Girl Junkie – Reader Review #2

August 15, 2019
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Warsaw daygamers are no doubt familiar with my buddy Mr R. About a month ago, I sent a copy of Girl Junkie to him and asked for a review.  Here it is in its unedited entirety. Thanks, boss.

Girl Junkie is the story of the year after Krauser reached what he considered his peak (as detailed in Adventure Sex). Once you’ve reached the top of the daygame world, can you continue to maintain your position, or will you crash back down to earth like a priapic Icarus? The latest entry in the ever-expanding long-form Krauser memoirs is here to detail the titular man’s struggle against the elements. If the previous year was the most successful for his exploits, this is the year where he truly gets to live his life as “Krauser”.

Every active daygamer knows the thrill of the chase and the emotional rollercoaster of running down your leads, and by spending the entire year travelling, Krauser is constantly faced with time limits and the need to push everything forward hard and fast. Have you ever met a daygamer who’s 100% ‘normal’? We can all be daygamers but there are some who have the right combination of issues to allow them to handle the grind much better than most. A steady stream of numbers from younger, hotter, tighter, all filtered through the funnel of love, turn into a string of dates, sex, and anal deflowerings.

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The ancient Greeks believed that a man who excessively chased women was ruled entirely by his desires, and became ‘womanly’ in all the wrong ways. As Krauser continues his endless loop of his favourite euro-jaunt locations, he becomes sulky, withdrawn, and prone to wild mood swings. So, basically a teenage girl with a boner. Appropriately then, he continues to stick his boner into teenage girls throughout the book.

The structure of the book is straightforwardly chronological, with each chapter covering either a change in location or a change in Nick’s circumstances. This makes it hard to review in detail as it’s mostly slice of life vignettes, but there are several main narratives running throughout the book. The first narrative is Nick’s growing realisation that not everyone in the daygame scene is as honest as he is, and that shady marketing pays better than actual results. He’s not shy about naming names, but it generally never comes across as a malicious attack on a competitor, more like he feels outrage that scammers are ripping people off.

The second theme is the mental and physical changes he observes in himself. Mentally, he’s losing touch with regular life, so going to a beautiful holiday destination with an adoring young girl quickly bores him, compared to repeatedly walking up and down a shopping street and using the same lines over and over again while chatting up birds. The constant adrenaline and dopamine-spiked eurojaunts have rewired his brain to seek quick reward over delayed gratification, and no amount of trips back to hibernate in his parent’s conservatory can bring him back. You can feel the frustration as he questions what he’s doing with his life. On the physical side, he’s coming face to face with his own mortality. His feet hurt, his belly is growing, and he fears he’s losing his legendary good looks. Is this the end of the line for our plucky hero? Or is he simply at step 7 of the hero’s journey, the moment of despair? Well, since Krauser is still going and has dedicated himself to fitness, I’ll let you guess.

The writing is consistently good throughout the book, there is a dip in pace towards the middle, accurately reflecting Nick’s state of mind through the year. Many guys I know in real life make guest appearances as characters Krauser meets on his eurotour, and while the characterisations are all accurate, the conversations can sometimes feel a little artificial, like they’ve been added in to demonstrate a point Nick wants to expound upon. This is not just a memoir after all, there are nuggets of advice and guidance secreted within like hidden treasure.

Should you read this book? [1] I certainly enjoyed it, and if you’ve been following Nick’s journey then the next stage is always interesting. As a stand-alone volume it’s less effective, so read the earlier entries first if you want to get to this one with the right frame of mind.

Ambitious daygamers eager to move their game forwards will be irresistibly drawn towards Amazon for the hardcover and paperback full-colour editions of Girl Junkie. Using your local Amazon may be a little quicker for some of you.

GJ spin

1 – Yes, you should [K.]

Girl Junkie – Reader Review #1

August 1, 2019
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I’m the world’s worst marketer. I don’t mind admitting it. In the first six months of this year I released the best two Daygame books ever written [1] and have barely even mentioned them. Did you know Balls Deep and Girl Junkie are on sale now at Amazon?

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I’m not completely incompetent, mind. As soon as the paperback Girl Junkie was available to order, I sent a couple of hard copies to daygame buddies of mine. One of them, Mr White from London, has posted a review over at his blog.

So, the first reader review of volume five in my memoir is now online. Check it out here.

“…One thing Nick is great at is raising the tension at critical points throughout the book using short sentences and descriptive writing perfectly, such as when he is on a Same Day Lay attempt. He really puts you- the reader into his shoes in these moments when everything feels like it is on a knife edge. That feeling of anticipation/nervousness/excitement we are all familiar with when we are in those same situations. I have always found it hard to put that feeling of the daygame roller coaster into words in my blog posts, Nick does it here with ease…”

It’s a bloody good book, you know. A mammoth 527 pages in full colour describing my rakeish exploits as I run around Europe clacking top quality skirt. Each encounter plays out like a case study in how to get laid, and what curveballs girls throw your way. Those of you familiar with my textbooks Daygame Mastery and Daygame Infinite know how the model is laid out and how to learn the didactic way. Girl Junkie and the other memoirs teach you through storytelling. The prose helps put yourself in my position, watching events play out and feeling how you would react in the same position.

Really, it’s almost like you’re shagging them yourself [2]

“…Overall, I really enjoyed the book and compliments the series perfectly….”

Head over to Amazon for the full-colour paperback and hardcover editions of Girl Junkie. There are no plans for an eBook.

GJ spin

[1] See! Even my hyperbole isn’t at all convincing.
[2] But you’re not.

I spoke at The 21 Convention

July 22, 2019
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I was at The 21 Convention last weekend, in Warsaw, as a speaker. No doubt many of you are curious as to what I thought of it, not least because of the recent drama between T21C and Rollo Tomassi. Okay then, let’s do it.

Firstly, I didn’t take sides in that drama. I read what both parties had written and was able to reconstruct the events, from the so-called doxxing of the cigar club meet-up, to the Red Man Group LLC tussle, and the varied social media reaction from supporters of both sides. My conclusion was easy to reach: nothing to do with me. I like Rollo and he’s been good to me in the past. I didn’t yet know Anthony Johnson and his team but seeing as I had been invited to his show and given my promise to speak, I was going to speak.

I’m pleased to report the event weekend was a positive experience.

It was four days at the Marriot Hotel by the central station. The lectures were delivered in a big auditorium and two (or three?) smaller conference rooms were booked out for daily workshops. In addition there was a pre-show meet’n’greet in the hotel bar (I went), a paid VIP dinner (I didn’t go), a gratis Heroes dinner (I did attend), and a final farewell meal (skipped). The scheduling was intense with a couple of lectures each AM and PM, with workshops sandwiched in the middle. There wasn’t a lot of downtime.

So, how were the speakers?

Richard Grannon did several talks, the two most structured of which I very much enjoyed. One was on toxic passivity, his new concept for the West’s cultural malaise, and he drew lots of cross-disciplinary connections that I liked. His second was on evading, escaping, and recovering from toxic relationships. In both cases he was a well-prepared, knowledgeable and charismatic speaker. For me, these talks were the highlight. I also attended his workshop on the last day, which was also good. I’m amazed he didn’t drop dead from the amount of time he spent presenting.

I caught the second half of Ed Latimore‘s talk and it made me wish I’d gotten out of bed earlier to catch all of it. He was a humble, charming guy with good delivery and some interesting insights. I’d always thought his Twitter was overly-dependent upon generic bromides and platitudes so it was a nice surprise to find out there’s more depth to him.

Socrates’s lecture opened the event, which I missed because he’s a big lad and I’d talked shit about him in the past [1]. Now I think of it, I only caught half of the total talks. Probably a missed opportunity. After meeting Socrates later, I decided I’ll definitely catch the lecture when it comes onto YouTube.

My talk was a technical overview of the London Daygame Model, which all my readers will be well familiar with. It was pretty dry and there was so much to cover in an hour that I rather rushed it. It seemed to go over well, but I won’t really know what I think of it until it’s posted on T21C’s YouTube. Afterwards, George Bruno interviewed me in a breakout room and he handled it comfortably like a pro.

On the last morning, while I still lay in bed, I got Anthony’s invitation to do a Red Man Group panel broadcast live. So I jumped in the shower, pulled on my strides, and rushed out for one last unexpected contribution. It was an hour. I was sitting next to Socrates, so if you look carefully you’ll see me trembling.

So, have I deftly avoided addressing the criticisms I’d previously raised against The 21 Convention in earlier blog posts? Yes, I have. Let’s do so now. I entered the meet’n’greet on the first evening with a few preconceptions, based on the Rollo drama, watching speakers on YouTube and on social media, and word-on-the-street. I suppose you could list my criticisms as follows:

1. It’s overpriced
2. The speakers are full of shit  (e.g. The Natural Lifestyles, Blackdragon, Andrew Tate)
3. It’s a soulless cash-in on Red Pill popularity

What do I think now?

Regarding price, that’s for you to decide. Tickets seem to average out at $1,499 so it’s for the customer to decide if that’s a good deal. I spent lots of time talking to audience members and none of them were grumbling about being short-changed. Quite the opposite, they seemed hyped-up and eager for more. Each day was packed with content and I felt the team were trying to provide as much value as they could. So do I recommend you go to the next one? Not necessarily, it depends who is on. Look at the speaker list and decide what you think it’s worth. In Warsaw, T21C delivered on what was advertised (subject to Rollo-related cancellations) and the audience liked it.

The speakers were of varying quality, imo. Grannon was excellent. Latimore was pretty good, and I’d like to think I was too. I missed too many talks to comment much further. There were a few duds. Ivan Throne probably shouldn’t spend so much time talking about ninja spy networks and giving generic advice. Ryan Black should stop lying about his results with women [2]. John Cooper needs to resolve his fear of rejection [3]

Though I missed talks, I did get to chat to some speakers. Socrates and Alexander Cortes both impressed me favourably in person, having more gravitas and charisma than I’d expected from the videos I’d seen. We had a good long chat. They also contributed well to the Red Man Group panel I was on. Steve Williams hosted it and he has a very engaging lively manner that is really well-suited to the role. It was fun being on there.

So, that brings me to my updated thoughts on criticism number three: is it just a cash-in? Having spoken to Anthony and watched how he and his team conducted themselves backstage, I was left with the impression that they are sincerely putting on the best shows they can and are fully-invested in the manosphere / red pill message. Sure, it’s a business and people want to get paid, but they really want their message out there.

I’ll link my three videos as and when they appear on the respective YouTube channels. So, thanks to the T21C team for having me, and no hard feelings on Rollo. I’m still not taking sides.

[1] Joking. I was badly hung over and couldn’t get out of bed.
[2] His second slide made the claim, and I quote, that after shagging just three women in his life, he went to a Sasha Daygame bootcamp and within six months had “a harem of six model-quality women who all knew about each other”. Well, Ryan, you kept them well-fucking-hidden in 2010 didn’t you? I know if I’d been rattling half a dozen models I’d have been flaunting it across the London Seduction Society like a right fucking twat. But no, you kept it so secret that not a single person in the dozens I knew in the 2010 London community can recall you ever being seen with a hot girl. You had us fooled into thinking you were just a talentless goon wandering the streets of Covent Garden doing crappy daygame. Did the models’ agency make you sign an NDA and force you to destroy the evidence?
[3] He’s got a Social Heartistry YouTube channel. You’ll soon see what I mean.

Girl Junkie OUT NOW

July 4, 2019
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The juggernaut that is the Nick Krauser memoir series speeds relentlessly forwards on to its fifth volume. Join me on my seventh year in game – 2015 – as I travel the world with only my humble daygame skills to aid me in my quest to shag lots of younger-hotter-tighter women. Those of you up to date on the previous four volumes know what to expect: funny stories, ups-and-downs, detailed inner and outer game advice, and an insider’s look at how it is to live as a player.

You can get both paperback and hardcover on Amazon in full-colour premium editions. Check this video for a look at what you’ll be getting

This is a major work, and not some shit-out-quickly eBook. Five hundred and twenty seven pages, this one. That’s no trifle, lads.

I plan to release my entire seven-volume memoir this year and so far I’ve done two volumes in six months. More coming soon!

GJ spin

Balls Deep – Reader Review #2

July 1, 2019
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I noticed one of my readers was leaving detailed and thoughtful reviews on Goodreads, so reached out and asked if he’d review Balls Deep for the blog. I sent him a complimentary copy and insisted he give his authentic opinion, for good or ill. Here’s the unedited review. Thanks for taking the time to write it!

Fucking look at the size of it you cunt

Every time I visit this dating blog, I get to ask myself: Why? Why keep following the sayings of a man who is admittedly one of the most unattractive instructors (1) and who has publicly admitted “Look at me, my head is like a potato” (2)?

And then, there, it keeps hitting back every time: I am going through the pages of his books and get struck by his deep perspective and pure realism. As usual, he doesn’t hold anything back. He will report the good days, as well as the bad ones in equal quantity, with a colorful touch of his own sarcasm, self-narcissism and thoughts in retrospect.

The book is so rich and endless, it felt like i was reading 2 books the whole time.(3)

The first 70k words start with his Pre-game life. They extend all the way up to his marriage and how it all went to hell from there. There are some parts that explain a lot of the Nick’s future choices and attitude towards life. Family, early years, school, university, his time in Japan, marriage and divorce, it’s all very graphically presented throughout the pages.

Though there is a lurking issue here. I have personally been very conflicted about that 1st part. It’s not that I didn’t like it. But it could use a little more polishing. It surely didn’t have the charisma the second part did. Some more episodes/details could have been added and consequently far far more perspective in deep retrospect. So that it would be equal in quality to that second part. There were 2 time jumps where a lot more stuff could have been added.

In order to describe it better, the phrase “Identity Crisis” comes to mind, where it’s as if 2 different writers have written the 2 parts of the book. I could understand the need to get it on fast with the First Years and move to the “good stuff”, but a proper memoir may always use extensive references to those earlier episodes of the writer’s life. It is what constitutes a proper memoir in the very end.

Part B is respectively where the real fun begins. It was eye-opening to watch the daygamer’s evolution while, like a toddler, making his first steps and slowly conquering his inner fears to slowly master the “birdsong” of seduction.

Some of the girl stories generated in me that: “What if i did it differently” feeling when on similar situations in the past. Others act as a luminous guide when something alike could happen. I very much enjoyed any analysis on those “near wins”, since it was stuff not mentioned in his regular textbooks.

Although could have been said a lot more on those first thousand approaches, the sentiments and the struggle to “get the girl”, at least the interactions of the girls chosen to elaborate on go into much much detail.

And this brings us to the insights.

The perceptiveness extracted by some of the situations presented in honestly worth the price of the book alone. How socialism affects the SMP, the Genie metaphor with Bodi, and the psychological evaluation of some girls that otherwise seemed sexually unattainable to most men are only a few of the bits of wisdom put on paper. I actually had to close the book on more than one occasions, in order to do a little bit of reality check, since it was stuff you won’t easily find elsewhere. (4)

An honorary mention on the chain of events and how time distortion has been fixed, especially in contrast to vol 2 and 4, while any flashback is well put and justified, so that it doesn’t mess chronologically with the narrative.

The illustrated art is spot on and most of the chapters are covered with loose drawings of the girls analyzed in any of their dedicated chapters.

Photographs all around the text contribute in keeping you entertained throughout reading and serve well in comprehending better what happened and which person was involved.

Touches of subtle sarcasm (the author’s main characteristic) are mostly everywhere and even got myself bursting out laughing on a number of incidents.

The Verdict
The book tries hard to balance among being memoir, self-help, seduction and purely manifested narcissism. It mostly manages to convey it’s messages, with the insights sparsely acting as the glue holding it all together.

Having now read all his now published books, i gotta say i feel a lot wiser, all things considered. This isn’t just a combination of seduction stories. Female psychology, the psychology of the streets, the ups and downs of seduction, the wins, the near misses, socioeconomics in contrast to seduction, they all constitute a web of self-development. Which is practically the core of the book as a whole.

It surely doesn’t stand in comparison to the other 3 books, owed to that bumpy ride of the first part, execution being its main issue. Nevertheless, it complements perfectly the memoir collection and penlights far better some of the behaviours in later books.

Hopefully e-books release some day, so that carrying them everywhere becomes possible.

Highly advised book if you want to start your daygame journey and still having internal conflicts about it. (5)

8,5/10*

You can buy Balls Deep 2nd Edition on full-colour paperback or hardcover on Amazon. North American readers can get it faster here, and it also supports my work better as Aerio take a lower distribution fee than Amazon.

*Evaluation of a free copy received by the author.

(1) If not for a couple from the Indian side.

(2) At the start of Daygame Overkill product.

(3) At the very least it justifies it’s price in ink.

(4) What makes Krauser a prominent PUA instructor pretty much.

(5) For detailed specifics on seduction techniques, the textbooks will be needed.

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

Some books I read

June 27, 2019
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I’m not making an attempt to review every book I read but some people have shown interest in my reading list and thoughts on books. I’ve read ninety so far this year. Here’s a list of the first thirty, along with casual remarks.

Contraband

1. Dennis Wheatley – Contraband: Very clearly an early Sallust tale because it’s full of young-man’s fire and precious little subtlety. There’s a dastardly plot involving Parisian gangs smuggling into the UK and Sallust has to give them a severe reprimand. Okay, but if you’re new to Wheatley save this till later or you won’t appreciate how good he became. 6/10

2. Bernard Cornwell – Sharpe’s Devil: I like how Cornwell has dedicated a career to mythologising the heroics of English fighters. Though Sharpe is a disgruntled and onery redcoat, he’s still heroically inclined and gets stuck in. I like how the shadow of Napoleon, in final exile, hangs over this tale of pirated and greasy Portuguese in Chile. Really funny how the two main dastardly Portuguese turn out to be bum bandits. It lacked a page-turning suspense sadly. A light read. 6/10

3. Michael Avallone – The Case of the Violent Virgin: If you read a book series long enough you see the author develop the character from book to book and can easily grow to like him. I’ve read so many of Avallone’s Ed Noon series that I’ll have to see it through to the end. This one is about mafia hoods and a famous sculpture. Typical hard-boiled fare. 7/10

4. John Creasey – The Mark of the Crescent: Set in 1930s Britain, a secret society of drug addicts is taking over positions of power. They can be identified by a curious mark left on their wrists (sounds like an oversight by the architects of the plan to me). It’s silly nonsense full of stiff upper lip and derring do. 5/10

5. Donald Hamilton – The Devastators: I seem to have settled into a few different series that I’ll follow through to the end. This is more hardboiled 1960s spy action where Matt Helm yet again walks into traps in order to smoke out the opposition, bangs birds, and then mercilessly slaughters the enemy. 8/10

 

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6. Warren Murphy – Mafia Fix: These Devastator books are such utter childish nonsense with Remy the superhero assassion and his little Mr Miyagi sidekick who murders people for interrupting his watching of daytime soap dramas. Can’t remember the story. Probably some Italian hoods causing a stir. 5/10

7. Josh Kaufman – How to Fight a Hydra: Upon reading I immediately recommended it to my daygame friends. Kaufman tells a first-person tale of a young man setting off to fight a hydra and ruminating on the self development it triggers. Probably the non-daygame book most applicable to daygamers. 9/10

8. Stefan Molyneux – Essential Philosophy: This has all the insufferable Molyneuxrisms of the YouTube channel but bear with it and Stefan has a good go at solving all the problems of philosophy in one book. He fails, but it’s a good try and a highly ambitious goal. He seems rather naive over the power of logic to change the world. 7/10

9. Alexandre Dumas – The Companions of Jehu: The first of the Saint-Hermain trilogy features a young Napoleon Bonaparte as a main character, freshly on the run from the English navy having drubbed him off the coast of Egypt. It’s a romance in the style of The Three Musketeers and not far below his best. A good read. 8/10

 

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10. Oreste Pinto – More Exploits of Spy Catcher: Real life stories of WW2 counter-espionage agent Pinto as he discusses cases referred to him. In each case it’s a real conundrum whether the suspect is a spy or not. It is all presented like Sunday afternoon crossword puzzles, until Pinto finished a story with “so then we hanged him”. 7/10

12. Warren Murphy – Dr Quake: Really dumb action about a mad scientist attempting to trigger a huge earthquake on the San Andreas faultline. Written in the early 1970s, this was a bad thing. Compare that to now, if you knew someone was going to destroy all of San Francisco. Hand on heart, would you really try to stop him? Some weird characters, such as the scientists’ buxom twin nympho helpers. 5/10

13. Michael Avallone – The Crazy Mixed Up Corpse: More of the usual hardboiled action, neither more nor less entertaining than the others. A quick page-turner. Avallone is getting better at capturing Noon’s irreverent and quarrelsome personality without it being abrasive to the reader. 7/10

14. Donald Hamilton – The Betrayers: This time Helm is on Holiday in Hawaii when his boss tells him a former agent is acting suspicious. It turns out the ChiComs are trying to set off a false flag nuke to bring on war. Just as twisty-turny and brutal as the other Helm books. I feel sorry for the junior agents. They always get killed. 8/10

 

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15. Ellery Queen – The Player on the Other Side: An old suspense tale in inter-war NYC about a kooky family living in four houses in the same square, held together by the terms of rich deceased daddy’s inheritance. They fall one-by-one, as strange notes keep the caretaker up to speed. A very interesting take on a whodunnit but excessively slow-paced. 7/10

16. Harry Harrison – The Stainless Steel Rat’s Revenge: I notice lots of sci-fi paperbacks seem like normal earth-bound adventure stories, just with added flying cars and spaceships. This is one such book. A good buccaneering adventure story that is quaintly locked in the technology of the time it is written. 7/10

17. Mickey Spillane – The Delta Factor: It seems everyone wanted to do James Bond in the 1960s. The celebrated hardboiled writer tries to kick off a new franchise here in which a super criminal is captured and sent to Cuba in a deal with the Feds: catch so-and-so and have his sentence quashed. It plays out like an Oceans Eleven heist. 7/10

18. Alexandre Dumas – Joseph Balsamo vol. 1: The top-tier Dumas stories are fantastic and easily available in paperback. Drop down to the second tier and suddenly you have a challenge just finding a decent English translation. I read half of this before realising I had an awful translation that cuts out half the chapters and much of the Dumas magic. So I started again with a better translation. The plot is that a globalist Illuminati has hatched a conspiracy to overthrow France’s rulers and install a godless republican government dedicated to world communism. Bear in mind this was written in the 1850s, talking about the French Revolution. I’ll bet Dumas never expected it to happen again in the 21st century. Great book but slow paced. 8/10

19. Edgar Wallace – The Ringer: A 1920s mystery about a master assassin who has returned to London to claim revenge on a former colleague who betrayed him and now has a strong police guard. Trouble is, no-one knows what he looks like. Bumps in the night and everyone is a suspect. 7/10

 

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20. Luke Short – Hands Off!: A frontier western from the 1950s about gold prospectors in a mining town. The black hat wants to screw the white hat out of his claim. Good stuff, with clear story, good scenes, and a taste of the Old West. 7/10

21. Francis Wellman – The Art of Cross Examination: Probably interesting when first written, a hundred years ago, but old hat to anyone who has watched a few courtroom dramas. 5/10

22. Warren Murphy – Death Therapy: Is it even worth describing the plot? Some larger-than-life freaky bad guys are killing people so Remy is sent in to investigate. He shags the birds and kills the baddies. Childish mindless super-agent thrills. 5/10

 

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23. Peter Cheyney – Another Little Drink: This is a dark subtle counter-espionage story set during the war. The main character is a washed up drunk asked to root out a double-agent in the Secret Service. Very cleverly done and a pervasive air of dissipation throughout. I like Cheyney’s work. 8/10

24. Michael Avallone – The Voodoo Murders: Ed Noon gets drawn into a voodoo troupe’s show at a dance club and threats and murders fly. He winds up in the Caribbean hostage to a cult. Silly action and the second half is a wild departure from the wise-cracking urban sleuthing of the series. 7/10

25. Donald Hamilton – The Menacers: Matt Helm spends a lot of time in Mexico and it’s interesting to read pre-Cartel fiction. This time there’s strange tech surfaced below the border and the Russians are after it. Helm must protect a witness, or off her if the Russians seem likely to capture her. As good as usual. 8/10

26. Dennis Wheatley – The White Witch of the South Seas: Gregory Sallust is in Rio and attends a tribal dance, gets talking to a Raj, and persuaded to help hunt underwater treasure in the Pacific. But wait! Some baddies want it too! A globe-trotting page-turning adventure that blindsides you with twists every dozen chapters. 8/10

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27. Alexandre Dumas – Joseph Balsamo vol. 2: This is a long series loosely following Marie Antoinette from her marriage to Louis XVI right up to getting her head lopped off in the final book. The two Joseph Balsamo volumes are probably the highlight, with a mesmerist Count Cagliostro hatching nefarious plans and strong characters throughout. 8/10

28. John Creasey – Thunder In Europe: The sixth Department Z thriller this time with an imaginary East European state (that sounds awfully like Latvia) having it’s top spymaster trying to take over the world. Quaint old-English nonsense from a time before James Bond changed the genre. Rather silly. 6/10

29. Michael W Simmons – The Rothschilds: Reading this you’d think the Rothschilds didn’t do nuffink wrong. They waz good boys. Lots of biographical info showing how the family were dragged out of the ghetto by utilising every Jew’s favourite weapon: ursury. Nathaniel took some outrageous risks but eventually his Jew tricks have European royalty under the thumb and he’s kingmaking and choosing which wars get fought. The author is extremely sympathetic to the subject family but it has me thinking we need a Fourth Reich. 6/10

30. Ross Lockridge Jr – Raintree County: Allegedly a “great American novel” and it’s pretty good. My abridged paperback edition was still a massive 600 pages, that’s after half of it is cut. It’s a gamma male’s long self-indulgent ramble full of purple prose but a sweeping epic nonetheless. Just a shame Lockridge didn’t write it ten years later, when he’d matured a bit. 8/10