21 Oct 2021

THE GREEN MILE.

 Despite my having read many of this author's books during my teens/early twenties and watched the films {including this one} based on them, for some reason it is only this year that I found myself reading this ...

THE GREEN MILE by STEPHEN KING.

First Published ... August 29th 1996

This Edition ... Paperback, UK Edition, 433 pages, Published in 2008 by Gollancz 

The Green Mile: those who walk it do not return, because at the end of that walk is the room in which sits Cold Mountain Penitentiary's electric chair. In 1932 the newest resident on death row is John Coffey, a giant of a black man convicted of the brutal murder of two little girls. But nothing is as it seems with John Coffey, and around him unfolds a bizarre and horrifying story.

Evil murderer or holy innocent -- whichever he is -- Coffey has strange powers which may yet offer salvation to others, even if they can do nothing to save him. ... Back Cover Blurb

This happened in 1932, when the state penitentiary was still at Cold Mountain. ... First Sentence, The Two Dead Girls:1

There was a soft whistling sound as he inhaled the air which lay deep within her lungs. That was all for a second or two, and then the floor moved under us and the whole house moved around us. It wasn't my imagination; they all felt it, they all remarked on it later. It was a kind of rippling thump. There was a crash as something heavy fell over in the parlor - the grandfather clock, it tourned out to be. Hal Moores tried to repair it, but it never kept time for more than fifteen minutes at a stretch again. ... Memorable Moment, Page 330

MY THOUGHTS ... Oh my giddy aunt!

Every sentence, every page, every chapter just as  moving, as captivating, as tear jerking as the 1999 film of the same name starring Tom Hanks as prison guard/narrator Paul Edgecomb and Michael Clarke Duncan as the extraordinary prisoner John Coffey; I think it fair to say that this has to be my favourite Stephen King novel of all time.

Told in six distinct parts {a serial novel originally issued in six issues, reproduced here in one single volume}, the plot seamlessly switching between 1932, the year in which 'Boss' Paul Edgecomb as the Block Supervisor of the Cold Mountain Penitentiary Death Row's 'Green Mile' welcomed the remarkable, at times, almost Christ like John Coffey {a child like and yet powerfully built black man of six foot eight inches convicted of the rape and murder of two little white girls} onto the Green Mile and 1996 when, an old man living what remains of his life in the Georgia Pines nursing home, he finds himself compelled to tell the story of what happened that year.

A character driven {and oh my goodness what beautifully penned, memorable characters they are; such is the power of  King's writing of them that I don't think I've ever come across a character I loathed as much as I did the weak bully that was Percy Whetmore}, at times, horrific read and yet one which on the other hand portrays love and human compassion in a way that quite frankfully took my breath away.

Full of wonderment and magical realism, the fact that King analyses many of the characters via their treatment of Mr Jingles, an unofficial resident of the Green Mile who just so happens to be a mouse {and one that plays a not insignificant part in the novel at that} ... well, what can I say? 

It is often that I find myself so completely immersed in a book and its characters, that I find myself both raging and crying at the same time at the unjustness of it all. An unforgettable read, this truly is King at his finest.

17 Oct 2021

THE DANCE OF THE SNOW TRACTORS.

 One of several bloggers {including Gina over at Satisfaction for Insatiable Readers who shared her thoughts on the 12th of October} who over ten days will be participating in this Blog Tour (the full list of which can be found in the Schedule at the bottom of the post). Today {the 7th day of the Tour) its my pleasure to be sharing my thoughts on ...

THE DANCE OF THE SNOW TRACTORS by SIENA

Target Age: Children (Ages 4-7)

Genre: Children's Picture Book

Publication Date: 10th October 2021

Standalone Book 1 of Siena’s Stories

Estimated Page Count: 32

When we hear snowy day we imagine sledding, snow angels, and hot chocolate. Siena, who lives in Ottawa, also thinks of dance!

Why? Because, when the snow comes down the plows show up and perform what she calls the Dance of the Snow Tractors.

Join Siena on her porch with a mug of something warm and enjoy the show. You'll never see snow plows quite the same way again. ... Synopsis

... First Sentence

... Memorable Moment

My Thoughts ... Where to begin?

I can't say either I nor my fellow book worm {aged five and three quarters} found ourselves particularly excited by the {what for me was its rather non existent} story. 

That's not to say that there weren't things to recommend it though ...

With not much text {the illustrations themselves do much of the talking}, my fellow book worm found much to get excited about when it came to the big, bold pictures; he loved the different snow vehicles, telling me all about the winter they'd got stuck behind a vehicle spreading grit on the roads and 'daddy said a naughty word'. And lets face it, any book that prompts discussion {yes, even if does involve spilling the beans on daddy saying a naughty word} can only be a good thing.

For myself, what really appealed to me was that the story captured the sweet, innocent wonderment of a child's experience of winter in Canada; of how she loved to play in the snow, building snow angels and, most of all, watch the dance of the snow tractors ... something I'm sure Canadian children will joyfully relate to and, those in not such wintry climates, dream of. 

BLOG TOUR SCHEDULE ... ~ 11th October: Splashes Into Books ~ WildWritingLife ~ malloch_books ~ 12th October: donnasbookblog ~ Satisfaction for Insatiable Readers ~ Cheryl M-M's Book Blog ~ 13th October: Snowphiethebookworm ~ @family_book_club_ ~  @bookshappythoughts ~ 14th October: Jazzy Book Reviews ~ Book After Book ~ Wall-to-wall books ~ 15th October: Lisa's Reading ~ Readingbooks_itsafamilything ~ School_librarian_loves_books ~ 16th October: Happiness and books - Bex books and stuff ~ Mickysbookworm ~ Westveil Publishing ~ 17th October: Cat and Mouse Reading ~ Felicity Grace Terry Four Moon Reviews ~ 18th October: Scintilla.Info ~ Mrs_bookworm_5 ~ @breathe.andread ~ 19th October: Against The Flow Press ~ Mum_and_me_reads ~ wee_glasgow_bookworm ~ 20th October: My baby and my books ~ @Curlygrannylovestoread ~ sharon beyond the books ~

12 Oct 2021

FALSE TRUTH.

 Today its my pleasure to be sharing my thoughts on a novel by an author hitherto unknown to me, False Truth by C.D. Steele.

THE TRUTH, THE WHOLE TRUTH, AND NOTHING BUT THE TRUTH ...

Private Investigator and former MI6 agent Joe Wilde is hired by Sally Devlin to investigate her son’s disappearance. Liam Devlin was a rising football star. His car was found abandoned at Lea Bridge in Hackney, a known suicide spot, six weeks prior.

With help from friend and retired MI6 Data Technician Mark Thompson, Joe uncovers a huge secret in Liam’s life. Putting the pieces together, he starts to suspect that this case is far more complex than he originally envisioned. Falling ever deeper into his own investigations, Joe meets with the detective in charge of the case, D. I. Carl Whatmore, who does not take kindly to Joe getting involved.

As Joe and D. I. Whatmore go head-to-head in their own investigations, more lives are put in danger.

But who will crack the case? Only time will tell… ... Back Cover Blurb

"Goal! What a finish, that now makes it two nil to Northampton - surely there is no way back now for Leyton Orient?" the tv commentary blared out from the live-stream. ... First Sentence, Prologue

"You are good Joe, I have to admit. You are certainly a better detective than you were an ag3ent in M16. You were always too moralistic and principled to make an effective agent; sometimes we have to do things that may seem extreme and are morally questionable, but we do them for the good of the country."

"Oh, don't give me that 'for the greater good' crap, please." ... Memorable Moment, Page 170

MY THOUGHTS ... Well! What an interesting character Joe Wilde turned out to be; Ex special services {trained in a martial art in which you first strike the weak points of the body you know, the throat, the testicles ... ouch! before going for the 'vitals'} come PI who is only too pleased when a 'proper' case {IE one that isn’t spent trying to find out whether a lover is cheating on their partner or not} comes in in what turns out to be a case that, with twists and turns aplenty, becomes increasingly intriguing.

Whilst a reader for whom the characters are of such importance, for me personally, when it comes down to thrillers/crime fiction, it can feel that the author becomes so invested in the private life {one that for some reason is all too often is filled with tragedy/angst} of their lead detective/PI that it can detract from the case. Not so with Steele's Joe Wilde's private life for whom, rather refreshingly, we only got a relatively brief if rather tantalising glimpse ... though, the author's debut novel, I dare say we'll get to know more in future books.

A shorter read of 134 pages {or, for those who prefer to read their books digitally, that's a Kindle file size of‎ 3550 KB} but oh my giddy aunt!, footballer Liam Devlin's 'suicide' only the beginning; the deeper Wilde digs the more the dangerous the case became {even to my delight introducing an element of conspiracy theory}, Steele's False Truth packed some punch.