Not What it Used To Be

First I just want to mention a new Blog Challenge for July, yes NEW and all sparkly if you would like to find out more click here Blog Challenge to find out more and learn about its creator, and maybe decide to join in xx

Have you ever gone back and picked up a book you had really enjoyed only to find it a little dull but not be able to figure out why?  I was nearly a third of the way through rereading HG Wells War of the Worlds when the light bulb came on.

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I must state it is only the book to which I refer as I have never seen the 2005 film I tend to avoid remakes wherever possible but I realised the trouble with this book is that while the book itself has not change, I and the surrounding world have.

The book was first published in 1898 at a time when science and more importantly Darwinism was challenging religious preconceptions of the world.  Travel to the stars was merely a flight of fancy rather than a possibility for every person with the money to pay.  Machines were cumbersome steam contraptions, computers were unheard of and communities lived in relative isolation with news travelling slowly unless by the occasional telegram.  Things could not be more different from this internet age in which we live.  At the time it was written it was completely possible this scenario might happen in fact a few years later one man would cause a national panic with his interpretation.

In 1958 Orson Welles adapted the play moving its location from the south of England to New York and broadcast it in two hour long programmes on radio, this is how the chaos began…

This was a time where we had become fascinated by the stars and planets and Sci-Fi really began to come into its own as a genre, the development of the film industry played a huge role in this yet it was the older medium of Radio which led to the panic, possibly as the public had now become used to the idea of film as fantasy but radio as factual.  Although we had made many advances technologically since the books initial publication it was still possibly that aliens could descend from Mars to wipe out civilisation as we know it. The next two clips demonstrate the extent of the panic and the apology that Welles himself was forced to give for terrifying a nation.

The problem is now the book is no longer believable, it has become outdated, Sci-Fi relies on the possibility of fantasy becoming reality, once the time passes without the events happening it becomes obsolete to an extent.  As a modern reader we marvel at the idea of news taking days to pass from place to another when it can now be sent around the world in seconds.  We can still read the book in terms of its place in literary history but it no longer has the thrill which it was intended to invoke.  When I first read this around thirty years ago I was fascinated by it, even then technology had advanced from its conception but not to the extent where invaders from space could be written off as easily as now.

In one way I regret rereading this and wish I could have left it alone and allowed the childhood memory of it to remain but it was part of my 1000 books challenge.  If anyone hasn’t read it and wants to form their own opinion of it you can read it on line for free by following the link at the bottom of this post or download it via Project Gutenburg.

Is there a book which you read when you were younger but regret rereading as an adult?

 

http://www.fourmilab.ch/etexts/www/warworlds/

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Birthday Wishes

Today is a very hard day for some friends of mine you see today would have been little Charlie’s 3rd birthday.  I will not pretend to know how you get up each morning and carry on following the loss of a child much less how you handle the extra special days knowing your child will not be there to open presents or blow out candles.  Charlie’s legacy is to hopefully bring about changes which will reduce the number of parents experiencing what Fi and Joey are going through today, I read messages from his big sister Ellie and my heart breaks afresh that she too should have to deal with this pain at such a young age.  So for today they asked that we all wear purple in his honour (his favourite colour) there really is nothing more to be said other than I am…

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Book Reviews – Two Titles By Derek Acorah

Following on from last Tuesday’s post I reached a decision I will review the two books I have read together in order to give a balanced opinion I will also post evidence to back up my negativity towards one of the books as you will see that way you can decide for yourselves whether or not a poor review is justified.

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The first book I read was Ghost Hunting with Derek Acorah and I really enjoyed this one.  The book gives a general overview into Derek’s life as a medium, his work and some personal experiences.

If you are looking for in depth behind the scenes information regarding his time with Most Haunted you will be disappointed what you will get are some more personal,  less high profile experiences and a guide to what the spirit world comprises of in terms of types of haunting.  It is a really easy read and one can hear Derek’s voice as you read it guiding you through his journey.  He does however give you some interesting insights to his beliefs regarding the souls of animals and it is still a really good read.  The books does discuss briefly his early experiences with the psychic world and how he developed his abilities.

I will be honest this is more of a beach read than in depth research material, written in alight conversational style and not getting drawn in to the fine details makes it a very easu enjoyable read and I give it 4 out of 5 stars.

Now onto the second book Haunted Britain & Ireland and what a let down I had.

First I will say given that Derek was involved with a TV series with a similar name I expected the book to relate to his experiences with the locations he had visited but I was sadly very mistaken.

The first few chapters were written by Derek explaining different types of hauntings and spirits and some simple logical advice about when to visit and what to take with you but that was as far as it would seem any personal involvement ends.  The book crams in as many locations as it can possibly manage, right at the start Derek states he has not personally visited many of these locations and cannot vouch for whether they are actually haunted or not only repeat stories that have been told.  There are plenty of books around which do this already and I was annoyed that a medium with as much influence as Derek Acorah would add his name to one that did not actually contain locations he himself had visited or could give any personal experience of but it was actually worse than that.  Many of the entries were not only extremely brief almost to the point where ghosts were hardly mentioned but it was almost like a glorified business promotional book., with many being restaurants, hotels and tourist locations, just to show what I mean this was a typical entry.

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If it were just the details of how to find each place or their address fair enough but it actually reads as an ad for the place.  I cannot say if Derek Acorah is responsible for the whole book or just gave his name to someone elses blatent commercialism but either way it has left a sour note taste in my mouth especially given it has a £7.99 price tag which could have been significantly reduced if these ‘ads’ were financially motivated.

I give this one 1 out of 5 and that is for the introductory chapters.

Was I justified in giving this a harsh review? You decide…

Hello I’m Back

Well my laptop is back and firmly ensconced upon the desk where it will now stay most of the time from tomorrow I hope to get back into something along the lines of normal blogging schedule and actually I have a few posts half created but abandoned due to the nightmare of only being able to read a few words at a time on the netbook screen lol.

On a more serious note though one is what may be classed as a bad review, I never normally publish bad reviews (though if I haven’t reviewed your book yet don’t worry my TBR is huge and it will probably just be trapped in the pile) but I have thought long and hard about this.  The book is written by a celebrity about something he is famous for yet I seriously doubt he has even seen the contents of this book and if he has then that only makes it all the worse, I really do normally believe if you can’t say anything nice don’t say anything at all but I actually feel quite angry that people will be paying good money for this because of the author and the subject it is written regarding.  a second alternative is that I have another book by the same person awaiting reviewing which I did quite enjoy so I might review them in the same post to show the contrast between the two.

I will also have some photos to share with you showing what I have been up to during my forced absence. and next Sunday the 30h June I will be attending a Diamond League Athletics meeting through work where I will get to see some of our GB Olympics team and medalists I will try to take some pictures assuming they don’t run past me too quickly lol.

Another Quickie

I am trying to get into the swing though restricted by technology, working on proper posts is annoying given the tiny bit of screen I can see at any one time, so for the time being you will have to put up with these quick chatty posts.  We had a sad day last Friday when one of our Guinea Pigs Erica went across the rainbow bridge, she had collapsed on the Thursday and despite our best efforts passed on Friday, poor Buddy looks so lonely in his cage but after consultation with the pet shop they feel he will be better on his own rather than trying to introduce a new friend for him so for now he is getting extra snuggles until we decide what to do.

The lovely weather has disappeared behind a cloud bank that has lasted two days so far, what I have begun is my quest to get fitter and have started exercising daily, at the minute it is a couple of 5 minute bursts on the cross trainer but hopefully it will build up fairly quickly though of course I am taking care not to push my back too far too soon.  The long term aim is to be able to do a couple of 5k runs next year but at the minute the cross trainer is an impact free method of exercise far better while I am carrying so many extra pounds.  I didn’t get weighed before I started but will do so on Monday morning then start keeping track from there.  Wish me luck lol

Give Away Draw Final Hours

I am missing you guys almost as much as I am missing the laptop which is not only my means of linking to you all but also had all my writing software on.  Am hoping it gets resolved soon before I do something drastic like spend extra money putting software on this stupid netbook which I am coming to loathe.  I know they must serve a purpose but right now struggling to think of anything this is useful for with its tiny screen and even tinier keyboard.  But enough grumpiness just want to remind you all there are 36 hours left on the give away, just visit my Face Book page click the giveaway button at the top of the page and get your entries in.

Fingers crossed for laptop news soon xxx

 

The Value of Stars

Great post about the moral responsibility of those little stars. not sure I have ever review if it was less than three stars must check

The View Outside

I read a great post recently on Peter Germany’s blog where he talked about the star system used to review books. I often do reviews on Amazon and Goodreads, but I haven’t really analysed what the stars really mean to me, and I guess everyone’s interpretation is different. So here’s what I’m thinking when I give a book a star:

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5 stars ***** I loved it…unputdownable.

4 stars **** Really enjoyed it, but….(I’m probably just being picky but there was at least one thing that annoyed me, I found a bit unbelievable or didn’t like etc).

3 stars *** It was ok but I’m disappointed. I had a major problem with a particular aspect, but for some unknown reason decided to read to the end lol

2 stars ** Hmmmm, not for me. It really didn’t work or was just plain boring.

1 star *

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