Book Review (1) by Paige Turner
“Captain Corelli and The Time Traveller’s Wife’s Dog That Couldn’t Bark In The Night Time” by Pledge Yarism.
If anyone out there still hasn’t come across this little gem of a book, let me recommend it most strongly. Miss Yarism here far outdoes her earlier works (“The Fall of the Mouse of Esher”, and “The Sound of the Basketballs”). As ever, her powerful characters flesh out the bold narrative with keenly felt emotion.
Corelli, an old sea-captain, falls in love with Wilma, the wife of a strange Doctor Dickens, who can somehow travel in time, using a device he has found in an old curiosity shop (in the nineteenth century, whence he originates). Their affair is on the point of being consummated when they are interrupted by a burglar, who has infiltrated their house undetected, since faithful Ishmael, their dwarf Irish wolfhound is suffering with laryngitis. The burglar, entering the bedroom in search of loot, instinctively attacks Corelli, knocking off his wooden leg, then runs away with it, so as to avoid pursuit.
Overcome by the shock of all this, Wilma (who had not known her lover was deficient in the number of his lower limbs) falls into a swoon. Ashamed and bereft, Corelli hops off, only to trip over Ishmael, who is mutely attempting to bark behind the doorway. He (Corelli) lands heavily, as chance would have it, on top of the time-travel device, which instantly sends him back to Wallachia in the year 1476. There he appears in the middle of a battlefield (Ottomans vs Roumanians), where he is unfortunately transfixed by a lance wielded by one of the combatants. Meanwhile Dr Dickens is reunited with his wife and dog, and he never learns of the whole tragic incident, or of the affair, although he notices that Ishmael refuses to come out from under the bed for days.
I found the whole story very engaging, especially the whole sub-plot about illegal corsetry and the 19th century scrimshaw industry. Five stars.
Book Review (2) by Paige Turner
“The Dutch Colonel’s Women” by Vlad Tepesh
It is this contrast, and how it affects the Colonel’s character that drives the narrative of the book. He becomes besotted with two native girls, and eventually beds them both. Wracked by Protestant guilt, he turns to alcohol and drugs in a futile attempt to blunt his carnal desires. By this point he has “gone native”, and is making only desultory efforts at his desk, but an inspector arrives from Amsterdam. This upright burgher finds Vermeer debauched and dissolute, and sacks him on the spot. Now without family, employment, or respect, the Colonel takes ship with his two lovers on a native fishing boat bound for Sumatra. It is a doomed journey, as the boat is shortly lost with all hands, despite mild sea-conditions. The novel closes with a fantastic, surely symbolic, description of the wreck given by a local fisherman who witnessed the event, which he claims was caused by a sea-monster.
Site Last Updated - 08/05/2013 13:08:11
|Glenboggin, the Cleethorpes of the north!|