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One of Our Thursdays is Missing by Jasper Fforde

Way Station by Clifford D. Simak

Time Out of Joint (Roc S.) by Philip K. Dick

The Sky Road: A Fall Revolution Novel by Ken MacLeod

The Shadow at the Bottom of the World by Thomas Ligotti

Mother Night by Kurt Vonnegut

The Haunting of Hill House (Penguin Modern Classics) by Shirley Jackson

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Member: pgmcc

CollectionsReference (126), Birmingham (72), On-hold (16), Valuable (65), Signed (23), Hated (3), Work (52), Read (403), Your library (197), Currently reading (10), To read (1,010), Read but unowned (29), Favorites (33), All collections (1,688)

Reviews135 reviews

TagsUnread (999), Read (390), Science Fiction (246), Horror (193), Anthology (114), Short Stories (89), Work (78), History (67), Ghosts (55), Science (37) — see all tags

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Recommendations15 recommendations

About me

My reviews:
My reviews are primarily for myself. I used to review for magazines, but now it's very much for myself.

Some of my reviews can get quite long and I make no apologies for that. If a review is long it means the book generated a reaction in me and I wanted to write about it.

If you read one of my reviews and feel you want to discuss the book concerned, feel free to drop me a comment on my profile page.

visited 18 states (8%)
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About my libraryMy library has accrued over approximately forty years. The majority of the books are in my study and only a few, listed as, "Read but un-owned", are no longer in my possession.

Umberto Eco stated (and I paraphrase) that the value of a mine is in the un-mined ore, and that the value of a library is in the unread books, i.e. the unmined knowledge. On that basis my library is very valuable.

As with many LTers I tend to buy books at a rate that exceeds my reading capacity. I do not feel any shame in this, only an ever growing hole in my pocket.

You will find a wide range of subject matter in my books with high numbers of books in the horror and science fiction genres.

GroupsAstronomy & Astrophysics, Book Care and Repair, Daphne du Maurier fans, Fans of Russian authors, Final Frontier - Spaceflight, Geology, Ghost Stories, Past and Present, Gothic Literature, Horror Book Club, Irish Librarythingersshow all groups

Favorite authorsRobert Aickman, Iain Banks, Kevin Barry, George A. Birmingham, Wu Ming, Philip K. Dick, Umberto Eco, Stefan Grabiński, Ursula K. Le Guin, Nick Harkaway, Robert Kee, Thomas Ligotti, Ken MacLeod, Guy de Maupassant, Daphne du Maurier, Ian McDonald, Haruki Murakami, Audrey Niffenegger, Iain Pears, Arturo Pérez-Reverte, Tim Powers, Erin Pringle, Dan Simmons, Scarlett Thomas (Shared favorites)

VenuesFavorites | Visited

Favorite bookstoresThe Loft Bookshop

Other favoritesPhoenix Convention (P-Con)


Also onLiveJournal, Twitter

Membership LibraryThing Early Reviewers/Member Giveaway

Real namePeter


Account typepublic, lifetime

URLs /profile/pgmcc (profile)
/catalog/pgmcc (library)

Member sinceApr 2, 2006

Currently readingA Study in Scarlet (Wordsworth Classics) by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
The Planets by Dava Sobel
Diary of a Nobody (Wordsworth Classics) by George Grossmith
The Illustrated Gormenghast Trilogy by Mervyn Peake
Benedict Kavanagh by George A. Birmingham
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Leave a comment


Based on your profile pic, I thought you might find this worth a look:
Have fun. I still remember starting this book before my Europe trip in 2013, reading part of it in Europe, and finishing it back in Canada. These two have me as a permanent fan. I can't wait to find the next translation into English or French.
Great review of the Dublin Noir book. You've inspired me to plan a speed-walk from Dublin to Lucan. And when I take it I shall greet everyone I encounter along the way with 'top o' the mornin' '.
Is that The Thirty Nine Steps Buchan?
Hi Peter,

I thought it was you...

If I were to guess I'd say one of the Mountbattens?
L O Peter,

I agree, a nice cup of tea would do her good.

You look very smart in your uniform.
If you haven't already, wanted to be sure you knew about the organised read of the Culture novels:

It's prompted me to order 2 titles I haven't read. Won't read every title, but I'll follow the threads. My memory's spotty enough I'm not too concerned with spoilers.

Thank you for that review. You have captured the essence of the book precisely!

I'm in discussion with another publisher about my proposal for a book on European minor railways, though I get the feeling he wants something a bit more enthusiast-oriented. We'll see.

I've not read all the Banks I have listed: two of his "literary" novels, and perhaps three of his Culture novels. While I've enjoyed the former, I admit I'm enamoured of his SF. Partly due to other reading interests, and partly because I'm doling out the various Culture installments so they'll last, it'll be awhile before I get through them. Sad that he passed so soon.

And no worries, I've definitely enjoyed your reviews. I find most worthwhile those written primarily for the author, and yours are no exception.

Thanks for your kind comments. I'm afraid that sales so far haven't encouraged Ian Allan to talk seriously about the next book in the series (though I have apparently sold more copies than Nick Ross of 'Crimewatch' fame!). The main problem I'd have with books about wider travels is that they would generally lack the same personal involvement with the subject matter.

Furthermore, the editor who I first pitched the series to has now left the company, and the new editor - whilst a perfectly nice chap - has commented that the format is a bit close to their existing "Lost Lines" series, and that if it had been down to him, they would probably have taken the packaging and production a bit further upmarket.

Still, it's out there and I'm pleased you're enjoying it. And the experience may well stand me in good stead for one particular iron that I've got in the fire - fingers crossed....
Hah - I like "Umberto Eco stated ... that the value of a library is in the unread books, i.e. the unmined knowledge. On that basis my library is very valuable."

I see we have two books I really enjoyed on our 'shared books' list - Bunker 13 and Burley Cross Postbox Theft (not Barker's greatest, but a fun read). Have you mined those yet?
Sorry, spelling mistake in the comment below.
Should be Les Papesses.
Here is the link to the book, which I just added to my collections.
There were 2 other members with this book when I added it to my collection.
When you mentioned a book called Mysterium, that made me curious. I checked it out and discovered that it is a Monaldi and Sorti book that goes back to when Atto was a young man, in contrast to him being an old man in Imprimatur, Secretum and Veritas. From what I can tell so for, Mysterium is published in Italian and in German. Perhaps a French or English translations may be in the works. However, given the length of these books, I would understand if it takes a while to publish translations in the two languages that I can read. When I was in Avignon this summer I went to le palais de papes. There was an exhibition of works from 5 artists called les appeases. Here is a link:
I bought a large book while there with reproductions of paintings and photographs of some of the sculptures.
I had no expectations of seeing an exhibit of art works when I got up that morning, but the effect of the art works I saw that day was quite unsettling but beautiful. I had no idea that Paul Claudel had a sister who had been a patient confined to a mental hospital for very many years.
Peter: I dipped into Wyrd Sisters' first chapter last night and found it *very* funny. I think I need something a little frivolous at the moment and it tickled me no end. (And I never mind if people leave messages on my page -- that is, unless the person is a filthy self-promoting spammer selling ninja blenders that spew bad 19th century poetry at inappropriate times while mixing banana-avocado smoothies. But I know you're not one of those.) Take care. ;>)

OK Peter You should be onto the CP site. Please let me know "bothways".

Does the 39 steps relate to the Hitchcock film? I also checked out your 'minor fetish", on Google, couldn't find anything interesting. Sorry, if I close this page to go to Gooogle, I will probably loose this post!

Hi Peter, again, I forgot to ask in my post.
Who is the charcter in your profile page?
I recon he look so much like the "Duke of Edenberg" Bugger can't seem to spell that name.
You know, the Queens husband. I suspect it is his father? A royal prince of greece? A relative of Mountbatten?

Trivia I know, but it's bugging me now.
Dear Peter,

Thank you for your kind comments, although I haven't ever written a review about a book or Film, on LT at least.

I think my Colonel Pewter 'hobby' could accurately be described as a fetish.

The hundreds of hours research and electronically 'cleaning' the scanned strips (would you believe up to an hour on just one strip?) definitely puts me in the NUT CASE mob.

If you are interested, I can add you to our members list (all 35 or so of us) and you can then read all 50+ adventures. All I need is a valid email address. And a password you would like to use. I didn't want a password system but the copyright holders (Arthur Horners daughters) did. Just send me by a private PM here. Remember though the P/W is tied to that email address.


PS.I think I have signed up 4 LT members to view all my CP site. And though I have been a bit moribund re. the site for the last 1.5 years, we recently had a contact, from a local (in Melbourne) who has some other work Horner did. Hopefully I can add that to the site.

Any suggestions re. the site are always welcome!

Thanks for your message. The book could easily have been twice as thick, and indeed I actually dropped two chapters when I realised I was getting close to the deadline. Even then, I had to cut the book back to come in under the publisher's word and picture counts. So there's enough material for 'The Midlands - 2' and possibly even a 'Midlands - 3: the best of the rest", and that's before I address the other areas I have pictures of - the North West, the North East, Eastern England, the South-West, Home Counties North (to use the old 'Come Dancing' terminology!) and North Wales. You may have noticed very few pictures of trains in the book, partly because I deliberately excluded all but the most unusual or photogenic ones; so I may try adding into the series a volume of engine and rolling stock pictures which I'd want to all "The Rail Blue Years".

And although my editor has poured cold water on my wish to write a book on European minor railways, I might try to pitch a final volume along the lines of "The Lost Railway - Found in Europe"...

Thanks for your message, and I hope you enjoy 'The Lost Railway'. I've now got a meeting scheduled with my editor for early September to discuss next steps, so watch out for more news!

I can't say that I can put a face to the name, though 'James Bacon' rings faint bells. I'm not as active within the SF community as I used to be; indeed, I was just saying to the other half tonight that there are such a lot of people I don't know at conventions and the like these days, writers as well as fans. Then again, I may well know him by sight. Over the years, I've got quite used to people knowing me more than I know them, just because I do take a slightly higher profile than others....
Hi--may I consult you on an expression I don't understand? I've just read Michael Innes's Lament for a Maker. A major character is several times described as "near-going." From the context I surmised that it might mean "miserly," but I haven't been able to find a source to corroborate that. Are you acquainted with the expression?
Nice, Avignon, possibly Orange. From August 1-9 in Vaison-la-romaine for the Choralies choral festival. After that I'm heading north gradually ending up in Berlin.
Picked up my prepaid special order of Veritas (in French.) It's shaped just like a brick. But I might save it for when I go to France on July 25. Before I leave I'm working on The Weimar Republic by Erich Eyck. Because I'm also going to be going through Germany.
Did you pick up on the tongue-in-cheek aspects of Russell? His stories can be read as very nearly satire. Glad you gave it a read! I'm particularly fond of the three shortest pieces... I have a review on here somewhere...
Yeah, when you sent this message I got it via an I thought all responses were delivered in this manner. I will go check out the group messages. Thanks. Also thanks for the info about the GR import. Hmm, will the books I have already registered at LT and are also at GR be then duplicated? Probably. I am also worried about the fact that book and author links in my GR reviews do not work in the same way so many reviews may be distorted. that is why I am carefully considering if an import will work. I DO appreciate you advice.

Thanks a whole lot!

THAT one I have not gotten around to! I read a lot! I don't know if it is possible to move over everything from GR. There I have over 3000 books and about 900 reviews. It feels rather hopeless.

I want to thank you for directing me to the instruction place. At least now I know how to do the links properly. I have left some question in groups but never get replies. Will I get an email, like the one I just got from you, when someone has answered ..... or should I go back to the group. Slowly I will master this! :0)

I vehemently dislike it when anyone tries to sell me something, so I ought to fit in just fine here at LT. I know that many use the site more for cataloging rather than talking, but I want to use it for more. I want to talk about books, and I want to get ideas for books to read. I am often the oddball, and I suppose this is partially due to my living experiences. I have seen very clearly, having lived in different countries, that historical events change the whole mentality of the people living there. Swedes, Belgians, French (and they can be split into many groups too) and Americans exhibit fascinating differences. I love living in Europe, given this diversity.

I see you are in Ireland. BTW, what do you think of Colum McCann's writing? Have you read "Songdogs". Is there anyway to add a link to that book here in this text? If you haven't read it I recommend you check it out! I also enjoy Alexandra Fuller's writing. My question defining good writing was partially rhetorical. It cannot be defined b/c it all depends on one's own experiences. It is a matter of fitting a book to the correct reader. I agreed with all the points you made. I do want a non-fiction book to move me just as much as one of fiction. Some writers can do this. I am currently reading "Truman" by McCullough, not that I am all that interested in American presidents, although his role at the end of WW2 is fascinating, but I enjoy learning about people......maybe so I can better understand myself?! McCullough is a great writer in this aspect! I am pretty bad at talking and talking myself!

Thanks you for accepting my friendship and for allowing me to ask you some questions. I will check out the group you recommended. Discussions should always be polite, but while some shy away from debate, I love it! I myself do NOT have all the answers and am curious to understand how others think.

Bye for now Pete, and I hope we will be discussing books in the future.


Thank you for friending me, Peter! I changed my profile a bit... May I borrow the line, "If you read one of my reviews and feel you want to discuss the book concerned, feel free to drop me a comment on my profile page." for my profile too? Talking about books is almost as good as reading them!
Peter(pgmcc), I do feel rather lost.... I would like to request friendship since I saw that you write long reviews AND that you write them for yourself. I am the same. I like many genre but mostly biographies, memoirs and quite simply good literature. How do you define good writing? Now that is a question. I have only one review so far! I will build up a new site here slowly. Can you suggest good groups or anything important to know. I am sort of fumbling my way through this.

Thank you.
Update. I went to the megastore and prepaid Veritas in French. I have waited over a year , but no sign of an English translation.
Happy new year. And many happy pages of reading too.
Glad to see the update. It's getting very tempting to reread Imprimatur and Secretum while I wait for Veritas to come through in English. I can't see it any more in French on Amazon or on
Thanks for the update, Peter. I think I'll be content to wait for The Hydrogen Sonata until my name comes up for it at PBS.
Happy Halloween to you too!!
I wonder what the chronology would be for the other 4 books that you mention. As I recall the main character was in his late teens in Imprimatur and in Secretum he had married and had two little kids. I can't remember if he said it was 10 or 12 years later. I guess I should go back and check. Plus there are the other historical events that could give me an accurate figure for the time interval between the books, such as the seige of Vienna, and the passing away of various popes and the election of their successors.
I have no idea yet what year(s) Veritas takes place in.
Be that as it may, the reason I'm bringing it up is that I wonder if the other books will keep the same characters and a strictly chronological sequence between books. The old former opera singer, now cleric, is far older than his mystery-solving comrade.
But I don't have to worry about anything because Monaldi and Sorti can monitor all and sort it all out.
Bulletin: I moved in July 2011. After I settled in, yes I did break open all the boxes of books. But instead of putting them away, I bought more books and did nothing but read some more. But for the last month or so I forced myself to restore some order. In the old house I had all harcovers alphabetical by author regardless of language, fiction/non-fiction, genre or epoch. But I am doing a category sort now:
Because of shelving size I have a hardcover department, a paperback department and an oversize department.
But I am dividing within book size into the following categories:
-Suspense, thrillers and spy novels
-Mystery and crime solving.
-Classic from Antiquity up to the modern period
-Short stories and novellas
-Essay collections
-Critical monographs
-Interviews of literary figures
-About book publishing, selling, collecting and libraries
-About language
-Biographies of authors
-Schools of literary criticism
-History of individual countries, including military, political, sociological and cultural
-Atlases and maps
-Picture books

Anyway, why am I telling you this? Because before I moved the supposedly alphabetical system in the old house was completely eroded into near chaos from book buying and no sorting or proper putting away. I just shopped and read all the time.
BUT NOW: This is the first time Imprimatur and Secretum have ever been beside each other on the shelf at the same time.
Quite a few other authors for whom I have tried to read and collect the whole oeuvre as much as possible have also finally been rounded up together.
Examples (no particular ranking in the following order (it's how I'm remembering them one by one):
Margaret Atwood
John Irving
Margaret Lawrence
Hermann Melville
Henry James
William Shakespeare
Graham Greene
Fyodor Dostoyevsky
John le Carre
Len Deighton
T. C. Boyle
Salman Rushdie
Mordecai Richler
Matt Cohen
Robertson Davies
Timothy Findley
and a few others that I have half-collections of because I have taken a lot of theirs out from the library, or they wrote a ton of books, or I simply haven't read that many of them yet, or a combination of all of the above:
Gunther Grass
Joyce Carol Oates
Stephen King
Peter Straub

Sorry for going on and on. It's interesting to me, but I have no idea if it is interesting to anybody else. For sure I know that it has only minimal interest for my family. Please comment or not, and delete rapidly or slowy from your profile, as you please.
DO read [Perdido Street Station], please. *City* is not my favorite Miéville.
I had to come for a look at the man who never bites his tongue and always says, "Is they?"
You are a man after my own heart.
So --- how is The Hydrogen Sonata? I'll have to wait for it, and I have other Culture novels unread, but it is on my list! So is The Feast of the Goat.
Well met!
I don't know exactly what your tastes in books are. I loved the first two books and eagerly await the translation of the third part of the trilogy into English. (Or I might break down and fork out whatever it costs to get Veritas in French on Amazon or abebooks.) I would be interested to read your review or your comments on Imprimatur or Secretum at any time.
One important Italian book that has been on my TBR pile for a long time is the Autobiography of Benvenuto Cellini. It's long and in a very small print Pelican edition. I have read next to no Italian texts from the Renaissance period, and I see this as my great chance to catch up.
Thank you, I will have to check out Perfume and 54. Regardless of what physicists and those responsible for technological development based on physics may or may not have been able to come with up to this point, time travel is definitely possible. I know it is true every time read one of these books, and I enjoy travelling in this mode as frequently as possible.
The Name of the Rose is my favourite Umberto Eco, followed very closely by The Prague Cemetery. But to be fair, I should go back to read Foucault's Pendulum and Baudolino, as I read those a very long time ago and too quickly. Books like Q set my mind racing back about 500 years to wonder what it would have been like to live in a much less technologically-oriented era. Mind you, the relatively recent invention of the printing press was quite a hot topic at that time. Have you read or considered the trilogy of books by Monaldi and Sorti of which Imprimatur and Secretum have been translated into English, but as far as I know the final one, Veritas has yet to be issued in English?
I love your reference to Umberto Eco. Whenever a family member asks me why I have so many unread books, I will tell them that the value of a mine is in the un-mined ore. That will help them to understand. Plus I have started an effort to reread some of the books that I read for the first time 20 to 25 years ago. Needless to say, I had forgotten quite a bit of a lot of the books. Yet, on the other hand, there were parts of some books, e.g. Nostromo, that seemed as fresh in my mind as 25 years ago.
You are all too, too kind!
That was a 'blast from the past'! Although the title rang a bell I couldn't remember a thing about the book until I looked up our conversation and found that after reading the first couple of pages I'd decided it wasn't going to be my kind of thing. Now you've got me wondering if I should give it another try. Since my big goal this year is to TRY and read more than I buy maybe I should just keep it in the back of my mind for a while. Thanks for the reminder though.
Hello Peter,

I appreciate your comments. The big map and flags are not of places I have been, but simply those places I've had visitors from to my LT page. I can only wish to visit most of those places. I envy Europeans because there are so many place relatively nearby.

I agree completely with your completest comments. Everytime I get one book from a set, I become borderline obsessive until I complete the set.

Happy holidays to you as well.

I noticed your comment about receiving The Gormenghast Trilogy. Did you know that there is a fourth book? You probably do, but just in case it's Titus Awakes completed by Peake's widow, Maeve Gilmore.
Hey Peter,

Sorry I've been 'missing' for so long. I've been insanely busy, but I haven't forgotten you. I'm working on a response to your thoughtful message.

Right now I can tell you one thing: I'm familiar with Cecelia Ahern. I read her PS: I love you a while back, and rather liked it. I had no idea who he was, so no, her popularity has nothing to do with who her father is, I dare say.

I'll be back,


I'm still in awe at your latest message. Color me amazed. =)

I'll imitate your wisdom and ask for a little break to mull over your recommendations.

I'll be back,

The Termina-- uh, that is, Girl from Shangri-la
Absolutely, take your time to regroup after that ambush of comments! =)

Looking forward to hearing back from you,


I trust you will give that red dot the treatment it justly deserves. And oh yes, you owe me a great and terrible debt! You could pay it all off with one or two book recommendations, though. Anything will do, as long as it’s fiction; I’m always on the lookout for potential new favorites. =)

Good to know you enjoyed Gabo’s One Hundred Years of Solitude. Excellent analysis, too! I’ve lived in tiny Latin American villages, too, and believe me when I say Gabo wasn’t very far off in his depictions. Not even about the endless rain.

Oh my, other South American authors I consider interesting? Okay, ready your notepad. ;-) Really, it depends on your taste. I like the beautifully macabre stories by Horacio Quiroga and José Rafael Pocaterra. They make my hair stand on end, while keeping the narrative interesting and using a rich, beautifully flowing vocabulary so yummy I can almost taste it. I know Quiroga’s work has been translated, but I have never come across a story by Pocaterra in English. Maybe you could ask your librarian?

But in keeping with GGM’s magical realism, you have authors such as the Mexican Juan Rulfo, and the Chilean-Venezuelan-American Isabel Allende. They’re not my cup of tea, so to speak, but maybe you’d enjoy them? Mario Vargas Llosa has become very popular of late; you should give him a chance. (He’s in my Wishlist, so I can’t tell you first-hand how good or bad he is.)

Do you like poetry? For there are so many South American poets worth the try! One of my favorites is Mario Benedetti. His full name alone is interesting: he was called Mario Orlando Hardy Hamlet Brenno Benedetti. You can tell he was born to write. =) Pablo Neruda has been translated many times, too. He’s tremendously popular in the continent. I highly recommend the recently deceased Jorge Luis Borges as well. Beautiful, beautiful, beautiful!

There are other Spanish-speaking poets I love, such as the Spaniard Antonio Machado, the Nicaraguan Claribel Alegría, and the citizen-of-the-world Juan Ramón Jiménez.

You also have the multifaceted Juan Rulfo (more in tune with GGM), my fellow countrymen Miguel Otero Silva and Rómulo Gallegos, and the existencialist Ernesto Sábato, although very little of their work has been published in the language of Shakespeare, as far as I know.

If you’d like to hear more, go ahead and ask: I’ll send the bill later. ;-)

Best wishes from the home of the Angel Falls, the longest aerial tramway system in the world, and the three-times Guinness-certified ice cream parlor with more flavors in existence (but please, don’t try the onion flavor. Nor the black beans one; those are disgusting),

Girl from Shangri-la
Hey, look! Is that a red dot I see in the South American region of your map? ;-)

Thanks for the interesting libraries add!

Have a great day,

Girl from Shangri-la
Ha! I had just posted the link on the CotA - I am on the the FOAM mailing list. Thanks, Peter!

- Malcolm
Thank you very much, Peter.
Thanks, I added it to me wish list.

Dune has an underlying theme that I liked. Hardship makes people stronger. That is putting it very, very simply but that idea is there. I just wish Herbert could write.
Hi Peter,

Thank you. I'm just getting the hang of it but it's a great site. So many books to read!

Hello Peter,

A while ago you asked me whether I knew Voynovich's "Перемещенное лицо" would be translated into English soon. Actually, I haven't been able to find any information about a possible translation of this third part of Chonkin's adventures.

You're in Ireland I noticed you posh thing with two colour ribbon! Where in Ireland? I lived for about 10 months near Cork (Bandon, near Inniskeane to be exact) on a dairy farm. Travelled a little, but mostly stayed local. Had a great time.
Congrats on completing the Aickman collection. I've found his stuff tricky (or at least expensive) to track down, but hopefully more is coming back into print.

I'm always pleased that somebody finds my library interesting.

Hope you like the Grabinski.

Hi Peter,

There are a number of reasons why I consider Wisconsin the "strangest state". In fact, I was a contributing author to the book STRANGE WISCONSIN by Linda Godfrey. Wisconsin is to North America what Transylvania is to Europe. Two of the nation's most famous cannibals, Ed Gein and Jeffery Dahmer, were both from Wisconsin. We are also somewhat famous for on-going sightings of a werewolf-like creature, dubbed the Beast of Bray Road, going back nearly 80 years. There is so much odd stuff in this state that many books have been written about it: the aforementioned STRANGE WISCONSIN, WEIRD WISCONSIN, ODDBALL WISCONSIN, THE W-FILES, UFO WISCONSION, HAUNTED WISCONSIN, the list goes on and on.

The people are generally nice though!


Thanks for letting me know. I am sure it was exciting.
Hi Peter,

Peter wrote: Speaking of coincidences, my daughter's boyfriend is from Wisconsin; but there the coincidence ends. He's from Stephen's Point.

Ah yes.. Stevens Point; I've given lectures there many times (presentations on the paranormal). Nice little town. In my opinion, Wisconsin is the strangest of all the states -- that's why I like it.

Peter wrote: I note that we share a number of Ligotti, Aickman, Lumley and Onion books.

I noted that was well. All great stuff. I'm a HUGE fan of Ligotti in particular, hence my LT screen name.


Hi Peter,

Believe it or not, it's pure coincidence that both Brian Showers and I are from Madison. I didn't realize we were from the same city (at least origionally for him) until after I had ordered The Bleeding Horse and read his bio. Small world. Naturally, once I found out, I emailed him. He was just as amused as I. I told him if he ever comes back to visit we'll have to go out for pints.

I have The Old Knowledge & Other Strange Tales ordered, but it has yet to arrive. Soon I hope! I add books to LT when I order/purchase them, rather than when they are in my hands. It's the only way I can keep track of them all.

Nice to meet you too.


Nice chatting to you about reading and book selection. Where in Ireland do you live? I've been there twice, both times on my own, about 15 years ago. The first time I stayed a week in Dublin, drove across to Galway, and then spent another week exploring the Dingle Peninsula. The second time I spent another week in Dublin, then drove across and north and spent a week in County Sligo, staying in a small hotel in Mullaghmore. Both times were splendid. Best, Jerry
There are no spoilers in my review - it simply comments on my having a rare unsigned copy!
Sorry about that - I really must restrain myself sometimes. It all started when someone else on the group posted to the effect that they were waiting for the mailman to bring them 'The Temporal Void' and that just set me off...
Sounds like you had a nice Paris visit even with the unexpected adventure on the return. Yes, the lilly pads are in the oval room. The entire museum was closed for a couple years for renovation. Now it's reopened and everyone says it's great. I gotta revisit the place someday myself...All Zee Best, TCW
Forgot to mention where "We the People" came from--it was written at a period when governments throughout the world claimed to rule by "Divine Right." There are some governments that still make this claim today. Anyway, part of the "revolutionary" nature of the US Constitution was that at the very beginning of the document, with those three simple words, the origin of the government's legitimacy is made clear. AZB, TCW
Hello Peter, many thanks for your kind words. Note that you already have a reference to Volney and Ruins of Empires in your library right now. See Chapter 13 of Shelley's Frankenstein. Hope you enjoy your trip to Paris and don't forget to see the Lilly Pads in the basement of the Orangerie Museum (Place de la Concorde)!

Thank you so much for taking a chance on The Book. I'm sure you won't regret it. I look forward to hearing your thoughts!

Hi pgmcc,

Thanks for your interest and for sharing your quote with me! It definitely does have an interesting message to it. I always enjoy reading new quotes. My book(s) can be found in a few different places. Here are the main two:



Please let me know if you do wind up getting a copy and reading it. I would love to know what you think!
Michael Clifford
Thank you very much. I don't expect anyone to agree with everything I say... if they did, the world would be quite boring. I do try to put helpful information into my reviews. I will regularly be adding new and often some of my older reviews to LibraryThing because I enjoy reading, enjoy writing reviews and am happy when something I wrote proves helpful to someone.
Don't get too excited about The Last Dickens. I finished it last night and though it wasn't the worst book I've ever read it was very ho-hum. It covers a lot of the same ground as Drood but not nearly so well. I don't know what has happened since The Dante Club because I really wouldn't have recognised this as having been by the same author. The call of the 'big bucks' maybe?
I actually made a start on The Last Dickens last night and it's going okay though nowhere near such a good book as Drood. It's a long time since I read The Dante Club and I seem to recall it being quite deep and complicated but this one certainly isn't - to the extent that I'm now wondering whether I've remembered that other one correctly at all or just got it mixed up with something else. It's a quick, easy read though and it will certainly pass a couple of evenings.

I wish I could agree with Eco but I feel guilty about my 300+ unread books. I buy books to read, not just to stack on the shelves but I'm simply out of control and really need to learn to slow down and not go around grabbing armfuls of books as if they were loaves of bread and I was expecting to be locked in a cupboard for a month. I'd certainly agree with that consensus on Drood though. Don't they say there are only 19, 16, 14 (the number always seems to change) plots in the world and the rest is all about how they are tackled? I would go further and say there are very few plots that Shakespeare didn't cover and everything since then has been rehashing (well, maybe I wouldn't put it quite that strongly but I'm sure you know what I mean).

By the way, I don't know whether I'd realised you are in Dublin but I'm quite envious now. It's a place I plan to visit and have always wanted to go there. (Don't panic - that's not my way of inviting myself to stay with you for a month). All my life I've felt an urge to go to Ireland and, let's face it, it's not that far, I just haven't got round to it yet. I will though.
Just wanted to mention that in another ill-advised book-buying flurry yesterday I picked up a copy of 'The Last Dickens' by Matthew Pearl (more murders connected with the MS of Drood) - isn't it funny how these things seem to come out in batches? Don't know whether you've tried this one yet but it looks interesting in a very different way and I do quite enjoy his books so I thought you might be interested.
Hi! Hope you haven't been waiting too long for a reply - I've had a very sick computer.
Yes, I really rather enjoyed Drood. I had no trouble with getting bored halfway through, which might have happened with another book. I must admit I wouldn't rely on it for biographical details and I was a little disappointed with the cop-out ending (and it was all a dream . . . . ) but what I really loved were some of the descriptions of the sheer foulness of Victorian London. I'm a big fan of the Victorians and I can't count how many books I've read that include descriptions of the overflowing sewers, the bodies floating down the Thames, the Great Stink etc but I can't remember any before (even Dickens's own) that have made me feel quite so desperate to grab a hanky to quietly urge behind. Because I read a lot of Victorian history too, I have to be very careful I don't suddenly start quoting bits of novels I have read as fact, before realising I've got fiction and non-fiction mixed up, but I do my best to separate the two and I'm a great believer in trying to enjoy fiction simply for its own sake and not be too disappointed if the two don't exactly 'match up'. Most importantly, Drood has given me a definite urge to get back to the real thing and I'm itching to dig out my unread Dickenses and Wilkie Collinses and that can't be a bad thing. Thank you for giving me the push to finally get round to this one!
Thanks for the link! I had wondered how you were doing; well, I presume. I wouldn't mind reading that priest's biography myself; it's a pity it's only 200 some odd characters. The Neolithic house in Tel Aviv is interesting, though I'd be more excited to see a Natufian one.
I'm glad that you found Chonkin again, it is one of those books that you read & think why on earth is everyone not reading this ?
Thank you for letting me know about your review, Peter. I've had a rather cursory look at it but had to miss out quite a bit for fear of spoiling the surprises. I'm in the middle of The Mystery of Edwin Drood right now, prior to taking on the Simmons book. It was to be my next read until another parcel arrived this morning with lots of exciting stuff! I'm definitely looking forward to it though. I'm a big fan of Wilkie Collins and, although there are a couple of his I have yet to read, The Woman in White and The Moonstone are both much-loved favourites so I think I shall be safe to go ahead with this one once I finish the Dickens. Thanks for your input.

Was wondering if you'd be interested in reviewing my new novel and posting your comments here as well as a few other book-related sites. Saw you liked The Wasp Factory, and I thought you might like my novel since it's also about a disturbed adolescent and a bit dark. I could e-mail you the novel in an e-book format if you'd like. Let me know if you're interested. Here's a link to a summary in case you're interested:


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