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rank: 193

Last week's position: 228

first registered 04.09.08

last online 40 mins ago

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about me

I am a lawyer - retired, thank God. My debut novel "So Sour the Grape" tries to portray the hopelessness of the committed alcoholic - and the helplessness of the lover, spouse or friend who believes they can walk on water, can fix it - to find that they can't ... for, seemingly, nothing can.

Writing is addictive; and my second novel, "The Mine" is somewhat different. Taking place in South Africa in 1985, when apartheid was at its height - as was the resistance to it - a black man and a white man are trapped in a mine, the sole survivors of a mining disaster. Yet it's nothing to do with mines - it's about segregation and an Africaans 'kaffir boetie's' ( a sympatiser) obligations to the child of the black man who, in the mine, saved his life and who, when he finds her, turns out to be someone more than just a child.

But black and white must be segregated in the South Africa of 1985.

favourite books

Change of Address - Lee Langley.
The Shipping News - Annie Proulx
The Bridges of Madison County - R J Waller
Border Music - R J Waller
Anything by Hemmingway
Anything by Steinbeck
And 3 real oldies: These Lovers Fled Away - Howard Spring, 'Bonjour Tristesse' - Francoise Sagan and Neville Chute's 'In the Wet'. I lose count, the number of times I have read the latter - but on each occasion I am left thinking and thinking and thinking.

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my books



A love story, the association of two alcoholics - so, by definition, a tragedy. You can but pity the hopelessness of committed alcoholic..

"Tam takes the urn to a rose bed in the middle of the garden. It seems an appropriate resting place for one who had been at the middle of all their lives - someone who they had, all of them, loved and tried to help - and failed."

Michael, a dis-functional lawyer, enters a rehab clinic, where he meets Lottie, interior designer, Kensington socialite and a hardened alcoholic. Both wounded in their different ways, they prop each other up amidst the rigorous regimes of a rehabilitation clinic. A relationship develops between them, but, Montague and Capulet-like, it is a forbidden relationship - because relationships in early recovery are strongly discouraged.

Back in Kensington, living with Michael, Lottie relapses, spinning into a tragic downward spiral and leaving Michael to ask himself whether he is the one to blame for her downfall.

A tragedy - but not all doom and gloom, because the committed alcoholic has the same fatalistic sense of humour of many who are afflicted with a terminal illness.




The only time Steiger ever held a black man by the arm was when he needed to inflict discipline on him.

South Africa, 1985. Apartheid is rife - and so is the resistance to it. Against this background a black man and a white man find themselves trapped underground, the sole survivors of a mining disaster. The black has been blinded by the explosion and the white man is badly injured. Segregation or not, only if they can work together can they get out - but do they?

Just say that one escapes. What are the reactions of that survivor to the young daughter of the other - particularly when Apartheid segregates black from white?

Although this story starts with a mining catastrophe, it is of a greater catastrophe that I write: Apartheid - which was a disaster for both blacks and whites alike. Fiction it may be - but it is fiction woven around the framework of cruelty and oppression inflicted by white on black in an attempt to keep a strangle hold on a 'beloved country' that wasn't theirs to hold in the first place.


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Ornithograph wrote 24 days ago

So that’s six votes,’ Captain Osborne said. ‘The basic vote and educa....

Sue Harries wrote 38 days ago

will re-add you to shelf nearer end of month ok. Take care, Sue

Sue Harries wrote 39 days ago

You are very welcome. Enjoy the wild camping! Take care, Sue.

Poppygb1415 wrote 120 days ago

A tube of toothpaste! Love it! You ran away to sea! How great is that....

Poppygb1415 wrote 125 days ago

Many thanks for the backing! You remind me that I really must return ....

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my comments


I wrote 110 days ago

Did someone say great voice and terrific pace? I'll second that. view book

I wrote 110 days ago

This is very vivid - and the fact that the English with which it is written is not that of an Englishman, makes it all the more vivid and authentic. It was easy to read - perhaps told a little bit straight from the shoulder; and I think I would have had more enjoyment from it had the action been som... view book

I wrote 157 days ago

Poppy, Did I say that I expected to discover something zany? (Zany: crazy, madcap, wacky, screwball, screwy.) It was all those and greatly entertaining to boot. Loved the title: It spoke volumes about what I was to expect – story, narrator, style all encompassed, so it was almost a short... view book

I wrote 170 days ago

Philip, Very fluid in the telling. Very economical, too - even if there were moments when I wished you had been a little more expansive. Tragedies and life altering changes of direction are matters to be lingered over, each layer and facet painstakingly stripped back and exposed, so the reader is... view book

I wrote 170 days ago

Jorre, If you've got it, then flaunt it - and you are certainly not economical with words when painting your scenes or your characters. That may result in a fairly wordy first chapter, but worry not - I found it absorbing to read from beginning to end; and I swear I never fidgeted, not once. The ... view book

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