Posts tagged ‘book review’

Book Review: Alex Webster And The Gods By David Dent

What’s a major deity to do when he finds himself washed up on Mt Olympus? Jupiter, once mighty Roman God has spent two millennia sulking about his defeat at the hands of Yahweh and the loss of the great Roman Empire. Jupiter and his motley assortment of gods have become complacent, even the eternal fountains have mildew on them and are in need of a good clean.

Shedding his robes in favor of an expensive Brooks Bros pin stripe three piece suit and Harvard Business School MBA in hand, the reinvented J. J. Jones is ready to reclaim his throne, the world is ripe for the picking, he rationalizes “…All the old religions are fighting each other, especially the Christians and Muslims. We can come up the middle and be everybody’s second choice.”

He does however realize that the path to glory is not an easy one, the world is a considerably different place in the 21st century than ancient Rome. Also his fellow Gods are going to need a makeover, not only in their appearances but in their attitudes as well, if they are going to fit in.

J. J. realizes that what he needs is a management consultant! Enter Alex Webster. Alex and his sometime girlfriend Victoria take on the daunting task of removing 2000 years of stagnation, of course there are some bumps along the road. Old habits die hard, and it is not long before Carmen Cupido (Cupid) gets the nickname of Dr. Love in a local night club where he has been practicing the art of matchmaking, and coming to the attention of the local police as the likely purveyor of date rape drugs.

J. J’s scheme for ‘world domination’ is to ease into it slowly by becoming the CEO of a global company. To facilitate this he engineers a scheme to merge two companies and become the head. What he doesn’t realize is how much resistance he is going to encounter from a mere mortal. Gerry Shilling CEO of Pharmaglobe has no intentions of stepping aside gently, and sees this merger as a stepping stone for himself!

I found Alex Webster And The Gods to be a thoroughly enjoyable romp. David Dent’s style of writing reminded me a lot of the late Douglas Adams, another master of putting characters in the most unlikely and bizarre situations. The humor is mostly dark and very well executed. Juno for example likens her marriage to Jupiter, to that of Bill and Hillary, and because Jupiter is off chasing every bit of skirt in the universe, “we only have sex every hundred years”.

Every chapter starts with a little quote, some words of wisdom, from Carl Sagen, to Yoda, everyone gets their say, but my personal favorite is from William S. Burroughs “Sometimes paranoia’s just having all the facts”.

If I have a criticism of the book, it is that it is too short. The ending is very cute, and certainly paves the way for a second book, and I’ll bet J.J.’s Brooks Bros suit that David Dent is typing away as you read this. All in all, I give this book very high marks, it is a fabulously crafted concept and one that would transition well into the big screen, or a TV series. The characters are larger than life, the plotlines outrageous, this is what I class as great entertainment.

Although it is officially classified as Science Fiction, it should appeal to everyone that enjoys a light and funny read.

Review by Simon Barrett
http://zzsimonb.blogspot.com

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Book Review: Dance Of The Heart

“Dance of the Heart” is a quick-read novel of only 118 pages, however, there is so much more to this story than one would expect. First of all, Therrian does a fantastic job of setting up the scenes, the characters, and the beginning. It was very clear to me who the characters were and what role they played.

Michael Baldwin is successful and flourishing. He is well-balanced in his career as a successful professional dancer and home life with a longtime partner, David. And, they just built a beautiful home on Lake Michigan. All goes well until his lead partner, who is morbidly disliked, accidentally dies.

Michael has mixed emotions over her death but even more so, mixed emotions when a new dance partner, Elizabeth, replaces Margo, the dead lead. Michael, acknowledging being gay from as long as he can remember, is extremely attracted to Elizabeth. The drama continues as Michael struggles with his emotions and ultimately discloses his feelings to his partner David.

Of course, David, as any partner would be, is crushed and reacts accordingly. In the meantime, Elizabeth, being only a temporary replacement for Margo, returns to her home. Michael, with all intentions in place, was going to tell Elizabeth how he felt, however, she left before he was able to do so. This results in more mixed emotions for Michael.

“Dance of the Heart” is appropriately named, because there certainly is a lot of heart dancing in the book. Does Michael ever tell Elizabeth how he feels? Can a gay man actually fall in love with a woman? Was Michael’s infatuation with Elizabeth real or a fantasy? Does David move on to other lovers?

What a wonderful story! “Dance of the Heart” is an account that proves how complicated love can be. Therrian’s story shows how we, as human beings, can spin ourselves into a hole of confusion when we don’t follow our true feelings. Michael’s mother, Sally, summed it up best by saying “You can’t choose who you fall in love with, but you can choose what you do with it. In the end, it’s all up to you.”

ISBN 9780615135007
Reviewed by Irene Watson for Reader Views (5/07)

Book Review: Best Of Friends

“Best of Friends” is a novel about the lives of the “Fabulous Five.” The Fabulous Five is a group comprised of five wonderful, loyal ladies who have been best friends for years. Each woman in the group has her own issues to deal with and to learn from. The story mainly centers around Liz, whose mother has just passed away. Liz’s family is about as dysfunctional as a family can be. The siblings have taken sides with each other. Liz always tries to be neutral, but when their backstabbing antics are directed at her, she finds herself unable to do so anymore.

Kim is another lady in the group who has finally met Mr. Right. Kiona, a female player, is deciding to settle down with one of her catches. When she and her boyfriend decide to move in together, they both have to learn to make compromises and to get over their commitment phobias. AJ allowed a bad marriage to tear her down and take her out of a promising career. Struggling
to care for her twin daughters, while she is on welfare, she fears that all is going to be lost. But her perseverance finally pays off and she finds herself back on track. Quineeta is single and loving it, however, when she has a health crisis, she relies on herself to get through it, when really she should have let her friends be there for her.

“Best of Friends” is truly an enjoyable novel. The author, Sherry Brantley has an awesome imagination which she puts to use in dreaming up plots for Liz’s family to use against each other. She does an excellent job of character development. These ladies are very three-dimensional and Brantley lets you into their heads and hearts to make them seem more real. I could relate to so many of their experiences, and the doubts and fears that invade their minds were so similar to my own. Brantley also incorporates a touch of spirituality throughout her writing. I loved this because as she addresses Liz’s dilemmas, she does so in a way that has Liz evaluating her actions on a higher level and making the realization that if she had taken the higher road, things would have been better. It wouldn’t have been as fun to read about though!

“Best of Friends” is a must read for a women’s reader groups. This will be a fun book to discuss. It is also the perfect book for a lady that needs an evening to herself, where she just wants to cuddle up with a great story. Don’t miss this one!

Best of Friends
Sherry Brantley
Lulu (2005)
ISBN 9781411645455
Reviewed by Paige Lovitt for Reader Views (4/07)

Book Review: Alex Webster And The Gods By David Dent

What’s a major deity to do when he finds himself washed up on Mt Olympus? Jupiter, once mighty Roman God has spent two millennia sulking about his defeat at the hands of Yahweh and the loss of the great Roman Empire. Jupiter and his motley assortment of gods have become complacent, even the eternal fountains have mildew on them and are in need of a good clean.

Shedding his robes in favor of an expensive Brooks Bros pin stripe three piece suit and Harvard Business School MBA in hand, the reinvented J. J. Jones is ready to reclaim his throne, the world is ripe for the picking, he rationalizes “…All the old religions are fighting each other, especially the Christians and Muslims. We can come up the middle and be everybody’s second choice.”

He does however realize that the path to glory is not an easy one, the world is a considerably different place in the 21st century than ancient Rome. Also his fellow Gods are going to need a makeover, not only in their appearances but in their attitudes as well, if they are going to fit in.

J. J. realizes that what he needs is a management consultant! Enter Alex Webster. Alex and his sometime girlfriend Victoria take on the daunting task of removing 2000 years of stagnation, of course there are some bumps along the road. Old habits die hard, and it is not long before Carmen Cupido (Cupid) gets the nickname of Dr. Love in a local night club where he has been practicing the art of matchmaking, and coming to the attention of the local police as the likely purveyor of date rape drugs.

J. J’s scheme for ‘world domination’ is to ease into it slowly by becoming the CEO of a global company. To facilitate this he engineers a scheme to merge two companies and become the head. What he doesn’t realize is how much resistance he is going to encounter from a mere mortal. Gerry Shilling CEO of Pharmaglobe has no intentions of stepping aside gently, and sees this merger as a stepping stone for himself!

I found Alex Webster And The Gods to be a thoroughly enjoyable romp. David Dent’s style of writing reminded me a lot of the late Douglas Adams, another master of putting characters in the most unlikely and bizarre situations. The humor is mostly dark and very well executed. Juno for example likens her marriage to Jupiter, to that of Bill and Hillary, and because Jupiter is off chasing every bit of skirt in the universe, “we only have sex every hundred years”.

Every chapter starts with a little quote, some words of wisdom, from Carl Sagen, to Yoda, everyone gets their say, but my personal favorite is from William S. Burroughs “Sometimes paranoia’s just having all the facts”.

If I have a criticism of the book, it is that it is too short. The ending is very cute, and certainly paves the way for a second book, and I’ll bet J.J.’s Brooks Bros suit that David Dent is typing away as you read this. All in all, I give this book very high marks, it is a fabulously crafted concept and one that would transition well into the big screen, or a TV series. The characters are larger than life, the plotlines outrageous, this is what I class as great entertainment.

Although it is officially classified as Science Fiction, it should appeal to everyone that enjoys a light and funny read.

Review by Simon Barrett
http://zzsimonb.blogspot.com