Thursday, June 14, 2007

The Week In Review(s) – Part One

Well there was certainly no end of excitement. It maybe was not the most productive week, but it sure had its moments. For that reason I am splitting this into two posts.

The book scene has been fun. I finished The Infernal Machine by Matthew Carr, this is a fascinating look at the inglorious history of terrorism. From the 1880’s assassination of Tsar Alexander II through to Al Qaeda. I really enjoyed this book, it does not take sides, it explains the issues, the acts, and the responses. In fact he makes a convincing argument that the terrorists through the ages have generally (tho not always) failed in their objectives, and have instead become unwilling pawns in the enactment of unpopular laws that assist governments in their own agenda.

I was absolutely shocked when I interviewed Matthew, this is the second book in the last couple of months that I have reviewed that has been through the British law system. He was not very willing to discuss the actual details, not name the individual, but the entire first pressing of the book ended up ‘pulped’ over 3 sentences in it. London has become the Libel capitol of the world! Luckily The New Press are running with the book (sans the three sentences) in the US. Unfortunately for Matthew tho, his book is essentially unavailable in his home country.
My advice to everyone, is go buy it, it’s a great read.

Right now I am working on Cobra Gold by Damien Lewis and it is a cracking good yarn. Although entirely based around an actual event (The biggest unsolved gold robbery of all time), he has weaved a fictitious and very clever story around it. Damien is a best selling author in England, and one of his books made it to #4 on the Times Best Seller list. I can hear you ask, ‘so WTF are you doing with this book’? Well that’s a good story as well, I recently reviewed Peter Davies’ Scatterlings of Africa’. And it turns out they are buddies. Damien liked my style in the review and interview, and asked me if I would like to try his book. To say the least, I was flattered!

There was a little bit of TV excitement this week. I am reviewing a series of weekly TV shows. Usually it is pretty simple, I have a big pile of DVD’s, one for each week, on Sunday I watch the episode, and write the review, the show airs on Tuesday evening, and life is good. The problem that I had this week was….. the DVD was missing! EEK, how do you review something that you don’t have? The problem was resolved online. While it was a little too close to the deadline for my taste, no harm was done.

More about reviewing tomorrow!

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