Reviews by Henry L Ratliff

The Night Operator

by Frank L. Packard

A series of short stories dealing with the people and lives of the mountain railroad.

* THE NIGHT OPERATOR
o A small boy working on the railroad.
o Small in stature only.
o A nigh telegraph operator may be called on to use more than just the telegraph key.

* OWSLET AND THE 1601
o A broken man.
o A broken engine.
o They will go out together.

* THE APOTHEOSIS OF SAMMY DURGAN
o A reluctant and improbable hero.

* THE WRECKING BOSS
o The best wrecking boss on the line
o Not so much of a husband.
o Both sides of the man, meet in tragedy.

* THE MAN WHO SQUEALED
o Squealed, as in telling
o Seems that the hard dedicated life of a railroader can bring out the best and worst in men.
o The worst is changed by the best.
o ] Are old associations and pals to be put ahead of new found true friends?

* THE AGE LIMIT
o A man falls victim to the age limit.
o He must leave the job he loves.
o He leaves on his own terms..

* THE DEVIL AND ALL HIS WORKS
o A man becomes a reluctant Godfather.
o But, my goodness, what a Godson.
o Both grow up.

* ON THE NIGHT WIRE
o The seclusion of the night telegraph operator in a small station.
o Chance is a flip of the coin. The past can always catch up.
o Time and forgiveness go hand-in-hand.

* THE OTHER FELLOW'S JOB
o Are you, your brothers keeper? Maybe that is the other fellows job.
o A mechanic who wants to be an engineer. Be careful for what you ask.

* THE RAT RIVER SPECIAL
o How do you measure a great man?
o You may have it all wrong, and only circumstance, or perhaps fate, reveal the truth.


There is a consistent theme of man and his makeup and duty. Here a man is not defined by age, words, past or birth, but by actions when it counts most.

Reviewed on 2012.02.04

The Homicidal Diary

by Earl Peirce

* There have been a series of murders by beheading.
* Could your friend be involved.
* The diary: An account of murderous doings from the past. Could just reading the book send men mad.

Reviewed on 2011.04.07

The Story that the Keg Told Me, and The Story of the Man Who Didn't Know Much

by W.H.H. Murray

'The Story That the Keg Told Me'
A dream wich was more of a vission.
A Midas like man turns to the woods to protect his keg of gold.

'The Story of the Man Who Didn't Know Much'
What you know is relative to your situation.
And what you know doesn't reveal the heart within.

Two main characters are developed and are continued in other stories.
The stories are full of the respect, trust and comradship of back woodsmen.

Check out the other books that make the trilogy: 'The Mystery of the Woods and The Man Who Missed It', 'Holiday Tales'

Reviewed on 2011.02.02

The Lost Warship

by Robert Moore Williams

WWII battleship lost in time. Yep, wrong place at the right time, takes you back millions of years. Prehistoric times?, yes, but with a twist.

Dinosaurs, volcano, pretty girl and a trader among them. But wait there's more. A race of bad guys that fly planes.

Reviewed on 2010.11.23

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