I bring you two of my recent reviews. One is of Simon Okill’s novel. If you remember he was my guest not too long ago and one of the writers from the group ASMSG. Now I’ve had a chance to read his book and I thought I’d bring you my review and of course a link to his novel. The other is the review of a Vietnam Veteran’s Memoirs. I met Mack Payne through social media a few months back when he was in the process of reviewing his memoirs and he kindly offered to send me a copy when it was ready. Now it’s available in Amazon and I can say that it was worth the wait.
I hope you enjoy the reviews, they convince you to read the books and don’t forget to CLICK!
Nobody Loves a Bigfoot Like a Bigfoot Babe by Simon Okill
Movie waiting to happen
I am not a genre reader. I don’t read a particular type of novel (or even only fiction, although it is my predilection) exclusively and I normally see what tickles my fancy at the time of choosing a book, although once decided I’ll usually stick to it.
I like comedies and humour but rarely buy books that are exclusively humour. I probably watch more comedy films than I read comedy novels.
One thing that struck me as soon as I started reading Simon Okill’s new novel was how much it felt like a film. From the establishing of the setting (‘Big Beaver’) and the characters (female sheriff still pining for the boyfriend of her youth who upped and left for unknown reasons, large donut eating deputies, lascivious female bartender, Native American chief with wise sayings, hunters and crackpots) in the first few pages you feel as if you’d walked into Big Beaver and are an observer (when not a full participant. I must say I sometimes thought I could smell the Bigfoot) in all the shenanigans taking place. It made sense when I read that Mr Okill had written a number of scripts. He has a knack for it, that’s for sure.
You have a mysteriously disappeared youth (that like Peter and the wolf had pretended to be abducted so many times that nobody believes he’s gone missing), bizarre crimes (Bigfoot breaking and entering to have a bath), FBI investigating team (hot female agent and the return of the Big Beaver prodigal son) and some set pieces you’ll never forget (alien abduction by Swedish looking and lusty aliens from the planet Abba).
And of course, you have the Bigfoot. Although narrated in the third person this is an omniscient narrator who gets in the heads of all character, including the Bigfoot. If the human characters keep defeating your expectations (they’re all familiar types but keep surprising you), the Bigfoot are (at least to me) completely unexpected. Loveable and horny, civilised and wild, they are not far from the noble savage ideal…only a bit hairier.
If you like raunchy comedies, don’t mind adult content (with a difference), and long to submerge yourself in an unexpected world you’ll feel right at home in Nobody Loves a Bigfoot. Imagine ‘American Pie’ or ‘There’s something about Mary’ in a small mountain-town setting, with Bigfoot, and you might get a vague idea of what the book is about. If you fancy that image and like cracking endings, what are you waiting for? Go on and buy the book!
Available in Kindle Edition here:
And in paperback here:
Vietnam Veteran Memoirs. A Book of Miracles. The Adventures of a Florida Flatlander in Vietnam. Mack W. Payne
Genial war adventures without the drama.
I must say from the start that I met the author in a social networking site and he was offering his then work-in-progress novel to people who might be interested. Having completed a degree in American Studies and being fascinated by the US involvement in Vietnam this was an offer I could hardly refuse. When I got the book I can say it was a welcome and refreshing surprise. Although I don’t know Mr Payne personally, after reading his memoirs I felt as if I had met the man himself. What comes across strongly throughout the book is the author. He explains in the introduction that he had not thought about writing a book on that period of his life until he gave a speech at a Toastmasters club and he decided to talk about his experience of his two tours in Vietnam, in part to dispel the myth that everybody who had been in Vietnam had been `screwed’ as he puts it. The speech was a big success and people kept asking him for more.
The origin of the book is clearly reflected in its pages, because you can nearly hear Mr Payne talking. It is written in a straight forward, colloquial style, peppered with anecdotes and full of personality. This is neither a critical in depth analysis of the US intervention in Vietnam, nor a factual and neutral account. This is Mr Payne’s narration of his experience and adventures during his two tours in Vietnam, and he does not shy away from offering his opinion on peers, operations, celebrities, news…You might agree or disagree with him, but I get the sense that although he believes everybody is entitled to an opinion, he won’t change his easily.
Mr Payne thanks his guardian angel (Gabriel) for surviving his two tours, acknowledges the losses with regret, portrays funny and scary episodes that deserve several movies, and tells the story of a tenacious and stubborn young man who knew what he wanted and got it through sheer determination and bloody-mindedness. His eyesight wasn’t fantastic but he managed to get into pilot training. He wanted to fly Cobra helicopters and he did. There are touching (although understated) moments, and instances of self-discovery, but the author does not dwell on them. There is no romanticizing the experience and no dramatization either. You are there to do a job, your duty, and you then move on.
I recommend this book to anybody who is looking for a personal account of the Vietnam experience and is happy to read an unusual, but not less valuable, take on events. `Vietnam Veteran Memoirs’ proved an unexpected read for me. I will never forget some of the vignettes he narrates, and I definitely will never forget Mr Payne.
Available in Kindle Edition here:
And in Paperback here:
- Guest author Simon Okill. Nobody Loves a Bigfoot like a Bigfoot Babe (olganm.wordpress.com)
- Book Review – “Nobody Loves A Bigfoot Like A Bigfoot Babe” by Simon Okill – 5 stars and a “WOOOOOEEEEEOOOOO” Shout Out! (dlhbookreviews.wordpress.com)