09/05/2014

Medic Against Bomb: A Doctor's Poetry of War.

Medic Against Bomb: A Doctor's Poetry of War.





Author:


Frederick Foote

Publication Date:


15/10/2014

ISBN:


9780991386116

Blurb on the Back:


Winner of the 2013 Grayson Books Poetry Prize, this book features poems by Frederick Foote, a retired U.S. Navy physician the director of the Poetry Project at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center. Martha Silano, who selected Medic Against Bomb for the prize, described the work well: “Refreshing, downright bracing, Foote reaffirms that war is anything but generic… these poems restore humanity to both enemy and combatant, leaving the reader with a fuller, clearer sense of the ongoing Iraqi conflict.”

Many of the poems developed from the author’s experiences on the hospital ship COMFORT, where military medical personnel cared for mostly Iraqi patients Medevac’d to the ship. Other poems emerged from the experience of caring for sick and wounded American servicemen and women, and for their families.

Review:


Thanks to Netgalley.com and Grayson Books for providing me with an advance Ecopy of the book for review purposes.

This is included in my 2014 goodreads.com reading challenge.

Medic Against Bomb is a collection of war poems from retired US Navy physician Fredrick Foote, and is mostly drawn from his experience of working on the US Navy ship COMFORT.

The Poetry is presented in a no nonsense straight forward fashion. It pulls no punches on what Foote saw and felt during his time there. Often thought provoking the poems deal with numerous traumatic and disturbing subjects and Foote manages through his poetry to give the subject the Gravitas it deserves.

As with any collection of poetry not all the poems are equal in length and quality. The book does suffer from the occasional dip in this regard, however, the quality of the writing shines through in most of the poems.

The book whilst short more than makes up for its briefness thanks to the quality held within, and its subject matter makes it an excellent read. A modern take on the poetry that the likes Siegfried Sassoon And Wilfred Owen pioneered.


8 out of 10.

24/04/2014

The Art of Racing In the Rain - Garth Stein

The Art of Racing In the Rain - Garth Stein



Author:


Garth Stein

Published:


2008

Blurb on the Back:



Enzo knows he is different from other dogs: a philosopher with a nearly human soul (and an obsession with opposable thumbs), he has educated himself by watching television extensively, and by listening very closely to the words of his master, Denny Swift, an up-and-coming race car driver.

Through Denny, Enzo has gained tremendous insight into the human condition, and he sees that life, like racing, isn't simply about going fast. On the eve of his death, Enzo takes stock of his life, recalling all that he and his family have been through.

A heart-wrenching but deeply funny and ultimately uplifting story of family, love, loyalty, and hope, The Art of Racing in the Rain is a beautifully crafted and captivating look at the wonders and absurdities of human life...as only a dog could tell it.


Review:


This book was read as part of my 2014 Goodreads.com Reading Challenge.

Garth Stein has created a wonderful book based around the reminiscences of a dog in the hours before he is going to be put down. Enzo the dog in question is a reincarnation believing, opposable thumb envying, lovable narrator, who as he accepts that is time is nearing an end and taking the reader on a tour back through his life constantly shows his unwavering loyalty to his master Denny Swift, an up and coming race car driver.   

The book shows the life of Denny and Enzo from the view of the faithful companion. How relationships affected them, how Denny's love of motor sport imprints itself on Enzo, the birth of children and what that meant to Enzo and Denny and how illness of loved ones affect them. 

The book is both heart-warming and heartbreaking in equal measure and the ending, Oh it was perfect. 

The book is fantastically well written and you cannot help but fall in love with the characters involved and that makes sharing their ups and downs all the more emotional. 

A must read for dog lovers and well everyone else too.

9 out of 10

Peace 

Deejay

23/04/2014

Eleanor & Park - Rainbow Rowell

Eleanor & Park - Rainbow Rowell



Author:


Rainbow Rowell

Published:


2013

Blurb On The Back:



Two misfits.


One extraordinary love.

Eleanor... Red hair, wrong clothes. Standing behind him until he turns his head. Lying beside him until he wakes up. Making everyone else seem drabber and flatter and never good enough...Eleanor.

Park... He knows she'll love a song before he plays it for her. He laughs at her jokes before she ever gets to the punch line. There's a place on his chest, just below his throat, that makes her want to keep promises...Park.

Set over the course of one school year, this is the story of two star-crossed sixteen-year-olds—smart enough to know that first love almost never lasts, but brave and desperate enough to try.



Review:


I read this as part of my 2014 Goodreads.com Reading Challenge.

I was recommended Rainbow Rowells novels after reading a couple of other YA books. I had started out with Fangirl (already reviewed) and had enjoyed it, however, I had put this book on the back burner in order to read a couple of memoirs and books that would be considered age appropriate for my decrepit 30 year old mind. 

I'm glad I did as it left me refreshed and ready for the whimsy of young love that comes from this book. It provides a classic set-up of two outsiders coming together to make sense of a world that is uniquely unfair to them. 

Eleanor is a wonderfully rounded character who has everything thrown at her and maintains her relative sanity by keeping everyone and everything at arms length. Park is a guy who enjoys wearing eye-liner and not driving a stick shift car (Being from the UK I cannot understand why you wouldn't drive a manual car as it is the norm over here.)

Their friendship and eventual courtship over 80's rock and comics is nicely paced and keeps the reader interested. The antagonist in the father figures of the young couple are perfectly pitched, abusive and self-absorbed in Eleanors case and overly masculine and old fashioned in Parks.

I really enjoyed the book and the ending left me wanting more. I'm starting to feel that the term Young Adult Fiction should be scrapped as so much of this genre spans all ages. In my reading I am discovering that if I conformed to what my age says I should I would miss out on a treasure trove of brilliant writing. Authors like Rainbow Rowell, John Green and Meg Cabot. To be honest that would be a damn shame.

Please tell me what you think of the book, the genre, me etc I'd Appreciate the feedback

9 out of 10 

Peace Deejay.

Cranium - Lee Scarratt

Cranium - Lee Scarratt


Author:


Lee Scarratt

Published:


2013



Blurb on the Back:


Ever wondered what it’s like to be in someone else’s head? Dive into the deep depths of my adventurous dreams, vivid and sometimes frightening imagination and the unusual workings of my brain. 

Wander inquisitively through the first half of this book with short stories involving a curious silhouetted man drenched in rain, a malicious warlock that transforms a woodsman, and a mysterious vintage word processor with deadly consequences. Meanwhile, a ghostly house with a mysterious atmosphere gets shaken down to its very foundations….and exposes its hidden depth. 
Then prepare in the second half to be thrown head first into the whirlwind story where two strangers who are unaware but inexplicably linked try to beat the trepidation, overcome the terrifying truth and escape plunging into the abyss of insanity. The darkness is upon them, but are they willing to make that final decision, take that final step and walk into the unknown? 

Join me now and see where your imagination takes you.

Review:


This was read as part of my 2014 Goodreads.com reading challenge.

I also received this copy for free from the author,  in a Goodreads.com give-away and had promised a fair and honest review.

This book is rather different from anything I have read previously. Written in almost blog style, it is a series of short stories, poems and musings. Some are a lot darker than others. Personal favourites are "No Knowledge Needed" about a computer that changes the world around you depending on what you type into its word processor, "The Butterfly Complex" a short one page poem about a dream of being a butterfly and "The Ascension" the books outstanding short novel about two people intertwined in a dark tale of the afterlife.

I sat and read this book in one sitting. To be honest I had started it, stopped after 2 or 3 pages and headed up to my local library as I didn't want any distractions and it seemed the place I would get the most peace. It is a wonderful collection of different stories and I cannot recommend it enough.

It's not a book I would have normally picked up to read as my experience with short stories ended with the casebooks of Sherlock Holmes, however, since reading this I have been looking for more books with short stories. 

10 out of 10.


08/04/2014

Moab is my Washpot- Stephen Fry

Moab is my Washpot- Stephen Fry



Author:


Stephen Fry

Published:


1997

Blurb on the Back:



A number one bestseller in Britain, Stephen Fry's astonishingly frank, funny, wise memoir is the book that his fans everywhere have been waiting for. Since his PBS television debut in the Blackadder series, the American profile of this multitalented writer, actor and comedian has grown steadily, especially in the wake of his title role in the film Wilde, which earned him a Golden Globe nomination, and his supporting role inA Civil Action.

        
Fry has already given readers a taste of his tumultuous adolescence in his autobiographical first novel, The Liar, and now he reveals the equally tumultuous life that inspired it. Sent to boarding school at the age of seven, he survived beatings, misery, love affairs, carnal violation, expulsion, attempted suicide, criminal conviction and imprisonment to emerge, at the age of eighteen, ready to start over in a world in which he had always felt a stranger. One of very few Cambridge University graduates to have been imprisoned prior to his freshman year, Fry is a brilliantly idiosyncratic character who continues to attract controversy, empathy and real devotion.


Review:


This was read as part of my 2014 reading challenge on goodreads.com.


Is there a man alive who is more eloquent than Stephen Fry? The man is a national treasure. This is his first autobiography and spans his life from birth to his 20th year when he was starting University. The book is both in equal parts funny and brutally honest about his early years. 


He makes no bones about his problems in school both with expulsion and with theft. His subsequent arrest and prison term as well as his honest retelling of his suicide attempt makes for a personal and interesting read. Interspersed are tales of life, love, family and the unique observations that make Stephen so beloved to so many people. It is these tales that make the book hard to put down once started. 


I must admit that I have done his autobiographies back to front as I started with the Fry Chronicles last year but Moab gives a good ground on his pre Fry and Laurie life and if you like Stephen then it is a must read.

For shear enjoyment there is not much better. 

10 out of 10 

Peace 

Deejay.


The 100-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out the Window and Disappeared - Jonas Jonasson

The 100-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out the Window and Disappeared - Jonas Jonasson



Author:


Jonas Jonasson

Published:


2013

Blurb on the Back:


It all starts on the one-hundredth birthday of Allan Karlsson. Sitting quietly in his room in an old people's home, he is waiting for the party he-never-wanted-anyway to begin. The mayor is going to be there. The press is going to be there. But, as it turns out, Allan is not...Slowly but surely Allan climbs out of his bedroom window, into the flowerbed (in his slippers) and makes his getaway. And so begins his picaresque and unlikely journey involving criminals, several murders, a suitcase full of cash, and incompetent police. As his escapades unfold, we learn something of Allan's earlier life in which - remarkably - he helped to make the atom bomb, became friends with American presidents, Russian tyrants, and Chinese leaders, and was a participant behind the scenes in many key events of the twentieth century. Already a huge bestseller across Europe, The Hundred-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out of the Window and Disappeared is a fun, feel-good book for all ages. 

Review:

This is part of my 2014 reading challenge.

You can compare this book to Forrest Gump in a lot of ways, Karlsson has the knack of being in the right place at the right time and although not being that educated helps Franco, Stalin, Regan throughout his life. This is told in a series of flashbacks while in the present day he is involved in a gang plot on his 100th birthday

The book is wonderfully bright and funny and makes a refreshing change of pace from other Scandinavian novels, from the likes of Nesbo and Larsson. It features so bizarre characters and alot of plot twists that keep the main plot running nicely. However it is the flashbacks that I found provided the most entertaining material.

A charming crime novel which will leave you with a smile.

10 out of 10.

Squirrel Seeks Chipmunk - David Sedaris.

Squirrel Seeks Chipmunk - David Sedaris.



Author:


David Sedaris

Published:


2010

Blurb on The Back:


Featuring David Sedaris's unique blend of hilarity and heart, this new collection of keen-eyed animal-themed tales is an utter delight. Though the characters may not be human, the situations in these stories bear an uncanny resemblance to the insanity of everyday life. 

In "The Toad, the Turtle, and the Duck," three strangers commiserate about animal bureaucracy while waiting in a complaint line. In "Hello Kitty," a cynical feline struggles to sit through his prison-mandated AA meetings. In "The Squirrel and the Chipmunk," a pair of star-crossed lovers is separated by prejudiced family members.

With original illustrations by Ian Falconer, author of the bestselling Olivia series of children's books, these stories are David Sedaris at his most observant, poignant, and surprising.


Review:



This was part of my 2014 reading Challenge on Goodreads.com.

I first got to know David Sedaris through his Radio 4 series "Meet David Sedaris" and thoroughly enjoyed his monologues on his everyday life, so I had high expectations for this book which unfortunately did not come fully to fruition with Squirrel seeks Chipmunk. The premise is interesting however the execution is just slightly off and  means that the book frequently doesn't hit the heights we have come to expect from his essays.

It is a series of short stories about everyday life however instead of human interaction it is based around animals. From a studding dog philosophising on adultery, Lab animals discussing whether illness is psychosomatic and Storks trying to explain to their offspring where they came from, the humour is there but it is the setting that often lets it down.

I wish I could be more positive about the book as I liked is earlier works and his works since this has been published but it falls flat more often than not. I think in my humble opinion is that a lot of his material is funny because we can relate to them, however, because they stories have been superimposed onto unlikely pairings of animals I found them stilted and often fragmented.

A shame as it could have been so much more.

5.5 out of 10

Peace

Deejay.

07/04/2014

Off to be the Wizard - Scott Meyer

Off to be the Wizard - Scott Meyer



Author:


Scott Meyer

Published:


2013

Blurb on the Back:


Martin Banks is just a normal guy who has made an abnormal discovery: he can manipulate reality, thanks to reality being nothing more than a computer program. With every use of this ability, though, Martin finds his little “tweaks” have not escaped notice. Rather than face prosecution, he decides instead to travel back in time to the Middle Ages and pose as a wizard.
What could possibly go wrong?
An American hacker in King Arthur’s court, Martin must now train to become a full-fledged master of his powers, discover the truth behind the ancient wizard Merlin…and not, y’know, die or anything.

Review:

This was read as part of my 2014 reading challenge on Goodreads.com

Pop-Culture meets the middle ages in an excellent comedic fashion. The story centres around Martin a geek in a dead end job who enjoys hacking. One day when fooling about within a website he comes across a file which seems to contain all his personal data in real-time. After messing about with his personal stats he finds that it in fact can control the world around him. 

Obviously he does what anyone else would do and starts by adding money to his bank account. This sets the US treasury on his trail for bank fraud and he uses the program to escape their grasp to medieval England.

This sets off a sequence of events which at time is hilarious and at times juvenile in its humour, As Martin struggles to become a wizard in the past all the while returning to the exact point he left the present to confuse both the Government Officials and his own parents. 

This was a highly charged, fast paced book and has left the world open so if he so desired it could easily form a sequel or even a whole series. Personally I'd like to learn about the Atlantis mentioned frequently throughout the plot.

8.5 out of 10.

Peace 

Deejay





Is It Just Me? - Miranda Hart

Is It Just Me?- Miranda Hart.



Author: 


Miranda Hart

Published:


June 2013

Blurb On the Back:


Well hello to you dear browser. Now I have your attention it would be rude if I didn't tell you a little about my literary feast. So, here is the thing: is it just me or does anyone else find that adulthood offers no refuge from the unexpected horrors, peculiar lack of physical coordination and sometimes unexplained nudity, that accompanied childhood and adolescence?

Does everybody struggle with the hazards that accompany, say, sitting elegantly on a bar stool; using chopsticks; pretending to understand the bank crisis; pedicures - surely it's plain wrong for a stranger to fondle your feet? Or is it just me?

I am proud to say I have a wealth of awkward experiences - from school days to life as an office temp - and here I offer my 18-year-old self (and I hope you too dear reader) some much needed caution and guidance on how to navigate life's rocky path.

Because frankly where is the manual? The much needed manual to life. Well, fret not, for this is my attempt at one and let's call it, because it's fun, a Miran-ual. I thank you.

Review:


This was read as part of my 2014 reading Challenge on Goodreads.com.

Now I have to admit I went into this book not knowing what to expect. The only thing I had seen Miranda in was Smack the Pony and one Episode of Call the Midwife. What I found was a likeable if not slightly neurotic book on a vast variety of subjects from smacking someone in the face with a prawn to her uncomfortable feelings towards beauticians and spa days.

Much of the dialogue is between her and her 18 year old self, exposing the differences between what she wanted to be and who she is now. She does refer to the reader on a number of occasions as "My dear reader chum" which gets shortened throughout the book to MDRC and after a while does tend to become irritating. 

The comedy elements however are pulled off with aplomb, she has a natural likeable style of writing and constantly relates to everyday situations in the funniest way possible (especially the office work bit.) By no means is this a challenging read but if you want a bit of light-hearted fun for a couple of hours you could do a lot worse. 

Plus if you read it while spinning on your Spinney chair it adds something.

For that I would give it 8 out of 10.

Peace 

Deejay.

03/04/2014

Independent Study - Joelle Charbonneau

Independent Study by Joelle Charbonneau



Author:


Joelle Charbonneau

Pubished:


January 2013

Blurb on the back:


In the series debut The Testing, sixteen-year-old Cia Vale was chosen by the United Commonwealth government as one of the best and brightest graduates of all the colonies . . . a promising leader in the effort to revitalize postwar civilization. In Independent Study, Cia is a freshman at the University in Tosu City with her home town sweetheart, Tomas—and though the government has tried to erase her memory of the brutal horrors of The Testing, Cia remembers. Her attempts to expose the ugly truth behind the government’s murderous programs put her—and her loved ones—in a world of danger. But the future of the Commonwealth depends on her.

Review:


This book is part of my 2014 reading challenge.

So as you probably gathered from my previous post regarding the first part of this trilogy, I liked The Testing a lot. Joelle Charbonneau managed to capture my imagination with an innovative and new spin on the young adult dystopia novel. Suffice to say I was dying to find out what was going to happen to Cia Vale, the now incumbent Graduate and new university student of Tosu City University faces more trials and tribulations as she discovers more about the seedy underworld of the university.

Independent Study continues in the same vein of The Testing. Cia is face with more tests to prove that she has what it takes to survive the cut-throat world of the university. Her career choice is ignored and she is forced into a situation that she feels has been intentionally set up to make her fail so she will be "redirected." It details her struggle to survive and find people that she can trust to bring about change.

Now as I mentioned The Testing made me want to read this genre again. Independent Study while not as frantic and explosive as the first part of the trilogy, still maintains the world and adds to the disparity between the United Commonwealth Government and the University officials. 

It successfully held the interest in the world and quite frankly I cannot wait for the final part of the trilogy.

While not as good as The Testing it is still up there, I would liken it to Mockingjay at the moment, while good it rambles a bit. I am hoping that this is the weak part in the series, the lull before all hell breaks loose.

I can't wait for Graduation Day.

9 Out of 10.

The Testing by Joelle Charbonneau

The Testing by Joelle Charbonneau



Author: 


Joelle Charbonneau


Published:


June 2013

Blurb on the Back:

Keep your friends close and your enemies closer. Isn’t that what they say? But how close is too close when they may be one in the same?

The Seven Stages War left much of the planet a charred wasteland. The future belongs to the next generation’s chosen few who must rebuild it. But to enter this elite group, candidates must first pass The Testing—their one chance at a college education and a rewarding career.
Cia Vale is honored to be chosen as a Testing candidate; eager to prove her worthiness as a University student and future leader of the United Commonwealth. But on the eve of her departure, her father’s advice hints at a darker side to her upcoming studies–trust no one.

But surely she can trust Tomas, her handsome childhood friend who offers an alliance? Tomas, who seems to care more about her with the passing of every grueling (and deadly) day of the Testing. To survive, Cia must choose: love without truth or life without trust.

Review:


This is one of the books on my 2014 reading challenge.

I have to admit starting this book I was worried. Over the last year or so I have read an awful lot of young adult Dystopia that has sprung up since the success of the Hunger Games franchise. A lot of the books were formulaic, following the same young girl, same dangerous situation, a love interest and an evil government hell bent on subduing the masses all with not a lot of substance. At first glance this book seemed like it was going to follow suit, however, Joelle Charbonneau has successfully crafted a society and a government that has a creepy and distinct "Dystopia." 

It is more brutal than Uglies by Scott Westerfeld, and the main character has more depth than the protagonist in Divergent by Veronica Roth both of which are both stellar examples of this genre. This is the Dystopia that distinguishes itself from the others just by the sheer quality of the writing and the plot pacing. 

The plot follows Malencia "Cia" Vale who is graduating school and hoping to be selected for "The Testing" which would allow her to attend university and escape the possibility of spending the rest of her life fixing tractors. What follows is a sinister testing process in which the 108 applicants are whittled down to just over 20 successful applicants. Cia must try to survive with her friend Tomas. 

The United Commonwealth where Cia lives does not seem to be a bad place to live, it is picking up the pieces of a shattered world, and actually doing it quite well. However the state and the education system are separate and it is the Leader of the university that provides the villain.

The book is brutal, People die both by their own hand and by our heroines. The final test shows the true colours of many of the testing candidates and Cia is a hell of a lot more modest and introspective than a lot of the heroines from other books. 

All in all this is one of the best in the genre. In fact I'd probably say that it is the best since the original Hunger Games book and it has reawakened my interest in the genre.

10 out of 10 

Peace out

Deejay.


Orange is the New Black - Piper Kerman

Orange is the New Black - Piper Kerman 



Author: 


Piper Kerman

Published:


2010

Blurb on the Back:


With a career, a boyfriend, and a loving family, Piper Kerman barely resembles the reckless young woman who delivered a suitcase of drug money ten years ago. But that past has caught up with her. Convicted and sentenced to fifteen months at the infamous federal correctional facility in Danbury, Connecticut, the well-heeled Smith College alumna is now inmate #11187-424—one of the millions of women who disappear "down the rabbit hole" of the American penal system. From her first strip search to her final release, Kerman learns to navigate this strange world with its strictly enforced codes of behaviour and arbitrary rules, where the uneasy relationship between prisoner and jailer is constantly and unpredictably recalibrated. She meets women from all walks of life, who surprise her with small tokens of generosity, hard words of wisdom, and simple acts of acceptance. Heartbreaking, hilarious, and at times enraging, Orange Is the New Black offers a rare look into the lives of women in prison, why it is we lock so many away, and what happens to them when they're there.

Review:

This is one of the books on my 2014 reading challenge. 

If you bought this book because you like the TV series, turn back now. The true life story of Piper Kerman is nothing like the hit netflix series. There is no prison lesbian love affair between Piper and her ex-lover and no sex between guards and inmates. don't get me wrong you can see where the things in the TV series come from however they are not as dramatic as the TV would like you to believe.

What you do get is a story about a girl, who made some bad choices in her youth and ultimately paid the price for them. Pipers year in prison while not uneventful is more about the camaraderie and the bonding between the inmates as well as the hopelessness of the American justice system. 

Piper comes across as a well educated and likeable person, however, at times the book becomes preachy on the uneducated within the prison. Her relationships with the inmates are fascinating especially with the Russian Chef Pop but they sometimes come over as stereotypical characters especially with the emphasis at times on racial groupings.

Pipers Boyfriend (come FiancĂ©e) comes across exceptionally well being put in a very difficult situation and the support from him, Piper's family and friends is vital to her survival and the story.

The book is very well written and a very enjoyable way to spend a few hours, however remember it is nothing like the TV series.

8 out of 10.

02/04/2014

An Introduction.

Hello my name is Dave

I know I have put up a number of posts already but I was moving stuff over from an old blog. I decided to concentrate my reviews in one place and Wordpress wasn't working for me. my old blog was review and remove and had reviews on CD's and apps as well but I wasn't enjoying writing about them, so I have decided to concentrate on my main passion (bar my loving son) Books.

A bit about myself.

I'm 30 love books and that's about all. I'm on goodreads.com please add me on there if you like my reviews. I'm attempting the 2014 reading challenge and have set myself a target of 75 books in 2014. As of today (02/04/14) I am on 23 out of 75, so that may be amended upwards as the year goes on. I will be posting reviews based on these books as I write them so If you want to find out what is upcoming then look at my reading challenge list. Once they are done I will hit the back catalogue of stuff I have already read and try and keep up with what I am reading.

This is a bit of a rambling post but I wanted to say Hi.

Please feel free to comment or add me on google + or follow me on twitter (@dwjjones1).

Peace out

Deejay.

Join Me - Danny Wallace

Join Me - Danny Wallace


Image

Author: 


Danny Wallace

Publish Date: 


2003

Blurb on the Back:

They didn't know what they were joining...

They didn't know why they were joining...

But joining they were.

Danny Wallace was bored. Just to see what would happen, he placed a whimsical small ad in a local London paper. It said, simply ‘Join Me’. Within a month, he was receiving letters and e-mails from intrigued strangers all over the country, eager to sign up.

Teachers, mechanics, sales reps, vicars, schoolchildren, pensioners – all pledged allegiance to his cause. None knew what that cause was.
Soon he was proclaimed Leader. Increasingly obsessed and possibly power crazed, he risked losing his sanity and his loyal girlfriend. But who could deny the attraction of a global following of thousands of devoted joinees?

A modern day Pied Piper, he traveled the world.

From Inverness to Amsterdam, Swindon, Paris, Zurich,Crete and Oslo. He became a minor celebrity in Belgium. He had a brush with a criminal mastermind in Devon. He made hundreds of old men all over the world very happy.

A book about dreams, ambitions and the responsibility that comes with power, JOIN ME is the true story of a man who created a cult by accident, and is proof that whilst some men were born to lead, others really haven't got a clue...

Review:


(Note this is a repost from the 11 April 2013)

So you may have noticed in my last blog I mentioned a chap by the name of Danny Wallace (Not the Footballer). In Join Me, Danny largely by accident starts a cult (or as he prefers it to be known a "collective") by entering a small advert into a local London paper. the ad simply said "JOIN ME" and asked any one wanting to join to send a passport sized photo of themselves to Danny. He never gave any explanation of what they where joining, mainly because he didn't have the faintest idea what the purpose was.

As people respond and the members start to grow Danny struggles to keep things secret from his long suffering girlfriend, Hanne, who has had enough of his "stupid boy projects" after his exploits with Dave Gorman in a previous book ("Are you Dave Gorman" still to be reviewed by me.)

More importantly however he finally isn't able to avoid what the purpose of his cult/collective is for and as a result he is finally backed into a corner and forced to invent a reason. Instead of using his ever growing power for evil however, he decides that its purpose should be to do random good deeds on a Friday which eventually lead to them adopting the moniker of "The Karma Army"

Join Me is a nicely paced and humorous book and Danny tells the story in a straight forward but entertaining style. He is also very openly critical of where he went wrong. The Karma Army is still going strong which is testament to the good work that Danny wanted to promote. I would say however that like America Unchained, once read it doesn't have much re-read value but still a very uplifting book to read.

9 out 10

Now just a short wee note. Posts from me will be a bit sporadic I work a condensed week so your more likely to see me active on a Thursday, Friday and Saturday than the rest of the week also any comments you have would be most appreciated.

For now this book is about to be replaced. Not sure by what yet but the Changing Mat looks the odds on favorite.

Hope you have fun

Deejay