Wednesday, September 09, 2009

Various reviews and a pre-holiday scramble

Am thrilled to say that I had two good reviews yesterday evening. First off was a four-star review of Painting from Life on the Goodreads site from Daisiemae – thank you, Daisiemae! And I also had a lovely five star review of A Dangerous Man on Amazon UK from Ms D Ilott which you can read below:

“Anne Brooke's novel of the collision of art and money, ambition and power, grabs you from the start and doesn't let go. What's especially impressive is the way that Brooke's style sets up narrative information - about the business of art, the grinding frustration of hustling cash for ambitions always just out of reach - without letting go the pace or losing purpose. There's always something going on and Brooke is highly skilled at pushing the story forward, even when pausing on her characters' thoughts and motives. The artist Michael draws in monochrome, surely a deliberate parallel with the business of writing, struggling to control the colours beyond the edge of the paper. The metaphor works, as do the London settings; Brooke has the feel for how so much of London seems frosted with dust whatever the weather. But the characters are far from colourless. Believable, fallible people chasing their own ambitions; even the bully Paul has his reasons. Michael's relationship with rich-boy Jack is neatly drawn, recognisable to anyone who knows that people who sleep together do not necessarily get along. And the plot twist is surprising, even on second reading. A shady, chilly story - so much of it seems to take place in half-light - that manages to say something about art (about writing too) without being pretentious and gives an ingenious riff on the dour old truth that the worst that can happen is to get what you want.”

Thanks, Ms Ilott – much appreciated! And here’s today’s poem:

Meditation 221

They wait
in sunlight
and the street’s low murmur

for the shadow
of the man
who once touched goodness

to pass by.
And everywhere
rumours of healing,

echoes of song.

At work, I’m running around attempting to sort out those Sunday early arrivals flyer – ah, the mysteries of reducing maps and getting everything to line up. At least the boss appeared to know what to do which was a relief, hurrah. And thanks only to him, we’ve finally got it all under control. Phew. Astonishing really that in an office with at least three professionally trained secretaries (including me, ho ho), the only person who could work the photocopier properly was the boss. Ah well, thank goodness my review is over for this year …

Managed to nip into town at lunchtime to put a cheque in (well, gosh) and get some last-minute holiday gubbins (suncream and … err … suncream, really). Much to my horror, the sales lady in Boots who took my cash had an absolutely streaming cold, poor thing – I only hope I don’t get it, dammit … Time for some Echinacea, big-time, I feel. This afternoon, I was knee-deep in minuting the thrills and spills of the Student Experience Strategy Project Board. No, I don’t really know what that means either, but I don’t think anyone’s quite found me out yet … Actually, it was a really good meeting, but there’s no chance of getting the minutes written up before I’m off though, so I hope I remember what on earth it was all about by the time I get back.

Tonight, I have the final twenty pages of Hallsfoot’s Battle to edit, so there’s a light at the end of the tunnel at last. And the lovely people at Dark Diva Reviews are having a month-long October competition and are including me in it. More to be revealed in October …

Today’s nice things:

1. Review of Painting from Life
2. Review of A Dangerous Man
3. Poetry
4. Editing Hallsfoot
5. The Dark Diva Reviews competition.

Anne Brooke – surrounded by paperwork but dreaming of Italy …
A Dangerous Man – art and love in all its forms


Jason Shaw said...

Lovely review, must be very nice.

Gosh running around for the holiday already. You lucky sausages, but you do deserve it. Have a blast.

Anne Brooke said...

Thank you!