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Ray Macdonald

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The Man Who Was B. Traven
The Man Who Was B. Traven
by Will Wyatt
Edition: Hardcover

3.0 out of 5 stars Was it Worthwhile?, 21 April 2016
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I read a volume of B Traven stories which contained : The Treasure of the Sierra Madre; The Death Ship; and The Bridge in the Jungle. None of these rose above the quality of the adventure stories that used to appear in the boyhood comics of my youth such as Wizard, Adventure or Hotspur. Of course this is okay but it doesn’t qualify them as ‘great literature’.
I also read Will Wyatt’s The Man Who Was B. Traven. and whilst the mechanics of his investigation were interesting I can’t help wondering what it was that kept him going trying to unravel the background of someone who had written a pile of simple adventure stories.

I need convincing that the whole B Traven thing wasn’t simply a harmless literary scam.


The Treasures of B.Traven
The Treasures of B.Traven
by B. Traven
Edition: Hardcover

3.0 out of 5 stars Why the Mystery., 21 April 2016
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I read a volume of B Traven stories which contained : The Treasure of the Sierra Madre; The Death Ship; and The Bridge in the Jungle. None of these rose above the quality of the adventure stories that used to appear in the boyhood comics of my youth such as Wizard, Adventure or Hotspur. Of course this is okay but it doesn’t qualify them as ‘great literature’.
I also read Will Wyatt’s The Man Who Was B. Traven. and whilst the mechanics of his investigation were interesting I can’t help wondering what it was that kept him going trying to unravel the background of someone who had written a pile of simple adventure stories.

I need convincing that the whole B Traven thing wasn’t simply a harmless literary scam.


I Cannot Tell a Lie, Exactly: And Other Stories
I Cannot Tell a Lie, Exactly: And Other Stories
by Mary Ladd Gavell
Edition: Paperback
Price: £9.17

5.0 out of 5 stars The Fluke., 5 Feb. 2016
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
A wonderful short collection of short stories. It was almost a fluke that it ever got published. How many other unpublished treasures are there?


The Best American Short Stories of the Century
The Best American Short Stories of the Century
by Katrina Kenison
Edition: Paperback
Price: £14.04

5.0 out of 5 stars An Outstanding Piece of Literature., 13 Nov. 2015
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I'm only about a third of the way through it at the time of writing but I can say that the book is an education. The biographical notes on the authors are useful and serve as links to other of an author's works - even, perhaps particularly, those which just give the date when a story was published and then chronicle : "nothing more is known about him/her". An outstanding collection.


Tongues of Flame (Deep South Books (Paperback))
Tongues of Flame (Deep South Books (Paperback))
by Mary Ward Brown
Edition: Paperback
Price: £20.95

5.0 out of 5 stars A Very Good and Thought-Provoking Book, 20 Oct. 2015
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I came across the author’s name in a Book of the Week production of Paul Theroux’s Deep South: Four Seasons on Back Roads.

Whilst Mary Brown Ward’s writing was set in the same regions of the US as that of Flannery O’Connor and Carson McCullers and the writings of these three women are often considered part of the same genre, she was a very different sort of person to the other two writers. They both had dysfunctional lives and died relatively young whilst MWB lived the conventional life of a wife and mother before starting to write fiction for publication in her 60’s. She was Debussy, the other two ladies were Stravinsky.
But what about the book? The stories are beautiful in their simplicity and say much about human behaviour, social mores and brings out how differently one thinks about the same things in the various seasons of one’s life. It’s an oversimplification to say that the endings are open-ended for the characters and stories are so finely crafted that they seem to leave one with bursts of thoughts and ideas of what the characters thought or might have done – which is another way of reflecting on what oneself might have done.


Topolski's Legal London
Topolski's Legal London
by Francis with a Foreword By Lord Birkett Cowper
Edition: Hardcover

5.0 out of 5 stars The Law was his light. (Lord Birkett)., 4 Sept. 2015
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An exceptionally good book. Lord Birkett's delightful Foreward is from another age - and all the better for it!


The Body Shop Aloe Soothing Moisture Lotion SPF15 50ml
The Body Shop Aloe Soothing Moisture Lotion SPF15 50ml
Offered by Your Beauty & Beyond
Price: £13.00

4.0 out of 5 stars Soothing., 20 April 2015
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Just right.


Lorus Time Teacher Beep Alarm Clock - Pink
Lorus Time Teacher Beep Alarm Clock - Pink
Price: £13.39

5.0 out of 5 stars Good time., 1 Mar. 2015
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Early days but it looks good.


Gil Shaham / André Previn - American Scenes
Gil Shaham / André Previn - American Scenes
Price: £9.98

4.0 out of 5 stars Poor Show from Deutsche., 26 Feb. 2015
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
The music is fine but the information on the CD cover is poor. e.g. there is no indication of who the composers of the various tracks are. One can of course make a educated judgement but it would be nice to be certain. Also, on the front of the cover under Gil Shaham's name the names of R Strauss, Schumann, Paganini, Kreisler, Elgar and Sarasate are given - not any of whom have anything to do with 'American Scenes'. The name of Rohan De Silva also appears on the cover - is he one of the performers? - I think not! The logic of doing this escapes me and smacks of throwing any old cover on this fine collection of music. A poor show from DG.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Dec 16, 2015 6:05 PM GMT


Nothing of Importance: A Record of Eight Months at the Front With a Welsh Battalion, October, 1915, to June (Classic Reprint)
Nothing of Importance: A Record of Eight Months at the Front With a Welsh Battalion, October, 1915, to June (Classic Reprint)
by Bernard Adams
Edition: Paperback

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Of Much Importance, 18 Dec. 2014
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Some of the book reads as if it had been written – as did Journey’s End – by someone not long out of Greyfriars School and this is perhaps the real tragedy of such a conflict as World War 1.
Both the Blackadder and the “we must fight another war to stay true to those who died in the last one” schools of thought should read what Bernard Adams writes in his preface to this outstanding book.
He said that people involved in war can be thought of having been dealt cards from an invisible dealer. Following is an attempt to paraphrase what he wrote

Spades are dullness, mud, weariness and sordidness.
Clubs are for humour, cheerfulness, jollity and good-fellowship.
Diamonds are the glitter of excitement and adventure.
Hearts are agony, horror and death.


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