boom reviews - Gironimo! by Tim Moore Gironimo! Riding the Very Terrible 1914 Tour of Italy by Tim Moore: People do peculiar things in the name of sport. Take the 2014 Giro d’Italia, for example (to the as-yet-uninitiated, the Giro is an annual stage cycling race held primarily in Italy that’s been running since 1909) which kicked off in Northern Ireland in May. Whilst some were simply content to dye some sheep the same shade of pink as the race leader’s jersey, others – well, Tim Moore to be precise – felt compelled to cycle the route of the toughest Giro in history to mark the centenary of that hellish race. Gironimo! charts his journey, from nascent crackpot idea to exhausting fruition. [***READ MORE***]
boom book reviews - Apocalypse Now Now by Charlie Human Apocalypse Now Now by Charlie Human: Baxter is 16 years old and a student at Westridge in Cape Town, South Africa. He isn't one of the regular grunts of the school: he is head of the Spiders, one of the key gangs that run the school. Their specialty is supplying the whole spectrum of porn to the impressionable minds of Westridge. One of his biggest concerns is attempting to merge with another gang, but all these matters go out of the window when his girlfriend Esme disappears without a word. Although troubling, it wouldn’t be anywhere near as worrying if it wasn't for the fact that a serial killer known as the Mountain Killer - who has already claimed twelve lives to date - is on the loose. It doesn't take him long to come to the conclusion that it's highly unlikely that he will find Esme on his own so he teams up with Jackie Ronin, who sells his services as a herbalist and supernatural bounty hunter. It's at this point that things start to get a little strange. Well, really strange. [***READ MORE***]
boom book reviews - The First Book of Calamity Leek by Paula Lichtarowicz The First Book of Calamity Leek by Paula Lichtarowicz: Some people believe that giant lizards secretly run the world. Others (admittedly fictional) believe that the universe was sneezed out of the nose of the Great Green Arkleseizure. In this clever, compelling tale, Calamity Leek and her sisters believe that they are the Mother Goddess’ army in the impending war against Demonmales, who would otherwise drag them all down into the bowels of hell and eventually smash through the sky lid and take over heaven. [***READ MORE***]
boom book reviews - Being Keith by Keith Lemon Being Keith by Keith Lemon: It seems almost ironic to say that Leigh Francis is the poor man's Sacha Baron Cohen, but there's a ring of truth to it. Cohen has not only found big screen success with his small screen comic creations Ali G, Borat and Bruno, but is now smooching with the likes of Martin Scorsese in Americaland, where he appeared in the director's Hugo. Meanwhile, Francis is squeezing all he can out of his Keith Lemon character, as he still appears on ITV2 making fun of Holly Willoughby's breasts and Fern Cotton's nostrils on their 'quiz' Celebrity Juice week after week. This year in particular has seen Francis really pushing Lemon, including starring in his first film Keith Lemon The Film as well writing this book Being Keith. These last two in particular prove that Francis has clearly overindulged with his Lemon character, spreading the concept – as well as the joke – so thin that there's actually nothing left to see anymore. [***READ MORE***]
boom book reviews - Ash by James Herbert Ash by James Herbert: For a number of years only two names really stood out as the mainstream kings of the horror genre – Stephen King and James Herbert. Despite the fact that both men are now well into their sixties, they're still going strong. Recently King returned with his novel 11.22.63 and now Herbert is back with this, his 23rd novel, and his first novel in six years. Up in a secluded spot in the highlands, lies an impressive castle: Comraich. It's like the world's most expensive hotel, but the difference being that once a guest checks in, they never leave. Now that's exclusivity for you. [***READ MORE***]
boom reviews - Who Is Tom Ditto? by Danny Wallace Who Is Tom Ditto? by Danny Wallace: The most common piece of advice usually aimed at writers is write what you know. Danny Wallace, telly & radio presenter and all-round good egg, has taken this saying and run with it all the way for his second novel. Tom Adoyo chairs the breakfast news segments on the radio station Talk London. On returning home after a shift, he discovers that his girlfriend has left him. Not necessarily forever, but definitely for now. After reading her leaving note, which was strangely cryptic, Tom believes that there's more to her leaving than meets the eye. He decides to do a little digging here, a little probing there, with his findings leading him to a Holiday Inn Express in Wandsworth. [***READ MORE***]
boom book reviews - Bedsit Disco Queen by Tracey Thorn Bedsit Disco Queen by Tracey Thorn: There's a certain kudos about being in a band. Not so much that bunch that string along a number of covers in your local on a Friday night, who strangely sound better with increasing alcohol consumption. The kind that cut a record, get played on the radio and get to tour the world. But not every band that makes it has the same kind of success as U2. The music industry is littered with those that had a brief fling with success and the fame that comes with it. Tracey Thorn is a name that won't instantly been known – unless you were a die-hard fan of her particular brand of eighties pop with Everything but the Girl – but you will recognise her distinctive vocals. [***READ MORE***]
boom book reviews - Is It Just Me? by Miranda Hart Is It Just Me? by Miranda Hart: When Miranda Hart tripped over the nation’s funnybone and fell face-first onto our TV screens in her eponymous situation comedy back in 2009, taller, accident -prone, socially awkward thirty-something ladies across the land breathed a happy sigh of relief; it was suddenly ok to be that way. Filling the comedy gap between the second and third series of the show, Miranda Hart has written her first book, Is it just me?. But is it just us, or is it not really all that? [***READ MORE***]
boom book reviews - The Casual Vacancy by JK Rowling The Casual Vacancy by JK Rowling: In 1996 no-one knew who Joanne Rowling was. At that time she had gone through a divorce, had no job and was bringing up a child on her own. Then in 1997 she published her first book, Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone, and everything changed. With Potter and his pals finally put to one side, J.K. Rowling has written her first novel for adults. This means no Potter, Hogwarts or Voldemort. In fact the goings-on in Pagford couldn't be further away from her world of wizardry. Pagford is a town with a vocal community. This is proved by the sudden death of Barry Fairbrother, a member of the Parish Council. Of course his passing is greeted with shock and sadness, but it also stirs the pot as to who should succeed his place on the council. [***READ MORE***]
boom book reviews - Charlotte Street by Danny Wallace Charlotte Street by Danny Wallace: Some people would be satisfied with starting up their very own country, but not Danny Wallace. Not only has he set up his Kingdom of Lovely – which occupied the space of his East London flat – he's also created a cult, played a character in the Assassin's Creed game franchise, has made a couple of Horizon documentaries – one about the intelligence of chimps, the other about robots – and is currently getting up disgustingly early to front the breakfast show on London's XFM. He's nothing if eclectic in his choice of projects. And although writing a novel, by comparison, looks a little dull (particularly one that apparently he wrote without the help of either chimp or robot), Wallace has managed this feat with his usual entertaining gusto. [***READ MORE***]