#104 – Dead Game, Michael Avallone BOOK REVIEW

November 18, 2018

Dead Game

My man-crush with hack writer Michael Avallone continues with the third in his thirty-book Ed Noon series, Dead Game. This one has quite an audacious set-up. Noon gets the case when a dame, Mrs Arongio, walks into his office and sets him to shadow her husband who she suspects of cheating. “Mrs Arongio had her doubts that all of Mr Arongio’s daily chores kept him busy with antiques. For fifty bucks, I had all of Mrs Arongio’s doubts. And some of my own.”

The man in question owns both an antique shop and a passionate interest in Edgar Allan Poe memorabilia (which becomes relevant later). Noon follows him and it’s quickly apparent he’s a queer old bird, “he was as big and as wide as Broadway with a nose like the pistol grip of an old Western shooting iron”. Noon follows him from his shop to a swanky hotel where visiting baseball teams stay [1]. Arongio storms out in a rage, all the way to the Polo Grounds where the Giants are at home for a pre-season exhibition against minor-league out-of-towners, the Ravens. It’s here that Avallone’s flair for the spectacular arises.

At the bottom of the ninth, the Giants hit a game-winning triple and as the crowd roars with the runners, an out-fielder drops in a faint. Arongio vaults the rail and seems to rifle his pockets before running off. Chaos ensues and Noon finds the baseball player is dead, stabbed in the back with a stiletto. A man-hunt ensues.

Noon once more gets on the wrong side of NYPD, this time because while chasing down a lead with a young uniformed cop, they bust in on Arongio who lets rip with his pistol, gunning down the cop and making good his escape. NYPD blames Noon for getting their fellow into such a scrape and pull his detective license. I won’t spoil any of the plot (all this happens in the first three of 24 chapters) but it’s the usual fare of shifty dames, illicit under-the-table gambling, shakedowns, and everyone working an angle.

Given that I’m not writing spoilers, what on earth can I say in reviewing a third Ed Noon story that I didn’t cover with The Tall Dolores and Spitting Image? Not a lot really. So, here’s a photo of a hot bird with her tits almost hanging out.


Feel better?

I like Avallone’s short punchy sentences and lean attitude to scene dressing. He cuts a fine jib with his cheesy phraseology, such as in this case upon discovering Arongio has beaten the living shit out of his wife and ransacked her room.

“Give me a break, Noon. I’d die if anybody saw me like this. I’ve got to go away. Take a few weeks to fix myself up…”
“It’s going to take more than that to fix me up, lady. I need information bad.”
“Okay.” She shrugged and stood up. “Put that thing away. I’ll spill it. But give me another drink will you?”
I grinned at that and turned to the bottle. It was pure reflex. Simon pure. Simply Simon pure. Dames always get me off base anyway.
The bottle was empty and I’d known it. She’d known it too.
Before I could find where I’d left it, she brought it down on my head from behind with all the force and rage she could muster in her one-hundred-odd pounds. She mustered plenty. The bottle came down hard.
I took the floor the same way.”

You see, there’s a pattern to these Noon stories. Here’s a few story beats I can guarantee every single one of them will include: (i) a good-looking dame comes into his office and lies her ass off, assigning him a job which is really a feint for her real purpose, (ii) a corpse shows up and his NYPD buddies decide yet again to forget every time Noon has been right in the past, and suspect him of involvement and playing them false, (iii) somebody cracks him over the head and knocks him clean out, (iv) on a separate occasion, he’ll be on the wrong end of a gun held by the primary bad guy, or flunky thereof (v) one good-looking dame has a squeeze on him (vi) one good-looking dame, possibly the same one, absorbs the mother of all beatings or is simply murdered. Brutally.

If thirty times isn’t enough and you’d rather have essentially the same story told to you one hundred and sixty times, consider my memoir series here.

Sigma Wolf store

[1] This novel was written 1954 when baseball and boxing were the only US sports worth a lick. The NFL didn’t come on strong until 1960s and NBA until 1970s.

#103 – Sam Langford, Clay Moyle BOOK REVIEW

November 18, 2018

Sam Langford

Back in my university days, I’d sometimes go exploring in the dim and distant corners of the big university library. Most students would hang out in the usual tabled study areas and the most-borrowed assigned reading was logged at the “short loan collection”, a sub-division of the library given over to one-day borrowing. Thus, much of the library was quiet and uninhabited. The kind of silent empty aisles that the fat kid always gets lost in when pursued by the killer in Halloween movies.

Any time I heard a noise, I resisted the urge to call out, “Hey, guys! Quit fooling around, I know it’s you.” My favourite aisles held the leather-bound archives of social science journals, going back in some cases to the early 1900s. There were row upon row of them, each thick volume a custom-bound collection of one year’s publications of the title. It was the perfect place to relax [1]. Out of curiosity I’d choose a volume randomly [2] and read an article or two. It was hard to describe the feeling, of reading a paper that likely hadn’t been read in decades anywhere in the world. It’s the same feeling that dungeon-crawler games like Skyrim and Dark Souls seek to recapture when opening treasure chests.

From these flights of fancy I came to appreciate just how vast the accumulate store of human data is. A library is a never-ending rabbit warren of information. This feeling was rekindled when reading Sam Langford: Boxing’s Greatest Uncrowned Champion. Clay Moyle has done a deep dive into newspaper archives and reconstructed the life and career of one of boxing’s most colourful, and under-represented, characters. Langford was a sensation in his day, 1900-1920, but dropped out of institutional memory faster than a mass-shooter with a Democrat voter registration.

It made me think just how few stories are told in book form compared to those which could be told, given the raw information out there. Moyle has done a great job in rolling his sleeves up, interrogating the newspaper databases, and then stitching everything together into a narrative. I doubt it was hard to do, but the work needed to be done and Moyle did a bang-up job, to which I’m grateful. Just think for a minute, of what is possible in this internet-powered word-processor era:

Find a notable character from the past who interests you. Google search his name [3], then go into one of the many newspaper archive databases and search again. Organise the articles chronologically, arranged by clusters around key events in his life. That’s the basis of a book right there, and I suspect it’s more-or-less what Moyle did.

So who is Sam Langford, nick-named The Boston Tar Baby?

Sam Langford book 2

I’d heard plenty about him since I first began collecting boxing magazines in the mid-1990s. The Ring magazine in particular was very good about keeping boxing tradition alive and reintroducing worthy old-timers to each new crop of readers. Langford was one of the ‘big four’ nigger [4] black fighters of the pre-Dempsey era who were denied title shots due to the alleged ‘colour bar’ by which big-name white boxers refused to fight blacks. The others were Joe Jeanette, Sam McVey, and Harry Wills. These were active men, having records of 82-10-10(69), 75-13-10(61) and 70-9-3(56) between them. Langford was busier still, retiring at a mark of 178-29-39(126) which is preposterous by today’s standards but even that number leaves off many unrecorded fights such as during his tours in Mexico, France, and Australia. Sam himself claimed in later life to have fought 600, though I guess that’s an exaggeration.

Fighting a lot is impressive, but it gets especially odd when you see how often they fought each other. Langford fought Jeanette 14 times, McVey 15 and Wills 17 times. All four men were title contenders, so that rather makes the Mickey Ward vs Arturo Gatti trilogy look tame in comparison (as does Jeanette vs McVey’s epic 49-round battle). Many boxing historians, and professionals of the day, considered Langford the greatest boxer who ever lived and then-heavyweight champ Jack Johnson fought him just once – when Langford was a rookie – and avoided him the rest of his career. Langford was only 5 feet 7 and in his prime weighed around 170lbs. I think of him like the black Harry Greb (sadly they never fought each other).

Sam Langford book

Sam Langford: Boxing’s Greatest Uncrowned Champion does a good job digging into the man’s childhood and early forays into boxing, drawing upon newspaper features written during his athletic prime, and then patiently walks us through his key fights (and wisely skips over the unimportant ones). Boxing is a sport well-suited to this kind of review because the newspapers of the day tended to write detailed fight reports, often multiple papers covering each fight, so there’s a wealth of primary data to explore even when the fight itself wasn’t filmed.

What type of man emerges from this book?

A very likeable one. Langford comes across as cheerful, unassuming and respectful in his dealings with others while fiercely brave and competitive in the ring (unlike, say, Muhammad Ali where the more you find out about him, the more of a cunt he comes off as). He was a savvy technical fighter gifted with an iron chin and a hammer in his hands. Sadly, he was ‘ghetto rich’ in that he’d spend his ring earnings like water and be constantly hustling up new fights to pay the bills. He fought the last few years while blind in one eye [5] and was eventually reduced to scrapping in Mexico to make ends meet. Though he never became punch-drunk, he dropped out of the public eye and spend several years post-retirement living in a tiny hotel room, blind, alone, and listening to the radio.

Boxing men of the 1940s thought so highly of him that he was frequently rescued with testimonial shows, largess, and thrown do-nothing jobs as an excuse to pay him a living wage. Heavyweight champs Joe Louis fought an exhibition for him and Gene Tunney personally paid him a monthly stipend. Somehow, he still ended up broke again. The book paints a typical story of boxers from the era: humble beginnings, a tough early career being pitched in deep, an exuberant run at the top, followed by sad decline, destitution, and physical issues. Langford was an extreme case due to his prodigious fight count, heavy-handed attacking style, and complete inability to save money.

This book is highly recommended to any fan of old-time scrapping, before everyone was a faggot arguing about Conor McGregor or Khabib Nuramjihadallahakbarisis. The boxers of the early 1900s would have laughed their asses off, thinking “whose faggot this is?” at modern UFC competitors.

If you think it’s all well and good an all-time great like Sam Langford getting a single 448-page book to recount his life, but frankly, a random PUA deserves six 500+ page volumes then head on over to my product page here and knock yourself out.

Sigma Wolf store

[1] Or now, to bang a bird.
[2] More precisely, I’d “haphazardly sample” to usual social survey jargon.
[3] Unless it’s an aforementioned Democrat-voting mass shooter, in which case you’ll need DuckDuckGo to get any results.

[4] Sorry!
[5] Just like Greb

#102 – The Hunchback Of Notre Dame, Victor Hugo BOOK REVIEW

November 16, 2018

Street Hustle

“Im’ma out hustlin’ bro”

These Wordsworth Classic paperbacks are great, in my humble opinion. All the big-name classics are covered, they are a couple of quid each, and the editions are handsomely readable. In an attempt to come over high falutin’ they each have a lengthy introduction in which some ponderous academic explains the historical context and influence to the novel that follows. In this case, Keith Wren from the University of Kent tells me, “It all began with Walter Scott. So many things in the nineteenth century did. ‘The Wizard Of The North’ was the J.K. Rowling of his age.”

Apparently it was Scott who invented the modern historical novel which peaked in his 1814 Waverly, which is not – much to my surprise – all about the train station I need to get off at when applying for a Russian visa in Edinburgh. I read Ivanhoe and I’ll grant Scott was rather good. What I didn’t realise was that Victor Hugo very self-consciously emulated him and attempted to write The Hunchback Of Notre Dame as an attempt to out-do him.

I’ll say I was pleased to see Wren tell me this book is known to have very tedious stretches of architectural exposition and clunky historiography, because that’s how I’d felt reading it in places [1]. Book Three is entirely tedious and should’ve been cut completely. Hugo has a real bee in his bonnet about then-modern Paris having been rendered ugly and soulless by the effacing and demolition of all its great medieval architecture. I can only imagine what he’d think now that smelly African rapists are camped out on the Paris streets [2].


Same Day Lay Of Russian Hottie – Best on YouTube!

Hugo’s original French title was Notre-Dame de Paris: 1842 which makes it clear his intention was to make the cathedral the main character, not Ed Lop- Quasimodo. Much as Ivo Andric’s The Bridge Over Drina makes the bridge the centrepiece as the tides of humanity wash back and forth across it down the ages, Hugo’s cathedral is the centrepiece of a snapshot of one moment in Parisian life.

Fuck. All. That.

I’ll tell you what I learned from reading this book. First, the socio-sexual hierarchy is real. Second, French people are cunts. Third, stupid women always fall for cads. Allow me to explain.

Hugo has populated THOND with a cast of compelling memorable characters who are very distinct from each other [3]. There is Claude Frollo, the satanic priest running Notre Dame, who is a textbook gamma and the primary antagonist in the novel. His adopted son and bell-ringer Quasimodo is an omega. Additionally, there is the rakish cad Captain Pheobus who is a textbook PUA, and the less-malignantly gamma playwright Pierre Gringoire. I suppose you could also call the King of Thieves, Clopin Trouillefrou a kind of dark triad alpha though his sway his limited to running the rookery from which all the street riff-raff emerge. Nonetheless, he acts alpha in his manner and leadership.


Esmeralda of Shepton-Mallet

There are only two women of consequence. One is a crazy old hag who has shut herself into a walled-up room to do penance and grieve for her daughter, who was stolen by gypsies fifteen years earlier. The other is the beautiful sixteen year old gypsy Esmeralda, who lives in the rookery and plies her trade as a street dancer and performs tricks with her trained goat. Now that I’ve put those two introductions together, you can probably guess the main plot twist. It’s about as predictable as any mainstream UK or US cop show [4]

The story plays out thus: everyone is trying to bang Esmeralda and nobody succeeds. First of all is Pierre Gringoire. He’s all puffed up from having his play shown at the cathedral grand hall for visiting Belgian ambassadors, but the crowd just talk through it, incensing him. In a frightened blind melancholy he wanders into the criminal rookery and is “arrested” by ragamuffins who take him to Clopin for judgement. They are about to summarily hang him when Clopin remembers an old rule that if a women will marry him, he’s spared. Esmeralda happens along and being kind-hearted she rescues him by marriage.

Gringoire never even kisses her. It’s a Bill-Hillary type marriage of convenience. For a month he is shacked up with the little gypsy and gets absolutely nowhere. Being a whiny gamma, he runs his mouth constantly about how desperately unfair it is and eventually – I shit you not, these are the French, remember – he develops an attachment to the goat instead. So, LMR Fail #1.

Next up is Pheobus, a strutting popinjay betrothed to some young heiress with rooms overlooking the square outside the cathedral. The girls ask Esmeralda in for a dancing show but that goes awry when the gypsy and Pheobus have chemistry. Rake that he is, he has an assignation with her at the 1482 equivalent of an hourly motel room, and seems poised to seduce the virgin Esmeralda. It’s touch and go. She’s clearly enraptured by the military man.


The opportune moment

At an opportune moment, Frollo jumps out of the closet and stabs Pheobus in the neck then runs away. LMR Fail #2. (or external cockblock, you decide). Frollo, being gamma, has admired Esmeralda from afar but also hates her, so he concocts a trap to see her hanged for Pheobus’s murder. “If I can’t have her, no-one shall” he exclaims, but only after an extremely verbose harangue about how it’s all Esmeralda’s fault really. This self-serving pomposity and self-deceit is textbook gamma, written in 1829 by a twenty-nine-year-old Hugo no less. Some things are eternal.

Esmeralda is convicted by a rigged court, as Frollo has bribed the magistrate. Once she’s banged up in the basement of the Bastille, Frollo visits and tries to blackmail Esmeralda into loving him. Repulsed by the gamma, she declares she’d rather die. So Frollo goes off on another multi-page harangue about how it’s all her fault that he’s persecuting her. LMR Fail #3.

Just before Esmeralda is escorted to the gallows, Quasimodo leaps in and rescues her, tucking her away in the belfry where she’s protected by the sanctuary laws of the time. Unlike the US sanctuary cities, she isn’t released by a Democrat governor to then rape and kill the locals, but I digress. Quasimodo has her in his lair for a month but she won’t even look at him. She’s still pining for the cad Pheobus, who survived the assassination attempt and is back at his fiance’s room overlooking the cathedral. LMR Fail #4.

This is where I swear Hugo has read Roissy. Esmeralda hectors Quasimodo to go and fetch Pheobus, which the love-struck omega does. However, Pheobus is a cad who wants no part of the complications and gallops off, so Quasimodo returns. Esmeralda dresses him down for his failure.

Yes, you read that right. A woman is rescued from certain death and given sanctuary by an omega male who doesn’t even attempt to rape her, and she bullies him into fetching a rival male and shouts at him for failing. At this point, I wanted Esmeralda to die. What an ungrateful gypsy bitch.

More stuff happens, and eventually the bitch gets what she deserves. The riff-raff storm the cathedral but Quasimodo fights them off, killing dozens, and then the King’s guard arrive to disperse the crowd. In the confusion, Gringoire (still married to Esmeralda) slips inside with Frollo to kidnap Esmeralda and spirit her away across the river, to the Place de Greve, where her execution is planned (Frollo got the King’s counsel to specially request she be broken from sanctuary and hung – gamma spite). Gringoire then slips away with the goat, abandoning his wife to her fate [5]. Frollo leaves the gypo in the clutches of the recluse woman in her cell and fetches the guard.

It’s here that the blindingly obvious plot twist happens, and mother and daughter are reunited. The King’s executioners are pacing outside the cell, thinking Esmeralda had escaped. Just as they are readying to leave, Pheobus shows up by coincidence. Having finally cheated the hangman’s noose – at the cost of dozens of men’s lives, at that – stupid bitch Esmeralda cannot but scream “Pheobus!!! My Love!!” at the top of her voice, thus giving away her hiding place.

Her mum is killed in the ensuing melee, then that dumb gypsy is hanged. Good fucking riddance, you frigid gypsy cunt [6]

So, to summarise:

  • Everyone tries to fuck the hot teen, but all fail.
  • Hot teen shamelessly uses the omega, and chooses death rather than date the gammas.
  • She gets herself and her mum killed because she can’t stop chasing the obvious cad, who isn’t even that into her.

I think there’s a lesson in The Hunchback Of Notre Dame for us all.

If you want a book without hunchbacks (but with at least one fiercely mis-shapen PUA) then consider my memoirs, available on Amazon and here.

As an aside, I’m sure you’ll be interested to learn than Quasimodo invented gutter-game. I mean, the 1482 Quasi, not the 2018 one.


Moments later, Quasimodo swoops in and rapid escalates

[1] All the Wordsworth introductions contain spoilers and the reader is advised to read them last, as I do.
[2] “Kill them all, burn the bodies!” if he’s anything like me.
[3] For some reason it reminds me of how ID Software designed the monsters in Doom the same way. There’s a good analysis video about it on YouTube.
[4] The murderer is always the straightest and most right-wing-looking middle-aged white man. Because we all know from FBI statistics that it’s the successful white businessmen who commit all the gun and knife crime in USA and UK.
[5] Admittedly, she refused to consummate the marriage, so he has good reason. But balanced against that, she only married him to save his life. So, I mark gamma Gringoire as the cowardly bad-guy in this interplay.
[6] Actually, she’s a French girl kidnapped by gypsies, but frankly I don’t see the difference.

#101 – Flash For Freedom, George MacDonald Fraser BOOK REVIEW

November 13, 2018

Flash For Freedom

You are all well aware of how heroes swashbuckle through an adventurous tale of derring do [1] in which damsels are rescued from distress, dastardly villains are dispatched to the underworld, and wrongs are righted. You’ll be equally aware of the “anti-hero” archetype, the man of muddied moral compass who doesn’t heed the call of justice but ends up more or else achieving the same results as the hero, grudgingly.

What hero and anti-hero have in common is they are do-ers. Though their intentions differ, they are the engines of the story, pushing through to conclusion. What about a protagonist who doesn’t actually do anything?

Mr Harry Flashman, he of the Flashman Papers, doesn’t ever achieve anything. In working through Flash For Freedom – the fifth memoir in the chronology – it’s notable how little pro-active behaviour Flashman engages him. He punches a man after a card game when in the heat of rage, and later pulls a gun on a slave-hunter to effect an escape when cornered, but never once does Harry Flashman engage in pro-activity. There is no mission he is on, nor objective to attain. Mr Harry Flashman has only one thing he cares deeply about – saving his own skin.


That’s how I picture it

This all kicks off in 1848 in a drawing room of a London industrialist as Flashman is roped into helping a girl he fancies play baccarat after dinner. Also in the game are some Members of Parliament, including Disraeli himself. An old enemy of Harry’s, Bryant, sets him up with a false allegation of card sharping, including planting three cards in his jacket. Flashman’s estranged father-in-law Lord Paisley leaps on his disgrace as a chance to ship him off on a sailboat bound for the USA. Only…… it’s a slaver headed to Africa first.

From there, Flashman is like Old Mother Hubbard swallowing a spider to catch the fly. The ship takes on six hundred negro slaves but barely casts away when the captain, Spring, cuts a deal with the local chieftain for six of his Amazonian female bodyguards. The latter mutiny and several sailors are captured, tortured, and killed. By the time that kicked off, Flashman was already running to safety.

What follows is one unlucky break after another as the slaver is challenged by the US Navy and Flashman must concoct a convincing impersonation of a anti-slaving spy to evade the hangman, which then snowballs into more palaver. What’s notable is that Flashman is never the maker of his own destiny. He’s a selfish coward who never stands to fight, much less move towards danger in order to accomplish a higher goal. At each crisis point, Flashman always chooses the cowardly way out, of self preservation and betrayal, believing it better to run and live to hustle the streets another day.


I see them like this, can’t help it

What makes Flash For Freedom so engaging is how the narrator – Harry – conceives the situations, his feelings, and his assessment of others. It was written in 1971 and there’s not a jot of political correctness in there. The character is a shameless cad, lush, and racist [2] who finds himself both selling Africans into slavery, and then helping others escape out of slavery, according to how his circumstances play out towards best saving his own neck. He makes solemn promises to his companions and then relates in detail how many times he considers selling them out for momentary advantage. It’s the don’t-give-a-fuck directness of the pseudo-memoir style that makes it so engaging, how Flashman is so open and self-aware about his flakiness.

Just as with Black Ajax, I found George MacDonald Fraser to be extremely convincing in his recreation of the time period and the colourful characters within. I didn’t find any jarring anachronisms. You know the sort of thing I mean: women with feminist values in 1848, or blacks in government – the kind of mentality that makes modern Thor a transsexual and James Bond an African. Fraser writes everyone into believable positions for the times, but has no trouble creating fascinating characters. By casting everything into Flashman’s devil-may-care rogering swashbuckling style, it flavours the entire book with a sense of fast-paced facetious action.

Fraser is a good storyteller and this is a compelling narrative. The twists and turns of fate are all outside of Flashman’s hands but it’s his reaction to them – and commentary – that make it engrossing and often humorous. He’s an absolute cad. He has no qualms at all about taking on a job as a plantation slave-driver then pulling black wenches from the cotton fields to bed with him. When the jealous white mistress of the plantation flogs one wench, he simply sends the wounded girl back to the fields and replaces her with another. He’s utterly faithless and gets himself into non-stop trouble chasing skirt, so I imagine if he’d lived today he’d be a PUA. I wonder if Fraser is trying to make Flashman an unreliable narrator – by which the Flashman Papers are Harry’s attempts to create a fictional version of himself to impress future readers who take him at face value. If so, the cad truly hits below the belt.

Sigma Wolf store

If you’d like to read real, as opposed to fictional, memoirs than consider my series Balls Deep, A Deplorable Cad, Younger Hotter Tighter and Adventure Sex, all available here and on Amazon.

[1] My memoirs, for example.
[2] Like me until very recently.

#100 – The Spitting Image, Michael Avallone BOOK REVIEW

November 12, 2018


You didn’t think I’d reach the magic number of one hundred book reviews, did you? No, you did not. I’m pretty sure you put down your bottle of Soylent, turned to a friend [1] and then in snarky tones said something like “Orange Bald Man Bad. He’ll never get there.” Well, you snarky NPC cunt, here it is. My hundredth book review.

You cunt.

With that out of the way, dear reader, lets get on with my impressions of the second volume in Michael Avallones Ed Noon series, The Spitting Image. Pull out your world atlas, find the page with Hard-boiled City on it, and then find downtown because that’s where Avallone is taking us here – hard-boiled central. This is a seedy side of town with corrupt Irish cops, whiskey-drinking private detectives, and pretty dames you wouldn’t dare make beneficiaries of your life insurance policy.

Dames, especially the good-looking ones, were always getting into trouble. This was a very good-looking one. That meant only one thing to me. A lot of trouble.

This one gets off to a flier. A sassy blonde, June Wexler, comes running into Noon’s office begging his help. Her French chauffeur, Anton, has been putting the moves on her and she’s only just shaken him off to find her way to Noon [2]. Now, Ed Noon wasn’t born yesterday, I can tell you that, so he’s immediately suspicious. Halfway through the interview, Anton comes in and suddenly June seems to goad him into attacking Noon with his French savate. A tear-up ensues but the fisticuffs are rudely interrupted by an unknown stranger who fires through the doorway and shoots Anton dead before running off.

I stepped over Anton and went to the telephone. The Wexler dame was still crying. I looked at my watch. Eight-thirty-five. And I hadn’t had my coffee yet.

It turns out that June is the twin sister of April, both of them socialite heiresses about to inherit a huge fortune. Only, there’s a catch. Their scumbag of a dead father stipulated in his will that only one sister can inherit, and only if the other is dead. If both survive to reach twenty-one, the fortune goes to charity. Their birthday is only a few days ago. June swears April is trying to have her murdered, and suffered near misses already.


It’s a good little mystery, including the usual hounding Noon gets from grouchy cops resentful of his interference, and some shyster lawyers, and so on. Noon is a good-looking lad so the dames seem to fall for him but he can’t ever shake the feeling he’s being set up. Hard-boiled fiction is like that, everyone is working an angle and nothing is as it seems.

Avallone has quickly hit his stride with The Spitting Image. There is none of the awkward start like his first book, The Tall Dolores. Like that one, this second book races through with lean prose, push-forward plotting, and no fat on its ass. When Noon finally figures out the mystery, it makes sense without cheap devices.

Two things that really jump out of the Noon series, as I confirmed reading the next two volumes, are (i) Avallone will put in brutal violence, especially against the hot women, (ii) Most of the women are utter cunts. In this story an innocent woman is burned alive and the blow isn’t at all softened. The baddies are not messing around. Many crime writers find a way to ensure pretty women never quite take their lumps [3]. The twin sisters alternate between nymphomania and frigidity, and aren’t very likeable.

It’s a good book. I expect to keep reading the Noon series.

If you want to see a range of real women varying between nymphomania and frigidity you likely can’t do better than my memoirs available here, or my daygame textbooks.


Probably a slag

NOTE: The paperback Younger Hotter Tighter is currently unavailable while I resolve a printing issue. There’s so much red ink on certain pages that it’s clogging the printing machine (according to Ingram). The hardback doesn’t appear to be affected.

[1] If you’ve got any.
[2] I always said, “you can’t trust the French”.
[3] Unless its a serial killer story, in which case that sexual violence is the whole point. But Noon books are different, this particular story is about greed not sadism. The unlucky woman is simply in the way.

#99 – A Thirst For Vengeance, Edward M. Knight BOOK REVIEW

November 12, 2018


Now that’s a good cover!

What was your worst ever day like? Do you consider yourself to have had a tough upbringing?

I ask this because the main character, and narrator, of A Thirst For Vengeance probably has you beat. The tale begins when Dagan, dubbed the Blind Assassin, sits in a tavern recounting his life to a father and son, Earl and Patch. They keep him plied with ale as Dagan harks back to his childhood and the formative experiences that made him the wandering killer he is now. It’s bleak. About as bleak as the average lad raised in Sunderland.

To start, his mum tries to kill him when he’s two years old. Her new lover is spiriting her out of the village but she returns to thrust a knife through her toddler’s heart. Fate nudges her wrist and she misses, striking his shoulder. He toddles through a blizzard to be picked up by an old gypsy lady who sells him to a human trafficker. He winds up chained to a dungeon wall for six years by an evil brute called Three-Chins [1] where he is abused, tortured, and kept literally in the dark. Those kids are being raised for an underground human cock-fighting ring, The Arena, in the nearby city of Hallengard.

Not all is ill for young Dagan as he’s befriended by Three-Chin’s young daughter Alicia who smuggles him into her rooms where he can hide for several months, finally forming a tender human connection. So, Three-Chins gets wind of this and rapes Alicia in front of Dagan and then murders her. Yep, so far, so Sunderland. Or perhaps Hartlepool.

Finally the day arrives when he’s chained up and caged into the back of the wagon bound for Hallengard. Random bandits attack the caravan, killing the two drivers and freeing the kids. One bandit recognises something special in Dagan and presses a marked coin into his hands together with instructions to show it to the keeper of a temple in Hallengard. Dagan treks off, still only eight years old. Upon arrival in Hallengard he’s jumped by street kids who beat him senseless, steal his coin, and leave him for dead. He turns to begging and street crime. [2]


Trauma like this turned Dagan into an assassin

So, having seen what poor Dagan put up with, do you really think you had it hard when Joannie from third grade laughed at you because Billy pulled your pants down in the assembly hall?

At heart, this is a revenge tale, as the title subtly suggests. Dagan gets trained up by an enigmatic former assassin called Blackstone, who had infiltrated The Black Brotherhood gang of thieves to reclaim some magic knives. Or something. Knight is clearly making this all up as he goes along and I know [3] the entire novel was written in just twenty days. I suspect the planning phase was twenty minutes of that, and editing about two. It all moves along towards Dagan getting trained up until he and Blackstone heist the next big show at The Arena so as to kill Three-Chins and steal all the stake money wagered on the bouts.

There’s big explosions, knifings, sword fights and stuff. No wizards, dwarves, or orcs, though. This is of the men-only fantasy style, like Conan, where even magic is rather subdued. None of that Wheel Of Time soyboy bullshit. I dare say there’s not a single strong female character in the book. The women are only there to be raped and murdered, just like real life.


Soyboy bullshit, yesterday

This book is the usual Kindle fantasy fare so it’s rather a large step down from Robert E Howard, or J.R.R. Tolkien. It’s refreshing that there’s no faggotry at all, either literally in the bumming/Turkish sense, or in the soyboy Terry Pratchett sense. It’s all rough men finding excuses to knife each other after a night of drinking, just like in Sunderland. I don’t especially recommend it but you could do worse if you want a similar story to those old TOR Conan novels. It’s not that level, but then again it’s only 0.99p on Kindle.

If you’d like more bumming-free books full of sex, adventures and no rape (honest!) then try my products here. So long as I can sell a few every day, I can keep up rental payments on my old London lock-up so staff won’t ever open it up and discover the bodies.

[1] No connection to Jimmy Five-Bellies.
[2] And E.M. Knight then drops the whole coin/temple plot for the rest of the book.
[3] Don’t ask me how, but I know for a fact.

#98 – Stuka Pilot, Hans Ulrich Rudel BOOK REVIEW

November 8, 2018

Stuka Pilot


The last two books I reviewed were, respectively, a beautifully written pseudo-memoir about a degenerate alcoholic who achieved nothing in life, and a trashy pseudo-memoir full of blood’n’guts on the WW2 Eastern Front. Now, would I be able to find a book that represented the opposite of these two?

Ladies, I present to you Hans Ulrich Rudel’s Stuka Pilot memoir of his experiences throughout WW2. Where Bukowski is a masterful writer, Rudel is dull and factual. Where Hank Chinaski is a worthless bar-fly who will call a day successful if he merely avoids shitting himself, Rudel is leading a bomber command and often destroys ten Soviet T-34 tanks a day. Where Wolfgang Faust is glorifying in the gore and lurid descriptions of Soviet atrocities, Rudel is explaining orders, regimental movements, relative speeds between aircraft and the minutae of a combat pilot.

It really is like seeing a film negative compared to the original printed image. Rudel’s book is fascinating because (i) it’s all true, and could be verified against the vast store of paperwork the Luftwaffe left behind, (ii) he’s an extremely high achiever, (iii) it’s an expert’s bird’s eye view on a massive air war. The fact he can’t write very well doesn’t hurt the book so much. The quality of the information he relates keeps it going.

It’s notable how differently Rudel approaches the Soviets compared to how Faust did. For the latter, their tactical and strategic decisions are not fully explored because he’s a bullshitter rather than a true expert. It’s like watching RSD coaches try to explain daygame. Rudel sees them as worthy enemies and fellow professionals so, though he considers many of them under-trained and prone to poor performance, he’s always judging them according to militarily meaningful criteria: material, position, morale, training, tactics etc. At times I could forget he’s talking about blowing people up.


Awesome coat

What interested me as a daygamer [1] was to what he credits his success. In flight school before the war he under-performed in class and wasn’t allowed to fly during the Poland campaign of 1939. His weak reputation spread so that even when posted to Greece in 1940 the Stuka commander there tried to keep him grounded. Rudel was frequently sent on training courses in associated skills specifically as a pretext to keep him out of action. This forced him to learn everything the hard way, from every conceivable angle, until he was perfectly drilled. When he finally did get let loose in combat sorties he quickly established himself as a top gun.

His poor start forced him to get everything technically correct, and to understand the theoretical underpinning to everything he did. It wasn’t possible for him to play fast and loose, getting by on mere talent. Anyone familiar with my story [2] will know why that speaks to me.

It’s astonishing how brave Germans could be in wartime. Rudel fought 2,530 operational flights and would frequently discharge himself from hospital to get back to the Front. He was compelled by a sense of duty to his country and a bond to share danger with his wing. I also suspect he was addicted to the thrill-ride of bombing raids, though he never addresses the psychological dimension. A hair-raising escape after crash-landing and capture in Soviet territory doesn’t warn him off, nor does crashing in a ball of flames with two machine gun bullets in his leg. Even getting the other leg amputated after another tank-busting raid won’t stop him and he gets in a few hundred more sorties by equipping his rudder pedals to be hand-operable.

Rudel speaks very highly of Adolf Hitler, painting him as logical, very knowledgeable on wartime minutiae and technology, and warm company. He attributes much of Hitler’s strategic blundering to being misled by subordinates as to the size and distribution of his forces – such as one division being chosen for a spearhead due to it’s sixty panzers, only for Rudel to mention to Adolf that he’d flown over it a week earlier and it had only one tank – which itself was fitted up as a radio control centre to guide the Stuka’s on bombing runs. Sadly, Rudel never settles the issue as to whether Hitler had one or two balls.

It took me four days to read this – that’s a coon’s age in reading time for me nowadays – because it’s so thickly detailed and methodical in presentation. I feel like Rudel is most concerned with leaving a historical record of his wartime experience. This book isn’t written to thrill, nor to be easy reading. I did thoroughly enjoy it and can now say I’m considerably better informed about the WW2 air war than I was previously.

One strange omission is Rudel only mentions Hermann Goerring a handful of times throughout. It’s as though Rudel talked only to his immediate superior or went right up to Hitler. That’s odd, I think.

Fuck all that bullshit mate. Just check out my product page here so you can see all the fantastic books I wrote, including my Daygame Infinite and Daygame Mastery full-colour textbooks which are now selling nicely through Amazon.

[1] Former-daygamer
[2] All six volumes of it