Thursday, January 15, 2015

BOOK REVIEW: Time and Time Again by Ben Elton

Rating: ✪✪✪✪✪  out of 5 Stars

Release Date:                       November 2014
Author’s Website:                Ben Elton's website
Publisher's Website:                Random House


My thoughts:

   Having read a couple of Ben Elton’s previous books, I knew I would enjoy Time and Time Again. What I didn’t realize was just how much. Elton has really honed his story-telling skills, and based on his latest novel, he is now arguably one of the most readable and entertaining authors writing popular fiction today.
    Time travel and alternate reality are complex plots to tackle, but Elton masterfully steers his book, from the first page to the end, without any dragging or info-dumping on us like so many other authors find necessary when dealing with the time travel meme.
    Hugh Stanton, an ex-soldier, recently bereaved of his wife and children is summoned to his old professor of Cambridge’s chambers where he is told a fanciful story of a secret portal that will open shortly, and once only, between the present and 1914. The members of an elite society who have guarded this secret for hundreds of years, ever since Isaac Newton first predicted the portal, suggest Stanton has the perfect skills and lack of attachment to return to 1914 and prevent WW1 — the worst event they've decided, of the previous 110 years — by assassinating figures that Stanton had only previously studied in history.
    Of course, when he does return, Stanton discovers it is not so easy to carry out his mission when every interaction and move he makes has the potential to alter the immediate and distant future. At the same time, he struggles with the concept that his children might never be born and that, if he fails, millions will die.
    Elton really takes the reader on a wonderful and unique ride. This is not the same old time travel trope; there are unpredictable twists and turns right up until the last page. Time and Time Again is absolutely one of the best time travel books of its genre.

I received a copy of this book from http://www.randomhouse.com.au/ for an honest review. Thank you, wonderful people there.  More about this book at: Time and Time Again

BOOK BLURB 
    It's the 1st of June 1914 and Hugh Stanton, ex-soldier and celebrated adventurer is quite literally the loneliest man on earth. No one he has ever known or loved has been born yet. Perhaps now they never will be.
  Stanton knows that a great and terrible war is coming. A collective suicidal madness that will destroy European civilization and bring misery to millions in the century to come. He knows this because, for him, that century is already history.
   Somehow he must change that history. He must prevent the war. A war that will begin with a single bullet. But can a single bullet truly corrupt an entire century?
    And, if so, could another single bullet save it?
About the author:
    Ben Elton is one of Britain's most provocative and entertaining writers. From celebrity to climate change, from the First World War to the end of the world, his books give his unique perspective on some of the most controversial topics of our time.
    He has written fourteen major bestsellers, including Stark, Popcorn, Inconceivable, Dead Famous, High Society, The First Casualty and Two Brothers. He has also written some of television's most popular and incisive comedy, including The Young Ones and Blackadder.

    He is married with three children and lives in Western Australia.


Sunday, January 11, 2015

FILM REVIEWS: JANUARY 11TH, 2015

Paper Planes just blew me away at the recent preview. It has sneak peaks this week and is out this Thursday. You must see it. The rest of the film releases are not so good, so you have no excuse not to see this little Aussie charmer.

If you would like a break from movies, why not grab an e-copy of BACK AGAIN my time travel novel. It’s been making some best of lists recently, so I know you would enjoy. Click here to check it out.

THIS WEEK'S FILMS

(The Best of the Bunch)
Paper Planes  ✪✪✪✪✪
Opens in Australia:               15th January 2015
Other Countries:                   Release Information

I loved this film, as did everyone who was in the preview. For my full review, click here. All you need to know is that you will laugh, cry, and feel uplifted when you leave the cinema, and that is worth the price of a ticket. This is great entertainment, and it’s an Australian film. We should be proud of our talented countrymen and women. Go see it, and take the kids and the grandparents, too
STUDIO BLURB
An imaginative children's film about a young Australian boy's passion for flight and his challenge to compete in the World Paper Plane Championships in Japan.

Taken 3  ✪✪
Opens in Australia:               8th January 2015
Other Countries:                   Release Information

Now let me ask you a question? Did you really enjoy the first two Takens? Really? The first one was okay, maybe worthy of a DVD watch. The second had most of the preview audience laughing at its ludicrous plot, and now we have #3, whose tag line is “It ends here.”  All I can say, after watching this dull, clich├ęd, woefully poorly-edited, supposed thriller is that I hope they stay true to that tag line, and there won’t be a #4. Take these films away and file them under bad.
STUDIO BLURB
Ex-government operative Bryan Mills is accused of a ruthless murder he never committed or witnessed. As he is tracked and pursued, Mills brings out his particular set of skills to find the true killer and clear his name.

Into The Woods  ✪✪✪
Opens in Australia:               8th January 2014
Other Countries:                   Release Information

It’s not a film for the young ones. This is an adaptation of a Sondheim Broadway musical. Yes, it has some well-known actors in it, and it looks like a lot of fun. However, it’s all singing, and that is fine, but if you weren’t expecting it, then you might be disappointed. I found it about twenty minutes too long, and I think I would love the musical, but I just didn’t love this movie. Emily Blunt is gorgeous, though.
STUDIO BLURB
A witch tasks a childless baker and his wife with procuring magical items from classic fairy tales to reverse the curse put on their family tree.

Dumb & Dumber To
Opens in Australia:               8th January 2014
Other Countries:                   Release Information

We all loved the first Dumb & Dumber, but I think we’ve grown up from then. If you are a fan of the Farrelly Brothers, then you might find this passable. I kept looking at my husband, who was giggling and laughing, while I was barely amused maybe twice in the whole film. All I can say is if you want to see a really dumb movie, then this is it. However, if you want to keep the memory of Carrey and Daniels as talented comedians, in one of your favourite films alive, then hire the first Dumb & Dumber and watch that instead.
 STUDIO BLURB

20 years since their first adventure, Lloyd and Harry go on a road trip to find Harry's newly discovered daughter, who was given up for adoption.