Ratty (blinger) wrote in 50bookchallenge,

Books 37 & 38 - 2012

Book 37: Delete this at your peril: The Bob Servant Emails by Neil Forsyth – 210 pages

Description from bookdepository.co.uk:
This is an hilarious collection of email exchanges starring the anti-hero of spam, Bob Servant, now republished with previously unreleased material. Spam is the plague of the electronic age, comprising 90% of all emails sent and conning over GBP150m a year from British victims. Into this wave of corruption steps the brave figure of Bob Servant - a former window cleaner and cheeseburger magnate with a love of wine, women and song as well as a keen sense of fair play. This wickedly funny and original book features the anarchic exchanges between Bob and the hapless spam merchants. As they offer Bob lost African millions, Russian brides and get-rich-quick scams he responds by generously offering some outlandish schemes of his own. The spammers may have breached his firewall, but they have met their match as Bob Servant rises heroically to the challenge, and sows confusion in his wake.

My Dad leant me this book after having read it himself. ‘Bob’ gets sent a spam email. Rather than deleting it like everyone else, ‘Bob’ decides to respond. So begins the first of a series of exchanges with Nigerian princes, Russian brides, and various other internet con artists. And ‘Bob’ doesn’t disappoint. He drags these internet menaces through all sorts of pain: fights with the postman and his best mate, disagreements at the pubs, delays getting to the postman, all sorts of elaborate stories made up to drag out these email exchanges and to drive the Nigerian princes of the world mad. He gets a number of very angry replies from some of these email con artists before they all eventually give up. The persistence of both the con artists and ‘Bob’ is truly hilarious. ‘Bob’ is a warrior for our times. A great fun little read giving us all the chance to see the internet bad guys get their comeuppance.

37 / 50 books. 74% done!

10608 / 15000 pages. 71% done!

Book 38: Psyche in a Dress by Francesca Lia Block – 116 pages

Description from bookdepository.co.uk:
But this is what I could not give up: I could not give up myself. Psyche has known Love--scented with jasmine and tasting of fresh oranges. Yet he is fleeting and fragile, lost to her too quickly. Punished by self-doubt, Psyche yearns to be transformed, like the beautiful and brutal figures in the myths her lover once spoke of. Attempting to uncover beauty in the darkness, she is challenged, tested, and changed by the gods and demons who tempt her. Her faith must be found again, for if she is to love, she must never look back.

I love the Greek myths, and the story of Psyche is one of my particular favourites, because I borrowed elements of it (and the name Psyche) for one of my characters in my own novel series. Having said that, this is a very odd book. It is a modern retelling of sorts of the myth of Psyche and Eros, but its done in such a whimsical and altogether confusing fashion that I got rather lost. I’m sure to the right reader, this style of writing is wonderful. To me, it just doesn’t gel. I like my books more explicit. I like hidden meanings only so much as they are decipherable without hours of deliberation. I like reflections on the world and its people but maybe I’ve lived a different kind of life and some reflections just don’t make sense to me. I like philosophy and philosophical meanderings, but I also like explosions, if you know what I mean. A very good retelling of the myth for the right kind of reader – just not me.

38 / 50 books. 76% done!

10724 / 15000 pages. 71% done!

Currently reading:
-        American Gods by Neil Gaiman – 588 pages
-        Mortal Remains by Kathy Reichs – 306 pages
-        A Series of Unfortunate Events: Books the Eighth: The Hostile Hospital by Lemony Snicket – 255 pages

And coming up:
-        The Second Chronicles of Thomas Covenant: Volume 3: White Gold Wielder by Stephen Donaldson – 500 pages
-        The Odyssey by Homer – 324 pages
-        One for the Money by Janet Evanovich – 290 pages
Tags: internet, myth and legend

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