A Blog About Books, History n’ Stuff

Mini-Review Round-Up: World War 2 on the Eastern Front

Another round of mini-reviews, this time of some books I’ve recently read on the Eastern Front of World War II as part of research for the upcoming sequels to Sparrow Squadron.

I managed to avoid an 0-fer June. For July I’ll try not to cut it so close. My blogging is still sparse thanks to the research and work I’m doing for a pair of sequels. So why not kill two birds with one stone? Here are mini-reviews of four books that I’ve read on the Eastern Front of World War II. For some other book recommendations on the subject, please check out my list of memoirs of the Eastern Front.

You may also get a hint as to what’s to come in the next installment of Aelita’s War.


Screen to Screen: High-Rise

The film adaptation of J.G. Ballard’s classic satire loses the plot, literally.

I have been slogging through one hell of a blogging slump. So I was lucky that a recent family outing to The Incredibles 2 inspired me with its retro-futurist look, a vision of modernity that takes its cues from 1950s sci-fi. It brought to mind another retro-futurist movie I caught up with recently: High-Rise, Ben Wheatley’s 2015 film based on the J.G. Ballard novel of the same name.

Pixar’s animated movie uses a joyful, colourful palette to set the tone for it’s superhero adventure. Meanwhile, High-Rise‘s vision of the future originates from the 1970s, when the book was written. It utilizes the concrete slabs of brutalist architecture to express its themes.

The reason I’m fixating on the look of High-Rise is because there’s not much substance to it. Most of the book’s story elements and pointed commentary on classism and capitalism have been stripped away. It’s left a film that’s a delightful sensory experience, but not much else.


Mini-Review Round-Up: SFF Corner

It’s time for a break from the history stuff with some mini-reviews of science fiction and fantasy

This site usually focuses on history, historical fiction, or writing historical fiction. I’ve been writing the sequel to my first novel, so I’ve had to immerse myself in World War II history. Writing fantasy stories and reading fantasy and science fiction offer a welcome break. Here are some mini-reviews of SFF books I’ve recently finished.


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