bill5bradford

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Prince Of Darkness (Mills & Boon Vintage 90s Modern)

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This is the first Doherty mystery I have read, and I was pleasantly surprised by the depth of the characterization. Doherty draws his characters well, and fleshes out even the minor characters, and has a deft way of putting the characters together in ensemble. The story was well plotted. Not quite as much historical detail as some others, but a very satisfying read.
Out of the Silent Planet: (Space Trilogy, Book One)

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Like many older works of science fiction we now know that the planetary descriptions are definitely not correct. But, like many of those works, the story stands on its own merits outside of the science. Out of the Silent Planet is the first book in a trilogy which explores a great number of religious and philosophical questions by taking the protagonist to Mars (in this book) and Venus (in the next). The story is still fun to read, even on the sixth or seventh go-around. The plot is very well constructed. The villains are chosen to represent certain philosophical viewpoints and thus are a little latter than the protagonist and several of the Martian characters.Although I think anyone could enjoy the story, to fully enjoy it you will need to be at least in sympathy with Lewis' Christian viewpoint, as it flavors the entire work, and crucial plot elements (such as the entire organizational structure of the planets) are based on Lewis' Christian speculations and readings.
El Gran Divorcio: Un Sueno

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Lewis' story of a bus trip from hell to heaven is one of Lewis' most quotable books, and contains a number of fascinating insights into human nature. The book is perhaps best summed up in the quote, "There are only two kinds of people in the end: those who say to God, “Thy will be done,” and those to whom God says, in the end, “Thy will be done.” All that are in Hell, choose it." It is one of those books you can easily read from cover to cover in one night.
Adjustment Team

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Very interesting. After seeing the movie, I expected something philosophical along the lines of free will vs. predestination. It is more of a psychological story, and although it does not present an orthodox picture of God (at least from a Christian standpoint) it does present a very traditional picture of sovereignty. I especially like the dog.
Doctor Who: SHADA

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Well, first, you really need to be a Dr Who fan to understand the story. Second, I did not know that Douglas Adams wrote a number of Dr. Who stories. It is fascinating just reading the history of this one, and now I need to go back and watch a number of episodes that he wrote. And finally to the book. Very much classic Dr. Who. Gareth Roberts did an outstanding job working with the original and turning it into a novel. There are a couple of slow spots at the beginning but it is quite a ride once it gets going. Just about any Dr. Who fan will like this.
Dark Horse

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(Minor spoilers)I liked the idea and I think I know where the author was going...sort of a "Pilgrim's Progress" with horses...but it either was too long or too short. We have one short story, which is a nice allegory...and then all but one of the characters disappear (die? we are not sure) and another, shorter story begins - and they are connected, but do not form a whole.. It is well written, and nice for horse lovers...but it seemed disjointed. I would liked to have seen the story more fully developed. I would love to read more explaining what happened....and what will happen
THE ACCIDENTAL HEALER

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Graham has a whole series of "accidental..." short books. It reminds of a Chaucer type format - each story is unique, with its own characters, and they are all morality tales of some sort. This one is particularly well written. It is a very old trope - money and success do not lead to happiness - but an interesting take. I think different stories in this series will appeal to different readers. This was my favorite to date (although Accidental Exorcist is a close second).
The Master of the World

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One of the lesser known Verne works and somewhat of a follow up to" Robur the Conqueror".Unlike "Robur", the protagonist is fairly likeable. "Robur" is almost a travelogue - The antagonist, Robur, appears quickly. In "Master", the story is more of a mystery - Robur appears at the end of the story. In this it is somewhat like Nemo's appearance in "Mysterious Island", though "Master" is certainly not up to its story-telling and depth.I enjoyed reading it as a technological mystery. It does not have the foretelling of "Robur" but I don't think that was the intent. Verne is simply recycling a character because he needs a genius antagonist. Just read and enjoy for what it is.
Robur de Veroveraar

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As pointed out in other reviews, the plot is certainly less than in in other Verne novels - still, it is amazing that Verne foresaw so much of heavier than air flight. A fun read just because of this.
The Chimes A Goblin Story of Some Bells That Rang an Old Year out and a New Year In

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One of Dicken's Christmas stories, although it is set at New Year's rather than Christmas. The second written, it is somewhat similar to the first, A Christmas Carol, as it involves a supernatural means of changing a person's heart. While a Christmas Carol involves visits to past, present, and future by supernatural means, in the Chimes only the future is so visited. The biggest difference in the two books is who is being changed and what is changed. Of course, in A Christmas Carol you have a radical transformation. In the Chimes, Toby Veck has simply lost faith in himself and his fellows, so the transformation is much less. While it still carries a powerful message, and conveys Dicken's social messages about the poor, it is not as moving as A Christmas Carol.
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