Book Review – Forget Me Not: An anthology of short stories by Kitty Campanile

October 13, 2017

Writing short stories is a different art to the novel and difficult to do, but Kitty Campanile is an expert.  There are some real gems here.  Because they are so short these are ideal if you are looking for a distraction between tasks or are a car, train or plane passenger.  Each one is a delight and well worth the read.

Keith Jahans

Forget Me Not is sold by Amazon and is available
as a paperback and as a Kindle ebook

 

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Book Review – The Great Gatsby by F Scott Fitzgerald: Reader’s Guide on Video. Narrated by Robert Crayola.

October 10, 2017

Having read The Great Gatsby and not being sure that it is really so great, I went online to see if I could find out more about it and found this Reader’s Guide on Amazon.  It is really designed for someone who is studying American literature but I thought it might be useful in pointing out important aspects of the novel I might have missed.

Indeed there were parts of the book that I had overlooked or not considered vital to the plot but overall I think I got the essence of the story.  It did not encourage me to go back and read it again but I think it can be valuable viewing such a guide to see if there really are ingredients there that persuade people it is a major literary work.  There are many other guides available if you care to search for them and this example is worth looking at.

Keith Jahans

The Great Gatsby Reader’s Guide
on Video is available from Amazon


Book Review – The Great Gatsby by F Scott Fitzgerald.

October 4, 2017

I have heard this referred to as “The great American novel” and yet until now I had never read it.  But I had seen two of the movies based on the book, the 1949 version staring Alan Ladd and the more recent 2013 version with Leonardo DiCaprio.  I found both unmemorable except for the ending.  I was put off reading the novel because of its reputation of being a classic as I thought I would find it too complex and long winded for me to follow.  Then I heard that it was only just over 100 pages long so I thought I would give it a go.

The book is famous for its descriptions and I must admit that they are superb.  There is not a great deal of action but there is a great deal of the characters talking about each other and principally about Gatsby.  The story is seen through the eyes of one Nick Carraway, a young man who works in New York’s Bond market, and who lives in a small house next to Gatsby’s huge mansion where Gatsby is renowned for holding lavish parties.  Thus all the descriptions and the motives attributed to the characters are made in Carraway’s own words.  This means that the reader is entirely dependant on his judgement about the validity of the events in the novel as they unfold.

The book is very readable and the plot held my attention right to the end even though I knew the outcome having seen the films.  However, I am yet to be convinced about the greatness of the work and if it indeed it is worthy to be considered a great American classic.  But please read it and decide for yourself.

Keith Jahans
Peatmore Press


The Great Gatsby is available in hardback, paperback and as an ebook through most book stores


Book Review – All Through The Night by M.P. Wright

September 13, 2017

This is a crime thriller in the tradition of John Buchan’s 39 Steps.  The protagonist JT Ellington takes off into the 1960’s West Country countryside, with a little girl in his charge, pursued by violent men who want to do them harm.  He is a black Private Detective, a migrant from the Caribbean, working the streets of Bristol with little knowledge of the terrain to which they escape but well aware of the endemic racism in the environment where he works.

The author has a sound knowledge of the geography of the city and countryside of the time which his characters inhabit.  Being a Bristolian myself and brought up in the area of that time I am aware of the places in the picture he paints.  The characters and plot are compelling to follow.  This is a story which can be described as West Country Noir and is certainly well worth a read.

 

Keith Jahans
Peatmore Press

All Through the Night is published by Black & White Publishing
and is available as an ebook, hardcover, paperback and audibook

 


Lest we forget

September 7, 2017

It is difficult for us of a different generation to imagine what it must have been like to live through the days of the early 1940s in Britain when the country was so nearly overrun by Nazi tyranny.  But I was so pleased when talking to my Mother over the past few months that she decided to write down her experiences of that time.  It is a powerful story tinged with sadness, humour and romance.  I have been fortunate to have been able to publish my own writings in recent years, so when I read what she had written there was no doubt in my mind that I should help her publish it.

I always knew she was a fine writer because of the letters she wrote to me when I was away from home as a child and again when I left to seek out a career as a young man.  Even though she left school at 14 she is a highly educated woman able to adapt to learning new skills, and this shows in her writing.  Thus, Peatmore Press is proud to publish her wartime story which is now available as an ebook on the Amazon Kindle store by following the link below.

Keith Jahans
Editor, Peatmore Press

 

Read it here

 


Book Review – Mark of the Loon by Molly Greene

August 8, 2017

I loved the banter between the lady protagonists who were wonderful characters.  The male characters were not drawn quite as well.  The plot was a little convoluted particularly towards the end and I had difficulty following.  However, I liked the house with its secret passages, locked doors and hidden keys.  The search to uncover the truth behind these was fascinating and kept me reading to the end.  The book seems to be the first in the series featuring one of the central female characters as a private detective.  I hope the series pans out well as the author has a fine aptitude for mystery and dialogue.

Mark of the Loon is available as a
free ebook on the Amazon Kindle Store

 

Keith Jahans

 


Water

August 2, 2017

Water is the most valuable commodity on planet earth.  We came from water and it surrounded us in the womb.  You can forget gold, silver, platinum or uranium.  These are not needed to survive, but we need water.

I love watching cricket and was strangely surprised to find that during the Sky coverage of England’s last test match against South Africa the presenters were giving away refillable water bottles to highlight the pollution of the oceans by the disposable plastic variety.  I have been using a refillable bottle which I first acquired about five years ago during the last days of my field hockey playing days and have been filling it with tap water and taking it with me while walking or on car journey’s ever since.

I see no reason for buying water while it is readily available on tap.  Where I am living now the tap water is unsuitable to drink as it does not come directly from the mains and is probably held in a tank, which is not fully protected from the outside, so I boil my drinking water in an electric kettle and use it to fill my bottle once it has cooled.  I am unsure whether it tastes as good as fresh tap water but it does the job in that it quenches my thirst and I know that it is safe.

Plastic bottled water often contains pictures of cool, mountain streams but is it safe?  And does it taste much different?  The problem highlighted by the TV channel is the damage the bottle does to the environment once it is discarded.  It is true that many other plastics also pollute the oceans but there is really no need to add to them by spending money on something that is not really necessary.

Check out Sky’s Campaign at https://skyoceanrescue.com

Keith Jahans
Editor, Peatmore Press