Tomb-yard Follies, a review

tyfSo my reading has been a little slow of late. Between sick kids and school events, revisions and renovations, it’s been a little hectic around these parts. But over the weekend, I managed to carve out enough time to read Tomb-yard Folliesthe latest in Jim Webster’s Port Naain Intelligencer series, and these be my thoughts.

To begin with, I thought it was great fun. The beginning, in particular, had me intrigued. After all, nothing breeds potential conflict quite like a mysterious group of people in robes ambling through an orgy.

😀 😀 😀 😀 😀

Getting back to the point, this was a bit different from the last two in that Tallis and Shena appeared less than they did in previous stories, but it was interesting to get more of a feel for Benor. I’d have liked a bit more in the way of explanation about Tizah, but perhaps the enigma that is Tizah will be further expounded upon in later stories?

Please? *looks hopeful*

Anyway, this was a lovely way to dispose of an afternoon, and I can’t wait to see what Mr. Webster comes up with next.

To get your copy of Tomb-yard Follies, head on over to Amazon or Amazon UK!

(c) 2016. All rights reserved.


Literally critical, part two

If you missed the first part of this story, look no further! You can find part one of Literally Critical right here. And now, to pick up where we left off…

The problem we faced producing both the ‘Port Naain Re-evaluation of Literature’ and the ‘Port Naain Guide to Literary Merit’ was not the workload. The real problem was the need for anonymity. Had we been able to credit the authors of the copy then we could doubtless have hired plenty of contributors. In fact, the act of merely offering money would mean that we would have been forced to beat writers off with a stick. On the other hand, had the Port Naain literary world known who was writing the content for these two publications; it would most likely have been we who were beaten with sticks.

The anonymity did lead to problems for some. I had to do a review of an event Lancet Foredeck had featured heavily in. Now I will admit that I have never let my long association blind me to the flaws in Lancet’s work. Installation poetry has always struck me as somewhat overblown, after all what poet worth their salt cannot spontaneously knock off a few stanzas or even just a rhyme or two when the situation calls for it.

But still, Lancet is a better than middling painter, a perfectly competent teller of tales to large groups of young children whom he can hold spellbound, and to be fair, he’s not a bad poet. But at the event I attended, he surpassed himself. He launched into a mixture of pre-rehearsed and spontaneous work which was breathtaking in its comprehension and range. As he finally sank down into his seat the entire audience stood to applaud him. Even those who were merely present to drink at the bar rose to applaud him. Indeed the barman brought him a tankard of the bar’s best ale to quench his thirst without even being asked or staying for the money. On that day, in that place…

Literally critical!

Tomorrow, another one of poet Tallis Steelyard’s intriguing adventures will hit the virtual shelves. In honor of the event, here he is to talk about the life of a literary critic:

It is true that looking back I have had an interesting career. Indeed there is much I have achieved that I can look back upon with a sense of modest pride. There are very few incidents I feel disinclined to recall to mind and few about which I feel any real shame. But because I feel a duty to a younger generation of poets and other writers, I believe it behoves me to set aside my regrets, my mortification, and tell the plain unvarnished story. You see, I too have dabbled in literary criticism; I have dipped my pen in its unhallowed waters.

Now I don’t want anyone to assume that I did this because I was pandering to some unfathomable malevolence within my nature. No I did it for the most honourable of all reasons; we needed the money.

On reflection, one sees that within the life of even a great artist there are times which appear designed purely to test your mettle. This was one. Shena had not been well, she had caught something she just couldn’t seem to shake off, and she spent much of the winter confined to the barge. This meant that our income dropped considerably, we were faced with having to heat the barge during the day, and what reserves we had were waning rapidly. I had attempted to take her place dealing with the shore combers, but frankly I never made a tenth of what Shena did, and what I did make was purely because some of their number took pity on me and shared my desire to see her fit and well and back at work.

Then Silac Glicken approached me.