Thursday, 17 May 2012

Lad Lit Book Reviews: Run by Jeff Abbott

Books For Men Book Reviews! Run by Jeff Abbott
A few years ago I turned up at the airport ready to jet off to Egypt on holiday with the feeling I’d forgotten something. I racked my brains. Had I locked the door? Check. Had I packed my lucky Speedo's? Check. Had I brought along a damn fine book for the beach? Bollocks.

With my flight being called to the gate, I rushed off the WHSmith to grab myself a book. Hot and flustered, I darted past the latest array of D-list celebrity autobiographies they were trying to flog to holidaymakers and locked eyes on one book on the ‘New Releases’ stand. I made my choice based on the fact I myself was in a rush, and picked up the appropriately named Run. I’d not heard of the author before but the fact it was being hailed on the front cover as a ‘Bourne Identity for the 21st Century’ was good enough for me.

Two days into the holiday I realised what an awful mistake I had made picking up this book.

I should have picked up two Jeff Abbott books! I was tearing through the book as quickly as the main character, Ben Fosberg, was tearing up the pages in his attempts to escape the team of Homeland Security Agents who believed he had something to do with an apparent hit on a businessman who happened to be carrying Ben’s business card in his pocket.

My plans of lying in the sun or splashing around in the pool were slowly overtaken by my need to find out the answers to the questions Abbott throws up. Why was Ben was being hounded by these agents? Who is this mysterious stranger known as Pilgrim who has come to Ben’s aid? Does this have anything to do with the murder of his wife whilst on their Honeymoon two years earlier? Has anyone seen my Speedo's?

So much energy goes into this book from the get-go that you even start to feel the strain yourself such is the pace of the action that explodes with each turn of the page. You are left to keep guessing the reasons behind the scenario the main character finds himself in, with twists and turns along the way that keep you asking wondering all the way through who the bad guys really are in this story.

The comparisons to The Bourne Identity are justified, but Abbott is his own man with his own style of writing. The everyday-man personality of his main protagonist allows you to easily slip into that imaginary role and place yourself at the heart of the thrill-ride that is unfolding. It’s a character pattern that Abbott has followed in the majority of his books that I have read since.

It is surely only a matter of time before this book – along with a whole host of Abbott’s back catalogue – start getting picked up by Hollywood movie producers. If you like your action fast-paced and heart-pounding, then you can do little wrong than grab yourself a copy of this book.

Saturday, 12 May 2012

Ramblings of a 30-something man... Mum, please stop breast feeding me!

I remember when I was about 18, a friend of mine told me that the small scar on his lip was from sucking on his mum's nipples too much when he was breastfed as a baby. Queue the fits of laughter and immature banter than you could only associate with a group of teenage boys.

So you can imagine the abundance of schoolboy thoughts that raced through my head when I nearly spat out my Weetabix upon seeing the cover of Time Magazine this week featuring a model-esque looking LA mom allowing her startled looking child suckle on her teet, all in the name of promoting breast feeding.

I'm no expert in the field, but surely there had to be a better way of promoting breast feeding rather than having a miniature David Walliams Little Britain character chow down on his mum's boob while mum does her best to pout at the camera with her come-to-bed eyes. The fact I'm jealous of the kid speaks volumes about the image! It's like looking at an image of Harry Styles from One Direction just hanging out with his latest conquest!

The mum in question is 26-year-old Jamie Lynn Grumet. Now I'm sure Ms Grumet only has the best intentions for her son, but surely she hasn't factored what impact this image is going to have on the poor boy in the long-term.

I think Susan Reinhardt said in best in her column on

This kid’s gonna enter preschool next year, and can’t you just hear the kids on the playground? “Hey, dude, is Mommy coming back during snack time?” And when this boy grows up, his legacy may be as the boob boy. From the photo, one would have expected him to have a nice piece of KFC in his free hand, something a little more solid to go with his mother’s milk.

Perhaps I am looking at this from the wrong way. After all, Ms Grumet makes some very valid points about breast milk being an unrivalled source of nutrition. With that in mind, I think I'm starting to come down with a fever. I think I might pop down to the airport and catch the first flight out to LA...

Friday, 4 May 2012

Jack's view on... Delio Rossi's apology, my fear for his children, and why he should be the new England manager!

 Delio "Rocky" Rossi issued a public apology today for his astonishing touchline attack on player Adem Ljajic, but the nature of his apology has probably left the NSPCC on red alert!

Rossi Balboa, sacked by Fiorentina on Wednesday after lamping Ljajic for sarcastically applauding his decision to substitute him, was responding to his actions at a news conference when he said: "I've made a mistake and I will pay for it. My gesture was ugly, disgraceful and I am very saddened."

Fair enough, it takes a big man to admit he was wrong, but then Rossi came out with this cracking line: "I have never allowed myself to hit anyone, not even my children."

Not even my children. 

What in the blue hell is this guy on?! Is no one else slightly concerned that when you translate what old Sugar Ray Rossi seems to be saying, it comes out as:

"I have never allowed myself to hit anyone, not even my children... and God knows they deserve it the little bastards!"

He then went on to say: "I have never said that I am a a saint but you can ask the children and all the players that I have coached in the past what type of person I am."

Look, there he goes again - ask the children. I don't think so pal, they're probably scared shitless to tell the truth. I bet you have already warned them to keep their mouths shut!

It's just a shame the FA couldn't wait a day or two before naming the new England manager. I bet if they had known Rossi would have been available they would have snapped him up. We could do with someone in the England camp willing to give John Terry a good clumping.

Ooof! Take that John! That's for sleeping with your mates girlfriend and for generally being a massive tool!

He'd be an instant fan favourite!

Jack Chatham is a fictional character from Steven Scaffardi's comedy novel The Drought.

Wednesday, 2 May 2012

Jack's view on... Tulisa being named FHMs Sexiest Woman 2012!

Like most blokes, I get pretty excited when FHM release their Top 100 Sexiest Women supplement. After all, it brings back a lot of good memories for me. Back in the in the day, FHM was treated a bit like porn for cowards. If you weren't old enough (or tall enough) to reach for the top shelf, then you couldn't go too wrong with FHM. Especially 1996 winner Gillian Anderson. Hmmmm, Scully....

But I'm a little disappointed this year. Don't get me wrong, Tulisa is a good looking girl - you definitely would - but I feel the men in the UK are getting a little lazy. I mean, one sex tape where you deliver a pretty shoddy gob job does not warrant the title of sexiest woman! If that was the criteria, then Tina the barmaid at the Three Kings would take that crown - her technique is sloppy to say the least. Great rack though.

Tulisa Contostavlos, FHM Sexiest Women, The really sad thing here is that only two of The Saturdays got into the top 100. That is a frickin' liberty in my eyes. So men of the UK, I call upon you to take a long hard look at yourselves. Your standards are dropping, and if we continue to send out the message that half-hearted blowsies get you awards, we'll end up seeing the women of this world stop putting in the effort. Don't let this happen - your penis needs you!

Jack Chatham is a fictional character from Steven Scaffardi's comedy novel The Drought.