January 2014

The usual suspects…

The usual suspects…

Initial praise for Socko’s First Day:

★★★★★ Socko Garrett is old enough for The Choosing, where all 15 year olds are taken on as apprentices at an annual fair. Nobody chooses him so he ends up in the watch – the police. He’s later discovered, headhunted we’d say these days, by the Kingsmen, the elite militia answerable only to the monarch. They choose him because, unlike most of the local watch, he has a brain.

This is one of Tim Arnot’s short stories set in his post-apocalyptic world. Some of the characters are common to these short stories and the full length novel, ‘Wanted’ but the novelettes stand well as stories in their own right. There’s a wry humour in these tales which I greatly enjoy. They’re very good indeed. (Amazon top 500 reviewer)

★★★★★ I enjoyed reading a short story about “Socko” in A Splendid Salmagundi so when I heard, through goodreads, that review copies of Socko’s First Day were available, I was glad to apply.

I wasn’t disappointed. I found this to be very readable and enjoyed it. It’s also whetted my appetite to read more books by this author. I liked the style of writing, which I thought was very good, and enjoyed a glimpse into this post apocalyptic world.

If, like me, you have read the story in A Splendid Salmagundi you will still enjoy reading this. Although it is an extended version of the one available in Salmagundi, it is longer with much more detail and background not included in that shorter story. (Amazon top 1000 reviewer)

Socko’s First Day is available from Amazon iBooks and other ebook retailers.

Buy on Amazon US Buy on Amazon UK Buy on iTunes Buy on Nook Buy on Kobo

Socko Paperbacks


Paperbacks have arrived from CreateSpace. Some of you will know I’ve been conducting a little face-off between CreateSpace and FeedARead. It has to be said, that so far, CreateSpace wins on all counts APART from printing and shipping of author copies (they come from the CS plant in North Carolina and consequently have very expensive shipping charges to the UK). BUT, I uploaded the books to both sites on the same day (20th Jan), CS announced it had shipped on the 24th and it arrived from the US on the 27th, meanwhile, FAR is still “sending files to our printer” and won’t even let me order a proof for another week.

Guess which one is the epic fail?

American Hustle

Certificate 15 128 minutes
Dir: David O. Russell Stars: Christian Bale, Amy Adams, Bradley Cooper, Jennifer Lawrence

First movie of 2014!

Christian Bale sports a beer gut and the most horrendous combover you could imagine in this 1970s era black comedy. It’s loosely based on an actual case, where the FBI forced a conman to entrap politicians into taking bribes from a “fake sheikh”. As the film says, “Some of this actually happened…”

Christian Bale plays the eponymous grifter. He’s unhappily married to inept single mother Rosalyn (Jennifer Lawrence – Brilliant characterisation & comic timing, but still looks far too young for these kinds of roles IMHO). Bale is forced to work for the feds when his partner in crime and love interest (Amy Adams with a delicious fake “British accent”, and styling herself Lady Edith) is herself entrapped by federal agent Bradley Cooper.

They embark on a scam to trap corrupt politicians so bizarre that it actually seems credible, even when the mob gets dragged in, in the shape of Robert De Niro, and there’s a feeling of barely suppressed madness throughout.

The four central characters almost form a strange dysfunctional family, but I couldn’t help feeling at times that this was a cast & crew reunion for last year’s Silver Linings Playbook (Cooper seems to be playing pretty much exactly the same character). I wonder if it will be as successful? 8/10