Stephen King


stephen-king-insomnia-coverSince his wife died, Ralph Roberts has been having trouble sleeping. Each night he awakens a little earlier until he’s barely sleeping at all. During his late night vigils and walks, he observes some strange things going on in Derry, Maine. He sees colored ribbons streaming from people’s heads. He witnesses two strange little men wandering the city under cover of night. He begins to suspect that these visions are something more than hallucinations brought about by sleep deprivation. Ralph and his friend, widow Lois Chasse, become enmeshed in events of cosmic significance.

I’m not too sure what to make of this book, it has an interesting plot and some good, likeable characters, but it feels stretched, and takes a long time to get to the central story. I don’t usually mind the length of King novels, they’re well written and have complex plots, which I like, but on this occasion I think the story could have been condensed into two thirds the length, or perhaps even half.

A lot of the scenes, while decently written, and either fun or interesting, don’t seem to advance the story all that much, leaving you, or at least me, wanting to skip ahead until I find the plot again.

Not only that but it’s a little moralistic for my tastes; it seems more interested in suggesting that pro-life campaigners are akin to terrorists. I don’t doubt that there are pro-life campaigners who are prepared to act like Al Qaeda or ISIS or any of a number of other terrorist groups, but that isn’t the case for all.

I’m sure there are plenty of people out there who love this book as much as they do any other King novel, unfortunately I’m not one of them.

The Redemption Of Althalus

The Redemption Of Althalus

David and Leigh Eddings


Althalus has been a thief his whole life, so when he’s offered a lucrative job after a run of bad luck, he’s quick to accept. It would have been better if he had found out more about the job before he took, because what he finds when he gets to the house he is to rob he finds more than the book he has been paid to steal, he finds a mission to save the world from evil.

davideddings_theredemptionofalthalusAs a big fan of David Eddings and his previous series, The Belgariad and Sparhawk books, I went out and bought this book the moment I saw it was out. I won’t say that I wish I hadn’t because it is a decent book, it’s just not as good as his others. In the series he wrote before he created many good characters that I enjoy revisiting, characters I’d love to know more about – in a couple of instances Eddings had written books that allow characters to do just that, but I can’t say the same for this book. The characters are decent in The Redemption Of Althalus but lack the depth of those he created previously, both the good and the bad.

There’s some cleverness to the plot, which jumps around a little as time is played with, as is space and distance to beat the bad guys, but ultimately it all seems too easy. I would have liked it to be a little tougher for the good guys to win. There wasn’t even any real sense of danger for Althalus and his companions, as he manages to be in complete control even it looks like things are going against them.

If you like your fantasy light then you may well enjoy this book, but if you’re after something harder (as I’ve been accustomed to) I suggest you look elsewhere.

Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone

As I said in my welcome post, this site is for reviews of things I’ve read, seen, heard, played or done, which gives me a lot of scope to find things to write about. I hope you will all like my reviews, or at least find them interesting.

If you disagree with them, please do let me know, I like to hear opposing thoughts on things.

My first review is for Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone (the book not the film) I realise this is something that has been reviewed a lot but I feel it’s a decent place to start – don’t worry, I will be reviewing some less well-known things as we go along. And now to the review.

Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone 

By J K Rowling


After years of being either ignored or bullied by the relatives who took him in when his parents died, Harry Potter discovers on his eleventh birthday that he is a wizard and can do magic. Not only that but he has been accepted to Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry.


When he arrives at school he finds friends, and enemies – both old and new, and

encounters adventures that excite him as much as they frighten him. At the end of the year he comes face to face with the dark wizard who changed his life. Can an eleven year old boy really hope to defeat the most dangerous dark wizard for a century.

This is a great book, filled with wonderful characters who are richly described and a pleasure to read about. One of the best things about this book is the way the characters develop, learning magic and the ways of the magical world as they, without immediately becoming super powerful and capable of doing anything; the characters, certainly the main trio of Harry, Ron and Hermione, complement each other well with each bringing something to the group.

Along the way to the final confrontation there are laughs as well as some more serious scenes, all of which, though the book is intended for a younger audience, fit to be enjoyed by adults.

I’ve read Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone more times than I can remember and continue to enjoy it, which I consider as important, if not more so, as how well the book’s written. In this case the book is both well written and enjoyable, and is likely to remain a favourite of mine for years to come.