1
10 Ridiculous Religious Books
2
8 Macabre Books
3
7 Books for 7 Moods
4
15 Author Quotes about Ebooks
5
7 Books for 7 Moods
6
Sepultura
7
Dark Fiction (Part III)
8
The 9 Books I’ve Read in 2017
9
20 of Literature’s Funniest Quotes III
10
Dark Fiction (Part II)

10 Ridiculous Religious Books

This week sees the fourth and final instalment in my religious books series. Here are 10 religious-themed books. I have added pithy/fictitious comments below each.

 

Experiencing Bible Science

‘Bible Science’ — That’s an oxymoron.

 

Scruples How to Avoid Them

Extreme supplication from the looks of things.

 

Saving Marriage by Applying Biblical Wisdom

That clenched fist is ominous.

 

The Christian Life is Exciting

The front cover fails to give that impression.

 

Can I Be a Christian Without Being Weird?

Yes, it is just about possible. But not if you are a Jehovah’s Witness.

 

Are Your Children Playing With Lucifer’s Testicles?

This is presumably a satire. I base this on its Availability: Usually ships within 24 hours (if Jesus wants it to).

 

If The Devil Made You Do It You Blew It

What if the Devil didn’t make you do it, and you did it of your own volition?

 

Why Confess Your Sins To A Priest

Why indeed?

 

Precious Princess Bible

Brimming with illustrations and captions, this pink abomination informs every little girl that she is ‘God’s precious princess’.

 

The Monsters Are Coming…

And the winner of worst front cover in the religious genre is…

 

8 Macabre Books

This week’s post is dedicated to 8 macabre books. I have added pithy comments/fictitious commentary below each.

 

Peculiar Children

Yes, that child is levitating.

 

Still Life: Adventures In Taxidermy

If you are seeking a ‘fascinating romp through the world of stuffed animals’ then look no further.

 

They Thirst

What a terrifying creature!

 

Dissection

This book is best tackled on an empty stomach.

 

Pride And Prejudice And Zombies

I wonder what Jane Austen would make of this.

 

Rest In Pieces: The Curious Fates of Famous Corpses

Intriguing: I am adding this to my reading list.

 

Walter Potter’s Curious World of Taxidermy

Yuck!

 

Do-It-Yourself Coffins

Yet another DIY coffin title! Erotica better watch out, there’s a new genre in town.

 

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I am the author of 3 novels. My next, Sepultura, is due for release in December. It is the sequel to the satirical, black comedy, Necropolis.

A Black Comedy of True Distinction

Dyson Devereux works in the Burials and Cemeteries department in his local council… 

Click here to claim your FREE copy.

 

7 Books for 7 Moods

This week sees the fifth instalment in my series of posts devoted to books for different moods. Here are more 7 books for 7 moods/states of mind. Click on the links to read my reviews.

 

In the mood for a Transgressive classic? (Perhaps you have seen the film but not read the book)

A Clockwork Orange by Anthony Burgess

A Clockwork Orange is a ground-breaking and controversial work set in a dystopian near future. It leaves many questions to ponder concerning behaviourism, free will and the purpose of punishment. Click here to read my review.

My Opinion: Interesting

 

Are you in the mood for something psychological, but don’t have much time. If so you might like:

Chess by Stefan Zweig

Chess offers the prospect of salvation, but also the threat of dissolution in this short psychological novella, which explores the delicate divide that separates genius from obsession and madness. Click here to read my review.

My Opinion: Mildly intriguing

 

Tired of the joys of summer? Then how about:

Cancer Ward by Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn

Whilst the drab setting, morose subject matter, distressing scenes, and length (nearly 600 pages) will not appeal to everyone, this reader was captivated by the book’s diverse characters and poignant prose. Click here to read my review.

My Opinion: Superb characterisation

 

Feel like reading an iconic humour book?

A Confederacy of Dunces by John Kennedy Toole

The 1981 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction winner is less concerned with plot than focusing on absurd situations, designed to elicit a humorous response. The book boasts an obnoxious protagonist called Ignatius. Click here to read my review.

My Opinion: Overrated

 

If you are in the mood for something dark and poignant then I would recommend:

The Pearl by John Steinbeck

The Pearl is a novella about a destitute Mexican pearl diver who finds a very valuable pearl. It is a parable about the darker side of human nature that illustrates how riches can be illusory. Click here to read my review.

My Opinion: Good

 

If you are in the mood for a post-apocalyptic classic then look no further:

On the Beach by Nevil Shute

On the Beach is a cautionary and timeless post-apocalyptic novel whose central theme is an exploration of how people confront imminent death. This reader was impressed by the author’s adept characterisation. Click here to read my review.

My Opinion: Memorable & Melancholic.

 

If you are in the mood for some contemporary non-Fiction then this might appeal:

Dreamland: The True Tale of America’s Opiate Epidemic by Sam Quinones

Composed of short, engaging chapters, Dreamland is a meticulously researched, multi-faceted work about addiction, entrepreneurship and the perils posed by unrestrained corporate greed. Click here to read my review.

My Opinion: Compelling

 

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15 Author Quotes about Ebooks

It was not so long ago that some were predicting that the end was nigh for printed books. However, in the UK at least, it is being reported that ebook sales are now declining whilst sales of printed books are on the rise.

The other day I came across this excellent quote by Stephen Fry (see below) about Kindle. This got me thinking about what my fellow authors think about ebooks/ebook readers. On conducting some research I discovered these perceptive and amusing author quotes on the subject. Here are 15 author quotes about ebooks/ebook readers:

Books are no more threatened by Kindle than stairs by elevators. — Stephen Fry 

Lovers of print are simply confusing the plate for the food. — Douglas Adams

It seems to me that anyone whose library consists of a Kindle lying on a table is some sort of bloodless nerd. — Penelope Lively 

Life without a Kindle is like life without a library nearby. — Franz S. McLaren, Home Lost

Growing up in the digital age, I’m expected to embrace all forms of modern technology with blissful ignorance. Books were always one of few escapes from this, because reading a book means not having to look at another damned glowing screen… — Rebecca McNutt

F@@k them is what I say. I hate those ebooks. They can not be the future. They may well be. I will be dead. I won’t give a s@@t. — Maurice Sendak

I guess you can call me “old fashioned”. I prefer the book with the pages that you can actually turn. Sure, I may have to lick the tip of my fingers so that the pages don’t stick together… Felicia Johnson

Have they all bought Kindles? I have one, and I use it most nights. I always imagine the books staring and whispering, Traitor! – but come on, I have a lot of free first chapters to get through. — Robin Sloan  

Stock complaints about the inherent pleasure of ye olde format are bandied about whenever some new upstart invention comes along. Each moan is nothing more than a little foetus of nostalgia jerking in your gut. — Charlie Brooker

If e-book readers were invented before print books, (petty things such as) the smell of ink would have been some people’s only reason for not abandoning e-books. — Mokokoma Mokhonoana 

They’ll get my Kindle when they pry it from my cold dead hands, if my corpse will release it. — Elizabeth Horton-Newton

Electronic books are ideal for people who value the information contained in them, or who have vision problems, or who like to read on the subway, or who do not want other people to see how they are amusing themselves, or who have storage and clutter issues, but they are useless for people who are engaged in an intense, lifelong love affair with books… — Joe Queenan, One for the Books

If you drop a book into the toilet, you can fish it out, dry it off and read that book. But if you drop your Kindle in the toilet, you’re pretty well done. — Stephen King

You don’t see people getting pulled over by the police for reading ebooks on their smartphones. — Jason Merkoski 

How do you press a wildflower into the pages of an e-book? — Lewis Buzbee, The Yellow-Lighted Bookshop: A Memoir, a History 

7 Books for 7 Moods

This week sees the fourth instalment in my series of posts devoted to books for different moods. Here are more 7 books for 7 moods/states of mind. Click on the links to read my reviews.

 

Are you in the mood for something different? If so then you might like this humorous and vulgar parody of the detective/mystery genre:

Pulp by Charles Bukowski 

This, Bukowski’s last book, is a noir detective tale featuring a rude and argumentative private eye. Dedicated to bad writing, Pulp employs a compelling, blunt prose style with short sentences and few adjectives. Click here to read my review.

My Opinion: Fast-paced & Unique

 

In the mood to be challenged?

Glamorama by Bret Easton Ellis

Glamorama is a 482 page satirical work that adeptly captures the hedonism of 1990s New York. There are many bewildering elements such as the bizarrely numbered chapters of vastly varying lengths. Click here to read my review.

My Opinion: Convoluted & Challenging

 

In a pensive mood? Then perhaps this might be of interest:

The Plague by Albert Camus 

Set in the Algerian coastal town of Oran, The Plague is an existentialist classic that evaluates morality, the role of God and how we react to death. Its narrative tone and poetic prose style of prose will appeal to some. Click here to read my review.

My Opinion: Okay

 

If you desire a break from Fiction then look no further:

Nothing To Envy by Barbara Demick 

Providing fascinating insights into North Korea, Nothing To Envy is an engrossing text that effortlessly captures the lives of its interviewed, defector subjects. This is my favourite non-Fiction book. Click here to read my review.

My Opinion: Engrossing

 

In the mood to read a good bestseller? You may well have read it already, but if not you might like:

Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier

Imbibed with a sense of impending doom, Rebecca is a slow-moving, haunting and atmospheric literary masterpiece, boasting an expertly woven plot and an abrupt ending. Click here to read my review.

My Opinion: Impressive

 

In the mood to swap reality for dystopia? If so you might appreciate:

High-Rise by J. G. Ballard

Set in an apartment tower block in London, High-Rise is a dystopian tale about the intense animosity that develops between the building’s various floors. Its motif is the fragmentation of the social order. Click here to read my review.

My Opinion: Quite good

 

Are you in the mood for Transgressive fiction? If the answer is yes, here is a suggestion:

Novel with Cocaine by M. Ageyev

Novel with Cocaine is a nihilistic and philosophical novel about adolescence and addiction. It could be described as Dostoyevskian, due to its realism and the psychological exploration of its main character. Click here to read my review.

My Opinion: Good

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I am the author of 3 novels. Click here to join my mailing list and receive my book-related newsletter.

My next novel, Sepultura, is being released on December 2nd. It is the sequel to the satirical, black comedy, Necropolis.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sepultura

I am pleased to announce that my fourth novel, Sepultura, will be released on Saturday, December 2nd. Sepultura is the sequel to the satirical, black comedy, Necropolis. It sees the return of Necropolis’s sociopathic protagonist Dyson Devereux. I will be revealing more information over the forthcoming months.

For a limited time only I am continuing to offer a free copy of Sepultura’s prequel Necropolis to everyone who signs up to my newsletter. Click here to do so.

Click here to see the 46 reviews and ratings for Necropolis on Goodreads.

A black comedy of true distinction

Dyson works for the Burials and Cemeteries department in his local council. Dyson is intelligent, incisive and informed. He is also a sociopath…

Here are a few snippets from Necropolis:

To look upon Irene is to stare into a looking glass, into a world of cheap retail outlets, suburban cul-de-sacs, Sky television itineraries, frozen Iceland trifles and Co-operative Funeralcare plans.

To my left a Lithuanian gravedigger idly picks his nose. To my right a mortician plays Sonic on his iPhone. Next to him a bereavement councillor’s afro-styled head lulls to one side. In the row in front a morgue rat, his head resting against his shoulder, snores loudly, a stream of drool hanging from the corner of his mouth. 

Alice, not his real name, works in the mailroom. I call him Alice because he looks just like the ageing rocker, Alice Cooper. Like the real Alice he sports a mane of black hair and wizened, heavily lined features, but for record sales read envelopes…

 

Click here to claim your free copy.

 

Dark Fiction (Part III)

This week sees the third instalment in my Dark Fiction series.

Definition: Dark fiction is concerned with the sinister side of human nature. It is often distinguished from the mainstream horror genre in that it tends not to be fantasy-orientated. Dark fiction may contain elements of black or satirical humour.

Here are six works of dark fiction. Click on the links to read my reviews.

 

The Pearl by John Steinbeck (1947)

The Pearl is a parable about the darker side of human nature, in which the author employs a simple yet captivating prose to illustrate how riches can be illusory.

My Review: Steinbeck’s novella, The Pearl, is a story about a destitute Mexican pearl diver by the name of Kino, who leads a simple existence with his wife Juana and baby son Coyotito. One day…(more)

 

The Killer Inside Me by Jim Thompson (1952)

The author adeptly employs suspense in this thought provoking, suspenseful and unrelentingly bleak first person narrative about a psychopath.

My Review: 29-year-old Lou Ford is a Deputy Sheriff from the West Texas town of Central City. Lou is a hard-working, trustworthy, simple character with a keenness for clichés; at least this is how he is perceived…(more)

 

Junky by William S. Burroughs (1953)

Junky

Junky is a semi-autobiographical novella, in which the author successfully utilises a detached journalistic approach to capture the obsessive nature of addiction.

My Review: Set in 1950s America and Mexico, Junky is a confessional novella about drug addiction. Its protagonist Bill Lee chronicles his drug-centred existence, which entails searching for his daily fix…(more)

 

Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath (1963)

The Bell Jar is about protagonist Esther’s year in the ‘bell jar’, a period in which the boundaries between the real and the imagined become blurred.

My Review: Having landed a highly-coveted position as an intern for a prominent New York based magazine, talented and intellectual Boston native Esther Greenwood experiences the glamour of the big…(more)

 

Less Than Zero by Bret Easton Ellis (1985) 

Easton Ellis’s debut novel is a nihilistic account of life in 1980s L.A. This is a graphic and disturbing book that utilises social commentary and plotless realism.

My Review: Set in 1980s Los Angeles, the story follows eighteen-year-old Clay, returned home for Christmas from college in New Hampshire. Clay immediately falls back into the L.A. social scene…(more)

 

Haunted by Chuck Palahniuk (2005)

Haunted is a series of short stories, in which the author succeeds in not only amusing, horrifying and disgusting his readers, but also skilfully exploring a variety of themes.

My Review: Haunted is about a group of writers, who have been assembled by the conniving Mr Whittier to attend a writers group. The location of the retreat is in an isolated theatre with no access…(more)

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The 9 Books I’ve Read in 2017

We are half way through 2017 already. Time flies. As is my habit at the half-way point, I am dedicating this blog post to the books that I have read so far this year. The following 9 books are presented in the order in which I read them. Click on the links to read my reviews.

 

Stalin’s Englishman: The Lives of Guy Burgess

Genre: Non Fiction

This biography of the notorious spy Guy Burgess recounts his life from birth through to premature death in Moscow, aged fifty-two in 1963. After spending his formative years at the naval college Dartmouth…(more)

My Rating: Absorbing

 

Dreamland: The True Tale of America’s Opiate Epidemic

Genre: Non Fiction

This award winning account of America’s opiate epidemic asserts that its origins are two-fold — the pharmaceutical industry and Mexican importation. In 1996 Purdue Pharma introduced its new opiate-containing…(more)

My Rating: Compelling

 

Cold Comfort Farm

Genre: Satire

Although harbouring concerns about countryside living, recently orphaned, 19-year-old Flora Poste decides to go and live with relatives in rural Sussex. Her destination, the ramshackle and backward Cold Comfort…(more)

My Rating: Repetitive & somewhat overrated

 

On the Beach

Genre: Post-Apocalyptic

World War III has culminated in atomic bombs being dropped on the northern hemisphere. The radiation is spreading steadily southwards on the winds, decimating populations in its wake. Stationed in Australia is American…(more)

My Rating: Excellent

 

I Am Charlotte Simmons

Genre: Satire

Appalachian wunderkind Charlotte Simmons has been awarded a scholarship to Dupont, an elite fictional university, steeped in tradition. Living amongst the cream of America’s youth is set to be a big change for a prudish girl, hailing…(more)

My Rating: Amusing but turgid

 

Newspaper Diapers

Genre: Transgressive

Newspaper Diapers consists of a series of loosely connected vignettes about child abuse and group homes being recounted by various perverse and narcissistic narrators. The line between abuser and victim is blurred in these traumatic...(more)

My Rating: Deeply disturbing

 

Race To The Bottom

Genre: Transgressive

Roy is a degenerate and borderline alcoholic with a menial job at retailer Bullseye that pays less than Walmart. Roy’s precarious existence takes a turn for the worse when his overweight girlfriend, fed up with him living on her couch…(more)

My Rating: A relatively entertaining light read

 

Tortilla Flat

Genre: General

Danny is an unemployed alcoholic, leading a transient existence in Monterrey, California. When Danny inherits two houses in the shabby district of Tortilla Flat, he invites a hobo friend and fellow paisano…(more)

My Rating: Good

 

Rebecca

Genre: Mystery/Crime/Romance

Our young, unnamed narrator is working as an assistant for a rich American woman in Monte Carlo. It is here that she meets recently widowed, forty-two-year-old Maximilian (Maxim) de Winter. Maxim is the proprietor of Manderley…(more)

My Rating: Excellent

 

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20 of Literature’s Funniest Quotes III

This week sees the third and most likely final instalment in my Literature’s Funniest Quotes series. Here are 20 humorous quotes from literature.

A melancholy-looking man, he had the appearance of one who has searched for the leak in life’s gas-pipe with a lighted candle. — The Man Upstairs and Other Stories by P.G. Wodehouse

Selfish, adj. Devoid of consideration for the selfishness of others. — The Unabridged Devil’s Dictionary by Ambrose Bierce 

It’s safe to assume that by 2085 guns will be sold in vending machines but you won’t be able to smoke anywhere in America. — When You Are Engulfed in Flames by David Sedaris 

Colin is a professional gamer, who also mourns part-time to help with the bills. — Necropolis by Guy Portman

I don’t deserve any credit for turning the other cheek as my tongue is always in it. — The Habit of Being: Letters of Flannery O’Connor by Flannery O’Connor

Mike nodded. A sombre nod. The nod Napoleon might have given if somebody had met him in 1812 and said, “So, you’re back from Moscow, eh? — Mike and Psmith by P.G. Wodehouse

I don’t know how other men feel about their wives walking out on them, but I helped mine pack. — Breaking Up by Bill Manville

Every summer Lin Kong returned to Goose Village to divorce his wife, Shuyu. — Waiting by Ha Jin

‘How do you know about Megadeth anyway Percy?’
‘My daughter Beatrice listens to them,’ says Percy, his voice now taking a sombre tone. ‘She only wears black now and she’s umm well, she’s threatening to become a vampire.’ — Charles Middleworth by Guy Portman

When you have to kill the same terrorist twice in one week, then there’s either something wrong with your skills or something wrong with your world. And there’s nothing wrong with my skills. — Patient Zero by Jonathan Maberry

It’s a funny thing about mothers and fathers. Even when their own child is the most disgusting little blister you could ever imagine, they still think that he or she is wonderful. — Matilda by Roald Dahl

A story with a moral appended is like the bill of a mosquito. It bores you, and then injects a stinging drop to irritate your conscience. —  Strictly Business by O. Henry

From politics, it was an easy step to silence. — Northanger Abbey by Jane Austen

Few things are harder to put up with than the annoyance of a good example.  The Tragedy of Pudd’nhead Wilson by Mark Twain

It is not that I object to the work, mind you; I like work: it fascinates me. I can sit and look at it for hours. —  Three Men in a Boat by Jerome K. Jerome

Alice, not his real name, works in the mailroom. I call him Alice because he looks just like the ageing rocker, Alice Cooper. Like the real Alice he sports a mane of black hair and wizened, heavily lined features, but for record sales read envelopes. — Necropolis by Guy Portman

Success in this world depends on knowing exactly how little effort each job is worth…distribution of energy… — Vile Bodies by Evelyn Waugh 

I love deadlines. I love the whooshing noise they make as they go by. — The Salmon of Doubt by Douglas Adams 

If there’s anything more important than my ego around, I want it caught and shot now. — The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy 

That woman speaks eighteen languages, and can’t say ‘No’ in any of them. — While Rome Burns by Dorothy Parker

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I am the author of 3 novels. Click here to claim your FREE copy of my satirical black comedy, Necropolis.

A Black Comedy of True Distinction

 

 

 

 

Dark Fiction (Part II)

Dark fiction is concerned with the sinister side of human nature. It is often distinguished from the mainstream horror genre in that it tends not to be fantasy-orientated. Dark fiction may contain elements of black or satirical humour.

Here are six works of dark fiction, some of which are humorous, some of which are anything but. They are presented in the order in which they were published. Click on the links to read my reviews.

 

Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad (1899)

Heart of Darkness is a disturbing, multi-layered story about what can occur when man exists outside of civilisation’s constraints. Readers are challenged to question the existence of being.

My Review: Heart of Darkness is a novella about a steamship sailing up a river through the jungles of The Congo, in search of Mr Kurtz, a mysterious ivory trader, who has reportedly turned native…(more)

 

The Metamorphosis by Franz Kafka (1915)

The Metamorphosis is a bleak, existential nihilistic tale that comments on the human condition and the futility of life. This reader appreciated its dark humour.

My Review: Protagonist Gregor Samsa wakes up one morning to find that he has been transformed into a beetle. This awkward situation is exacerbated when Gregor’s boss turns up at his house…(more)

 

Darkness at Noon by Arthur Koestler (1940) 

Koestler’s seminal work is a powerful and poignant political novel that examines issues of morality, particularly that of justifying the means by the end.

My Review: Darkness At Noon is dedicated to the victims of ‘The Moscow Trials’, several of whom the author Arthur Koestler knew. Though the characters in the book are fictitious, the historical circumstances…(more)

 

American Psycho by Bret Easton Ellis (1991)

This satire of the yuppy culture of the 1980s comments on our obsession with the meaningless and trivial, and questions the inherent value of capitalist society.

My Review: American Psycho is a highly controversial novel that brought its young author Bret Easton Ellis instant fame. The book is written from the perspective of a young Wall Street…(more)

 

Invisible Monsters by Chuck Palahniuk (1999)

The book’s premise, the superficial vanity of the beauty industry, is used both to explore the unattractive side of human nature and, in customary Palahniuk fashion, to satirise society.

My Review: Shannon McFarland is a catwalk model, who is the centre of attention wherever she goes. That is until she ‘accidentally’ blasts her jaw shot off with a gun whilst driving…(more)

 

Newspaper Diapers by M. T. Johnson (2012)

What this book lacks in length, it more than compensates for in disturbing, child abuse themed content. This harrowing work is one of the darkest books I have read to date.

My Review: Newspaper Diapers consists of a series of loosely connected vignettes about child abuse and group homes being recounted by various perverse and narcissistic narrators…(more)

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I am the author of 3 novels. Click here to join my mailing list and receive my book-related newsletter.

A Black Comedy of True Distinction

Copyright © 2015. Guyportman's Blog

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