Reviews by Dai Alanye

Poison Island

by Arthur Thomas Quiller-Couch

Well-conceived (mostly,) well-plotted (mostly,) and well-written. Distinctive and interesting characters, and a young hero with a penchant for attracting trouble to himself and others.

A melodramatic ending left something to be desired but otherwise a fine read. Strongly recommended.

Reviewed on 2015.02.26

Memoirs of the Extraordinary Military Career of John Shipp

by John Shipp

Interesting look at boy soldiers and war in India during the early 1800s. Difficult to separate fact from fiction in spots, especially with regard to animal tales that would have done some credit to Aesop, and quotes from Irish soldiers equal to anything the stage offers.

Reviewed on 2015.02.02

Moran of the Lady Letty

by Frank Norris

Terrific adventure tale, and an example of the story driving the author rather than the opposite.

Halfway through Norris has the bright idea of removing one quasi-hero and replacing him with another. This works extremely well.

Eventually though, it seems, he tires of the tale and decides to brusquely terminate it by removal of the love interest in a bizarre and unbelievable fashion, only partly compensating for this by the method of her funeral.

Reviewed on 2015.02.02

Men of Affairs

by Roland Pertwee

The entrepreneurs are running wild in post-WW I London, and the entire metropolitan police force is either on strike or has been struck deaf and blind. Our co-hero, fortunately, has found an absolute double to mislead the bad guys, enabling him to escape the villains' claws while #2 is put through every torture imaginable short of waterboarding.

Plus a spy or two in the opposite ranks.

I regret being unable to finish the tale, but human flesh is only so resilient.

Reviewed on 2015.01.21

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