Review

Sexual Fascism

In ‘Civilization and its Discontents,’ Freud tells us that civilisation necessitates the curbing of the natural expression of the libido, and this repression leads to neurosis. The answer is to redirect the libido into work or artistic expression. For author Isham Cook, the state keeps us in fear of our libido as a mechanism of …

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Unwelcome

Unwelcome by Quincy Carroll My rating: 5 of 5 stars In ‘Unwelcome’ we follow Cole Chen through his awkward misadventures in California and Changsha, China. The twenty-three-year-old has come back from his second stint in China and is crashing on his brother’s couch. Our introduction to Cole is through the eyes of his more successful …

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Book covers

8 great self-published/small press books I reviewed in 2021

Links go to my GoodReads reviews. Magical Disinformation: A spy novel set in Colombia. Shades of Graham Greene. Law of the Jungle:  Medical research and revenge in the jungles of Venezuela and Colombia. Crimechurch: Psychos and troubled teens in NZ’s earthquake-hit city. Teacher, We Girls!: The experience of being a woman from New Zealand teaching in …

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White Faced Lies

White Faced Lies by Eric Flanagan My rating: 3 of 5 stars An interesting project. ‘White Faced Lies’ follows the journey of two ‘face jobbers’ in China. Face jobbers are foreigners who get paid to stand around and just look – well foreign – ideally American, white, tall, good-looking, and with blond hair. It is …

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Harvest Season

This novel successfully captures the backpacker scene in China’s Yunnan Province in the 2000s. However, the main characters are not backpackers per se but travellers who never want to go home. The fictional setting, Shuangshan, is – I think – based on Dali, a town by the beautiful Erhai Lake. Yunnan is home to many …

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Thoughts: Netflix, The Serpent, The Queen’s Gambit, Walter Tevis, The Hustler, The Color of Money 

I just watched the first two episodes of “The Serpent” and am happy to find another engaging Netflix series. It is somewhat based on a book called “On the Trail of the Serpent”, published in 1979. In the quest for hit shows, Netflix writers are scouring non-fiction and novels for exciting (long forgotten) tales. For …

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