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Killigrew and the Incorrigibles
Killigrew and the Incorrigibles
by Jonathan Lunn
Edition: Paperback
Price: 5.99

8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A whale of a tale!, 27 Mar 2003
The voyage begins with HMS Tisiphone in the remotest region of the empire, where Queen Victoria's government disposed of its so-called undesirables. Whether petty, political, serious or benign, they were all transported to the penal colonies where they suffered brutality that today would be unthinkable. Adventurers and traders, settlers and sinners had found yet another continent to exploit.
A group of persistent offenders, termed as 'Incorrigibles' escape with a hostage. Second lieutenant Kit Killigrew is not letting them get away. A tactical chase ensues, which takes the cast from Norfolk Island to the paradisical but cannibalistic South Sea Islands. There are many injustices to be corrected, and this boy's own, all action hero, deserves a commendation for his efforts.
If one must compare, I have not yet found anyone who can describe life on board better than Patrick O'Brien. Jonathan Lunn however, packs his novels with enough twists, turns and close calls to make his stories very enjoyable too.

Royal Flash (The Flashman Papers)
Royal Flash (The Flashman Papers)
by George MacDonald Fraser
Edition: Paperback
Price: 6.29

12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Flashman..., 20 Mar 2003
If 'Flashy' played for England, we would all be singing, 'There's only one Harry Flashman.' As any reader of this type of novel will know, protagonists of this kind do not come along too often. Having discovered 'The Flashman Papers' a few years ago; our cowardly cad in 'Royal Flash' never fails to impress.
After being lured away from London, the dishonest poltroon is made an offer that even he cannot refuse. The chance to impersonate Royalty and sample the regal life, in return for a tidy sum. But as 'Flashy' discovers, there is no such thing as an easy ride. Finding himself once again embroiled in deceit, intrigue and giddy-up passion - he displays his quick thinking and utter resourcefulness when confronted with the malevolent Statesman Bismarck.
There is certainly something special about Harry Flashman. Is it his talent for self-preservation that we admire, or his natural ability to be the number one love rat? Personally, I think more of us can associate with him than would care to admit. Squirming through life in his usual disastrous way, he somehow lives to shirk another day.

The Desperate Remedy: Henry Gresham and the Gunpowder Plot
The Desperate Remedy: Henry Gresham and the Gunpowder Plot
by Martin Stephen
Edition: Paperback

14 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Jacobean Joy!, 18 Mar 2003
Martin Stephen uses his scholarly background to create his first thrilling novel. A good blend, of fact and thoughtful fiction that brings Jacobean England very much to life. Well-constructed characters inhabit what is indeed a devious plot, between papist’s and defenders of the realm. The opening paragraph sets the tone and language that continues throughout this web of intrigue.
Unravelling ‘The Gunpowder Plot’ is a great start for Henry Gresham; I felt like one of his allies lurking in London’s shadows and am certainly glad of the introduction to this worthy spy. The story reminds us that the unbelievable was all too nearly realised and brings back the romantic notion of why, the 5th of November should always be remembered as Guy Fawkes, not Fireworks Night.
Does another hero join the honoured ranks of the likes of Aubrey, Hervey, Sharp and Sandman? The answer, quite simply, is yes!

The Gangs Of New York: An Informal History of the Underworld
The Gangs Of New York: An Informal History of the Underworld
by Herbert Asbury
Edition: Paperback
Price: 7.19

5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A chronicle of vice, 27 Feb 2003
More of a historical account than a story, Herbert Asbury's Gangs of New York, written in 1928 is truly a classic of record and documentation. Peppered with original illustrations and describing eloquently, the criminal culture, the colourful characters, the depraved surroundings and desperation of a period in American history that is often overlooked.
From the mid 1800's until the 1890's New York was a tribal melting pot of poverty stricken immigrants from the poorest parts of Europe, the homeless descendants from the days of slavery and destitute natives of the region. The only source of revenue and stable social structure that existed was with the infamous gangs and the corrupt officials, where only the strong or shrewd survived in the appalling conditions. I can only thank Scorsesee for helping to bring this book to our attention and look forward to discovering how he has transformed this vast amount of research material into a major motion screenplay. A compelling read for those with a passion for New York or the historical subject matter

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