Review: August And Then Some


August And Then Some
by David Prete
Publisher: Fourth Estate
Review: Grace Read

I really enjoyed reading August And Then Some. But as I started telling a friend all about the story I realised how dark and disturbing it was, and how it left me feeling vaguely traumatised.

So why did I enjoy reading it so much? Well, the central character is JT Savage, a dislocated, disillusioned teenager who is forced to grow up on his own, overcome grief on his own, and make his own way in the world. JT’s character, worldview and narrative saved me from writing August And Then Some off as a gratuitously distressing novel.

JT is an enigma. There are events in his past which create curiosity and intrigue, and are slowly revealed to us through the disjointed plot timeline. I wasn’t quite sure how old he was until near the end; he speaks with all the jadedness of a hurting old man, but he turns out to be only 18.

What every chicken should know about Cupertino

Reader Logo by Paul Burman

I'm not a flash typist.  Reasonably fast, but not efficient.  After 25 years of keyboards and a good few years on a typewriter, I've never progressed beyond two fingers, even if I can usually get by without looking at the keys. As someone unkindly pointed out once, my typing style resembles a starved chicken pecking for food more than anything literary.  But, as I less imaginatively (although quite graphically) pointed out in return, it's amazing what can be communicated with two fingers... and so they did.

Sometimes, one of my fingers overtakes the other, or slips along one position on the keyboard to present a whole new sense (or nonsense) to my writing, and it isn't uncommon for me to sign off my emails with:
bets,
apul
instead of:
Best,
Paul

Sometimes, the nonsense my typing creates seems almost inspired, suggesting another (stronger) meaning to the one I intended, and I've redrafted whole paragraphs accordingly. 

Video interview: Three minutes with Ali Sparkes

The View From Here Interview: Three Minutes with Ali Sparkes

Reader Logoby Jen




Ali Sparkes’ first stand alone novel, Frozen In Time, won the Blue Peter Book of the Year award in 2010. Her first series – the Shapeshifter – has thousands of fans all over the world and her S.W.I.T.C.H. series was being translated around the planet within weeks of its publication in 2011.

Since her first book was published by Oxford University Press in 2006, Ali has written 33 novels and shorter stories – including a World Book Day SWITCH spin off book for March 2011 - and is invited all over Europe to festivals and schools for her trademark high comedy interactive presentations and workshops.

Frozen In Time is currently in development for children’s television.

The Intimates - Review

Reader LogoThe Intimates
by Guy Mankowski
Publisher: Legend Press
Review: Vicky Roberts

The Intimates is an intriguing novel which centres around an extravagant evening of entertainment and celebration, planned and prepared solely for the benefit of a group of close friends known as 'The Intimates'.

The members of the group come from a variety of social, financial and family backgrounds but they are inextricably linked through their shared experiences, their mutual desire to achieve success in their chosen fields, their deep, personal, and complex relationships with one another, and through their uniquely different but equally significant dreams of self fulfilment. Each one has an individual talent which they have attempted to utilise in order to achieve their life-long goals and reach their full personal potential, but each has achieved varying degrees of success.