Archive for the ‘Good book’ Category

Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child: The Blackout Society, Part 3

September 24, 2014

This from Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child. Hugh Paxton’s Blog loves their choice of illustrations! And I’m about to risk the Bangkok traffic to grab a copy of their latest book!

From: Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child []
Subject: The Blackout Society, Part 3

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The Blackout Society III

It was almost ten thirty by the time Laura Hayward closed the book containing ‘The Monkey’s Paw,’ the ghost story she had chosen as her offering to the impromptu Blackout Society, and put the volume aside.

For a moment, nobody spoke. The only sound was the continued rumbling of thunder outside the securely locked windows of the library.

Finally, D’Agosta stirred. Mrs. Trask had just brought him the can of beer he’d wanted all along–still cold from the icebox, despite the fact the electricity was out all over Manhattan. He took a grateful sip. "God, what a yarn. You mean to say that his very last wish was to…?" He fell silent. The rest of the company exchanged glances.

The silence was interrupted by the ring of Pendergast’s cell phone, which played a few bars of C. P. E. Bach’s Solfeggietto in C minor. From the shadows on the far side of the fire, the FBI agent stirred in his wing chair, removed the phone from his suit jacket, and answered. He listened a moment. "Understood. Thank you."

"That was a friend of mine downtown," he said as he put the phone away. "It seems that the killer has just escaped a most artfully arranged ambush. I’m told this blackout, with the resulting confusion, is to blame."

"Where did this happen?" Corrie Swanson asked.

"Just north of Columbus Circle. By the monument to the USS Maine."

"But his last reported location was Bryant Park," Margo Green said, shifting restlessly in her chair. "That means he’s headed north. Coming our way."

For a moment, nobody spoke. In silence, Mrs. Trask entered the library and replaced a few of the guttering candles.

"Indeed," Pendergast said, eyeing the Les Baer .45 he had placed on a table beside him.

Constance smoothed down her dress, "It seems we would be wise to remain here and continue this little exercise of ours. I shall choose the next story."

All eyes turned towards her. This promised to be good.

"I’ve always been partial to the ghost stories of M. R. James," she continued. "His antiquarian tastes suit my own, and I approve of the way he lulls readers into his clutches with reserved, measured introductions… only to slip in the knife at the very last minute."

Pendergast took a sip of sherry and indicated his approval with a faint smile.

Constance rose, picked up a taper, and went to the nearest wall of bookshelves. Hunting along it a moment, she removed a slim volume bound in green cloth and returned to her seat on the couch. "Ghost Stories of an Antiquary," she told the group. "Published in 1904."

She turned to the title page. "So many excellent stories," she murmured. "It’s hard to choose. Here’s one of my favorites: ‘The Mezzotint.’"

"What’s a mezzotint?" asked D’Agosta.

"It’s a type of engraving, used to make prints in the 19th century," said Constance.

As the others waited in the hushed room, Constance curled up on the sofa, legs tucked beneath her, turned the pages of the book until she found the story, and began to read:

The Mezzotint

Some time ago I believe I had the pleasure of telling you the story of an adventure which happened to a friend of mine by the name of Dennistoun, during his pursuit of objects of art for the museum at Cambridge…

For the continuation of the story, please click here

A few BLUE LABYRINTH links we recommend

To preorder a double-signed copy of Blue Labyrinth at the Poisoned Pen Bookstore

The Nook Book free preview–the first 11 chapters of Blue Labyrinth

The iBook free preview–the first 11 chapters of Blue Labyrinth

The Kindle free preview–the first 11 chapters of Blue Labyrinth

And finally, this eerie and disturbing video


Blue Labyrinth, the latest novel in the Pendergast series, will be published

Tuesday, November 11, 2014


Painting by Caspar David Friedrich, The Tree of Crows, 1822, Musée du Louvre, Paris
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Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child: The Blackout Society of A.X.L. Pendergast

February 7, 2014

Hugh Paxton’s Blog reckons these two fellows really are on top form. If you’ve not read any of their books you are missing out. Wheel of Darkness is my favourite to date – it’s a seriously frightening story involving the theft of a religious painting from a monastery in Tibet that involves, among other things, mayhem on a luxury trans-Atlantic cruise ship in dreadful weather heading for deadly reefs. Still Life With Crows is another contender. You will never eat turkey again after reading this sleek bit of ghastliness. Nor will you go anywhere near a corn field. But all their books are smashing. The only dud in my opinion was The Relic. And the only reason I give it ‘dud’ status is that it is not as good as their others.



From: Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child []
Sent: Friday, February 07, 2014 6:18 AM
Subject: The Blackout Society of A.X.L. Pendergast

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The Blackout Society

Episode 2

The night wore on. The library at 891 Riverside Drive remained dark, the power off, the Upper West Side of Manhattan still under a blackout. It was approaching ten o’clock and the storm continued unabated, tongues of lightning piercing the gloom over the Hudson River, the trees in Riverside Park thrashing about in the driving rain.

The group calling themselves “The Blackout Society” was still gathered around the hearth, which was now flickering with a low fire to keep out the night damp. Special Agent Pendergast sat in a large wing chair on one side of the fireplace, a small glass of sherry on a side table at his elbow. Next to that lay his Les Baer custom-made Colt .45, fully loaded and with a round racked into the chamber.

His ward, Constance Greene, sat on the opposite side of the fireplace. The others—Lieutenant Vincent D’Agosta, his wife Laura Hayward, Margo Green, and Corrie Swanson—were arrayed in chairs and a sofa in a cozy semicircle. A half-dozen candles placed about the room provided a dim illumination, their flickering light glowing off the gilded spines of the books arranged in shelves around them.

They had assembled in the library at Pendergast’s request for an unpleasant reason: protection against a killer. Although the killer’s identity was known, and his arrest believed to be imminent, there was strong evidence that his next intended victim was one of the six. While gathered here, awaiting word of the arrest, a blackout had occurred. To pass the time, the group had decided to read ghost stories. Each of the six would choose and read a ghost story from the extensive library.

Margo had just finished reading “Thurnley Abbey,” by Perceval Landon. Silence gathered in the library as she closed the book and laid it upon the table.

Pendergast took a sip of his sherry. “Thank you, Margo. An unsettling tale indeed.” He glanced around the circle. “Who shall be next?”

There was a silence, and then Laura Hayward gave a small nod. “I’ll choose the next one. I’m not much of a ghost story aficionado, but I remember reading a story when I was a kid that scared the living daylights out of me. I can’t remember the title, though. Something like ‘The Claw of the Monkey’."

Constance turned to her. “You must mean ‘The Monkey’s Paw’ by W.W. Jacobs.”

“That’s it.” Laura looked around. “Maybe everyone here already knows it.”

“I don’t,” said D’Agosta. “I’d like to hear it.”

“Me, too,” said Corrie.

“Excellent,” said Pendergast. “Constance, will you see if you can find it for us?”

Constance rose, perused the shelves, and at length removed a book entitled The Lady of the Barge and Other Stories. She turned it over in her hands. “Dodd, Mead, 1902. The first American printing of the famous story, I believe.”

Constance handed the book to Laura, who turned the pages until she found the story. A hush fell as she began to read.

The Monkey’s Paw by William Wymark Jacobs

Without, the night was cold and wet, but in the small parlour of Laburnam Villa the blinds were drawn and the fire burned brightly. Father and son were at chess, the former, who possessed ideas about the game involving radical changes, putting his king into such sharp and unnecessary perils that it even provoked comment from the white-haired old lady knitting placidly by the fire.

"Hark at the wind," said Mr. White, who, having seen a fatal mistake after it was too late, was amiably desirous of preventing his son from seeing it.

"I’m listening," said the latter, grimly surveying the board as he stretched out his hand. "Check."

"I should hardly think that he’d come to-night," said his father, with his hand poised over the board.

"Mate," replied the son…

The full text of THE MONKEY’S PAW by W.W. Jacobs can be found here

Other news and links:

From Doug: I would like to announce the publication of my new nonfiction Kindle ebook, The Forgotten Killer : Rudy Guede and the Murder of Meredith Kercher , written with the famed FBI criminal profiler John Douglas (Mind Hunter), Mark Olshaker, former FBI Special Agent Steve Moore, and others. This book tells the true story of what really happened the night of November 1, 2007, when Meredith Kercher was assaulted and brutally murdered, who did it, why, and how — and why the Italian police erroneously focused on Amanda Knox. Available for $1.99 as a Kindle Single. All proceeds from the book are being donated to Amanda Knox’s defense fund.

Our new Preston-Child website

Preston and Child Facebook page

Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child
P.O Box 162 | Convent Station, NJ 07961 US

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New Post: Plus Book Review: The Reporter and the Girl: MINUS the Superman Book Review!

February 3, 2014

Hugh Paxton’s Blog says Hey Ho Here We Go!

The Girl is gaining momentum! And why not! Every author needs a push, a bit of support, and a nice review! Hugh Paxton’s Blog is right behind this SURGE!

Some authors leave life and writing, from time to time, and spend a moody evening in a bar and say things like, “The usual.”

Eddie Edgar Allan being an example.

“The usual.”

The Girl, according to Hugh Paxton’s Blog, isn’t being usual at all! She’s being dynamic! A bit sexually involved with her writing and that’s not one to read as a bed time story to my beloved 10 year old daughter, Annabel. So I won’t. Mrs. Tiggy Winkle knocks her dead.

But my review is that The Girl is really making an effort. Not just at writing, but spreading the idea of writing and, although I’m a rather conservative Englishman who throws a crappy book out of the window after a forty minutes test run read – Mekong, splash, Gulf of Thailand, splash, hideous building site, thunk! – I really think the Girl has a spark! I don’t often see it!

I would urge everybody to watch her writing career. I’m not sure if I’d pay tickets for the movie if it was a family sort of excursion. With pop corn. But really, The Girl has, in my opinion long and exciting roads to walk and go.

Love from Bangkok

(fatalities down, nice street fights but I brought the bread back home and nobody shot me in the head! A good result! I put my immunity down to my winning smile and everybody fighting somewhere else.)

Cheers from Thailand! Kill …It’s important to remain calm…

…The Red Shirtss!


From: TheReporterandTheGirlMINUSTheSuperMan! []
Sent: Sunday, February 02, 2014 10:28 PM
Subject: [New post] The Reporter and the Girl: MINUS the Superman Book Review!

TheGirl posted: "I stumbled onto her blog and saw she wrote a review!"

Respond to this post by replying above this line

New post on TheReporterandTheGirlMINUSTheSuperMan!


The Reporter and the Girl: MINUS the Superman Book Review!

by TheGirl

92f77f86d8b1d6fd638df871b8ccf317?s=32&d=monsterid&r=XReblogged from Ches’s Weekly Book Review!:

Click to visit the original post

Hi guys another book review from me! This novel was sent to me by the author herself.

You can check her and the novel out at her site:

Like her page on facebook:

Follow her on twitter: @reporterandgirl

So here’s the review! 😀

P.S. This is for mature audiences. (Like seriously)



Welcome to the rabbit hole…

Read more… 416 more words

I stumbled onto her blog and saw she wrote a review!

TheGirl | February 2, 2014 at 10:27 am | Categories: Uncategorized | URL:

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New Post from Anilbalan’s Ghost Cities: The secret that will shake the world

August 11, 2013

Hugh Paxton’s Blog welcomes as always a new post from Anilbalan’s Ghost Cities blog. The secret that will shake the world. How’s that for a tag? Read on!

From: Ghost Cities []
Sent: Sunday, August 11, 2013 8:02 AM

New post on Ghost Cities


The secret that will shake the world

by anilbalan

‘The secret that will shake the world’ is the tagline to Simon Toyne’s 2011 novel Sanctus, itself part one of the Sancti trilogy. The plot outline immediately places it firmly in Dan Brown-holy-conspiracy-territory. A monk throws himself to his death from the oldest inhabited place on the face of the earth, a mountainous citadel in the historic (but fictional) Turkish city of Ruin. This act, witnessed by the entire world thanks to the marvels of modern media, causes the cowled and mysterious fanatics within the citadel to take extreme measures to protect a millenia-old secret. The Sancti, as this ancient monastic order are called, are the custodians of one of the greatest secrets (some would say cover-ups) in human history – one which, if it ever got out, would change everything, for everyone, everywhere. This intriguing set-up, coupled with a suitably ominous cover, is what probably attracted most people to Sanctus (which topped the bestseller lists when it was published) in the first place. It certainly worked on me, despite my somewhat disappointing experiences with similar sub-Dan Brown fare like the Templar Legacy, The Sacred Scroll and The Atlantis Code. The question is, was Sanctus just more of the same?

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anilbalan | August 11, 2013 at 2:00 am | Tags: Sancti Trilogy, Sanctus, Simon Toyne | Categories: Book, Legend, Mythology, Review, Unexplained Mystery | URL:

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Good Books, Good Writing Good ideas: Pendergast meets Slappy, the ventriloquist dummy

April 25, 2013

Hugh Paxton’s Blog loves good books and in my opinion Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child are a must. A sleepless night, a lengthy railway journey, five minutes waiting for an Indian bureaucrat to issue a visa (then ten more hours to finish the book while he does the seven day tourist welcome to India paperwork).

No matter the bullshine, the location, the crummy plastic chairs, the flight delays, if I’ve got one of their books in my lap and (perfect world a gin and tonic within reach plus nibbles) I could happily survive an Air Sudan Flight. I have only flown with them once and they have only caught fire once while I was flying with them. I wouldn’t like to imply that they were a health hazard. Local colour.

But screw Air Sudan. This isn’t a crappy Islamic Airline review.

Books. That’s what I’m talking about.

Preston and Child get it right repeatedly.

Good books, complex, clever, lots of scents and flavours – when the characters are in a desert the authors take you there, you smell the plants, the zing of ozone of an impending storm. When the bad guys are bad they are very very bad. But not all the time.

History, literacy, mystery, hi-tech, spectacular cuisine, anasazi monsters, MR James, the books rush you along and before you know it you are in a luxurious trans-Atlantic cruise ship plagued by murders and an anti-Buddha, or your are in a laboratory deep beneath a desert where all the researchers are going insane. Just a few examples there.

The point of this post is that these two men have managed to write the books together. Two authors. One book.

I tried this with my brother, Charles, and the result was The Cunning Man. Now re-christened Tragus Rootboone. It was great fun in the writing and involved plenty of give and take, beer, long rambling, inventive nights and the end product was in my view a gem. Not yet on the NYT bestseller list. Next time we get together we will work on a flab free diet and instant riches publication.

Charlie and I worked on our co-authored novel (although it was always his – he had most of the ideas) and the book worked.

Where Preston and Child break boundaries is they keep doing it. Again and again.

Two men, creative men, men with an instinct for the intriguing and bizarre, and the ‘damn it, I’ll be up in a minute, I just want to finish this chapter’ factor that keeps them guaranteed to disrupt marriages and keep me awake thumbing through different worlds and philosophies and techniques. I’m not sure what Freud would have made of it but their psychoanalysis of a tyrannosaurs is convincing. Not couch material. Freud wouldn’t have a couch large enough and the hypothetical guest would have lacked any memory. Just an urge for lunch.

Quite a long preamble. What’s the point of this post? Basically it is about getting two writers together to get something together.

Here we go on their latest project. Personally, myself and co-author can’t wait to see what happens.

Over to them. Both of them. Preston and Child.

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Greetings to our valued friends and readers–This is Doug Preston writing to you. I wanted first to tell you about an amazing project Linc and I completed with the writer R.L. Stine. Then I’d like to let you know about a Kindle Single I’ve written, which has just been published for 99 cents.

R.L. Stine, Linc and I have written a story for a new anthology tentatively called Faceoff. In this anthology, pairs of authors are banding together to “face off” their major characters in a short story. Dennis Lehane will be writing a story with Michael Connelly, Sandra Brown with Heather Graham, Lee Child with Joseph Finder, Steve Berry with James Rollins, among other pairings.

In our own story, called GASLIGHTED, our respective characters come face to face: Special Agent Pendergast meets Slappy, the ventriloquist dummy. And this story is most definitely not for children—it should be noted that in addition to his unbelievably successful Goosebumps series, R.L. Stine also writes terrifying novels for adults, the most recent being RED RAIN.

As a special preview for our newsletter subscribers only, we wanted to give you the opening to this creepy story. Here it is:


There was a tap-tapping sound. That was all. Was it a clock? No: it was too loud, too irregular. Was it the creaking of an old house? The ticking of a radiator?

The man listened to the sound. Gradually he became aware of certain things—or rather, the absence of things. The absence of light. Of sensation. Of a name

The anthology will be published about 18 months from now. We’ll be sure to let you know the date as soon as it is fixed.

* * *

And now, I have just published a Kindle Single. It is called:

Trial By Fury

Internet Savagery and the Amanda Knox Case

The Amanda Knox murder case generated one of the most vicious outpourings of commentary the Internet has ever seen. There are blogs calling for the murder, hanging, and electrocution of Amanda, along with her family, friends, and supporters.


In Trial By Fury I explore this dark netherworld, identifying the people involved and investigating their motives. It is an ugly story, not recommended for the squeamish. I was drawn into the Knox case by accident. Giuliano Mignini, the chief prosecutor in the case, was also the prosecutor in the Monster of Florence case, the infamous serial killer who terrorized young lovers in the Tuscan Hills, which I wrote about.

You can buy Trial By Fury here for $0.99.

Even if you don’t have a Kindle, you can still read it by downloading a free Kindle Reader program here for your PC, Mac, iPad, or phone. With this fantastic free app, you can read Kindle books or singles on just about any platform.

If you get a chance to read Trial By Fury, let me know what you think.

All best,

Doug Preston

P.O Box 162 | Convent Station, NJ 07961 AFThis email was sent to paxton.bkk. To ensure that you continue receiving our emails, please add us to your address book or safe list.

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New post on Anibalan’s Ghost Cities Blog: The Picture of Oscar Wilde

April 7, 2013

Hugh Paxton’s Blog has just received yet another fascinating post from Anibalan, author of the excellent Ghost Cities Blog.

New post on Ghost Cities


The Picture of Oscar Wilde

by anilbalan

"All art is useless" – so says the author’s 1891 preface to The Picture of Dorian Gray (sometimes referred to, wrongly, as The Portrait of Dorian Gray), the only published novel by Oscar Wilde. This darkly sardonic, Faustian-themed novel very much reflects the interests and personality of its author. Ever the aesthete, Wilde was himself profoundly affected by beauty and lived and dressed in a manner which, compared to the Victorian styles and mores of the time, was regarded as flamboyant. As such, he was often publicly caricatured and the target of much moral outrage in Europe and America. His writings (including Dorian Gray, with its homoerotic themes) also brought much controversy for him. He was nonetheless part of the ever-growing movement of ‘decadents’ who advocated pacifism, social reform and libertarianism. While many vilified him, he was making his mark with style and wit and enjoyed much success with many of his plays. Wilde was also lauded by and acquainted with many influential figures of the day, including fellow playwright George Bernard Shaw, American poets Walt Whitman and Henry Wadsworth Longfellow and English author and social critic John Ruskin. In Dorian Gray the titular hero, realising that his beauty will one day fade, expresses a desire to sell his soul to ensure that his portrait ages while he does not. Dorian’s wish is fulfilled, plunging him into debauched acts. The portrait serves both as a reminder of the effect each act has upon his soul, with each sin displayed as a disfigurement or ageing of his form, and as a warning to all that no amount of outer beauty can make up for the darkness within.

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anilbalan | April 7, 2013 at 2:00 am | Tags: Dorian Gray, Oscar Wilde | Categories: Art, Book, Horror, Writer | URL:

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Thai Days/Bali Days: The Hotel K

January 15, 2013

Hugh Paxton’s Blog has reviewed a number of books describing life in Bangkok’s prisons – all pretty harrowing.

The latest ghastly account of doing Asia time focuses on “Hotel K”, Kerobokan, not in Thailand, but in Bali.

Unlike the other books I’ve bought, read and reviewed, Hotel K is not written by a former inmate but by Kathryn Bonella, an Australian journalist who rose to prominence covering the sad story of her fellow countrywoman, Schapelle Corby, a beauty school student caught with 4.2 kg of marijuana stashed in her boogie board bag.

Schapelle’s physical beauty, her frailty, her professions of innocence, and the “excruciating shock on her face as the judge sentenced her to twenty years” captivated Australia. The trial was broadcast live on Australian TV networks, public opinion was split – did she, didn’t she do it – and Schapelle left the world of beauty school and boogie boards and entered the darkness and entropy of Hotel K.

Kathryn moved to Bali to write Schapelle’s story and it appeared in No More Tomorrows, a book that did very well indeed. Kathryn then returned to Indonesia to write a broader book on the prison (and other prisons in Indonesia) and the prisoners and people who inhabit them.

A lot of research – a lot – and the picture painted is not one of Bali Hai.

Her dedication isn’t to Mum, or all the people who made this book possible. It is dedicated to people who might help her write a sequel.


“This book is dedicated to anyone travelling to the tropical paradise of Bali.

Be careful. It could be a holiday you never forget. Even one ecstasy pill could cost you tens of thousands of dollars and a stint in the hellhole Hotel Kerobakan.”

Check Kathryn’s website.

Her sales team are earning their pay. There’s a lot of “buy this book, buy this book” stuff, and I found the check sexy scenes link a bit tawdry.

But if you are going to Bali, and are weighing the pros and cons of bringing in a bit of extra-special duty free, maybe you should follow her advice and buy this book.

Hotel K is depicted as money driven. The corruption and bribery make life easy for some – days out on the beach, flat screen TVs, eye-opening reductions in sentences should the right judge get the right amount etc. but if you are poor it won’t work like that.

Nothing in Hotel K seems to work like anything, come to think of it. The prisoners have a tennis court. They have a garden. They can get stoned, remission, a death sentence, a toilet that looks like a gateway to Hell’s sewer system, they can import prostitutes for sex nights on the prison lawns or in smelly cells with reeking blankets, they can snap group photos.

My take on this book is that it’s a serious piece of work and Kathryn deals squarely with some horrors/farces/injustices.

But she’s only seen them, she hasn’t lived them.

The books born in Bhang Khwang are birthed from those who have had years, many years, to suck the milk of degradation and struggle.

If you do get busted for drug smuggling it’s probably better to be busted in Bali. Not Bangkok. Nothing described in Hotel K comes close to what goes on. Or went on, in Bang Khwang.

Best option, as suggested by me?

Don’t go to Bali and don’t go to Bangkok to go to prison.

Be good! Have fun!


Why Editors suck and how to Screw Up a Book about Maps.

January 12, 2013

Hugh Paxton’s Blog has worked with hundreds of editors, designers, writers, lay-out experts, and people drenched in the business of printing, publishing  and ink. Some have been great, some remain great, but a significant proportion have displayed stupidity, indifference and unorthodox mental activity that has been difficult to comprehend.

To take one example – let’s wind the magic clock and rush back through time to an office in Tokyo and a man named Ueki.

We had handed this man the best of our photographs covering 80 countries. More, actually.

Ueki chose to take the opportunity to give us paternal guidance on the importance of keeping our photos safe.

While he did so, he fiddled with a sharp pencil and then to make his point he jammed his pencil through a photo of a killer whale off Vancouver Island.

He hadn’t done this on purpose. He just did it by accident. While asserting his importance and trying to make us feel intimidated and less superior to himself.

My wife and I looked at our killer whale and we thought different things. Most of them, I’m sure, involved killing Ueki. With his pencil.

Up his arse? Through his eyeball? Jammed into ears (right and left), thrust into that soft bit of skull known as the temple… Ueki sat facing two people who wanted to kill him as painfully as possible.

He suggested that maybe he could fix it.

He then stared at the killer whale image – impeccably punctured – and looked like George Bush at his best. A perplexed moron.

He then lost all of our photos.

All of them!

There were thousands.

I haven’t followed Ueki’s career.

I hope he has scrotum cancer and a witch of a wife who makes his life a perpetual misery.

But, overall, He, Ueki, has faded into semi-oblivion. He lives on as an occasional character in my Blog, an example  of indifferent stupidity, and a good reason not to give photographs that are not sent electronically.

If the recipient wants to destroy your images, he’ll be destroying his own computer.

BLOG ED NOTE:  Maps? Any plan to actually mention maps?

Hugh: Yes. I love maps.  And so does author Simon Garfield!

BLOG ED QUERY: The name rings a bell. Was he the chap who wrote a book about the colour mauve? And that book called Just My Type

Hugh: Yes that was a really good bit of work. Anything involving type writers, fonts, words and whatnot. A good read for any writer. I haven’t met Mauve. I’m not sure I’ll try. But it sounds fun in its way.

BLOG ED NOTE: Mauve has always seemed a strange word and I’m not sure how to pronounce it. How do you pronounce it?

Hugh: He’s written a book about it. Buy it, read, learn and become wise.

BLOG ED ADVISORY: Get on with it! Maps!

Hugh: OK, and fair is fair. Simon Garfield is a gifted writer and has an inquisitive mind.

His new book doesn’t deal with mauve, fonts – it has a crack at maps and all the wonders associated with maps, discovery, the meticulous, the inaccurate, the decorative, the practical, the helpful, – maps!

And, sadly, a long history of people making maps extremely hard to read for other people.

Here’s a review. It might serve as a guide.

“On The Map is full of little conversation pieces. But this book is diminished by the way it has been produced, with an alluringly tinted antique map of Africa on its cover and nothing but smudgy grey illustrations inside.”

Review by Janet Maslin  

Was Ueki involved in this fiasco?

Unlikely. Totally unlikely. But if he could have been involved, he would have been involved. The title of choice? I reckon Ueki would have gone for “Off the Map” then set fire to everything on his desk while explaining about the dangers of setting fire to desks.

Hugh Paxton’s Blog wants to buy Simon Garfield’s book with maps in it!

And when that happens, I’ll be content!

Anibalan’s Ghost Cities: New blog post The Ghosts of Sleath

December 16, 2012

Hugh Paxton’s Blog presents the latest offering from Anibalan’s Ghost Cities blog. I’d have to say that Haunted the movie adaptation of Herbert’s book of the same name remains one of my favourite ghost films.

New post on Ghost Cities


The Ghosts of Sleath

by anilbalan

Just as Stephen King is regarded as the best and most popular living American horror writer, James Herbert is arguably the finest living British author in the horror genre. A contemporary of King’s, Herbert also made his debut at around the same time – the mid-seventies – with his horror novel Rats. A chilling disaster novel featuring giant, man-eating rats, Herbert’s first book is very different from many of the later books which cemented his reputation at the forefront of supernatural fiction. Today, he is better known for supernatural scares rather than the science fiction horror of Rats and his other early novels, The Fog, Lair and Domain. The Survivor and Shrine, for example, are ghost stories, whilst in Haunted Herbert introduced the psychic investigator and ghost hunter David Ash, who was later to reappear in The Ghosts of Sleath. Other novels by Herbert could almost be classed as straight thrillers, with few traditional horror elements. Books that can be included in this category are The City, Sepulchre and Spear, all of which include conspiracy theories or unsolved mysteries at their heart. All of this demonstrates that Herbert, like King, is actually a hugely versatile as well as talented writer, not restricted by genre labels. Another thing that Herbert has in common with King, as the recent BBC adaptation of his novel The Secret of Crickley Hall shows, is that he is fast becoming the darling of film and TV.

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anilbalan | December 16, 2012 at 2:00 am | Tags: David Ash, Ghosts of Sleath, James Herbert, Secret of Crickley Hall | Categories: Book, Horror, Supernatural fiction, Writer | URL:

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December 14, 2012

Hugh Paxton’s Blog is delighted to establish a new link – written and produced by author, PJ Hodge. Some great stories here – ideal for a dark Christmas night, a crackling fire and a flask of mulled wine. The graphics and photos are first rate. Like Anibalan, author of our linked Ghost Cities blog, Hodge gets this so right! A pleasure to read and it comes with a rarely bestowed Hugh Paxton blog five star rating. Check it out. You’ll not be wasting your time!

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