This is the Book Review January 2023. It is a new and regular feature where I will read and review books in the hope that it will encourage you all to read more. We live in a time where everybody seems hopelessly lost in the ‘cult of busy’. We are all rushing around, chasing our tails and trying to stay on top of everything modern living is throwing at us. The seemingly endless emails arriving from work or companies marketing messages for products we don’t really need. And yet we all seem to have the time to stare at our phones for hours a day. Have you noticed how rare it is to see someone reading a book? They look so happy to be lost in a world the author created for them. These monthly reviews have aims: 1. to make me find more time for reading and 2. Hopefully to encourage you to buy and read more books! It really is that simple. First up: The Amsterdam Good Murder Guide by Karl Webster.
For this first review, I have selected a book by an author living in Amsterdam. Karl is a British man from Sunderland. Having lived and worked in many different parts of the world, but is now an ‘Echte Amsterdammer’. He told me he was working on a book a few months ago. So when he recently told me it was available, I ordered one as I was curious. It is called ‘The Amsterdam Good Murder Guide’. An intriguing title. And why not? Karl is an intriguing man, after all.
The book is based in Amsterdam and Karl has a lot of experience as a guide. ‘Write about what you know’ is the received wisdom. So inhabitants of Amsterdam and fans of this fine city will find themselves in familiar territory. That’s comforting as you can picture the author’s references in the book in your mind’s eye. You already know the cafes and bars. You have walked those streets.
The main protagonist, Wesley Bell, is a tour guide in Amsterdam. He’s a cool guy. People like Wesley. He’s one of life’s good ones, especially according to Wesley. And he’s probably right. But lately, wherever Wesley goes, death is never far behind. He’s like an unintending Grim Reaper to the wrong sort of people. You know, the sociopaths, the narcissists and the just plain annoying. We follow events over time in Wesley’s life and meet all his friends and the people in his sphere. They come and go and sometimes never come back. I have already said too much. Suffice it to say, Wesley and all the other characters keep the action ticking along until the final page. It’s the kind of book that leaves you wanting more. And maybe there will be….
It was rarely out of my hands in the days after it arrived. It’s hugely entertaining and wickedly funny. That’s what you want from a book, isn’t it? Entertainment. I do. I just want to kick back and savour every page. So, check out from the daily grind and float downstream in a universe the author created. If reading this book in public, please be warned that you will burst out laughing and that people around you will wonder about you. I really enjoyed it, and you can get your copy here. You can also try it by reading the first 20 pages here.
We hope you enjoyed our Book Review January 2023. Another one coming next month.
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