Tuesday, August 13, 2019

Book review: THE THREE MUSKETEERS by Alexandre Dumas


THE THREE MUSKETEERS (1844) by Alexandre Dumas.

I listened through this novel as a free Public Domain audiobook (see librivox.org). It was originally released as a magazine serial in French.

NOTE: The English translation I listened to may have been slightly "bowdlerized" by British publishers, who were uneasy with the French author's relaxed attitude about sex.

You see, while Charles Dickens and other British writers entertained Victorian readers with novels about chaste characters who never even dreamed about doing anything below the belt, Dumas's heroes had mistresses, drank hard, cursed and casually killed people in duels.

The novel's main protagonist, the reckless young swordsman D'Artagnan, can be read as a kind of 17th-Century James Bond. He takes on a secret mission, seduces a woman, is himself seduced by an evil female spy, and foils a plot to disgrace the Queen of France.

What elevates this story above simplistic pulp adventure is Dumas's sense of irony, and a certain cold-blooded cynicism. The heroes are really a bunch of self-serving womanizers and bruisers, who ultimately fail to make any change to the corrupt society they live in.

The famous phrase "One for all and all for one" does occur in the novel - once. The camaraderie of D'Artagnan and his three musketeer friends does feel genuine.

Entertaining, sometimes outdated, definitely "problematic" - but interesting, especially if you're into "gritty" fantasy literature and historical fiction.

#bookstagram #bookreview #alexandredumas #thethreemusketeers #classics #literature #booksuggestion #book #novel #novels

Friday, August 09, 2019

Möt mig på Bokmässan i höst!

 
På Bokmässan i höst kommer jag att stå i monter A01:52 för att sälja och signera min nya bok REX OMEGA (utgiven på TiraTiger Förlag).
 
Detta är en lättläst, underhållande, lätt satirisk thriller där kungen av Sverige är huvudpersonen - läs mer om den HÄR.

På söndagen kl.10 ska jag medverka på Fantastikscenen på mässan (i Fantastikgränden), för att presentera REX OMEGA.

Vi ses på mässan! :-)


Monday, August 05, 2019

Book review: THE ELEMENT ENCYCLOPEDIA OF SECRET SOCIETIES

THE ELEMENT ENCYCLOPEDIA OF SECRET SOCIETIES (2006) by John Michael Greer.

I'm a skeptic and I don't believe the world is being run by secret societies. (Seriously, does it look like anyone is in charge of things?)

There's a lot of history on offer in this book, and sorting the facts from fiction. One thing I learned was that many secret societies functioned as insurance funds during those times when public social security was weak or absent. Or that secret societies exist in African countries and Native American tribes.

Still, l wonder: What is it that Western secret societies, you know, *actually do* today? (Apart from social networking and frat parties for grownups?) Sad to say, this book answers lots of questions except that one.

What's commendable about this encyclopedia: it takes a firm stance against disinformation, paranoia and bigotry.
Various conspiracy theories are listed and debunked. (More recent ones, such as "Q Anon," are missing.) Curiously, though, the book does promote the "Shakespeare didn't write his plays" hypothesis.

Anyhow, this book makes a great source of inspiration for fiction writers. If you want to learn more about secret socities, or you want to try your hand at writing conspiracy thrillers, or you're just curious, this is an entertaining introduction.


(Caveat: the author is himself a Freemason. Is he REALLY telling us everything...? ;-))

See also my review of Umberto Eco's FOUCAULT'S PENDULUM, elsewhere on this blog (or in my Instagram feed).

 #bookreview #bookreviews #johnmichaelgreer #theelementencyclopediaofsecretsocieties #conspiracy #conspiracies #secretsociety #secretsocieties #freemasons #illuminati #bohemiangrove #masons #bavarianilluminati #aleistercrowley #masons #occultism #theosophy #hermeticism #anthroposophy