Hob’s review of The Vagrant by Peter Newman

UNABRIDGED Audiobook

The Vagrant By Peter Newman Narrated By Jot Davies Length: 13 hrs and 25 mins

A mute a Infant girl and a goat walk in to a Post-Apocalyptic Demon ruled world. The mute looks at the baby and says nothing.

HAHHAHHAHA get it? He’s mute. So like, he can’t say anything…………

Ok so I can’t write good jokes but, Anything I ever wrote would fail to come close to this amazing book.

I kept picturing Peter talking to an agent and a publisher and telling them about a book he wrote. So it’s a First-person POV But with no internal monologue and he is mute…… Then as they look at Peter with “Oh god who let this nutjob in here” looks on their faces. He would hurry to explain. well he’s not alone he has a baby and a goat with him. He sits back and smiles. The publisher slowly moves his hand to the Security button on his desk.

Yes The office was in New York and everyone was in 1930’s suits and the Publisher had a glass of whisky and a cigar. With a big red SECURITY button next to the big black rotary phone.

Now I doubt someone would ever get in to a publishers actual office without someone having already read at least a sample and I suspect that not even Publishers still use those phones but that’s how I pictured it.

Stop judging me!

I am not the crazy one here. That would be Peter Newman. And he is crazy, crazy like a fox.

OK now on to my Review!!

As Far as plot goes I told you as much as I am going to.

I know I am an ass right? Well I knew no more than the title and that a few friends had read it and liked it when I picked it up. So you already know too much if you ask me.

The character depth is astounding for the limited ways we get to know them. One of the best Literary characters I have ever met actually. And yes, I said THEM.  The Vagrant is good but not my favorite, that would be the goat. Stop looking at me like my imaginary Publisher looked at my imaginary Mr. Newman.  I really did just say One of the best Literary characters I have ever met is a unnamed Goat.

Ok I better wrap this up Or one of you will try and have me committed. Just trust me and get this book. It is an emotional roller-coaster of humor and sorrow, that I will want to ride again many times.

The audio book was magnificently narrated By Jot Davies. A relatively new “voice” in the audio book world. I have only ever listened to one other book by him, Time and Time Again  By Ben Elton, also very well narrated and a good book.

The Vagrant  earns 4.75 out of 5 stars

How Am I Doing With This whole Blog Thing

Big News From Richard Knaak

Unless you have been living under a rock you must have heard of the coloring books for adults craze. When you walk in to B&N there are over 40 different coloring books right by the doors.

Mr.Knaak recently decided to create a coloring book Based on his Dragonrealm Series.It is about an empire ruled by shape shifting Dragons. Now that alone is cool right? Well Thats just the beginning. First let me explain why this is such a EPIC thing to me.

I have been a Fan of Richard Knaak since I was 11 years old. That was when I read The Legend of Huma

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At that time it was my favorite book I had ever read. Not that impressive for an 11 year old? Then you didn’t know me. Even back then I read a lot. Soon after Huma I read Kaz the Minotaur and to this day it is one of my favorites. I don’t know what it is about it but I just love that big Cow.kaz

What does that have to do with the news? Nothing really. But it might help you to understand how Excited and Proud I am to announce that the Illustrator for his new coloring book will be my daughter Kelsy Sherman!!

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Kelsy is a Freshmen at ASU in the Medical program. And I had been trying to get here to sell her art on weekends to earn a bit of extra money. I made a post on FB in a group Richard is in and he saw a few Dragons

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He asked if she was able to draw non cute dragons and I responded with 1098

Telling him that was based on a poster but she drew it. We talked a bit after that and the next morning I asked my daughter if she would want to maybe draw some stuff. Richard said he wanted a mean dragon climbing on a throne possessively.  It was a Friday and she had Classes but throughout the day she did this on her phone…. While at Med school.

Her final drawing was sent to the publishers and he liked it. They had been interviewing people all over the world. But they made the right choice. So join me in congratulating my Brilliant, beautiful, and extremely talented daughter Kelsy

Below is more stuff for you guys to enjoy.

Hob’s Review of Prince of Thorns by Mark Lawrence

“War, my friends, is a thing of beauty. Those as says otherwise are losing.”
Mark Lawrence, Prince of Thorns

This book starts with one of the most disturbing scenes I have ever read. And it is pure GENIUS in so many ways. First It is brutal enough to chase anyone with a more “delicate disposition”  away.  Second it shows a 13 year old prince with a broken sense of, not only morality but also reality. He sees people, everyone, Himself included as just pieces in a game. it’s all just a game, and he is going to win the game no matter what.

If you make it past the first few pages then you soon learn that Prince Jorg had a major psychotic breakdown after seeing his little brother’s head smashed in and his mother raped and killed while being stuck in a thorn bush.

“When they killed him, Mother wouldn’t hold her peace, so they slit her throat. I was stupid then, being only nine, and I fought to save them both. But the thorns held me tight. I’ve learned to appreciate thorns since. The thorns taught me the game. They let me understand what all those grim and serious men who’ve fought the Hundred War have yet to learn. You can only win the game when you understand that it IS a game. Let a man play chess, and tell him that every pawn is his friend. Let him think both bishops holy. Let him remember happy days in the shadows of his castles. Let him love his queen. Watch him loose them all.”

A thorn bush called a Hook Brier. It has inches long curved thorns. Jorg is  pierced all over his body with  points like giant fish hooks.  The tips of the Hook Brier, like many real thorn bushes break off when touched.  thorns

Jorg has hundreds of these thorn tips in his skin. So even after being rescued he almost dies from infection.

“I guess even at nine I had a serious lack of spiritual purity, for my wounds soured within two days, and for nine weeks I lay in fever, chasing dark dreams along death’s borderlands.”

 He is delirious and close to death for nine weeks. I know from experience that being close to death changes a person fundamentally. When it happens at a young age even more so. When I was eleven years old I had my first of three Sinus surgeries to remove tumors. They removed over 8 1/2 pounds of tumors from my eleven year old head. They filled all that empty space in my head with absorbent packing to stop bleeding. The pain from the pressure was so intense. The second night, I would have killed myself if my mom hadn’t stopped me. After the packing was removed (See photo below but a foot long and one out of each side.)

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I felt indestructible and became a wild kid. Drinking and partying by twelve. I wasn’t as bad as Jorg but I did doge a few bullets and cracked a few heads. (Literally like with a baseball bat)

 

“And, because in some hard core of me, in some stubborn trench of selfish refusal, I could not, even at ten years of age, surrender to anything or anyone, I fought that pain. I analyzed its offensive, and found its lines of attack. It festered, like the corruption in a wound turned sour, drawing strength from me. I knew enough to know the remedy. Hot iron for infection, cauterize, burn, make it pure. I cut from myself all the weakness of care. The love for my dead, I put aside, secure in a casket, an object of study, a dry exhibit, no longer bleeding, cut loose, set free. The capacity for new love, I burned out. I watered it with acid until the ground lay barren and nothing there would sprout, no flower take root.”

 

“Hate will keep you alive where love fails”

 

 

 

That is where we see how Jorg has turned off his emotions.  He is only thinking not feeling.

“The pain became my enemy. More than the Count Renar, more than my father’s bartering with lives he should have held more precious than crown, or glory, or Jesu on the cross.”

What is he thinking about you may ask?   Good question.

Well he is thinking about revenge and on how to win the game.   

“The way to break the cycle is to kill every single one of the bastards that fucked you over. Every last one of them. Kill them all. Kill their mother, kill their brothers, kill their children, kill their dog.”

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Not reading this book because the POV is a meanieface is not a valid reason.  I hope that helps you to understand why Jorg is the way he is. Now on to reasons why you should read this book.

First the Prose is amazing. I would classify it as First-person unreliable. But whatever it is called it’s done extremely well. The pacing and structure make it almost poetic. (Don’t worry I mean that in a good way) The dialog is absolutely amazing. Half shocking half hilarious 1/3rd scary 2/34ths father son bonding….. Wait what was I talking about? Fractions always did confuse me.

Oh yeah Dialog. Almost every page of this book has at least one “quote” worthy sentence. Why did I “” the word Quote? This Review is getting way to long for me. So I will end it by saying “Read this book remembering the lessons above.”

I gave Prince of Thorns 4 out of 5 stars when I read it two years ago, and as I re-listen to the Audio Book I want to change that to 5 stars. But to help keep Mark humble ill only move it to a 4.5 out of five stars.

Hob’s Review of Man Rules by Lex Jurgen

Man Rules: The Beginner’s Guide to Manhood

99 Rules for Re-Masculating the Millennial Male

by Lex Jurgen

I received a free copy of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

So where to start with this book.  I am a terrible speller that notices whenever I see something spelled wrong. I usually don’t know how to fix it but I know it’s not right. I saw a few small typos and grammatical errors like “pick something as late as night as possible.” but no more than most books I read.

The only Rule I really disagree with in this book is the same thing i disagree with a lot of men for, I suppose. That is Sports. One of the rules is ” Fantasy football is everything not manly about football.” it goes on to say ” If a man has a hankering for football he plays a game with his buddies.  He doesn’t fantasize about sports from his recliner.”

Period! Stop! Wait right there! I couldn’t agree more!!

Except the rule should be  Watching Sports is everything not manly about Sports. With this       If a man has a hankering for football he plays a game with his buddies.  He doesn’t Watch sports from his recliner afterword to explain why. I enjoy playing football and baseball or did when I was younger and I enjoyed watching my Sons play. But other than that, I feel watching guys in tight spandex pants bend over and run around grabbing each other is my definition of  not manly.

That being said I am sure you can see what i don’t like about this statement Under the Men Don’t Cry rule. “Men don’t cry there are 2 exceptions Sports and dead dog movies if you didn’t cry when a dog dies you are a cold heartless bastard. E.T is close enough to a dog even though he doesn’t die . Spoiler alert.”

But ignoring the stupidity that says it’s ok to cry about sports thing, this was my Favorite rule. And I agree wholeheartedly about E.T..

All in all it was an amusing and enjoyable read. More than a bit chauvinistic but… in a good way? It did start to get tedious towards the last quarter of the book.  But I would rate it at 3.5 out of  5 stars. I will post this review on my blog https://thebloggoblin.com/ If you enjoyed this review take a minute to check out my other reviews there. I will also  review on Amazon and  Goodreads.

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/32740562-man-rules

https://www.amazon.com/Man-Rules-Beginners-Guide-Manhood/dp/0998211605/

Hobs review of Explorations: Through the Wormhole

Explorations: Through the Wormhole

by Ralph Kern (Goodreads Author) (Contributor), Richard Fox (Goodreads Author) (Contributor), Shellie Horst (Goodreads Author) (Contributor), Charlie Pulsipher (Goodreads Author) (Contributor), Rosie Oliver (Contributor), Thaddeus White (Goodreads Author) (Contributor), Chris Guillory (Goodreads Author) (Contributor), Josh Hayes (Goodreads Author) (Contributor) , Jo Zebedee (Goodreads Author) (Contributor), Stephen Palmer (Goodreads Author) (Contributor), Jacob Cooper (Goodreads Author) (Contributor), Stephen Moss (Goodreads Author) (Contributor), P.P. Corcoran (Goodreads Author) (Contributor), P.J. Strebor (Contributor)
I was Lucky enough to receive a ARC of Explorations through the wormhole in return for a honest review. First off I love the idea of traveling through wormholes. it really makes your imagination come up with strange ideas, as it did for these authors. A few of the stories where kind of predictable. But for the most part they went in strange ways I would never have thought of.
They were all well written and I definitely will be looking for other books by some of the authors in this anthology. My only complaint would be that the authors where not given enough room. I know it is a anthology of short stories, but that could just be me wanting to read more of that world. I give it 4 out of 5 stars with the only downside being it is too short. I recommend you check it out it is a great read.

Hob’s review Secret History (Mistborn #3.5) by Brandon Sanderson

Secret History (Mistborn #3.5)

by Brandon Sanderson

Mistborn: Secret History is a companion story to the original Mistborn trilogy.

As such, it contains HUGE SPOILERS for the books The Final Empire, The Well of Ascension, and The Hero of Ages. It also contains very minor spoilers for the book The Bands of Mourning.
In other words Read the 6 Mistborn books first to get the most out of this short story.

Yes it is a short story like 149 pages short. Way to short for the amount of emotions I felt while reading this. Let me go back a bit and say that I love the Mistborn books. I have read them 2 or 3 times and listened to the Audio books 4 or 5 times. And I admit to tearing up a bit every time….. ummm …. when that thing happens with the people…. Is that Vague enough? Well watch me get real ambiguous and say that seeing that one thing from the other guys perspective when the stuff happened had me crying like a baby.

Wow I think I am giving to much away in this review. This is not just a story filled with sad emotions though I swear I laughed a hell of a lot while reading it. I loved this book and Insist you should read it ….but after you read all the others. For being to short I rate it 4.8 out of 5