Books read in January

I read 7 books in January.

Doctor Who and The Enemy of the World which features a double of the Second Doctor as the titular enemy of the world, Salamander, which I am sure is much more effective on screen when you can actually see him portrayed by Patrick Troughton.

The novelisation is a very quick read and is also very pacy considering the original story is six episodes long. The story is not atypical of Doctor Who and seems much more like a James Bond type spy thriller which the plot is rather more typical of.

It is also unique in being the only Doctor Who novelisation to use a swear word which wasn’t in the original script, but worked in context of the situation and the characters.

I would have to say that Ian Marter did a good job in bringing this story to the page and I really want to see the story after reading this novel as it bought it all to life wonderfully.

The Mind Robber is a novelisation written by Peter Ling based on his original television script and is a really good version of the story which in some places does divert from what we saw on screen but not in a way that changes the story or what the story is all meant to be about.

As the original story was about fiction and fictional characters this works really well on the printed page and is if anything a bit better than the television version which is saying something as the tv story is a Doctor Who classic in its own right.

Not having a 1960’s television budget means that this version does not have the limitations that the tv series had as a person’s imagination has no boundaries or limitations and that is the main reason why this story works really well in prose form.

The Language of Dying is a short novel by Sarah Pinbourough. It is about a family who are coming together for one last time when their father is nearing death.

It is quite an affecting book mainly because of its subject matter and there were some elements of the narrative that did remind me of my own experiences.

The ending was a bit of a shock but in a way you can sort of understand why what happened even if it is a rather drastic way of sorting things out.

This not a cheerful book but is very well written and well worth reading.

Blotto, Twinks and the Ex-Kings Daughter is a comic crime novel written by Simon Brett.

It is a very Agatha Christieesque tale of incompetent police officers and very clever amateur sleuths who are able to run rings around the police, solve the crime in time for dinner, and then hand the solution to the police tied up with a bow making the police themselves believe that they solved it all along!

Blotto and Twinks are the blonde-haired, blue-eyed children of a member of the British aristocracy with Twinks being the brains of the two with Blotto blundering along all the while thinking that he is being heroic and chivalrous. This doesn’t take itself at all seriously but that is what makes it such fun to read and the author himself is having fun with his glib remarks within the text itself.

This is a cosy mystery with a bit of bite and is a hell of a lot of fun to read.

The plots are a bit farfetched and ridiculous and it has its tongue firmly wedged into its cheek and you can’t help but smile when you read it.

Clisson and Eugenie is a love story about a young French man who meets a girl in a spa town, falls madly in love with her, marries her and lives happily with for a while until he returns to the front line.

What makes this book more interesting though is that the fact that it was written by Napoleon Bonaparte and that is the main reason why I picked up the book in the first place as that intrigued me and you should read it if intrigues you too.

Hallelujah!: The Extraordinary Story of Shaun Ryder and Happy Mondays is a book about the rise and fall and the rise and fall and the rise and fall etc, etc of Mancunian poet and pop star Shaun Ryder and his group The Happy Mondays.

The book is very funny but only because some of the things that went out seem unbelievable but actually did happen and it also makes you wonder how in the hell any of them are still alive today to tell the tale.

The book is not particularly well written but it is very humorous, often quite shocking, sometimes sad but the main thing is that despite all of this they created some fantastic music that will still be listened to many years from now.

The Magic Toyshop is a short novel written by Angela Carter which deals with some really dark subjects such as domestic violence, rape, incest, death and loss all in just two hundred pages of wonderfully rendered prose.

Some of the book is really about the mundane realities of life which is written in such an interesting way that it seems to be something quite magical instead.

Most of the novel is quite dark and sometimes quite upsetting when you think that the main characters are all children.

This book is worth reading mostly for Angela Carter’s writing, which is always interesting and highly readable, even if the subject matter can be quite off-putting.

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