Contented upon finishing “Lord of the Rings,” I told a doughnut of a friend. They replied I was “a big girl” to have read it as they’re making a film. Peter Jackson made a fair attempt but I defer, for only those who read know the idiocy of his statement. Still authors dream their works would attract a film producer, but to see your narrative ripped apart can be disheartening. Guess you just lie back and think about the money.
Last week I mentioned the ease of movie adaption with Alexes Razevich’s astounding novel “Khe,” this can be an attraction for readers. So the couple of books I’ve picked this time contradict each other. While “Judas” is an all-action, popcorn munching Hollywood dream, I feel “Speak Swahili Dammit!” is quite the opposite, both breathtakingly brilliant but the latter book remains something to be digested in literature form.
“Judas” I discovered as a friend (Barry Renshaw) designed the cover. Yeah I know, don’t judge a book blah, blah. But when I read the synopsis I gasped, wondering why no one had thought of this simple but awesome plot before.
Judas Iscariot, yeah him, the disciple who grassed up Jesus in the bible, is paying for his crime. God has made him immortal, to walk the Earth forevermore, never to love, unable to die and so, obviously, he’s turned into an all-American action hero out to protect a forthcoming prophet! The likes of Bruce Willis or Vin Weasel would not look out of place playing Judas……if it would be snapped up by Hollywood.
Although I fear with its Christian connotations Middle-America would hail blasphemy. It’s exactly the shock-tactic its author, Roy Bright tells me he was aiming for. Expect a plague of locusts in his hometown of Burnley.
While some chapters, such as the biblical flashback sequences, are deadly serious, others have a tongue-in-cheek feel about them; both equally wonderfully written and engaging.
Its location is a movie caricature of New York, where demons choose to take the form of Japanese businessmen. Dripping with wry “Terminator” and “Die Hard” pastiches, it’s all very comic-book; Bright makes no attempt to hide this fact. Not just the gung-ho narrative but often referencing comic, manga or action hero movie media in the narrative. And in true Hollywood fashion, Roy is currently bashing out a sequel as we speak.
“Judas” may not be up everyone’s street. It’s highly addictive, chockful of fury-paced pulp fiction, aching for John Woo to direct. In contradiction, I believe the author of “Speak Swahili Dammit!” considered the possibility of movie adaption but it’s one of those things, I feel, which is best remaining as it is; a both inspiring and amusing masterpiece novel.
Quite lengthy, “Speak Swahili Dammit!” is autobiographical. Cornish author James Penhaligon’s family migrated to Tanganyika in the 1950s when he was six. This then is the story of white kid “Jimu” growing up in the African bush, being accepted by the Watu and it ends with his dawning of adolescence.
It describes life there, its history and culture in colossal detail, ventures off into gorgeous character portrayals, and amusing anecdotes of his interactions with the ingenious people, the other colonists, and a few deadly animals.
Covering the fullness of childhood; prepubescent love, friendship and general mischievousness, “Speak Swahili Dammit!” meanders through emotions cogitating through the eyes of a child.
This truly is an inspiring and witty read; a self-published stroke of genius which makes you wonder why the heck it is isn’t in every bookshop worldwide. But hey, that’s the domain of self-publishing, there’s greatness lurking down rabbit holes. You just have to take the leap… or wait for me hand more to you on a silver platter, as I did last time spotlighting Alexes Razevich.
Based on the excellence of “Khe,” I had high hopes for her second book, “Shadowline Drift.” Offering to be different Alexes again outreached my expectations. This book captivated me until the end. It’s not a turn of phrase when I say “I couldn’t put it down;” might as well have superglued it to my fingers.
When the protagonist delves into the Amazon rainforest to make a trade with a nomadic tribe for a plant which can solve the world famine problem, he gets much more than he bargained for. This believable fantasy sprints, with rich storytelling and careful research through the culture and wildlife of the rainforest and whisks into supernatural enigmas with a killer plot line.
So with three more added to our bucket list; an unspecified amount of self-published books to read before you either die or go buy another book by a big publishing house; lock in this feature for we have more to come.
I’ve put a Facebook group together called Ye OldE-book Shoppe, please join for more coverage of great books and meet the authors: https://www.facebook.com/groups/1606699399605659/
Speak Swahili Dammit! James Penhaligon: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Speak-Swahili-Dammit-African-childhood-ebook/dp/B00B1WOYY4/
Judas, Roy Bright: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Judas-Iscariot-Warrior-Book-1-ebook/dp/B01AQY5M16/
Shadowline Drift, Alexes Razevich: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Shadowline-Drift-Razevich-Alexes-ebook/dp/B00JEP2GBI/