#10 – Strike For Death, John Creasey BOOK REVIEW

January 25, 2018

Who would have thought I’d lose interest in video games? At the time of writing I just finished my 11th book of the year, in less than four weeks. I don’t normally read so fast but this little winter project of mine must be speaking to something deep in my core because all I want to do is read new books. I haven’t touched Assassins Creed Origins in nearly a week, and that’s odd. My guess is momentum for Project High Value Man has been building up quietly and now I’ve settled myself into a comfy chair next to my bookcase, it’s keeping me there. Interesting.

Regular readers have likely observed that I’m not a fan of bandwagon jumping, nor of downloading my thoughts from the internet, media, or academia. When that Jordan Peterson interview went viral I did indeed watch it. What I didn’t do was immediately put up a click-bait YouTube video about it. Just as I never posted a video about how Conor MacGregor might win his superfarce superfight with Floyd Mayweather. Like most red-blooded males, I had an idea how the fight would go but I also found it distasteful to hop aboard the bandwagon.

It’s what women do. And the lower classes.

It’s declasse.


“Did you see that Stefan Molyneaux response video to the Peterson interview, Jeeves?”


While I’d like to believe I’m some kind of free-thinking iconoclast, I suspect the reality is simply that my personality type is contrarian and I will instinctively act against what I perceive is the herd instinct [1]. The downside of this is I fail to ride trends and my marketing reach is considerably lower than it could be. The upside is also that I fail to ride trends. So I knew not to get involved in the speculative mania of crypto currency [2] or follow the latest game-nonsense-of-the-month [3]

My unwillingness to listen to my betters [4] means that from an early age I reached my own determinations of what is or is not the case and would hold to that no matter what the ‘public mind’ was. Sometimes I’d be spectacularly wrong and embarrass myself but mostly it meant I could see things way in advance while everyone else is running around like fools [5]. If you think this is a good thing, you’d called it ‘being sigma’.


What has that got to do with reading books?

Simply put, I judge books on their merits as I see them rather than what I’m supposed to believe. I don’t read book reviews in the magazines, I treat reputation as the loosest of preliminary guides, and I don’t buy a book just because it’s advertised on the London Underground and Metro newspaper tells me everyone is reading it [6]. This has led me to a (mildly) controversial conclusion about fiction:

The best writers are usually in genre fiction, not prize-winning literature

Genre writers need to tell a story. They need to sell books. To do that, they must grip you in the first few pages and maintain dramatic momentum to the end. You have to finish the book thinking “I want to read more of his stuff”. In contrast, literature writers are mostly trying to get invited to the right parties, full of dull-witted chattering classes who don’t actually read their books [7]. When I was a teenager and I found literature boring, I figured I simply wasn’t savvy enough to appreciate it. Now I’m older, I realise much of it is just the Emperor’s new clothes.

This brings me to John Creasey.


Here’s one I wrote last week…

I greatly admire this man primarily because he was so prolific. He wrote six hundred novels under twenty-eight different pseudonyms over forty-three years. That’s averaging over one novel a month, consistently. It’s quite staggering really. Most absurdly prolific artists are just rubbish [8] but I’ve read ten or more Creasey books and they are good. You’d never guess they were rushed.

I’m always impressed by men who can maintain a prolific output without suffering a drop in quality. That’s talent and professionalism. It inspires me to work harder. I see no reason to adopt the archetype of a writer popular in the public imagination as a man who patiently and slowly labours over every word and rewrites chapters many times until finally, ten years later, his lone novel is published. Nope, that’s bollocks. Rarely are such books any better than the one-month-turnaround genre fiction. Why?

Because prolific writing is its own apprenticeship. People learn by doing. They learn by getting busy, putting skin in the game, and then reflecting on the lessons that reality has taught them [9]. Anyway, let’s turn our minds to this book in particular.

Strike For Death blue

Creasey was a crime writer who created a few similar characters and then cranked out books according to a formula. He had police procedurals featuring Inspector West and Commander Gideon, and also a more hard-boiled series featuring The Toff, an upper-class fixer and sometimes private detective. Those are the three series I dipped into. He’s got others I haven’t yet tried.

What I like most about the Inspector West series is the image of 1950s England that it presents. It’s a country with strong collective spirit rebuilding after the war and not yet suffering the onslaught of mass immigration. The Brits still have a stiff upper lip but the war is too recent for them to have gone soft. The Soviet Union is a new menace and constantly meddling in UK affairs. West is a rising star in Scotland Yard. Unlike modern police procedurals, Creasey doesn’t do any post-modern bullshit with “complex” flawed characters. West is a hero. He’s a modest family man with good judgement, strong moral code, and a commitment to correct procedure. He’s not a haunted alcoholic like the hard-boiled detectives, he’s not a rebellious rule-breaker like Dirty Harry, nor is he a pompous virtue-signalling psychiatrist like Alex Delaware.

I like stories where protagonists are men with a real life worth having, and a commitment to doing the right thing. There’s not a lot of melodramatic flourish in the West stories. He doesn’t leap from moving trains, or quick-draw to shoot down a gang of thugs, nor does he disarm a bomb one second before the presidential motorcade arrives. He’s just a solid copper doing the right thing, with a little flair.

This realness to his character, where if he’s working late he phones the wife to tell her not to wait up, brings the story to life [10]

Strike For Death

She looks like a Croat I fucked

This maturity and realness spreads into the subject of Strike For Death. I’m sure you’re thinking it’s a vulgar potboiler, to judge from the lurid cover. Nope. The story is that a big car factory is rolling out a new model that will pull in lots of export orders. The union is agitating for a ten percent pay rise and as tempers flair, there’s a murder. Scotland Yard is brought in to solve the case, which rapidly evolves into additional violent incidents.

As a narrative experiment, Creasey seems determined to keep almost the full book on factory premises. There are brief interludes where West returns to the Yard, and one key scene in the factory owner’s house, but for the most part it’s all on-site. Creasey pulls that off well and makes the factory one of the characters.

I liked how he handles the industrial dispute. This is not a simple case of good vs evil, either on the side of the owners or the union. Creasey takes care to present both the chief shop steward Michael Grannett and the board CEO Sir Ian Munro as sympathetic characters who have a sincere commitment to their ideological positions yet also somewhat bull-headed and prone to dismissing opposing points of view. Grannett is doing his best to protect the interests of his workers and Munro is trying to keep the factory profitable in tough times. The conflict is due to a balance of conflicting and shared interests, rather than a simple white hat vs black hat.

Nothing annoys me more than when a writer decides the bad guy’s motivation is simply “because he wants to do bad stuff”.

Books reflect the spirit of the times. In 1958 England was a different place with different concerns. Balance of payments was a big problem and thus foreign currency earnings through exports were a big deal (this is part of the book’s high stakes), workplace agitation by KGB-backed shop stewards was a massive problem [11]. The UK economy was heavily nationalised in 1958 and regulation stifled everything.

It’s almost quaint to see what types of crimes were the focus of fiction, and what type of criminals committed them. In this case there’s a murder of a young worker by someone on the factory staff. The entire case is local and the motive is one of the big three : greed, jealousy, revenge. There are no ISIS terrorists setting off bombs on busses, no Muslim immigrants setting up child-rape gangs in provincial cities, no Yardies hacking each other with machetes over failed drug deals.

This was a time of East End riff-raff robbing a post office, of a wife poisoning her husband, or a jealous teenager stabbing a love rival.

Honest times.


The good old days when criminal and victim alike wore suits

There’ll be an announcement very soon about a small project I’m working on. Thanks to those of you who took me up on the Winter Memoir Challenge. There are now SIX books in the works, that I’ve been told of. Two guys have already sent me significant first draft manuscripts for my review. I’m starting to think 2018 may be the a bountiful year for daygame literature.

[1] I play video games this way too. The very last thing I do is the main quest line, and any time an NPC tells me “you must…” I immediately try to kill him.
[2] Here’s a rule of thumb. Anytime you’re told “this time it’s different” or “it’s a new type of economy now”, get out.
[3] I’m old enough to remember when people took HookingUpSmart seriously, and I’m waiting for people to give up on the Dark Triad fairy story. I’ve been told that Instagram and Seeking Arrangement are the “new game”. This time it’s different.
[4] Or to take a telling, as some friends have told me
[5] For example I’ve been saying for years that Obama is the worst president in history, a stooge for the Chicago mob, a vain fruity narcissist of middling IQ, raised and groomed by Saudi Arabia as a Manchurian candidate, not even a US citizen, and that he’s neck-deep in the worst political corruption in US history and will likely go to jail for it. Right after his election I stated he was a classical Mussolini-style fascist in how he worked with Wall Street in corporate America. I wasn’t the only person saying this, but it was considered the lunatic fringe by the gatekeepers of the narrative.
[6] Speaking of which, I finally watched The Girl On The Train movie last night. Absolute shit. In contrast I thought Get Out was brilliant and absolutely NOT the movie the critics said it was.
[7] That might be a slight exaggeration.
[8] Such as Spanish film director Jess Franco or his Italian equivalent Joe D’Amato.
[9] I consider my own memoir series to be my writing apprenticeship.
[10] Incidentally, this is how daily soap dramas like Eastenders should’ve been. Instead of revelling in door-slamming dysfunction of mongs, they could’ve shown real people trying to do the right thing. Still, that would subvert the cultural Marxist agenda so it was never going to happen.
[11] And didn’t stop for a long time. For example , KGB agents were everywhere in the 1984 miner’s strike in an attempt to bring down the Government and also behind the CND’s attempt to unilaterally disarm the UK.

#9 – Barbarian Tides, Time Life BOOK REVIEW

January 24, 2018

I’ll admit I bit off more than I can chew. That is a constant in my life, as I’m also finding out writing volume three of the memoir (Younger Hotter Tighter). Projects seem so much faster in my mind. These Time Life books are each 175 pages long and those pages have plenty of words on them. Real books. Not like skimming a magazine. End-to-end that’s over 3,000 pages. Fuck me. Well, I want the knowledge so I’d better keep reading.

Time Life series

The totality of my ancient world knowledge, yesterday

One of my favourite bloggers, Vox Day, likes to say “immigration is war” and that there is no “magic dirt” that will turn a non-American into an American simply by having him change location. I agree with both sentiments but it was not until reading Barbarian Tides that I appreciate this is historically obvious.

The Left, you see, hates history. It’s always Year Zero with those clowns. The very last thing they want is for us to learn the mistakes of history. They’d much rather we repeat them. They are the People Of The Lie. [1] Thus Leftist history is always about airbrushing wrong-thinkers out of history and then ‘revising’ the record to completely pervert it. Hence all that nonsense about Shakespeare’s plays being written by a black woman, Mohammedans inventing science, that Constantinople is Istanbul, and so on.

Volume two of the Time Life series picks up circa 1500BC as the great Ancient civilisations are beginning to fail. Some are hit by natural catastrophes such as an earthquake and volcanic eruption rendering the Minoans vulnerable to barbarian Mycenean invasion [2], while others fell to internal decline such as the hated Assyrians losing their military prowess and being pushed back by the Hittite barbarians from the Eurasian steppe. The Egyptians also disappeared up their own arseholes when they first let a woman run them (Hatsheput) and later a gamma fag Akhenaten who was so full of himself he changed the entire religion from worship of Amun-Re to Aten and then tried to build a new capital city in the middle of nowhere. Naturally, that didn’t work out well.


Incredible that “gamma face” is clear even in stone sculptures

The meta-level trend emerging from this period of history is pretty clear. The near east, Asia Minor (Turkey, basically), and the Mediterranean was a hotbed of competing tribes and empires. As one grew dominant it would invade the land of it’s neighbours, and then be pushed back as the worm turned. Each time, the new destroyed what they could of the old. Temples smashed, people enslaved, languages disappeared and so on.

When one group was pushed out of their lands they would migrate to new lands, asking for tolerance and mercy (or just plain invade). They’d settled and then soon after overthrow the people who’d welcomed them in. For example, the Hittite barbarians were forced south from the steppe by a tribe of stronger barbarians. The Hittites settled in Anatolia, subjugating the locals, and then built their own empire. It rivalled Egypt in size and the two frequently clashed around Syria. Then a “sea people” [3] in 1300BC arrived and:

“Whoever they were and wherever they came from, the attackers obliterated the Hittite world, reducing Hattusa to ashes, smashing stone sculptures, slaughtering much of the population and driving the rest into exile. And so, in 1200BC, the Hittite empire vanished.”

This was a time of war, conquest and annihilation.

Here’s another lesson from history that the myopic Left would do well to learn: everyone was at it. It’s common for those of us raised with a Western education to think that it was the European empires that were evil. Colonisation is bad we are told. There is something unique and awful about Europeans and those of us around today must pay penance, or reparations, or just feel guilty for all these horrible things we did as colonisers.


Nice civilisation you’ve got there. Would be a shame if someone SMASHED IT

Except, everyone was at it. All those other colonisers – which, frankly, is everyone throughout history – are wiped clean from memory. It’s the European colonisation that we should focus on, the Left says [4]

History truly is fascinating for putting things into context. For example, Christians make a really big deal out of the Exodus of the Israelites from Egypt in 1230BC, stopping off at Mt Sinai to pick up the ten commandments, then settling near the Dead Sea, from which they promptly engaged in exactly the same sorts of wars as everybody else. In the Christian world that little episode is a huge deal. In this book, it’s just a minor thread in a broad tapestry of warring empires and barbarian tribes. [5]

I’ll admit I’m struggling a little in my recall and sense-making of this era because so much of it is new to me. When reading about Egyptian pharaohs it’s easy to slot the new information or interpretation into what I’ve been taught already, same as more recent history such as Napoleonic Era. It’s rather harder to get a grasp of the Phoenician sea trading empire that founded Carthage in 900BC, or exactly how the Mycenaens became the Greeks, or how Etruscan city states merged with the Latins to become Rome [6]

I’m a little more educated in world history than I was a week ago, but I suspect there’s a lot more left to learn.

If you enjoy reading these reviews then you should probably leave a comment now and then because although my traffic is a little higher than usual I have no idea if my readership actually gives a shit. I had many requests for Count Cervantes-style content and now that I’m moving in that direction… silence. Which is exactly why I closed down Count Cervantes in the first place.


This is why we can’t have nice things

[1] Okay, Mr Triggered Socialist. I understand…. ooookay, so when socialism was tried in China it led to massive famine, economic collapse, millions of civilians murdered by their own government, spying that turned the whole country into an open air prison, and a complete destruction of civil society. Same thing when it was tried in Russia, Ukraine, North Korea, Venezuela, and Cuba. Next time it’ll be paradise! Next time!
[2] The Mycenaens themselves were smashed by the barbarian Dorians.
[3] About whom very little is known. They appear to have been raiders and pirates.
[4] Just as how the Left is obsessed with the trivial slavery of the US and blames all that on white Europeans despite the fact nearly all the slaves were sold to them by other blacks in Africa and that 90% of slavers were Jewish. And even then, the US/European slave trade was much smaller, far less brutal, and lasted a far shorter time than the Arab and Ottoman slave trades. Indeed, in Libya and Dubai it’s still going on today.
[5] Kind like you banging a pretty bird is a big deal to you, but she’s just one of millions of hot birds getting banged out that evening around the world.
[6] Is does seem pretty clear, though, that the Assyrians were utter cunts. They were the Ottomans of their era.

#8 – Parker Pyne Investigates, Agatha Christie BOOK REVIEW

January 23, 2018

During my hibernation periods I often go down to a local seaside market on Saturday mornings to have a coffee with my brother and then walk along the cliff sides, or if it’s really cold, to read a book in a pub. There are several used book stalls at the market and a year ago I could pick up volumes in the recent Agatha Christie reprint series. Check out the second-top shelf in the bookcase photo for how that little collection is progressing.

I have a big problem with reading Agatha Christie, the queen of detective fiction. She wrote eighty detective novels, a dozen volumes of short stories, and another ten books under pseudonyms. I’ve read over fifty of them. The only problem is, I don’t know which fifty.

I didn’t keep a list.

This is how it happened. In the year 2000 I got a job teaching English in a Japanese junior high school on a small tropical island in Okinawa. It was extremely isolated and the internet back then was still 56k dial-up. My parents would send out some paperbacks, I’d watch SkyPerfectTV cable, and I’d play every single Sega Dreamcast game [1]. There wasn’t much else to do. A few times that year I flew up to Tokyo during school holidays and hung out with my now ex-wife. It was a huge change of pace – from a tiny island with 2,000 inhabitants to the wild metropolis of central Tokyo. I’d be there over a week at a time and some of the most enjoyable periods were sitting in Starbucks, in sofa chairs, reading paperbacks and chatting a little. Just enjoying some quiet time together.


I spent a lot of time in Jiyugaoka

Little did I realise, but this was where I made the following deep emotional connection:

Cafe + Sofa Chair + Paperback = Happiness

It’s never left me and remains one of my most satisfying pastimes. When my year in Okinawa was up I flew back to Newcastle and spent the next four months relaxing. I had a daily routine in which I’d take the bus to the city centre, buy an Agatha Christie paperback in Dillons bookstore, then sit in Starbucks reading it. I read at least two dozen of her books in that short time period. As years passed, I’d read more. And then I’d completely forgotten which I’d read and which I hadn’t.

With Agatha Christie it’s not as simple as reading the back cover to figure out if you’ve read it already. The stories are so formulaic, have such similar settings, and the protection of plot twists is so important, that the back cover blurbs are no help at all. Three times in a row I bought a book, sat in my sofa chair, and then twenty pages in I realised “I’ve already read this one!” So, I stopped reading Agatha Christie.

Ten years passed and I’m dipping my toe back in. I figure that even if I’ve read them before, with my advancing age I’ve probably forgotten whodunnit. So, we come to Parker Pyne. I knew for sure I hadn’t read anything with him in. Agatha Christie is a genius. Her most amazing achievement is her ability to create to enduring detectives who have completely opposite methods of detection. Consider this:

  • Hercule Poirot is a man of painstaking method and deep logical thinking. The fat little Belgian will carefully observe a crime scene, game out character behaviours, and logically deduce likely suspects. He then makes further researches, usually knows the killer by the halfway point, and then sets a trap where they will be exposed, usually in front of a room of witnesses. Poirot is above all a man of logical deduction. He uses ‘the little gray cells’
  • Miss Jane Marple, by contrast, is an intuit of human nature. She’s a sedantry old granny who sits in the corner with her knitting, quietly watching and listening. She observes behaviour and character. As a former busy-body, she has an encyclopedic knowledge of every character in her village. When elsewhere, she logs her observations and then thinks, “which of my friends does this new person most remind me of?” She assigns people to character types. Thus she can intuit the behaviour of a new person based on her experience of the old people. Miss Marple is above all a lady of character observation. She uses her gossip database.


Parker Pyne didn’t catch on with the public imagination but I was certainly fascinated to see how Christie would draw her protagonist. What would be his USP? I’m not quite sure. His backstory is that he worked in a government office of statistics for 35 years and upon retirement opened a private consulting agency concerned not with murder but with happiness. It would appear he’s intended to be an actuary who uses statistics to predict individual cases.


It’s a short story collection, written in 1934, but each follows the previous story including the latter half of the book in which he takes a case at each leg of his Middle Eastern tourist trip. They all begin with a prospective client reading his regular advertisement in the Times, that read:

Are you happy? If not, consult Mr Parker Pyne, 17 Richmond Street.

Pyne has an agency hiring two regular staff, a reformed rake (‘lounge lizard’ in the book) who has retired from his gigolo ways but uses those skills to help clients. The other is a stunning vampish women who plays the same game from the other side. Pyne hires them, in the London stories, to create dramas scripted by his third employee, a popular novelist. It’s a great book and I read it cover to cover in one afternoon. It has all of Agatha Christie’s hallmarks: fast efficient characterisation, unpredictable but fair plotting, dark deceptive villains, and a remarkable sense of humanity in the good people.

The reason it’s interesting for this blog is that Agatha Christie knows Game. Oh, does she know game! Consider chapter 4, The Case Of The Discontented Husband. It concerns a young man who consults Parker Pyne because his wife has fallen out of love with him and is now carousing with an interloper. They have agreed a divorce but he’s against it. I won’t type out any sections. Instead I’ll post them as photos.

As you read, consider Game concepts from blogs such as The Rational Male, Heartiste, and of course this writer’s humble contribution to the Game. I’ve annotated it to help you.


The PUA industry predates our own efforts

1. Women instigate most break-ups and do so by monkey-branching onto the next man
2. Pedestalisation
3. When a girl goes cold on you, you can’t do anything right. It’s not about you, it’s about her body telling her to GTFO
4. Men who sing the birdsong can attract the bird out of another male’s nest. That’s #9 of the sixteen commandments
5. That’s #8
6. Amused mastery, treat women like children
7. That’s #2 of the sixteen commandments. Dread game
8. That’s #2 again
9. That’s #16. When you are willing to walk away, she’ll block your exit
10. Women use their man as a foil to play the status game amongst other women. Dalrock has a lot to say about this, particularly the status of being a “wife”.
11. Make her work, make her chase. Don’t let her in too easily.
12. Boredom is the kryptonite of LTRs
13. Cheaper than my coaching
14. See Rollo’s life-cycle for why this is the period of peak danger for women blowing up their families for one last shot at new male DNA.

Here’s the lesson of the day: there is nothing new under the sun.

If you’d like to learn how to understand human nature in order to solve mysteries, you can’t do better than Daygame Infinite. That is a 524-page tour-de-force on how to understand hot girls and to solve the mystery of “how do I get them to have sex with me?”

[1] Metropolis Street Racer, Sonic Adventure 2, Soul Calibur, Crazy Taxi 2, Virtua Tennis 2, NFL 2K, Unreal Tournament, and Outrigger were my favourites.

#7 – SS Kampfgruppe Peiper, James Lucas BOOK REVIEW

January 22, 2018

World War II was a wonderful thing. Not so much the butchery, destruction, and surrendering of half of Europe to the Bolsheviks. I’ll admit that was rather unpleasant and I’m glad I wasn’t around to live through it. What WWII did do was inspire a ton of really cool books, movies, and video games. That’s a legacy I can enjoy.

Perhaps my second-favourite writer of all time is Sven Hassel [1]. Now, I’m not for a moment suggesting he is the best writer, just that I personally really enjoyed his books. Starting in 1953, a mere eight years after German defeat, Hassel released the first of his fourteen books, The Legion Of The Damned [2]. I’ve read them all and found only the first and last to be a bit shit. If you’re interested, start with his second book Wheels Of Terror.

Legion Of The Damned

As much a “Documentary” as the average PUA memoir is, sadly

They were quite a success. He sold 53 million worldwide and 15 million in the UK alone.

Hassel did a few very clever things to make his books sell. First of all, they are written in first person perspective in the memoir style and for many years he led the reader to believe they were factual [3]. In addition to this, it’s a vivid immediate style that puts you into the centre of the carnage. This makes compelling reading. The precis is he’s a Danish teenager who went to Germany early in the war to join a German foreign legion. He deserted over falling in love and was arrested and sent to a brutal military prison. The Nazis offered a way out for political prisoners, deserters and criminals by forming penal battalions who got the dirty jobs on the Eastern Front. Hassel joins one, makes new friends, and is horrified by the war. That’s where volume one ends and the rest are continuing adventures of his small band of merry men.

It sets up a neat narrative device in which a Nazi penal battalion of anti-Nazis is fighting the Allies under horrid conditions. Half the books are about the horrors of war, and the other half is R&R time back in Germany where they are drinking, whoring, and officer-baiting. Hassel deliberately removes any context from the war. The soldiers are in a permanent haze, sent into one suicide mission after another without any understanding of grand strategic objectives. It gives the books a compelling dream-like quality [4]

The Hassel Industry

Those imitators certainly knew how to hustle

I thoroughly enjoyed these books. The characters are memorable, the war scenes exhilarating, and the officer-baiting hilarious. Once I’d finished them all I was disappointed at having no more to read. Fortunately an entire industry grew up around the Hassel style, as hack authors tried to get a piece of the bestseller action. Just look at how the covers are done to guide the reader.

I’ve tried these other writers and read some decent potboilers but it’s just not the same Hassel-like experience. They can’t match his flair or energy. While at a weekend market I was perusing a book stall of military literature when I came upon another Hassel-a-like. This one was from a tiny press, possibly even self-published [5]. It was only a few quid, so I picked it up. It sat on my shelf for a year until I tried it this year.

James Lucas Jackboot Series

My first surprise is this is just the first of the Jackboot Series, the second and third in print too and the fourth and fifth forthcoming from another author [6]. I start reading. The preface explains that the author had discovered the diary of a former SS commander in his personal effects after he died in a suspicious fire. Piecing this together with known military records, Lucas reconstructed a particular real-life 1943 Eastern Front mission in which an SS group rescued the 320th Division from a Red Army encirclement. “Faction”, I believe it’s called.

I smelled bullshit. This is a variant of the Sven Hassel memoir hoax.

As I read I find it’s written like Sven Hassel, if he’d calmed down a little. It has the same brutality of war, the same pompous German commanders, the same sadistic NKVD commissars, and the same disillusioned front-line troops. Only….. the Army men are all rather more professional than their Hassel equivalents and the entire novel is firmly contextualised into the wider battle strategy.

Perhaps it’s not bullshit, I wonder.

I won’t spoil the story but suffice to say I enjoyed it and the quality of writing was far higher than I’d any right to expect from a small-run book from a tiny publishing house. It’s as polished as anything you’ll pick up in a real book store. The only real weakness is Lucas isn’t especially good at drawing characters. It takes a long time for the principle men, the commander of NKVD, of the battle group, and of the Siberian penal battalion, to take shape. They don’t leap from the page like the larger-than-life men of Sven Hassel’s work.


Throughout the book, I couldn’t help but root for the Nazis [7] but it was also hard not to root for the Russian troops too (not including the NKVD scum). I was at an emotional stalemate. It’s hard to enjoy any war book in which white people are killing white people. Especially when it’s the Jews setting them against each other.

Incidentally, this is a similar reason to why I don’t watch action movies anymore. They are just a long murder fantasy in which we’re supposed to enjoy watching our own people getting slaughtered for fun. I don’t care to play that game [8]. That’s probably why I’ve had Wolfenstein II The New Colossus sitting on my hard drive since Christmas and can’t make myself play it.


I swear, some people are shameless in their imitations nowadays

Anyhoo, something didn’t smell right with James Lucas. He was too well-informed and too sedate to be just another Hassel clone. So I looked into it. Well….. he’s German. That’s ironic considering how the Hassel Craze had English writers pretending to be German or Russian [9]. He’s also an actual military historian who has written over twenty scholarly works.

Oh. I got him wrong, didn’t I.

Reviews of this book seem split between whether Lucas has done an historically accurate fictionalisation of the real operation, or if he’s overly embellished it. Now that I think of it Lucas has somewhat realised the original promise of Sven Hassel – to tell a true story of the horror of war in an entertaining pulp-novel style format.

My conclusion? If you want entertainment I’d still try Hassel first, but if you want some connection to real history it’s worth looking into the Jackboot series.

If you’d enjoy a lurid first-person adventure story about a team of degenerates invading Eastern Europe for boozing and shagging, you can’t go wrong with my Daygame Memoirs. If you are more tactically minded, you’d likely prefer my strategic manual Daygame Infinite

[1] Robert E. Howard is number one. Much of his stuff is public domain now and available for free here.
[2] There are rumours his wife wrote it and he wrote the next thirteen. It’s certainly written in a different style to the others so there may be truth in this rumour.
[3] You needn’t look too far into military history to verify or disprove his claims. It’s simply impossible for anyone to survive that many battles over six years. John Wick is more plausible.
[4] And no doubt made them much easier to write by removing one of the major narrative constraints
[5] And back when it was printed, that was usually a bad sign. Different market then.
[6] It appears they never got published as I can’t find a single thing on the internet about them.
[7] Mind you, it’s hard for me to go through any day without wishing they’d won considering that the alternative was Jewish Bolshevism. I’m no fan of the Nazi’s socialism nor their murderous Teutonic supremacy, but the Soviets were bigger villains. Like Churchill said, “we butchered the wrong pig”
[8] It’s always men getting massacred, usually by a white knight protecting a woman. That’s hard to support when you’re on Team Man. In modern times it’s usually white men getting massacred, which is hard to support when you’re on Team White. And before you stupid Indian trolls get started, think how you’d feel if Bollywood created movies like John Wick where you were meant to cheer for two hours as somebody massacres several hundred men who look exactly like you. Even worse if it’s like Django Unchained. Imagine a Bollywood movie where every single Indian man is a total cunt, and then a white man kills you all, and you’re meant to cheer it along.
[9] For example, Leo Kessler is in fact Charles Whiting and Wolf Kruger is schlock horror writer Shaun Hutson.

#6 – The Age Of God Kings, Time Life BOOK REVIEW

January 21, 2018

Too much fiction, mate. That’s what I thought to myself as I realised the first five books I finished this year were all primarily about the entertainment rather than the learning. Winter is my time of reflection and self-improvement so Project High Value Man must continue.

Having long since gotten tired of David DeAngelo videos and Muay Thai fights on Thai television, I’ve been looking into new ways of peacefully sending myself to sleep at night. My latest wheeze is to listen to audio books of titles that intrigue me but that I know, deep down, I’ll never find the time nor inclination to read. I started with a Warhammer 40k Horus Heresy audio but that just confused me and gave me nightmares about the extinction of mankind [1]. So, I moved onto Edward Gibbons The Fall And Decline Of The Roman Empire.

This book holds a very special place in my heart, considering I’ve never even owned it, much less read it.


“How did this happen?” I wondered

To me it’s the poster boy of a significant contribution to civilisation. As a work of scholarship it is massive, detailed, and draws together a wealth of sources the author mastered through a lifetime of study. As a work of history it is original and groundbreaking. As a work of literature it is immense and intimidating. It stands alone, a monument to the man.

It’s like the K’rauser Romances of 1776.

So as I tucked myself into bed under a fur blanket, reduced my wall TV backlight to zero, then let the audio book wash over me, I was transported into ancient history. Pretty soon, I realised a problem: though I’d love to get my arms around the major trends of history, this book is just too big and too detailed. I’d get lost in the weeds. I needed something higher level [2]

Where can a man go to find a broad-strokes sweep of human history, written by subject matter experts, and lavishly illustrated so that tiny ADHD minds such as my own don’t get bored? Well, Time Life of course. They produce beautiful coffee table books on a range of topics [3] for a lay reader with an inquisitive mind. Incredibly, I could get the 19-volume [4] hardback set for just £35 delivered, via eBay. So that’s what I did. They now form a very nice row at the bottom of my bookcase.


There’s more knowledge in here than there is inside my whole head

“Nick,” I told myself, “this is your chance to become well-educated. A chance to make up for all those wasted years chasing girls and bragging about it. A chance to undo the damage that non-stop video-gaming has done to your feeble mind.”

“It’s winter. There’s nothing else to do. Look outside – it’s snowing!” my inner voice continued. “Here’s a project for you. Read all nineteen volumes in order. They go right up to WWII and after that you’ll literally know the shape of world history. Do it! Do it now, before your ageing mind fossilises forever!”

I picked up volume one, The Age Of God Kings, and the synchronicity hit me. It’s all about Sumeria, Egypt, Crete and Indus, the oldest empires. Wasn’t I playing Assassins Creed Origins [5] just this past week? Isn’t the God King Donald J Trump president right now? Yes! I must read this now.

Craig Cassidy

“I literally just saw you. You look Sumerian, probably from Umma or Lagash”

Having finished volume one this morning I can say I have every intention of moving on to volume two and beyond. Here’s just a short list of morsels I picked up through reading:

  • I can now find Mesopotamia on a map.
  • I appreciate the importance of rivers and how the predictability of their flooding will lead to either a stoic fearful religion (Sumer, where Tigris and Euphrates rivers flood unpredictably and dangerously) vs an optimistic worshipful religion (Egypt, where the Nile is predictable and controllable).
  • The aesthetic design of pyramids comes from Ziggurats, which themselves came from the practice of building new temples as a layer on top of the ruins of an old temple.
  • A sculpted figurine of Ebih-il, steward of the temple of Ishtar at Mari, looked an awful lot like Craig Cassidy.
  • The anti-clockwise current of the Mediterranean protected Crete from invasion and thus allowed it to build an early civilisation.
  • Now I understand what real life circumstances encouraged the myth of Theseus, the Minotaur, and the labyrinth.
  • Sumerians and Egyptians loved symmetry and spectacle in their architecture whereas Minoans and Harappans were about utility.
  • Egyptians did not in fact walk sideways with their hands pressed together above their heads. Nor did they say “ooohwahoh-ohwaaaah-oohhhh!”
  • The Nile (and Egypt) is effectively two countries, with Upper Egypt a narrow valley country with shallow impassable cataracts, and Lower Egypt a flat marshland with deep navigable rivers [6]
  • Mallia is now a degenerate Cretian holiday resort full of foreign slags getting their tits out. Back in 2500BC it was customary for the local slags to have their tits out constantly too, even at court.

Lisa had finished her cocktails and found her way to Candy Club

I could go on, but I shan’t. Suffice to say, I’m feeling rather educated right now.

If you too wish to contribute a Gibbons-esque scholarly work of historiography to the emerging daygame literature, take me up on my Winter Memoir Challenge. If you’d rather just read about it, consider Daygame Infinite. You can put it in a time capsule so future civilisations realise just how much we knew.

[1] Though if it was only half of mankind, and I could choose which half, it would be a far more pleasant dream.
[2] And easier.
[3] Yes, I bought the Nazi ones too.
[4] Slightly larger than my own historiography.
[5] Or, Witcher 3 Egypt as it’s also known.
[6] I’d already figured this out from Assassins Creed Origins.

#5 – Dennis Wheatley, Three Inquisitive People BOOK REVIEW

January 20, 2018

Attentive readers will have noted I received several vintage paperbacks from eBay recently, of which Thank You, Mr Moto was the shortest. After polishing that off I was rather gung-ho to dip into more 1930s thrillers so I chose this 1931 crime mystery. It’s of the Agatha Christie ‘body in the library’ type puzzle story.

I have a rule of thumb that you can judge the quality of a book, before you’ve read it, by looking at a photo of the author. Physiognomy is real and, like Orwell said, “at 50, everyone has the face he deserves.” Just look at these two and tell me which is going to be the more competent writer:



Some SJW, and Wheatley

Should I continue? Well, yes I should. Let’s look at more author profile photos and consider what they show us. Each of the four below is an acknowledged master of his craft. Look at what they all share: strong confident gaze, clean facial features, intelligent brow. Cool guys. You just know their books will be good.



Great writers

Chandler, Hammett, Clavell, Tolstoy

This is why the first time I saw Dennis Wheatley’s photo, after having read my first book of his, I immediately punched the air. “Yes! I knew it!”

I’ve now read thirteen of his novels so I feel somewhat qualified on assessing him as a writer. I think the first thing for a modern day reader to grasp is what a big deal Wheatley was in his era. From the 1930s through to the 1960s he was one of the world’s best-selling authors and apparently his Gregory Sallust series inspired Ian Fleming’s James Bond (in addition to the real-life adventures of an actual British agent). There are two reasons why Wheatley is under-appreciated now, namely (i) his estate was caught up in a long protracted legal battle between his heirs so no publisher could risk reprinting him without being sure of the copyright holder (ii) he is a prime example of the Dead White Men that modern Leftists love to hate.

The villains of Wheatley novels are communists, Satanists, and the French [1] Here’s a quote from the first chapter as the protagonist Duke De Richleau is explaining to his guest why he chose the Mausoleum Club for their meeting:

“Therefore I asked you to dine in this quaint old place, behind closed doors through which the word socialism has never penetrated, and women do not come.”

To read Wheatley is to relax into the warm atmosphere of old-world English aristocratic life. His heroes are mostly Dukes and Counts and they benevolently look after their loyal servants. Class conflict is absent, except when agitated by vile communists, usually at the behest of the Bolsheviks or Satan himself. Patriotism is a given, as is a man’s duty to confront his enemy head-on and give him a bloody good sock on the jaw. Consider the opening to chapter two:

  Some two hours later M. de Richleau and his guest sat entrenched behind long cigars; they had just savoured the last drops of a sixty-year bottle of Madeira, and both were filled with the sense of well-being that succeeds a carefully chosen dinner and fine wines.

People don’t write that way any longer. Modern protagonists do not entrench themselves, nor do they savour or succeed. Most of Wheatley’s conversations are conducted in drawing rooms stacked with leather-bound volumes along the walls and animal skins across the floor. There is always a long exposition scene early on in which the characters give voice to Wheatley’s current social and political manifesto.

Some would call that clumsy writing. I love it.

  When De Richleau had finished his conversation with James Ritherdon he rang up Rex at his little house in Trevor Square.
Rex was officially out, but actually at home. He had, however, given instructions to Mrs. Bottom that should the Duke or Simon Aron ring up they were to be put through.

In just two sentences we learn the following:

  • There is such as thing as being officially out, but actually at home. I immediately decided to claim this upper class affectation for myself.
  • Men should have more than one house, and a little house is one of them, no doubt for convenience when in the city centre on business.
  • One has a lady to whom one gives instructions on which personages may be put through to the sitting room.

To an Englishman such as myself, who deeply believes that the Victorian era was the apogee of civilisation, reading a Dennis Wheatley book is like having a long relaxing massage. It’s a reminder that life is noble, that education and excellence are to be cherished, and that great men exist. I also greatly enjoy how he frames the villains. Late in the book, there is a scene where Duke De Richleau and his friend Rex are attempting to trace any witnesses who saw a particular man leave a particular apartment building around ten pm a week earlier. After knocking on doors, they finally find a witness and he’s……. a faggot.

Chapter XXIII is called The Curious Behaviour of Mr. Carrington Smythe and he’s a loathsome pillow-biter. I was laughing out loud at how unfavourably Wheatley characterised this villain, proudly trumpeting every homosexual stereotype you could ask for.

“Rex gave the young man a sharp glance and thought him one of the most unpleasant people whom he’d ever seen. He was extraordinarily good-looking in the classic style, but he was not really young at all, and had he been a woman, one would have said he was thirty, made up to look eighteen. It was his boyish figure and his wavy golden hair that gave him the appearance of youth, on first sight. His bright, hard eyes were full of knowledge and cunning, his thin-lipped mouth a line of determined viciousness.” [2]

Before the book is done, we learn the following about Mr Smythe, that he:

  • is middle-aged but desperately trying to look younger in order to seduce twinks.
  • has pederast photos lying around everywhere.
  • immediately makes a sexual play for the good-looking Rex.
  • speaks like Graham Norton, as fruity as can be.
  • is engaged in prostitution and has a client hiding in the bedroom.
  • witnessed the murderer because he was out soliciting clients.
  • blackmails the murderer and skips town, betraying the police and Justice and allowing the murderer a chance to escape prosecution.

It’s so liberating to read a book that doesn’t pander to the degenerate vermin in our country and instead clearly portrays them as villains. Imagine how differently Mr Smythe would’ve been presented in Kurland’s Moriarty books. In those he’d have been making all kinds of intelligent quips that rang rings around the bigotted stuffy policemen, like an Oscar Wilde.

three inquisitive people

There’s an even better cover

As much as I like the style of Dennis Wheatley, I must nonetheless confess that Three Inquisitive People is the weakest of his that I’ve yet read. The problem is this: Wheatley is at his best writing action, especially historical adventures spanning several countries. His best books are the French Revolution adventures of Roger Brook (like a Dumas book from the English perspective) or the espionage adventures of Gregory Sallust against the Nazis. Even the previous Duke De Richleau stories were all adventures. Not murder mysteries. Adventures.

In Three Inquisitive People, Wheatley is trying to do an Agatha Christie, turning his character into a Hercule Poirot. Consider this is 1931 when that style was fresh and wildly popular. So the whole of this book is men sitting in lounges and restaurants turning over evidence and theories to each other through dialogue. There is almost no action. No shoot outs, or car chases, or fist fights, or prison breaks. No battles.

Even the stakes are low: some old unpleasant woman got murdered in her bath.

And… he just doesn’t pull it off. Agatha Christie has mastered how to follow a detective through interviewing witnesses, examining crime scenes, and following-up on clues. Her books come alive with characterisation and she rarely needs to spell out the deductions for you. Wheatley has always been heavy-handed in his exposition so his interchanges between characters come off stiff and obvious.

There were no clever twists, no artful misdirection, and little in the way of charming human insight like in a Christie novel. This book is all logical, straight-forward, and clumsily obvious. Needless to say, I guessed the killer long before the book meant it to be obvious. Unlike the rare cases I prevent Christie from pulling the wool over my eyes, this was no challenge.

Also, there’s a bizarre change in tone in the final chapters as Wheatley tries to up the emotional ante to give the book a rousing climax. It’s not at all foreshadowed, makes no sense, and relies upon the characters acting like retards – exactly what I complained of in an earlier review.

I won’t warn you off this book as I still enjoyed it, but don’t come here expecting a tightly-crafted whodunnit. If you want to enjoy Dennis Wheatley’s old school vibe, I’d much more strongly recommend his earlier Duke De Richleau story Vendetta In Spain or for a more Dumas vibe try Roger Brook in The Rape Of Venice [3]

If you like the idea of pompous men puffing on cigars and drinking wine in gentleman’s clubs, then you’ll love my memoir A Deplorable Cad where I did precisely that with my colleagues Duke James de Burnley and Count Mick von Hobart.

[1] Just like real life
[2] Interesting about the mouth, as it’s exactly how Anonymous Conservative would describe it in traitors like FBI’s Andrew McCabe or Peter Stroyk.
[3] The first Wheatley book I read, which I loved.

Nick Krauser interview with Street Attraction

January 18, 2018

Readers of my 2015 memoir will remember [1] that’s the year I had my first Euro Jaunts with Eddie of Street Attraction, and also hung out with him and Richard in Belgrade during their long extensively-documented Balkan tour. That let me see their game up close and also become actual friends with them [2]

Since then, I’ve had nothing but good things to say about Street Attraction [3] and thus when Eddie suggested we do a joint Christmas event in London I enthusiastically agreed [4] and then when he suggested an interview on his YouTube channel I agreed yet more enthusiastically.

Here it is.

Daygame Infinite is available to purchase by clicking here.

What a difference it makes when someone with actual editing skill gets his hands on a video project! Makes me look like a bumbling amateur with my channel. Thank you Eddie, Richard, and George for having me on your show.

If you liked the thoughtful and cultured commentary George has about daygame, you’ll quite probably enjoy his new book Game: A Cure For Loneliness available here. [5]

[1] Actually, no they won’t. I haven’t gotten around to writing that one yet. If at all.
[2] Having friends in the community, as opposed to associates, wings or “people you haven’t back-stabbed yet”, is perhaps something of a revolutionary idea amongst PUAs.
[3] When sober. When drunk, my expressed opinions represent a fictionalised version of events that are dramatised for television and in no way represent nor are endorsed by my real opinions. I’ve been known to say bad things about even Donald J. Trump while drunk on whiskey.
[4] I will post video of my full talk eventually, so you don’t need to ask.
[5] I’m about 25% into it so far, and it is the kind of reflective and literary work you’d expect from his contribution to our interview here.