Shop now Shop now</arg> Shop now Shop now Shop now Learn More Shop now Learn more Shop Fire Shop Kindle Listen with Prime Shop now
Profile for Bookmole > Reviews

Personal Profile

Content by Bookmole
Top Reviewer Ranking: 396,821
Helpful Votes: 128

Learn more about Your Profile.

Reviews Written by
Bookmole

Show:  
Page: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4
pixel
Strange Report
Strange Report
by John Burke
Edition: Paperback

4.0 out of 5 stars with enough intrigue and excitement to satisfy most thriller fans, 18 Dec. 2015
This review is from: Strange Report (Paperback)
Likeable and polished novelisation of one of the less well known ITC series from the late '60s. It's based on the first two episodes shown in the Midland (UK) region, CULT and SKELETON. They're both solid little mystery thrillers, with enough intrigue and excitement to satisfy most thriller fans, and they're very cleverly laced together to make something more like a single story. As with a lot of John Burke's novelisations, this reads like a stand-alone novel rather than simply 'He said-she said-and a bit of desciption' that you find in a lot of books of this kind. I'd guess that this is based on the original scripts, and the stars were well known for rewriting their lines, so if you have the DVD boxset then a fun game might be to compare that with novel and work out which bits were changed.


Hanged Man
Hanged Man
by Edmund Ward
Edition: Paperback

5.0 out of 5 stars Death and rebirth, 9 Jun. 2015
This review is from: Hanged Man (Paperback)
I read this book back when it was originally published and then put it back on the shelf for several decades. Just recently took it back off the shelf for a re-read and was very pleasantly surprised. A splendidly off-beat thriller about a building magnate who decides to 'stay dead' after several attempts on his life, digging back into his past to find who hates him enough to want to kill him. It was released simultaneously as a TV series (now available on DVD) but it stands up on its own as a novel. Edmund Ward had a snappy, Chandleresque prose style, and this is possibly his best work. The thematic connection with the Tarot card might seem a little pretentious at first, but the story does touch on deeper issues of redemption and rebirth,which keeps the story alive all these years later. It's time that Edmund Ward's novels and scripts were reprinted.


The Astronomical Patrick Moore
The Astronomical Patrick Moore
Dvd ~ Sir Patrick Moore

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Brightest Star, 10 Jan. 2013
This charming documentary/interview was done a few years ago, and is essentially a tribute to the great amateur astronomer/writer/television presenter. It's twice as long as the programme that the BBC did after he died in December 2012, and covers considerably more ground. Seeing him in his study, amongst his books and souvenirs, talking about his life is a fascinating experience, and the memories of his friends and colleagues add considerably to the DVD. This doesn't feel like an expensive telly programme, but rather like an extremely well done amateur production (and that isn't a criticism). If you're at all interested in Moore and his achievements, then this is really the DVD to go for. A superb effort.


Showcase Presents Elongated Man TP Vol 01
Showcase Presents Elongated Man TP Vol 01
by John Broome
Edition: Paperback
Price: £14.99

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An ear...in the fireplace!, 18 Nov. 2012
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Perhaps the best way to describe this charming collection of DC back-up strips from the 60s is to imagine a version of THE THIN MAN starring the young Dick Van Dyke and Mary Tyler Moore. Initially a supporting character from the re-vamped post-War version of the Flash, Ralph Dibny was a man who had discovered a drug which gave him the ability to stretch his body to an extraordinary degree. This wasn't really anything new in comic books, as those who remember Jack Cole's PLASTIC MAN will remember, but the Elongated Man was far more than just a tired rehash of an old hero.

By 1964 he had moved to the back up spot in the new, updated BATMAN comic and he brought his new wife, Sue, with him. Being married wasn't exactly common for superheroes at the time, and this wasn't the only thing that was different about EM; whilst he was as public spirited and philanthropic as the next good-guy, he also had a passion for publicity, and gloried in the applause of the public (he had, of course, revealed his secret identity, feeling that there was no point in hiding your light under a bushel). The strip was also unusual in that, for all of his stretchable skills, EM is basically a sleuth rather than a superhero. More often than not he isn't up against super-villains but clever crooks. At only a few pages length, it must be admitted that these are not the most twisty of crime stories, but they do try to be a little different from the standard superhero romp.

There's a charm and lightness to the stories here, which makes them especially unusual when compared with today's comics. After finishing a few you'll have a smile on your face. Ralph and Sue are immensely likeable characters, and even when the story is not exactly gripping you'll be pleased that you spent time in their company. They feel like a proper, grown up couple in the way that modern comic pairings often don't. This volume goes right back to the first appearance of EM in THE FLASH and reprints 52 stories in all. There are still about 30 of these to go, but no sign of a volume 2, so you'll pretty much have to make do with these. The lack of colour is a shame, but these stories are enormous fun, and I suspect that you'll enjoy them.

By the way, if you wan't to know what the title of this review is about...you'll just have to read 'Ten Miles to Nowhere'!
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Apr 25, 2013 7:30 PM BST


Great Detectives
Great Detectives
by Julian Symons
Edition: Hardcover

5.0 out of 5 stars All this, and Tom Adams too...., 31 July 2012
This review is from: Great Detectives (Hardcover)
As a mystery fan, I love this book. It's basically a series of pieces about great fictional detectives by Julian Symons. The Sherlock Holmes segment is a little pastiche about the retired Baker Street sleuth being sought out by a damsel in distress. There's a nice semi-twist in the end. Christie's two sleuths get standard bio-pieces (The Marple is good, but the Poirot is more fun, with Symons explaining the detectives apparent 100+years age in the final book). The Nero Wolfe segment recounts an interview with Archie Goodwin, who talks about his boss, and reveals the 'final' Nero Wolfe story. It's not bad, but I don't think that Symons quite catches Archie's voice from the original books. He's a bit too shrill and defensive. Maigret has a little short story where he meets one of the other detectives from this book. Nothing special, but good fun. The Ellery Queen bit is perhaps my favourite. Fans will remember that EQ undergoes a radical change from the pompous aesthete of the early books to the regular guy of the later ones. Symons explains this with a clever and convincing theory which is actually quite convincing. The final segment is another fictitious interview, this time with Philip M-----, the 'real' private eye whose adventures Chandler fictionalised as Philip Marlowe. I may be alone in this, but I found Symons version of Marlowe more likeable than Chandler's. The words by Symons are very enjoyable, but what makes this book unmissable is Tom Adams. He's still best known for those highly creepy Agatha Christie paperback covers from the 70s, but the illustration here are even better. The Great Detectives look just as you imagined them, and the portraits of Ellery Queen and his father, as well as that of Nero Wolfe, are good enough to be framed. If you're a mystery fan, this is well worth your money.


The Deception Planners: My Secret War
The Deception Planners: My Secret War
by Dennis Wheatley
Edition: Hardcover

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Dennis vs Hitler, 4 Jun. 2012
The last of Dennis Wheatley's books to be published, this is a fascinating piece of autobiography. During WWII, the famous thriller author ended up using his imagination to help defeat the Nazis. Awarded a commission, he was given an important place in the London Controlling Section. This innocent sounding department had the task of thinking up and coordinating ways to deceive the enemy as to the Allies intentions. To this end they set up such famous operations as 'Monty's Double' or 'Operation Mincemeat' and many, many others. This is not a carefully annotated history, but rather a chatty and informative memoir of the department and Wheatley's role in it. It's not the definitive study of deception in WWII, but it is definitively worth your time (and money) if you're interested in this subject.


The Gold Solution: A Whodunit
The Gold Solution: A Whodunit
by Herbert Resnicow
Edition: Hardcover

5.0 out of 5 stars Unfairly forgotten, 3 Jun. 2012
You can see the outline of the plot in the publisher's review, so I needn't go into that. Although written and set during the '80s, this very much harks back to the Golden Age of detective fiction, with clever crime and even cleverer detective. The plot is imaginative and credible, even if it does not quite achieve the 'wow' response that you get from the best of Dickson Carr. The real pleasure of the book comes from the quality of the writing. The story is narrated by Norma, the wife of the detective, Alexander Gold. Their relationship is bantering and sarcastic, but always loving. This was a fun bok to read, and I will certainly be trying out more of Resnicow's stuff. Since his death in 1997 his books have rather dropped out of sight, which is a shame. It would probably make a good TV series.


Earthfall (Space 1999)
Earthfall (Space 1999)
by E. C. Tubb
Edition: Paperback

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Fascinating experiment, 28 Jan. 2012
This review is from: Earthfall (Space 1999) (Paperback)
Novelisations of TV programmes are a dime a dozen, but this take on the well loved 70s sci-fi extravaganza tries something rather unusual. As even lovers of the original show will admit, the central idea of the moon being blown out of orbit by nuclear explosions is rather unlikely. However, after writing several adaptions of episodes, Ted Tubb was given the opportunity to write an original novel and took it with both hands. Whilst keeping the telly characters, he rewrote the central premise of the show and turned it into a proper science fiction novel. Many of the more unlikely elements of the show are removed, and more strikingly he gives the show a proper resolution, set many years after the cataclysmic opening of the story. If you love the show you should give this a try, but if you don't, then you might still like this. It's a proper bit of mid-70s sci-fi, and very enjoyable.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Mar 14, 2012 10:20 AM GMT


The Thin Man (Vintage Crime/Black Lizard)
The Thin Man (Vintage Crime/Black Lizard)
by Dashiell Hammett
Edition: Paperback

1 of 3 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Dull, dull, dull, dull........., 28 Oct. 2011
The overwhelming opinion of the reviewers here seems to be that the book fails to deliver on its promises, and I'm afraid that I agree. I've enjoyed other Hammett novels and short stories, but this just felt as flat as a two week old glass of champagne. One shouldn't really compare film and book versions, but it's unavoidable. The screenplay is witty, charming and clever. The style perfectly matches the content. In comparison, the book feels like the style and content are at war with each other (try to imagine an episode of HART TO HART written by James Ellroy). When a 200 page book plods and makes you skip paragraphs it must be doing something very wrong. The film is superb, but the original novel is a drag. Because it inspired the film, I have given it a two star rating, but this was terribly disappointing.


Those Modern Musketeers
Those Modern Musketeers
by Dennis Wheatley
Edition: Hardcover

5.0 out of 5 stars Titanic Trio, 26 July 2011
In 1933 Dennis Wheatley began a highly successful writing career with the publication of THE FORBIDDEN TERRITORY. A thrilling tale of Soviet Russia, it introduced a set of characters that Wheatley dubbed 'Those Modern Musketeers' (Duc de Richleau, Simon Aron, Rex van Ryn, Richard Eaton ). A group of adventurers who travel the world facing dangers both natural and supernatural, they are the modern day counterparts of Dumas immortal characters.

The first novel in this collection is THREE INQUISITIVE PEOPLE which, although written before any of Wheatley's other works, was not published for years afterwards. Neither the author or the publisher really liked it, and this has tended to colour fans opinions of it. It is actually a rather good whodunnit, which isn't a genre that he is usually associated with. It details how our heroes first meet, so is essential reading, although it feels strangely at odds with the author's usual fare.

THE FORBIDDEN TERRITORY, on the other hand, is vintage Wheatley. Escape, capture, gunplay, suspense, political commentary, and a love story. It still reads wonderfully well, and you can tell why it was a bestseller on its original release. The Red-bashing mood of the book does make it something of a period piece in this post-Soviet world, but it's none the worse for that. It serves admirably as an introduction to his stuff. If you like this, then you'll like all of the rest.

I have reviewed THE GOLDEN SPANIARD elsewhere on Amazon, so I needn't go into too much detail. It's an adventure story set around the Spanish Civil War. Directly inspired by Dumas' TWENTY YEARS AFTER, it has the friends finding themselves on opposite sides of the conflict. It's possibly one of Wheatley's best novels, with greater emotional depth than usual, and a rousing climax.

I'm afraid that none of the books are 'Black Magic' stories, but this doesn't really matter. Wheatley could write a superb story without invoking Satan. If you've never read anything by this author, or if you have only tried the supernatural stuff, please give this a try. You'll love it.


Page: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4