Suggestions For A Good Read

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I'm reading Too Naked For The Nazis: Wilson, Keppel And Betty by Alan Stanford. The tale of a great dance/comedy act. Nowadays their Egyptian/Sand dances would probably be regarded as Cultural Appropriation. Keppel also did a Gandhi dance, even performed it before King George V. The nazis reference is due to Goering allegedly objecting to Wilson & Keppel's bare legs during a 1935 performance in Berlin. Hermann took rather a shine to Betty though. W & K tended to exaggerate however, even claiming that they performed with the Eight Lancashire Lads Clog-dancing Troupe (Where Charlie Chaplin got his start) when they were ten.

Keppel was a bit of a chancer and was invalided out of the Royal Australian Navy in 1917, he was still trying to get a disability pension while performing strenuous dance routines a decade later. The Betty of their act changed over time but the most famous was Betty Knox who charmed Goering and went to become a War Correspondent, brought on nazi hunting expeditions by Free French Troops in 1944.

A great read. Author Alan Stanford wrote to Queen Elizabeth asking if she had any memory of their performances and got a reply saying the Queen "does indeed remember them well and with great enjoyment". No mention of the Gandhi Dance though.
 
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onetwothree

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Yeah, I liked it. No, it got a full release, Netflix didn't make/commission the film. They buy a lot of films after they have finished the normal cinema release.

My review back in October 2017.

The Ritual: Four friends go go hill walking in remote Northern Sweden to remember a murdered friend. Taking a shortcut through a forest they come across a gutted deer hanging in a tree. Runes are carved into other trees. Taking shelter in a hut all four have strange nightmares. Lost they stumble through the woods literally experiencing Panic. The cinematography and forest setting helps to develop this sense of primeval fear and threat.

A mixture of tropes bringing to mind The Witch, Blair Witch, Deliverance and Kill List coalesce to form a unique Horror Film which is somewhat left down by uneven pacing. It could also have benefited with some additional Anthropological exposition which may have present in the novel by Adam Nevill (who co-wrote the screenplay). 7.5/10.
I am home sick today and have just watched this. I'd agree with you about the uneven pacing, but I liked it. Definitely worth watching (and it also reminded me of Dog Soldiers).
 

blessmycottonsocks

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I'm half way through Charles Maclean's 1983 psychological thriller The Watcher.
Thoroughly enjoying it!
Full of Fortean themes - hallucinations, night terrors, alternative realities and, delightfully, a past-life regression linking to legendary mystic and explorer Percy Fawcett (of Lost City of Z fame).
Not for the faint-hearted - some very gruesome sequences already, and it messes with your head a bit - author employs some genuine hypnotherapy scenarios and narrative to lure the reader into a false sense of security.
Should finish it within another couple of days on the train and, if the second half is as compelling as the first, this will merit a solid 5-star review on Amazon.
 

FrKadash

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Someone bought me a great little book the other day as a gift. When Monsters Come Ashore: Stories of the Loch Ness Monster On Land by Roland Watson (2018). I had never heard of it so it was a nice gift. The book has a print-on-demand look to it, but it's a very interesting read. At 267 pages it's well laid out and features some interesting, little known cases, as well as a good appendix of cases and a short bibliography. I was also pleased to see plenty of references to the late, great F. W. Holiday.

I was trying to think if I've seen it reviewed in a past FT but don't think I have. It's definitely worth checking out if you're interested in the subject.
 
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Someone bought me a great little book the other day as a gift. When Monsters Come Ashore: Stories of the Loch Ness Monster On Land by Roland Watson (2018). I had never heard of it so it was a nice gift. The book has a print-on-demand look to it, but it's a very interesting read. At 267 pages it's well laid out and features some interesting, little known cases, as well as a good appendix of cases and a short bibliography. I was also pleased to see plenty of references to the late, great F. W. Holiday.

I was trying to think if I've seen it reviewed in a past FT but don't think I have. It's definitely worth checking out if you're interested in the subject.
Were there any cases you hand't read of before?
 

FrKadash

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Were there any cases you hand't read of before?
Quite a few cases with few details I hadn't heard of before. Thought this Morag sighting was interesting, which I honestly can't recall reading about before reading this book.

Last summer, West Word offices were visited by Tony Healy, an Australian author who is interested in Morag and other legendary creatures. He had visited the area 21 years ago and talked then to Charles Simpson of Mallaig about Morag. Now writing a book, Tony came into the office to look at back copies, and went away with those which have mentioned Morag, to have a chat with Ewan MacDonald, who has also sighted the monster. Tony has now sent us this account, and allowed us to reproduce the photo of the painting made of the creature seen by Donald Simpson 25 years ago.

On 27th November 1975 Charles and his brother Donald (who died a few years later) were driving towards Bracorina on a bird watching expedition. The Morar River, as it leaves the loch, flows over a narrow ridge of gravel, so that for a short distance it is only a couple of feet deep. At 3 p.m., just as they were passing that spot, Charles, who was watching the road ahead, heard his brother, who was driving, suddenly gasp and choke as if unable to breathe.

"I was terrified he'd taken a heart attack", Charles recalled, "but then he braked and pointed to the water. 'This will startle the world', was all he could say at first. When I asked what he meant he said 'Did ye not see it?"'

What Donald had seen was a powerful, 20 foot long animal which rose out of the river less than 40 feet from the car. It lurched across the gravel bar and sank into the deeper waters of the loch. The episode lasted only a couple of seconds but made a deep impression on the man — who had previously been very sceptical about the Morag legend. He said it had smooth brown skin "like a drum" and commented particularly on the muscles in its powerful hindquarters, which were evident as it hauled itself over the gravel bar.

He saw no ears or eyes but said there was what looked like a "trunk" trailing along the side of the body. Shortly afterwards, under Donald's close supervision, a neighbour executed a small watercolour painting of what he had seen. "Donald said it wasn't exactly right"' Charles Simpson explained, "but said it conveyed the general impression of what he saw.
http://lochnessmystery.blogspot.com/2014/07/meanwhile-at-loch-morar.html
 

Yithian

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Off the back of some excellent IWM interviews with major participants in the British expedition to retake the Falklands, I've started reading a few books on the war. I've read the first, am two-thirds of the way through the second and have just received the third in the post (it was published late last year):

View attachment 15463 View attachment 15464 View attachment 15465

To take them in order, Hastings is a bit unpopular in military-history reading circles for turning out underwhelming and occassionally tendentious books, but this was not always so. Hastings was there with the task force and went ashore with the troops and it shows; the writing has an immediacy born from proximity and familiarity with the men whose thoughts and actions he is relating. As a former (failed) paratrooper, the surprising freedom of movement granted him was not squandered: he has a knack for being in the vicinity of the action, cultivating the right contacts and asking the right questions. The writing is crisply 'balanced': context vs action, strategy vs tactics, group vs individual, fact vs interpretation: you get each mixed in the correct quantity. The dual authorship that so often fails here delivers brilliantly and the structure of the book is superb in the way it mirrors history: the global/domestic/political narrative dominates at first, with quick glances at the military scene; as the task force sets sail the story is equally balanced with alternating chapters that describe the simultaneous escalation on both fronts; once the Belgrano is sunk, the landings at San Carlos are successful and Goose Green has banished fear of stagnation, the weight falls decisively on the South Atlantic Front. It's a great read and the best overview of the events of 1982.

No Picnic covers many of the same events, but it's quite a different kind of book: a personal narrative, not a history, a military account, not (specifically) a historical one. Thompson, then a brigadier, commanded 3 Commando Brigade and was--until the arrival of 5 Brigade and a divisional commander in the form of Maj-Gen Jeremy Moore--the senior land forces officer in the theatre (although for a good while the Royal Navy was running the show and the inter-service command structure was regrettably unwieldy). The book starts of slightly badly with a long enuneration of the forces he was to command and their recent activities and training experiences before the balloon went up. I think it would have been far preferable to have met them in turn as they appeared on the scene, but perhaps he felt his duty was to pay tribute to each unit under his command, omitting none. What we do quickly learn is that for all the lamentable shortages and deficits the force suffered owing to political neglect they were as formidable in terms of training, toughness and espirits de corps as any commander could hope for, and this is not merely a product of Thompson's obvious pride. The Royal Marine Commandos and the Parachute Regiment men were both elites in their fields and--mistakes and tragedies notwithstanding--possessed of an utter determination to close with and kill the enemy at close quarters in order that the British islanders be liberated and their job be done. The reader is reminded frequently that nothing remotely on this scale had been attempted since Suez and a search for precdents usually ended in Normandy 1944. Thompson is a soldier and does not indulge in much political debate. He, like his men, seemed to get little further than the observation that quite apart from any legal niceties, you can't just walk into a place governed by a different country and expect them to sigh and walk away. He specifically explains how the appetite to participate (every man and his dog was clearing his desk and asking for a berth going south) came as the men viewed it as a chance to achieve the culmination of many years of arduous training--like a fencer who has never had a duel beyond the regulated confines of the salon.

The third book I have yet to start, but I did dip into the generous preview at Amazon and was impressed. I love to read soldiers' memoirs, but the truth is that they're a very mixed bag in terms of quality. Many men who served and fought feel and relive their experiences vividly but lack the skill to communicate it verbally let alone in written form. Although now a Lieut-Gen, Cedric Delves was in 1982 the commander of D-Squadron 22 SAS and very much at the tip of the spear for Operation Corporate. Such a large assembly of British special forces (SAS, SBS , Mountain & Arctic Warfare Cadre) probably wasn't to be seen again until the Gulf War and, Delves's writing, from what I've seen, is thoughtful, well-expressed and very poignant in places--I'm looking forward to reading more.
In case anybody's interested in the third title, this will whet your appetite further:

 

Kryptonite

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Someone bought me a great little book the other day as a gift. When Monsters Come Ashore: Stories of the Loch Ness Monster On Land by Roland Watson (2018). I had never heard of it so it was a nice gift. The book has a print-on-demand look to it, but it's a very interesting read. At 267 pages it's well laid out and features some interesting, little known cases, as well as a good appendix of cases and a short bibliography. I was also pleased to see plenty of references to the late, great F. W. Holiday.

I was trying to think if I've seen it reviewed in a past FT but don't think I have. It's definitely worth checking out if you're interested in the subject.
Haven't read the book, but Roland Watson has done a few interviews on various podcasts and is very interesting to listen to.

He's on an episode of Conspiracy Unlimited with Richard Syrett which is worth a listen. It's episode 87, and is called Why Can't We Find Nessie.
 

FrKadash

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Haven't read the book, but Roland Watson has done a few interviews on various podcasts and is very interesting to listen to.

He's on an episode of Conspiracy Unlimited with Richard Syrett which is worth a listen. It's episode 87, and is called Why Can't We Find Nessie.

Thanks for that, will do a search and see what interviews I can find. It's a really good little book, Watson has definitely done a lot of good research into the cases featured. I was interested in the MacGruer-Cameron Case which I don't recall reading about before reading the book,
http://lochnessmystery.blogspot.com/2016/04/nessie-on-land-macgruer-cameron-case.html
 

dr wu

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I know this isn't the 'Nessie Thread'...but for those who 'believe' in Nessie do you think Nessie is centuries old, there is a breeding colony, or that Nessie is a magical/supernatural thing?
 

gordonrutter

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For those interested in Roland and any of his books he is a member of the board although he is an infrequent visitor.
 

FrKadash

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I know this isn't the 'Nessie Thread'...but for those who 'believe' in Nessie do you think Nessie is centuries old, there is a breeding colony, or that Nessie is a magical/supernatural thing?
I've always stuck with the Keel/Holiday type of explanation, that something is taking on roles, like an actor stuck in character, like a love child of the Cosmic Joker and Jeremy Brett.(!) But there are some cases that make me wonder if there is indeed something strange and physical there as well as manifestations that are sort of a self-perpetuating imprint on the area.
 

dr wu

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I've always stuck with the Keel/Holiday type of explanation, that something is taking on roles, like an actor stuck in character, like a love child of the Cosmic Joker and Jeremy Brett.(!) But there are some cases that make me wonder if there is indeed something strange and physical there as well as manifestations that are sort of a self-perpetuating imprint on the area.
How would that 'something' work? A tulpa idea...?
 

FrKadash

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How would that 'something' work? A tulpa idea...?
Yeah, that's the explanation I like the best. I don't think we'll ever reach a definite understanding though, it's just too strange. But if there is something physical there is it possible that it could live in the sediment? Have you read The Goblin Universe by Ted Holiday? One of the best fortean books I've read.
 
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I'm half way through Charles Maclean's 1983 psychological thriller The Watcher.
Thoroughly enjoying it!..
I thought it was a coincidence, but no - that's the same Charles Maclean who is a very well known writer on whisky, and son of the impressive Sir Fitzroy Maclean, author of Eastern Approaches and possible inspiration for James Bond. Might have to give it a go.
 

dr wu

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Yeah, that's the explanation I like the best. I don't think we'll ever reach a definite understanding though, it's just too strange. But if there is something physical there is it possible that it could live in the sediment? Have you read The Goblin Universe by Ted Holiday? One of the best fortean books I've read.
Yes..I did some years ago...it's on my shelf...I might pull it out and re-read it.
 
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Anyone read Submission?

The controversial writer Michel Houellebecq is to be awarded France's highest honour on Thursday.

President Emmanuel Macron will present him with the Légion d'honneur at the Elysée Palace in Paris, with former president Nicolas Sarkozy attending.

... but his sixth novel, Soumission (Submission), proved to be his most controversial. Set in 2022, it depicts France under Sharia (Islamic) law without gender equality and a protagonist who eventually decides to convert to Islam and to practise polygamy.

https://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-47973357
 
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Anyone read Submission?

The controversial writer Michel Houellebecq is to be awarded France's highest honour on Thursday.

President Emmanuel Macron will present him with the Légion d'honneur at the Elysée Palace in Paris, with former president Nicolas Sarkozy attending.

... but his sixth novel, Soumission (Submission), proved to be his most controversial. Set in 2022, it depicts France under Sharia (Islamic) law without gender equality and a protagonist who eventually decides to convert to Islam and to practise polygamy.

https://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-47973357
Nah, he seems like a tedious Edgelord, I've read his book on Lovecraft which is short, readable and non-twattish but it's all I can see me reading by him.
 
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Nah, he seems like a tedious Edgelord, I've read his book on Lovecraft which is short, readable and non-twattish but it's all I can see me reading by him.
Yes - I've never been over keen myself. Like many self-consciously controversial writers it can all seem just a little too staged (its a feeling that sometimes reminds me of those coach trips of French teenagers you used to see all over London in the 80's, hair temporarily sprayed green for the purposes of the trip - rebellion from a tin, to be washed out on return to maman).

I'm not partisan with my reading, in fact I've just re-read Knut Hamsun's Hunger; Hamsun, still a reference for many extreme right-wingers who have read a book rather than burned it, gifted his Nobel medal to Goebbels - which puts him much higher on the cockometer than Houellebecq (although, to be fair, Hamsun was probably absolutely barking mad). But Houellebecq? My immediate reaction is to say meh - but maybe I should try again.

(I should emphasise that I'm attempting to indicate a willingness to read authors who hold political views which do not necessarily fit with my own - not directly comparing the politics of the two authors.)
 
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Yes - I've never been over keen myself. Like many self-consciously controversial writers it can all seem just a little too staged (its a feeling that sometimes reminds me of those coach trips of French teenagers you used to see all over London in the 80's, hair temporarily sprayed green for the purposes of the trip - rebellion from a tin, to be washed out on return to maman).

I'm not partisan with my reading, in fact I've just re-read Knut Hamsun's Hunger; Hamsun, still a reference for many extreme right-wingers who have read a book rather than burned it, gifted his Nobel medal to Goebbels - which puts him much higher on the cockometer than Houellebecq (although, to be fair, Hamsun was probably absolutely barking mad). But Houellebecq? My immediate reaction is to say meh - but maybe I should try again.

(I should emphasise that I'm attempting to indicate a willingness to read authors who hold political views which do not necessarily fit with my own - not directly comparing the politics of the two authors.)
I've read and mostly enjoyed Hunger, it's shockingly "modern" feeling despite being written in 1890: the almost hallucinatory experiences of the protagonist and the non-moralising, blunt approach to the subject matter; yet is still (perhaps inevitably) stilted, in the way that 19thC writing often is, at least for me.

I'd imagine Nazis and their ilk would have found Hunger "degenerate" as would their contemporary brethren. I don't see that his politics need effect anyone's reading of him, though I understand why people wouldn't want to, there are far too many books, one can't read all of them, exclude in ways which seem most relevant to yourself. Houellebecq on the other hand just seems to be a bit "LOOK AT ME, I JUST MADE A RAPE JOKE, LOOK AT ME I JUST SAID "WOG", I'M TOTES CONTROVS". I dare say there's more to his writing than that but I eye his oeuvre with the same weariness I have for Von Trier's filmography.

Art can challenge and often should but it can get a bit much.
 

Lord Lucan

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Currently reading: The JFK Assassination- The Evidence Today by James DiEugenio.

The Amazon blurb:
In this updated and revised edition, James DiEugenio dissects the new Oscar-nominated film, The Post, and how it disingenuously represents the Pentagon Papers saga, to the detriment of the true heroes of the operation. The story of the film stems from the failed attempt of Academy Award–winning actor Tom Hanks and producer Gary Goetzman to make Vincent Bugliosi’s mammoth book about the Kennedy assassination, Reclaiming History, into a miniseries. He exposes the questionable origins of Reclaiming History in a dubious mock trial for cable television, in which Bugliosi played the role of an attorney prosecuting Lee Harvey Oswald for murder, and how this formed the basis for the epic tome.

JFK: The Evidence Today lists the myriad problems with Bugliosi’s book and explores the cooperation of the mainstream press in concealing many facts during the publicity campaign for the book and how this lack of scrutiny led Hanks and Goetzman—cofounders of the production company Playtone—to purchase the film rights. DiEugenio then shows how the failed film adapted from that book, entitled Parkland, does not resemble Bugliosi’s book and examines why.

This book reveals the connections between Washington and Hollywood, as well as the CIA influence in the film community today. It includes an extended look at the little-known aspects of the lives and careers of Bugliosi, Hanks, and Goetzman. JFK: The Evidence Today sheds light on the Kennedy assassination, New Hollywood, and political influence on media in America.

If you're into the JFK assassination of any of the myriad of conspiracy theories surrounding his murder, then this book is a worthy addition. Some prior knowledge of the main characters involved would be beneficial however.
 

uair01

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Currently reading: The JFK Assassination- The Evidence Today by James DiEugenio - Reclaiming History.
Interesting. I'll look at it. Personally I find "Case closed" quite convincing, clear and (relatively, for JFK books) concise:
Case Closed: Lee Harvey Oswald and the Assassination of JFK
by
Gerald Posner (Goodreads Author)
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/38107.Case_Closed?from_search=true

This also looks good, but I doubt if I could finish it. The reviews are very interesting:
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/203795.Reclaiming_History?ac=1&from_search=true
 

uair01

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uair01

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I'm re-reading Thomas Mann, Death in Venice as a German audiobook. The reading is excellent and enhances the atmosphere.
https://www.audible.de/pd/Der-Tod-in-Venedig-Hoerbuch/B00D7IG5UG

What surprised me is that it can be read as a horror book! I know it's a deeply psychological novella filled with philosophy and melancholy, and that's how I read it many years ago. But in the meantime I've become a fan of horror fiction (Lovecraft, Ligotti, Aickman, MR James etc.) and this book fits the genre like a glove. Especially all the signs of impending doom in the early parts of the novel, The main protagonist ignores them all and I cringe ...
 

Keith peace

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I'm currently reading esoteric Hollywood by Jay Dyer and most excellent it is too..in amidst that I'm reading this months fortean times...brilliant stuff...!!
 
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Just finished Homeland (sequel to Little Brother) by Cory Doctorow, supposedly Young Adult but as good as any adult near future SF. About the Surveillance State and in particular the work of security contractors, the economic crisis, house repossessions, unemployment and the fightback by grassroots organisations and hackers.
 
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