Friday, 25 January 2013

Lad Lit Book Reviews: Adrenaline by Jeff Abbott

Best Books For Men Book Reviews! Adrenaline by Jeff Abbott
In typical Jeff Abbott form this one not only packs a punch from the opening pages, but it explodes open an almighty 'I'm gonna knock you the f*** out' can of whoop-ass!

Sam Capra's perfect existence in London is about to come crashing down all around him. The American CIA Agent is closing in on an important target when his pregnant wife calls him at work urging him to get out of the building. Within minutes Sam's life is in tatters and everything he holds close is gone. As he steps out on to the street he spots his wife, Lucy, being driven away by a mysterious scar-faced man. Before Sam can give chase he is knocked out from the blow of a bomb ripping through his office.

When Sam awakes he is in a prison cell, told that he is the only survivor from the explosion, and is tortured for information to find out why he has murdered all of his colleagues and why he has turned traitor.Sam needs to act fast and fall back on all of the skills he learned as a CIA Operative if he is to survive and discover the truth about the life he thought he knew so well.

Abbott is fast becoming the king of the thriller genre, and with Adrenaline he has created a character that will become the basis of a series of books, much like Robert Ludlum did with the Bourne character. What that means is that Abbott moves away from the normal everyday 'Joe Bloggs' character from his previous novels, and has created a man more adept to arm-to-arm combat.

The cynic inside me says he has done this with one eye on a movie deal, but it doesn't change the fact that Abbott is very good at what he does, and maybe I'm simply being too hasrh. After all, it's also fair to say that Abbott has shown he is able to turn his hand at being able to write about a different type of character rather than sticking to the tried and tested format which has already worked so well for him.

Abbott effortlessly holds the readers attention with more twists and turns that a Formula One racing track. His books are always cool, slick, and are packed with so much energy that they should come with a health warning. Adrenaline lives up to its name, but be prepared that once you reach the ending there is a strong chance you'll be hooked on the Sam Capra series and will find yourself lining Mr Abbott's pockets with more of your cash to buy the next installment.

Sunday, 20 January 2013

A nice surprise from India!

Goodreads reader review for The Drought by Steven Scaffardi
Yesterday I turned 35. It wasn't a pleasant experience - nothing bad happened, in fact my wife went out of her way to make sure I had a great day. But as the day turned to night, I found myself lying in bed with the realisation that I was now technically closer to 40 than I was to 30... A sobering thought.

So it was with great delight today that I got a note on Goodreads from Naznin Azeez who lives in India, and had seen the review for The Drought on the Impressions of a Princess blog and had decided to give my little lad lit novel a read, and had enjoyed it so much she posted  a review up on her own blog site which you can see here and I have also copy and pasted the review below:

Book Review: The Drought
From the very beginning of reading it, I felt a warm feeling in me because I could positively see that the book was a relaxing one. It set the right mood from the moment it began. I love the way the author gave attention to little details throughout the book. He has definitely thought the whole plot through very very well!. There were certain moments I just laughed out LOUD. He plays around with words in a very hearty manner. You gotta love Steven for not messing with the actual harsh reality of life. He portrays Dan as a man who is completely unlucky when it comes to women!. However, some situations that he gets himself into is damn unbelievable while some are plain hilarious.

The book is written from a man’s point of view. Women should read this book to see how a man’s mind works!.. Men should read this book so that they can nod along and probably say, “I would have thought so too”.. Hahaha.. Frankly, there were certain times, when I thought the Dan Hilles was completely insensitive!. But there were also times when I sympathized with his complete lack of luck. Certainly getting a look inside a man’s head can be terrifying to a woman. When reading it, inevitably, the question arises in your head whether all guys in your life think the same too. That puts you in a weird position!.

It’s hilarious how Steven has described men’s hatred towards shopping. Personally that’s one thing I can never understand about men. But I know for real that not every men are like that. I personally know about two men who actually love shopping. Hahaha. Yeah, two!. Isn’t that awesome?.

It’s a nice read. Being only 274 pages, it’s a quick and relaxed read. I kept wondering throughout the book, how it would eventually end. The first chapter was titled The End. Though that chapter made it clear what the book title was about, I could predict most of the stuff like what is going to happen at a date because it was already explained in the first chapter.. That gave away certain suspense as to how things would turn out.

Towards the last set of chapters, I kinda started predicting what the end would be. That, kind of made me upset because I couldn’t believe Steven would end it with the obvious. However, he introduced a nice twist towards the end which was totally unexpected and threw my doubts about his ability to keep it entertaining, right out the window. You gotta read the book to know what it’s all about :)

The chat up/pick up lines used by Dan’s friends are absolutely brilliant. They all made me laugh. I kinda had a feeling that if a guy said that to me in real life I might actually laugh and would definitely get talking with him!.

All in all, I give the book 4/5 which by Goodreads standards mean that I ‘really liked’ it.

Tuesday, 15 January 2013

Lad Lit Book Reviews: Donnie Brasco: Unfinished Business by Jospeh D. Pistone

Books For Men Book Reviews! Donnie Brasco: Unfinished Business by Jospeh D. Pistone
Donnie Brasco: My Undercover Life in the Mafia is one of my favourite books. The bravery and courage of FBI Special Agent Joseph D. Pistone to remain undercover within New York’s Bonnano crime family for six years was nothing short of amazing, especially when I consider that I’d probably shit myself within about six minutes if I was in the same situation.

That’s the great advantage of books; you get to imagine yourself as that character, and as Donnie Brasco I got to whack wiseguys (that’s killing gangsters for those of you not in the know) and make my bones (badge of honour for killing, not a sexual reference). The one disadvantage of books is sometimes all your questions have not been answered and you want the story to continue.

So you can imagine how keen I was to get hold of a copy of Pistone’s new memoirs which fill in a few of the gaps and the aftermath of that exciting – yet bloody dangerous – period in his life.

What happened to Donnie’s partner in crime Benjamin “Left Guns” Ruggerio? Did they ever find out who killed Sonny Black and stuffed him in a trunk of a car? What was it like for Pistone to face down the bad guys in court who he had spent the best part of half a decade living amongst? Did Pistone go on to infiltrate the cult who are brainwashing young impressionable minds to buy Justin Bieber records?

Pistone says that during the publication of his first novel, he was still appearing in court to give evidence at numerous Mafioso trials. In fact, he was in court more times than Lindsay Lohan! The result was over 200 convictions for some of New York’s most unsavoury Italian-American characters. What it also meant was that Pistone was unable to give a true tell-all account of his time deep undercover.

In the first book, he stressed that he never engaged in any criminal activity due to the fact it would compromise his position as an FBI Agent and could harm his evidence later on. I remember thinking at the time – and to pluck a phrase from the Karl Pilkington phrase book – bullshit! How could you spend six years living in the pockets of the New York underworld and not get involved with a bit of illegal behaviour?!

In Unfinished Business, Pistone is able to go into detail about all the pistol whipping, all the hijacking, and all the ‘whaddya mean I’m funny’ confrontations and bitch slapping! Pistone even goes as far to say that if push came to shove, he would have murdered another gangster if it came down to him or them!

Luckily for Pistone it never quite got to that situation, but what we are able to find out is not only how his undercover operation impacted his case, but how it also impacted the cases of other undercover operations. As New York hoodlum ‘Donnie Brasco’, Pistone was able to add credibility other FBI sting operations by going in and vouching for his fellow undercover agents to other bad guys.

Pistone also uses the book to dispel some of the myths created by the movie (that starred Johnny Depp and Al Pacino). In the film, Depp’s ‘Brasco’ is battles with a guilty conscious about the potential ramifications his undercover operation will have on mobster Ben ‘Lefty Guns’ Ruggerio, but Pistone insists such thoughts never entered his head – he was there to do a job against an ‘enemy to America’ and that is exactly what he did. Screw you Lefty!

Pistone was called to the stand for some of the biggest organised crime trials over the past 20-30 years including the Pizza Connection and the Mafia Commission case. He was still being used by prosecution cases against the mob as recently as 2006 when he took to the stand in the trial of Bonanno boss "Big Joey" Massino.

For me the book is an entertaining read, but only works if you’ve read the first book for obvious reasons. I also think because it is a series of stories, it’s not as enthralling as the first book, but that shouldn’t take the glass off too much.  What is allows is for Pistone and the reader to tie up the loose ends, and to truly appreciate the impact his work had on help bring down the mob. Well done Joe, take a bow son!

Thursday, 10 January 2013

Every office needs an Office Linebacker like Terry Tate!

Having worked in an office for nearly a decade, you come across your fair share of people who could do with being brought down a peg or two. Whether it is your boss, work colleague, or even the boys in the post office - at some point someone needs to feel the pain!

Take the other day for example. I go out into the office kitchen to get my Muller Fruit Corner yoghurt - a treat I'd been looking forward to all day - only to catch some foolio spoon deep in my Summer Fruits!

'What the hell do you think you are doing?' I demanded to know; ready to slap my yoghurt pot out of their hand quicker than I could slap the creamy taste of Muller's finest out of their mouth.

'Oh sorry,' came their week reply. 'I thought these were communal.'

Communal? When have you ever heard of a office communal friggin' Summer Fruits Muller Fruit Corner pal? What do you think this is, an all you can eat buffet?!

Of course I didn't say that; I'm British. Instead I pathetically replied 'That's okay, it's an easy mistake to make' when what I should have been doing was bringing the pain! Terry Tate style!

Sunday, 6 January 2013

Harry Styles was a proper lad even at a young age!

So it seems that One Direction's Harry Styles was a bit of a lad way before he even made it to school, let alone hitting puberty! Here is Harry and the other boys from 1D partying a few summers ago.

Take your time, you'll know Harry when you see him...

Tuesday, 1 January 2013

What a way to start the New Year!

Book Review for The Drought by Steven Scaffardi on The Book Garden
Happy New Year everyone and a special thanks to Anne at The Book Garden who posted this fantastic review for my lad lit novel The Drought on her blog site today!

Book Review from The Book Garden
Wow was this book fun to read, I laughed out loud a lot while reading this one. Dan was a great character to read about, he was never boring. The situations that he gets himself into are hilarious and you cannot help but feel for the poor guy. Trying to give Dan some help along the way are his three best friends Rob, Jack, and Ollie. Scaffardi takes the time to make each character unique and interesting and I could not get enough of reading about these four guys.

I would suggest that those that are easily offended by bad language or crude remarks should stay away from this one. With a plot line of Dan trying to get laid it should be no surprise that this book is filled with language and scenes that some might find offensive. I personally loved the inside look at what guys really think and how they talk to each other when there are not women around.

The whole time I was reading this book and laughing hysterically I kept thinking what a great movie this book would make. It was just so much fun with so many hilarious situations the guys get themselves into, I would love to see it made into a movie.

I was really impressed with Scaffardi's book, it was highly entertaining and I cannot remember the last time I laughed so hard while reading a book. I hope there will be another book from this great new author soon!

My rating: 4 1/2 stars out of 5