Some more books I read

June 28, 2019
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31. Don Pendleton – Nightmare Army: A rich scientist in Sweden has concluded that Islamic immigration will lead to the annexation and disappearance of the Swedish homeland. So he bio-engineers a deadly virus that targets Muslims, turning them into homicidal zombies before they die. For some reason, in this book the scientist is the BAD GUY and Mack Bolan has to stop him! Cuck bullshit. 1/10

32. Michael Avallone – Meanwhile At The Morgue: Someone is trying to kill the starlets of a new Broadway production so the producer brings in Ed Noon to sort it out. This is the usual hard-boiled fare and no-one is gonna stop me reading them until I’ve finished the series. 7/10

33. Erle Stanley Gardner – The Case of the Careless Cupid: A distraught woman hires Perry Mason to help prove she’s not a gold-digger and really does love the rich widower she’s engaged to, and to fend off the machinations of the relatives eyeing his inheritance. Tight plotting and tighter dialogue. Mason is an alpha male. 8/10

34. Erle Stanley Gardner – Cut Thin To Win: Gardner’s “Lam and Cool” series are more hard-boiled than the Mason novels and more humorous. I like that Bertha Cool is a big money-grubbing battle-axe who dominates every scene. In this case everything hinges on a traffic accident. 8/10

35. Hilary Ford – Sarnia: Winner of best romance novel of 1974, it’s set in Victorian times when bored office clerk Sarnia is found by relatives from Jersey because her rich estranged dad is dying. A murderous plot ensues. It’s a good book until you realise the tropes are standard “which man does the heroine choose?”. Is it the boring conservative nice guy, the devilishly attractive rogue, or the rich good-looking adventurer who she accidentally rejects first time? It ends with the chosen man begging Sarnia to marry him and raise her bastard child. Yeah, right. 7/10

36. Donald Hamilton – The Interlopers: Matt Helm goes on a long wild goose chase following couriers collecting five microfiches for the Soviets all the way into the Canadian hinterlands in the hope of flushing out a Soviet assassin who is expected to murder the President. The usual hardboiled ruthlessly violent Helm stuff. I love them. 8/10

37. Giacomo Casanova – History Of My Life IV: The bi-sexual Italian rabbit is probably hoping we’ve forgotten that he admitted to getting bummed by a hairy Turk. He’s up to his usual tricks and it’s a fascinating insight into rabbit psychology and the 18th Century European bottom world. Slow going at times, though. Casanova isn’t one for dramatic or funny anecdotes. 7/10

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38. Peter Singer – Hegel: Considering this was written by a communist pro-infanticide animal rights lunatic academic, on the subject of a spectacularly grandiose German bullshitter, it’s a surprisingly tight and coherent book. Now that I know more about Hegel, I can safely disregard him. Not as much of a moonbat as I used to think, though. 6/10

39. Time Life – Winds of Revolution: I swear I’ll finish this series. Nearly there! This time its the 18th Century. Most interesting is the French Revolution, of which I’m increasing of the opinion that it was the worst thing to happen to Europe. It birthed communism and then allowed Napoleon to kill all of France’s wolfish men, leaving the country full of the whiny faggots we now know as Frenchmen. On the plus side, even Robespierre wasn’t so corrupt as to hire African mercenaries to win him the World Cup. 8/10

40. John Creasey – Inspector West Cries Wolf: There’s a secret gang of burglars plaguing London under the direction of the enigmatic Lobo. When startled, they kill. West is on the case and as usual it’s a fantastically human look at police work, London life before it became Somalia, and Britain before it was full of degenerates. 7/10

41. A.J. Ayer – Hume: Another single-day read to give an outline of a great thinker. Except, Hume doesn’t seem very great to me. He was wrong about everything and not very original. He was also pretty much ignored in his lifetime, which seems about right to me. 6/10

42. D. Manners Sutton – Black God: This was a real gem. It has a similar structure to Ivo Andric’s Nobel Prize-winning The Bridge Over The Drina, in that it follows a wizened old African man sitting by a river crossing for decades observing the stories going on in the settlement around him. Written in 1934 it has zero political correctness and paints a vivid picture of colonial and indigenous life. Loved it. 8/10

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43. Dennis Wheatley – The Ka of Gifford Hillary: Never let it be said Wheatley doesn’t take ludicrous ideas and then run with them straight-faced. This time rich shipyard owner Gifford Hillary is cucked and murdered by a brilliant live-in scientist and his disembodied spirit can roam the country figuring out the conspiracy against him, in a race against time before his funeral. Really odd but Wheatley tells the story so earnestly that it doesn’t feel ridiculous. 8/10

44. Harry Kurnitz – Fast Company: A rare book dealer moonlights as a detective hunting down stolen books. One such chase is wrapped up in murder. I like the 1930s aesthetic and did you know the third film based on this book was called Fast And Furious yet featured no car chases, annoying Latina lesbians, or big bald dudes? 7/10

45. William Haggard – A Cool Day For Killing: A 1960s non-pc espionage thriller about a South East Asian colony murdering the British counsel and plotting to declare independance, so the hero must sort it out. Feels very laconic and colonial in the right way without too much huffing and puffing. 7/10

46. Ross MacDonald – The Galton Case: Lew Archer is a good hardboiled private eye and this time the secretary of a rich old widow has hired him to track down a son who went missing twenty years earlier and may be dead. It’s full of lies, schemes, drinking, and danger. Good book. 7/10

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47. Warren Murphy – Union Bust: A ridiculous story about a rising star in the Teamsters who has a secret murder room and is assassinating his way to the head of a unified labour union so as to take over the USA. Remy smacks him down. So quaint to think of what the 1970s writers used as deadly threats to be overcome. I imagine a new book would have Chick-a-Fil as the latest threat to world peace. 5/10

48. Alexandre Dumas – The Queen’s Necklace: The second in the Marie Antoinette series and quite a tight focused story, this time mostly about the Queen and her women. The usual court plotting and scheming but a lot less of the swordfighting and adventuring. Sadly, Joseph Balsamo barely appears. 7/10

49. Michael Avallone – The Living Bomb: Ed Noon is going up in the world as none other than the President of the United States hires him to track down a missing nuclear scientist. This book is less hardboiled and more Bond. Pretty good. 7/10

50. Ichiro Kishimi – The Courage To Be Disliked: An introduction to Alfred Adler written as a dialogue between a whiny millennial and a professor. The thrust is that Freud was wrong and our personalities are not fixed in childhood or troubled by trauma. Quite the reverse, the personality has no history and we are what we choose to be. An empowering book that I thoroughly enjoyed. 8/10

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51. Edgar Wallace – The People Of The River: More anecdotes from British colonial administrator Sanders having to stop all the African tribes robbing, raping and killing each other. Has the usual suspense and subtle humour, and I dare say it’s considerably more accurate than Black Panther. 7/10

52. Michael Avallone – There Is Something About A Dame: Someone discovered an unpublished Shakespeare manuscript in WWII and Memo Morgan memorised it. So now someone is trying to kill him. God knows what’s going on in this one, but it made sense at the time. 7/10

53. Seabury Quinn – Night Creatures: Quinn was one of the Weird Tales big names, along with Robert Howard, HP Lovecraft, and Clark Ashton Smith. This is the first time I’ve read him. He’s not much for plotting and manly action, but he squeezes raw emotion from the strangest places. This collection has two sympathetic likeable werewolves and some tragic horror scenes (not gory!). A slow meandering read but felt like relaxing into a hot bath. 8/10

54. Martin Butler – The Corporeal Fantasy: I knew nothing about Kant, Schopenhauer, or the other dude. Didn’t know I wanted to know. This book is Butler’s personal interpretation of their philosophy and though it’s indiosyncratic and sometimes difficult to read I felt like it presented some great ideas that were new to me. 7/10

55. Warren Murphy – Summit Chase: Look, it’s rubbish. I don’t know why I keep reading them. 5/10

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56. Wilbur Smith – A Falcon Flies: I’m a sucker for epic sweeping book series and Smith kicks off a Victorian-era tale of slavery, elephant-hunting, and African conquest here. The main characters are all thoroughly unlikeable cunts but somehow Smith writes them so we don’t lose patience with them. Ship battles, duelling, bureaucratic incompetence, tracking beasts through the wilds… it’s an African epic. 7/10

57. Michael Avallone – The Bedroom Bolero: Someone is killing off hot chicks and they are found in red-painted rooms with the Bolero playing. Noon sorts it out. 8/10

58. Dennis Wheatley – The Island Where Time Stands Still: This doesn’t hang around as page one begins with Gregory Sallust thrown overboard during a storm in the South China Sea that kills his crewmates. He washes up on a New Taiwan, a secrey colony set up by aristocrats fleeing Mao. It goes in directions you couldn’t hope to guess and is an engrossing read. 8/10

59. Alexandre Dumas – Ange Pitou vol.1: His series on the French Revolution continues and now its all about the storming of the Bastille. The first 1/3 paints a picture of rural life as the titular character is growing up, then he is swept on a wild ride to Paris and revolution. More focused than many of Dumas’ 2nd-tier novels and I thoroughly enjoyed it. Don’t jump to this one, as the series is much better read in order. 8/10

 

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60. Michael Avallone – Lust Is No Lady: This one plays out like a Western. Noon is travelling through the desert when he blows a tire. He stumbles upon a half-dead woman tied to stakes and then into a gold-digging scandal. There’s rootin’ tootin’ and shootin’ here. Good book. 7/10

9 Comments

  1. You’ve got some heavy titles in there, with Hegel, Hume, and even the Casanova autobiography. Your otherwise voracious appetite for pulp thrillers is a detail I find odd. [I don’t have intellectual pretensions, so I don’t use books to prove how clever I am. I’m happy to read books that are entertaining. K.]

  2. Dude, you’re reading so much rubbish. And when you do decide to pick a classic, instead of reading the real author you read a synopsis of him (Nietzsche, Hegel, et al.)

    There is a reason that none of the books you review are known by anyone, while the authors you trash have a mountain of secondary literature written on them.

    For the love of christ, pick up some real literature sometime, because it’s getting depressing. [Your first comment here is rudely trying to position yourself above me. Don’t do that here. K.]

    • “Your first comment here is rudely trying to position yourself above me. Don’t do that here. K.”

      You’re reading rubbish. The kindest gift anyone can give you is to point this out to you. Not everything in life is about comparing your status to that of others, and certainly literary discussion isn’t, or shouldn’t be about that.

      As long as you keep reading and publicly discussing rubbish there will be well-read people pointing it out to you.

      • That’s a crock. Ayer was one of the leading Hume scholars before his death.

        Hume’s attacks on causality remain incoherent. He doesn’t understand the material he’s criticizing. Edward Feser’s The Last Superstition is a great introduction to the relevant issues.

        Nick, this is interesting as usual. I’d like to make a very slight correction: in his lifetime, Hume was known primarily as a historian (he wrote a well-known History of England long before Macaulay). His philosophical work was unknown until his death.

  3. A man has just shared the books he has read this year and you two have the brass neck to criticise that he isn’t reading the correct books?

    Where do you get these freaks from Nick?! Is there a full moon outside?!

  4. Very much enjoy these posts, cheers!

  5. Nick, I used to read this kind of pulp too but I now find it all rather superficial and even hedonistic. I’m trying to better myself with more moral tomes to take me from r selected to k selected. This month I finished the Complete Works of St Augustine (The City Of God and The Confessions being stand outs) and am looking to broaden my high value man credentials further. Would you consider a post on such rich literature that you’d recommend?

  6. Have you read James Clavell series? [I read Tai Pan and Shogun. Really enjoyed them and intend to finish the series. K.]

  7. Tom is taking his mid year break. I find it quite disturbing actually that he is itching to get back out there and speak to some girls in Russia as if it’s his second year in Game. :S

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