Now reading: Kurt Vonnegut | Breakfast of Champions (1973)

"We are healthy only to the extent that our ideas are humane." So reads the tombstone of downtrodden writer Kilgore Trout, but we have no doubt who’s really talking: his alter ego Kurt Vonnegut. Health versus sickness, humanity versus inhumanity—both sets of ideas bounce through this challenging and funny book. As with the rest of Vonnegut’s pure fantasy, it lacks the shimmering, fact-fueled rage that illuminates Slaughterhouse-Five. At the same time, that makes this book perhaps more enjoyable to read.
Breakfast of Champions is a slippery, lucid, bleakly humorous jaunt through (sick? inhumane?) America circa 1973, with Vonnegut acting as our Virgil-like companion. The book follows its main character, auto-dealing solid-citizen Dwayne Hoover, down into madness, a condition brought on by the work of the aforementioned Kilgore Trout. As Dwayne cracks, then crumbles, Breakfast of Champions coolly shows the effects his dementia has on the web of characters surrounding him. It’s not much of a plot, but it’s enough for Vonnegut to air unique opinions on America, sex, war, love, and all of his other pet topics—you know, the only ones that really count.

Now reading: Kurt Vonnegut | Breakfast of Champions (1973)

"We are healthy only to the extent that our ideas are humane." So reads the tombstone of downtrodden writer Kilgore Trout, but we have no doubt who’s really talking: his alter ego Kurt Vonnegut. Health versus sickness, humanity versus inhumanity—both sets of ideas bounce through this challenging and funny book. As with the rest of Vonnegut’s pure fantasy, it lacks the shimmering, fact-fueled rage that illuminates Slaughterhouse-Five. At the same time, that makes this book perhaps more enjoyable to read.

Breakfast of Champions is a slippery, lucid, bleakly humorous jaunt through (sick? inhumane?) America circa 1973, with Vonnegut acting as our Virgil-like companion. The book follows its main character, auto-dealing solid-citizen Dwayne Hoover, down into madness, a condition brought on by the work of the aforementioned Kilgore Trout. As Dwayne cracks, then crumbles, Breakfast of Champions coolly shows the effects his dementia has on the web of characters surrounding him. It’s not much of a plot, but it’s enough for Vonnegut to air unique opinions on America, sex, war, love, and all of his other pet topics—you know, the only ones that really count.

Now Reading: Robert Sheckley | Divine Intervention (2014)

This volume contains eleven stories not previously collected together and not included in any of the other classic Sheckley compendiums published by Open Road.In “Sarkanger,” Gregor and Arnold of the AAA Ace Interplanetary Decontamination Corporation take on an extermination job on Sarkan. Things get surprisingly complicated when the target vermin start arguing about who should be wiped out. The ten other stories in this collection are “At the Conference of the Birds,” “The Destruction of Atlantis,” “Dial-a-Death,” “Divine Intervention,” “Love Song from the Stars,” “Message from Hell,” “The Necessary Thing,” “Robotvendor Rex,” “There Will Be No War after This One,” and “Wormworld.”

Now Reading: Robert Sheckley | Divine Intervention (2014)

This volume contains eleven stories not previously collected together and not included in any of the other classic Sheckley compendiums published by Open Road.

In “Sarkanger,” Gregor and Arnold of the AAA Ace Interplanetary Decontamination Corporation take on an extermination job on Sarkan. Things get surprisingly complicated when the target vermin start arguing about who should be wiped out. 

The ten other stories in this collection are “At the Conference of the Birds,” “The Destruction of Atlantis,” “Dial-a-Death,” “Divine Intervention,” “Love Song from the Stars,” “Message from Hell,” “The Necessary Thing,” “Robotvendor Rex,” “There Will Be No War after This One,” and “Wormworld.”

Now reading: Roger Moore | My Word is My Bond - The Autobiography (2008)

The quintessential suave hero, Roger Moore has had an extraordinary career that has spanned seven decades, from early television to the golden age of Hollywood and on to international superstardom. Dashing, handsome and every inch the archetypal English gentleman, he is unforgettable as The Saint, as Lord Brett Sinclair in “The Persuaders!” and, of course, as James Bond, making seven blockbusting films as arguably the most debonair of the 007s. For the first time, Roger shares his recollections of playing some of the world’s most famous roles alongside a host of legendary stars. It features myriad stories from his personal life - from his childhood in London and experiences during the Second World War, to the happy and turbulent times in his later life. Along with anecdotes about his encounters with the stars and his wonderful memories from the heyday of Hollywood, “My Word is My Bond” is as frank, funny and disarmingly charming as the legend himself.

Now reading: Roger Moore | My Word is My Bond - The Autobiography (2008)

The quintessential suave hero, Roger Moore has had an extraordinary career that has spanned seven decades, from early television to the golden age of Hollywood and on to international superstardom. Dashing, handsome and every inch the archetypal English gentleman, he is unforgettable as The Saint, as Lord Brett Sinclair in “The Persuaders!” and, of course, as James Bond, making seven blockbusting films as arguably the most debonair of the 007s. For the first time, Roger shares his recollections of playing some of the world’s most famous roles alongside a host of legendary stars. It features myriad stories from his personal life - from his childhood in London and experiences during the Second World War, to the happy and turbulent times in his later life. Along with anecdotes about his encounters with the stars and his wonderful memories from the heyday of Hollywood, “My Word is My Bond” is as frank, funny and disarmingly charming as the legend himself.

Now reading: Robert Sheckley | Options (1975)

Tom Mishkin is piloting another routine supply flight when he hears an unusual noise and gets the distressing news: he’s about to be stranded on a backward planet and forced to hike across unknown, and probably hostile, terrain to find a cache of spare parts and get going again. Mishkin’s journey introduces him to strange aliens like a five-headed man-eating snake with Mob connections as his trek slowly warps into a metaphysical search for his soul and the meaning of human existence…

Now reading: Robert Sheckley | Options (1975)

Tom Mishkin is piloting another routine supply flight when he hears an unusual noise and gets the distressing news: he’s about to be stranded on a backward planet and forced to hike across unknown, and probably hostile, terrain to find a cache of spare parts and get going again. Mishkin’s journey introduces him to strange aliens like a five-headed man-eating snake with Mob connections as his trek slowly warps into a metaphysical search for his soul and the meaning of human existence…

Now reading: John Sweeney | The Church of Fear: Inside The Weird World of Scientology (2013)

Tom Cruise and John Travolta say the Church of Scientology is a force for good. Others disagree. Award-winning journalist John Sweeney investigated the Church for more than half a decade. During that time he was intimidated, spied on and followed and the results were spectacular: Sweeney lost his temper with the Church’s spokesman on camera and his infamous ‘exploding tomato’ clip was seen by millions around the world. In THE CHURCH OF FEAR Sweeney tells the full story of his experiences for the first time and paints a devastating picture of this strange organisation, from former Scientologists who tell heartbreaking stories of families torn apart and lives ruined to its current followers who say it is the solution to many of mankind’s problems. This is the real story of the Church by the reporter who was brave enough to take it on.

Now reading: John Sweeney | The Church of Fear: Inside The Weird World of Scientology (2013)

Tom Cruise and John Travolta say the Church of Scientology is a force for good. Others disagree. Award-winning journalist John Sweeney investigated the Church for more than half a decade. During that time he was intimidated, spied on and followed and the results were spectacular: Sweeney lost his temper with the Church’s spokesman on camera and his infamous ‘exploding tomato’ clip was seen by millions around the world. In THE CHURCH OF FEAR Sweeney tells the full story of his experiences for the first time and paints a devastating picture of this strange organisation, from former Scientologists who tell heartbreaking stories of families torn apart and lives ruined to its current followers who say it is the solution to many of mankind’s problems. This is the real story of the Church by the reporter who was brave enough to take it on.

Now reading: Jeff Strand | Gleefully Macabre Tales (2008)

"The most important thing to know about Jeff Strand’s work is that just because it’s funny doesn’t mean it isn’t scary and disturbing. It does those things better than most horror fiction around. The laughs just make it more palatable and much more enjoyable. Most thriller writers use humor as a device to break tension so they can build it back up again. Strand uses humor more subversively. He disarms readers by making them laugh and let their guard down, then hits them in the gut with something really, really nasty so their chuckle of amusement becomes a gasp of horror. His careful structuring makes humor and horror work together and complement each other." – Cemetery Dance

Now reading: Jeff Strand | Gleefully Macabre Tales (2008)

"The most important thing to know about Jeff Strand’s work is that just because it’s funny doesn’t mean it isn’t scary and disturbing. It does those things better than most horror fiction around. The laughs just make it more palatable and much more enjoyable. Most thriller writers use humor as a device to break tension so they can build it back up again. Strand uses humor more subversively. He disarms readers by making them laugh and let their guard down, then hits them in the gut with something really, really nasty so their chuckle of amusement becomes a gasp of horror. His careful structuring makes humor and horror work together and complement each other." – Cemetery Dance

Now reading: Heide Goody & Iain Grant | Pigeonwings (2013)

As punishment for his part in an attempted coup in Heaven, the Archangel Michael is banished to Earth. The holiest of the angelic host has to learn to live as a mortal, not an easy job when you’ve got Satan as a next-door neighbour.
Michael soon finds that being a good person involves more than helping out at Sunday school and attending church coffee mornings. He has to find his purpose in life, deal with earthly temptations and solve a mystery involving some unusual monks and a jar of very dangerous jam.
Sequel to the best-selling Clovenhoof, Heide Goody and Iain Grant have written a wild comedy that features spear-wielding cub scouts, accidental transvestites, King Arthur, a super-intelligent sheepdog, hallucinogenic snacks, evil peacocks, old ladies with biscuits, naked paintball, stolen tractors, clairvoyant computers, the Women’s Institute, and way too much alcohol.

Wenn das Niveau von Clovenhoof gehalten wird, tut mein Zwerchfell mir jetzt schon leid…

Now reading: Heide Goody & Iain Grant | Pigeonwings (2013)

As punishment for his part in an attempted coup in Heaven, the Archangel Michael is banished to Earth. The holiest of the angelic host has to learn to live as a mortal, not an easy job when you’ve got Satan as a next-door neighbour.

Michael soon finds that being a good person involves more than helping out at Sunday school and attending church coffee mornings. He has to find his purpose in life, deal with earthly temptations and solve a mystery involving some unusual monks and a jar of very dangerous jam.

Sequel to the best-selling Clovenhoof, Heide Goody and Iain Grant have written a wild comedy that features spear-wielding cub scouts, accidental transvestites, King Arthur, a super-intelligent sheepdog, hallucinogenic snacks, evil peacocks, old ladies with biscuits, naked paintball, stolen tractors, clairvoyant computers, the Women’s Institute, and way too much alcohol.

Wenn das Niveau von Clovenhoof gehalten wird, tut mein Zwerchfell mir jetzt schon leid…

Now reading: Clive Barker | Cabal (1988)

Cabal is the story of Boone, a tortured soul haunted by the conviction that he has committed atrocious crimes. In a necropolis in the wilds of Canada, he seeks refuge and finds the last great creatures of the world - the shape-shifters known as the Nightbreed. They are possessed of unearthly powers-and so is Boone. In the hunt for Boone, they too will be hunted. Now only the courage of this strange human can save them from extinction. And only the undying passion of a woman can save Boone from his own corrupting hell…

Now reading: Clive Barker | Cabal (1988)

Cabal is the story of Boone, a tortured soul haunted by the conviction that he has committed atrocious crimes. In a necropolis in the wilds of Canada, he seeks refuge and finds the last great creatures of the world - the shape-shifters known as the Nightbreed. They are possessed of unearthly powers-and so is Boone. In the hunt for Boone, they too will be hunted. Now only the courage of this strange human can save them from extinction. And only the undying passion of a woman can save Boone from his own corrupting hell…