What are you reading right now?

An ex-Scotland Yard officer also wrote some very good books on the subject, Donald Rumbelow.
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I used Jack the Ripper as an example of comapative case analysis methodology to some people I was mentoring. Nearly got one to throw up talking about the crime scenes.

Little wins in life!
 

Auld-Yin

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I used Jack the Ripper as an example of comapative case analysis methodology to some people I was mentoring. Nearly got one to throw up talking about the crime scenes.

Little wins in life!
Nearly? Not good enough - must try harder.
 
Having finished Operation HERRICK by 'Sallust', and in search of a change of pace, I have started this:

weird-scenes-inside-the-canyon.jpg


Synopsis:
The very strange but nevertheless true story of the dark underbelly of a 1960s hippie utopia. Laurel Canyon in the 1960s and early 1970s was a magical place where a dizzying array of musical artists congregated to create much of the music that provided the soundtrack to those turbulent times. Members of bands like the Byrds, the Doors, Buffalo Springfield, the Monkees, the Beach Boys, the Turtles, the Eagles, the Flying Burrito Brothers, Frank Zappa and the Mothers of Invention, Steppenwolf, CSN, Three Dog Night and Love, along with such singer/songwriters as Joni Mitchell, Judy Collins, James Taylor and Carole King, lived together and jammed together in the bucolic community nestled in the Hollywood Hills. But there was a dark side to that scene as well. Many didn’t make it out alive, and many of those deaths remain shrouded in mystery to this day. Far more integrated into the scene than most would like to admit was a guy by the name of Charles Manson, along with his murderous entourage. Also floating about the periphery were various political operatives, up-and-coming politicians and intelligence personnel – the same sort of people who gave birth to many of the rock stars populating the canyon. And all the canyon’s colorful characters – rock stars, hippies, murderers and politicos – happily coexisted alongside a covert military installation.

I am only a few pages in, but something is screaming Bollocks. Indeed, having looked for some reviews, I find this:

It’s actually despicable how fast and loose Mr McGowen plays with the facts. By continually doing so in the book, he tries to hypnotize you into his conspiratorial thinking. He looks at the facts and events, sees them through his own biases and reads into them with virtually no evidence for what he’s suggesting. He sees conspiracy in all of the deaths, when in many cases there is nothing to suggest it, like when he implies that the man importing rare animals from South America is doing so as as a front for intelligence gathering, when there is nothing at all to suggest this whatsoever. The book is a classic example of reading into events with out firsthand interviews or supporting evidence. Is his thesis therefore totally wrong? No, there may be some truth but his method is without rigour and lacks integrity. Especially if he’s wrong, then he is downright slandering these celebrities. Sadly, the huge amount of positive reviews indicates a demographic of readers who never were taught critical thinking!!
I'll persist with it, but only because I like to finish what I start.
 
Is it possible the author is not 'playing fast and loose with the facts', but is/was simply so off their tits on good gear that they are incapable of writing properly?

it is what I look for in my Hippie Utopia?
 
Is it possible the author is not 'playing fast and loose with the facts', but is/was simply so off their tits on good gear that they are incapable of writing properly?

it is what I look for in my Hippie Utopia?
Could be - it would account for the paranoia about the 'military/intelligence complex.
 
Just finished "The Mosquito Coast" by Paul Theroux. I plan on watching the movie now.

Bit of a sobering wake up call as I've been ready to buy some cheap land out the back of Bourke and try to build a self sufficient home due to getting pissed off with the way Sydney is heading at the moment.

EDIT: The urge to piss off out into the bush is growing stronger now that the NSW government just announced "not exactly a lockdown restrictions" thanks to their half-arsed handling off the latest COVID outbreak. Masks must be worn indoors now at any place except for home for a week now from 4PM today (in an hour and a quarter). And that includes my office.

The continuing stupidity of the people in charge makes me want to go live in a cave somewhere and fling shit at any human that comes wandering past.
 
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"Reading" is pushing it but I am enjoying a manga version of Romeo and Juliet.

Not so much abridged as gutted but it looks pretty and having Yakuza as the warring families is cool.
 
An interesting perspective on Jack The Ripper is:

The Five: The Untold Lives of the Women Killed by Jack the Ripper - Book by Hallie Rubenhold


Description

87% liked this book
The Five: The Untold Lives of the Women Killed by Jack the Ripper is a book by British historian Hallie Rubenhold, published by Doubleday in 2019. The book examines the lives of the "canonical five", the five women largely believed to have been killed by Jack the Ripper in the Whitechapel murders.

I don't think anyone else has ever looked at the JTR story from the victims point of view.

Well worth a read for an excellent insight into Victorian Britain. The amount of data collected by the British state over the last 200 years is phenomenal.
 
An interesting perspective on Jack The Ripper is:

The Five: The Untold Lives of the Women Killed by Jack the Ripper - Book by Hallie Rubenhold


Description

87% liked this book

The Five: The Untold Lives of the Women Killed by Jack the Ripper is a book by British historian Hallie Rubenhold, published by Doubleday in 2019. The book examines the lives of the "canonical five", the five women largely believed to have been killed by Jack the Ripper in the Whitechapel murders.

I don't think anyone else has ever looked at the JTR story from the victims point of view.

Well worth a read for an excellent insight into Victorian Britain. The amount of data collected by the British state over the last 200 years is phenomenal.

That is a really really good book.

I get a bit sad that we have forgotten in this "industry" that these were brutal sexually motiviated homicides. People had their lives taken and it's become a guessing game.
 
That is a really really good book.

I get a bit sad that we have forgotten in this "industry" that these were brutal sexually motiviated homicides. People had their lives taken and it's become a guessing game.

Interesting use of "industry" there.

It is an industry, one based on salacious and lurid accounts of violent sexual crime. All pretty distasteful really.

Rubenhold doesn't even mention the murders or the gory details thereof. She focuses on how the women got to the stage where they were prey for JTR and how society didn't really give a sh1t about them.
 
Interesting use of "industry" there.

It is an industry, one based on salacious and lurid accounts of violent sexual crime. All pretty distasteful really.

Rubenhold doesn't even mention the murders or the gory details thereof. She focuses on how the women got to the stage where they were prey for JTR and how society didn't really give a sh1t about them.

The Jack the Ripper Museum on Cable Street sold children sized t-shirts when I stuck my head in one night walking past.

I did have a WTF moment.

You're so right. We ignore how such women through personal and societal issues ended up in the place where they could be murdered so easily.
 
Fans of Fatherland/SS-GB/Dominion alt-hist novels might like this:

Widowland - Novel by C.J. Carey


Image of book page. Click to open preview.
Description​

Description

'READING THIS TERRIFIC, ORWELLIAN NOVEL YOU ALMOST HOLD YOUR BREATH' Bel MooneyAn alternative history with a strong feminist twist, perfect for fans of Robert Harris' Fatherland.

She hasn't exactly plagiarised Harris but it is probably fair to say that they have been drinking from the same well.
 
I've finished Timothy Hallinan's Incinerator and very good it was.

I have started this:

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Synopsis:
The fourth book in the bestselling Dan 'Spider' Shepherd series.
Dan 'Spider' Shepherd is used to putting his life on the line. It goes with the turf when you're an undercover cop.
Now working for the Serious Organised Crime Agency, Shepherd is pitting his wits against the toughest criminals in the country. But when the man who once saved his life is kidnapped in the badlands of Iraq, thrown into a basement and threatened with execution, Shepherd has to decide whether his loyalties lie with his country, his career, or his friend.
Shepherd and his former SAS colleagues realise that the hostage has been abandoned by the Government and that officially nothing is being done to rescue him. And with the execution deadline only days away, Shepherd knows that the only way to stop his friend being murdered is to put himself in the firing line in the most dangerous city in the world - Baghdad.

Standard stuff then!
 

CharleyBourne

Old-Salt
Just read "Mortar Gunner on the Eastern Front Volume 1" which is the memoir of Dr Hans Rehfeldt wwho fought with the GrossDeutschland Division from 1941 onwards. Very good, in diary form with lots of rare photographs of life in the unit and picked up from "The Works" for about £8 instead of the usual £25. Also got "Blood Red Snow" by Gunter K. Koschorrek - again an Eastern Front memoirfor £5 instead of £15. Well worth popping in if you have one local or going on their website. Loads of deals and even have a loyalty scheme. Quite often you get extra cashback through Quidco or Topcashback. I think it was 12% last time I purchased from them online.

Best reads ever.....

James Barlow "The Patriots" 1960 - about two Arnhem veterans who carry out a wages snatch. I think its out of print but there are copies on ebay etc.

Geoffrey Household "Rogue Male" 1939 about one man's plot to assassinate an unnamed European dictator. Fantastic story twice made into films - "Man Hunt" 1941 and the BBC film "Rogue Male" 1976 starring Peter O'Toole. It says on Wikipedia that the book infuenced David Morrell's "First Blood".

John Drake's series of prequels to "Treasure Island" were approached with trepidation but are actually very good, filling in a lot of the unanswered questions raised by the original such as where did Silver come from and who was Flint. Oddly enough the first one is called "Flint and Silver". British writer who meticuously researched the original, writes very well and produced three novels taht compliment the original.

Off thread, then if you haven't seen it then the film "Treasure Island" 1950 starring Bobby Driscoll and the superb Robert Newton is one not to miss. A favourite of my son and I over lockdown.
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CharleyBourne

Old-Salt
Before I forget, if not already aware then "Post Script" which is a monthly book catalogue is well worth subscribing to. Huge range of books, heavily discounted, usually an excellent military/history section, cheap postage and no minimum order. Online but I prefer the paper catalogue which arrives about now each month.
 
Before I forget, if not already aware then "Post Script" which is a monthly book catalogue is well worth subscribing to. Huge range of books, heavily discounted, usually an excellent military/history section, cheap postage and no minimum order. Online but I prefer the paper catalogue which arrives about now each month.
You absolute rotter.

I didn't know about 'Post Script' (and had never considered using The Works on-line as another place to buy my books from).

You have just probably dealt the final, financial death knell of my marriage due to my insane OCD of buying books!
 

Chop

Clanker
Malaysian Spymaster - Memoirs of a Rubber Planter, bandit fighter and spy. by Boris Hembry

Enjoyed this immensely. Covers his arrival at 19yrs old in malaya in the1930s. The Invasion by the Japanese. his escape. HI time with V Force and an alternative Force 136.

I admit i may find it more interesting than others due to living in the area! however having read The jungle is Neutral and In a Company of Planters - i found this the best as it covers Pre war / war / and The emergency years. A

a good read!

Edited after a rethink: Was Freddie Spencer Chapman of Force 136 effective in any way at all? He lost his radio and equipment and team quite early on. was out of contact for over a year. was ill for most of this time . Got better, got captured, escaped and left Malaya.... in terms of sabotage/gorilla warfare, seems not that effective. and arguably didnt tie up any significant Japanese forces looking for him.

However i intend to re read The Jungle is neutral, as i last read it 10 years ago. perhaps my opinion will change.
 
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Andy Farman

On ROPS
On ROPs
'Star: A Novel' by Pamela Anderson.

I think I first saw this via pre-publication hype in 2003, along with its own wiki page, and I am pretty certain it was purporting to be an expose written in novel form to protect Anderson from being sued, or worse. (advertising long since vanished along with the wiki page). However, there is a quote before the acknowledgements page, one paraphrasing a line from Carly Simon's song, "You're so vain, you probably think this book is about you." that lends weight to the original 'expose' line.

The last non-military autobiography I read was David Jason's 'My Life', ten years ago (and an excellent read!), so this is a different side of the entertainment business and not something I thought would be a riveting read, and it isn't,

Written in 2004 before the fading fame ushered in the 'anti-porn stance/claims of victimhood/#metoo/animal rights/save the planet etc etc etc that keep her appearance fees from drying up completely. (sorry to sound cynical but that second career as an 'activist' has become a well trodden path that only begins once gravity has taken ownership of those buttocks ). No mention of the lesbian babysitter molesting her character, nor the gangbang at 14 instigated by an earlier boyfriend, although there is a rape, but the Star character is not 12, as Anderson claims in real life.

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If it was to be believed that it was that covert expose then Pamela, as 'Star', was a cock teaser around boys while having a thing with her beauty queen best friend (Brandy Ledford?) (who tried to slide tackle Pamela's Star's subsequent modelling career), and up for anything with anyone while coked up at parties and bed hopping with whoever can help her career after that Labatt's Zoot Beer 'Blue Zone' advertising poster in crop top and jeans got her the invitation to pose for Playboy Mann Magazine at 21. Her boyfriend of the time was responsible for promoting her to Labatt's Zoot Beer but he did not last longer than her test shoot with Playboy Mann Magazine.
At a sex party at Playboy Mann Manor, which the "producers from soon to start shooting 'Baywatch' 'Lifeguards' are attending, they tell her that her naturally perky boobs of Labatt's Zoot Beer fame are too small but they know a surgeon who can make that all right.


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Not the greatest writing, not erotica, more of the titillating form of abbreviated action and jarring scene changes "Suddenly, her tongue was busy between my legs and her husband was pulling my head into his lap. A little later, I saw Enrique at the buffet feeding the cutest toy poodle..." sort of thing.
It did have me trying to guess who the characters are in real life, but oddly enough none are Hef. So, an expose that avoids biting the hand that made her/Hef has hidden evidence on tape?

Not going to buy the second in the series, 'Star Struck' where Pamela Star meets Tommy Lee Jimi Deeds and is suddenly a monogamous homemaker fighting off all the competition for Deeds monster d**k.
Similar style to 'Star'
"Why am I sore? was Star's first thought as she woke from a strangely deep sleep, her hands gliding along her naked body .............................. Star tried to open her eyes but couldn't; the room was too bright. She raised her hand to shield her view, only to be blinded by a huge diamond ring that hadn't been on her finger when she went to sleep."
 
How come you are on ROPS.

You don't usually post contentious stuff or rubbish.

Is it just the tyrants gotta be tyrants?


Edit - Don't worry. I saw it. Guess the third sentence applies.
 

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