Saturday, 1 August 2015

Lobsters and Landmines by Glen Johnson

Lobster Theodore:
Jim, his girlfriend the chain smoking Tracy and her fat son Theodore; a tantrum prone child.
Jim disagrees with the ADHD diagnosis recently bestowed upon Theodore, he prefers to think of him as just an obnoxious child, but then Jim has very set feelings about child rearing!

His day job is as a lobster boat man and he is struggling with his “familys” wants and his lack of buyers, thankfully he has Tracy’s benefit money to keep the business afloat.

Even the rest of his street are demanding of him, poor Jim, but then he does something that makes the lobsters happy!

GJ is a master at making characters appear real and with huge histories within moments of you reading about them, love or hate them you are involved in their lives.

Little Prick:
Jasmine is wasting away and watching her mother care for her 24/7 also waste away. She has all manner of skin and internal ailments all brought on by one deadly disease, HIV, but she has a plan.

Her story is heart-breaking but the plan she and her doting mother have hatched to end all their suffering is a poetic one.

I really enjoyed the ending, but it had so much sadness in this story I had to “walk” away from the book for a few weeks.

Man’s Best Friend:
Lennie is revolting individual that left the Army less of a human, if that’s possible, than when he went in thanks to an IED.

Now living in Thailand he is able to keep slave women, pigs and dogs with a side-line of child kidnapping into the bargain. The pigs and dogs are sold for meat the women fair much worse.

Whilst Lennie is living the life those around him are not, but Karma is a Bitch, literally as it turns out for Lennie.

I was sad to learn of the landmines that still pepper this beautiful country still causing death and destruction so long after the war.

GJ does such a wonderful job of describing the land and areas of beauty.

Towers of Fear:
Kerrie has lost her best friend and possibly her reason to live. 

She continues to relive the day that planes crashed into the Twin Towers destroying so many lives and changing the way we all now live our lives.

Whilst most of us will remember what we were doing, where we were, who we were with and some, many, more who we lost, seeing this close up personal view was very harrowing. Not all horror is gore, some if just pure fear.

Best for the Job:
Jenny is an air hostess with the mostess! Tall, beautiful and blonde she has fallen in love with Luciano and followed him to his native Brazil, again such beautiful descriptions of country and people by GJ.

But being a kept woman is not her idea of fun and there are only so many museums you can visit. So she sets off to find another job and lands a perfect role in a small new company doing charter flights.

She is aware of the bad safety record of flights in and around Brazil and takes care to ensure all her passengers are aware of the onboard safety instructions, not that it really matters in what is about to happen to them all.   Eeeeeewwww!

The Last Cake:
Grace is off to her final days work as a midwife and tomorrow she plans to bake her final award winning cake, she just needs to gather a few final secret ingredients.
Just revolting, but also very funny.

Don is a doomsday prepper and not just any old scenario he is prepared for everything! From economic collapse to volcanic eruptions he has it all planned for, or does he?

He has a daily routine of wandering his complex with its multidue of hidey holes, animals, windmills and plant growing sets ups. In his bunker at night he inventories his food and ammo leaving nothing to chance.

When the earth starts to shake he knows something has happened and goes into lockdown mode. His lack of compassion for animals and even his 14 year old companion dog made what occurs next make me smile. That lovely Karma again, plus can you really plan for everything?

I did a little giggle/snort when we find out what the rumbles and earth shakes were.

Nosey Parker:
Tim has survived his two days training at the new computer care job despite his over fussy mum and very cold ex-army father.

His new company uses a super computer that analyses chemicals to such a degree that no animal testing is required – perfect.

Perfect is also what Tim’s job is; go to work, pursue your hobbies, surf online, read books, eat free food, sleep or whatever you want – just don’t ask questions and get paid lots of money.

But Tim is a Nosey Parker and soon discovers first-hand what the company are actually upto.

Personally I loved the whole set and am filling in an application form!

Nicholas hates flying, he is also missing his sons football games, hugging his daughter and after a nasty fight with his much loved wife he is feeling guilty too.

A distraction at the cockpit soon distracts him. Such a sad ending, another 9/11 little glimpse.

I found the whole book more sad than horror, and overall,  whilst there were some humorous moments they were overshadowed by the sad bits, plus the odd missing letter/or misspelling and this is not GJ best work - a relook would do it some favours BUT he is still an amazing author with some serious skills!