Archive for November, 2012

Dodger – Terry Pratchett

Posted in Books on November 29, 2012 by thecognitivekey

A children’s historical novel set in the early part of Victoria’s reign. It features Charles Dickens, Sweeney Todd and other people from that time. Even Karl Marx gets a mention.

I wouldn’t bother with the book. I didn’t particularly like any of the characters and the main character was especially awful. The plot was turgid. Not one of Terry Pratchett’s best. I did read it to the end though…a predictable end. Still better than Harry Potter, just.

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Various Artists – Return To Soul City

Posted in Music on November 2, 2012 by thecognitivekey

Wow! This is an album to savour…Soul as it should be played and heard. Great sounds of the 60s and 70s

Wulf the Saxon, A Story of the Norman Conquest – GA Henty

Posted in Books on November 1, 2012 by thecognitivekey

It is a long time since I read any GA Henty. He’s a Victorian adventure storyteller for boys. His tales are usually based around an important historical event. The first I read was Through Russian Snows which is about Napoleon’s Russian adventure through the eyes of Englishmen who somehow get tied up in events. It was my only source of Napoleon’s retreat, and remains so.

Wulf is based around the events around the Norman Conquest. Starting a few years before during the reign of Edward the Confessor, running through Harold’s captivity in Normandy and the oath William forces Harold to take, Stamford Bridge, building up to the Battle of Hastings. There are sections which are obviously fiction but they add to the story. The hero always comes good and in the end wins the girl.

Again this is Boy’s Own Paper work. And there is absolutely nothing wrong with that. How accurate it is historically I am not sure but it seems to have covered all the key events so far. It is very well written, a good pace with good action, and despite being written for boys it still reads well for an adult. Maybe the Victorians were better read, but it doesn’t patronise by using a restricted vocabulary. It would be a good read for children of today, if they could read to that standard.

I do moan about the standard of modern writing, but it would be worth the writers of Harry Potter and that ilk, reading GA Henty and discovering just what is lacking in the plotting and writing of their own work.