as I do, especially if you love twentieth century history, then with the shadowy world of espionage thrown into the mix for good measure, you will enjoy following Louis’ journey through his life as I did.
Should I wax lyrical about the story at this point, I would be giving away a truly brilliant read. Suffice to say, if you don’t feel you have read a great tale told well when you reach the last page, then quite frankly you seriously need help.
Needless to say it had its fair share of snarky reviews by total idiots who think they know how to write. One individual declared that the book was too difficult for them read. You should not be surprised by that admission. Reading anything more complex than say Dr Seuss’ Cat In the Hat, is a phenomena all too common these days among those with a limited education and therefore a lack of appreciation for the richness of the English language, let alone its nuances…