Yesterday, I reviewed the fabulous debut thriller THE ABRUPT PHYSICS OF DYING by Paul E. Hardisty, a novel that’s been described by best selling author Peter James as “a stormer of a thriller”. Today, I’m thrilled to be the latest stop on wonderful new publisher Orenda Books’ blog tour for this brilliant book.
So, just to recap, here’s the blurb for THE ABRUPT PHYSICS OF DYING: “Claymore Straker is trying to forget a violent past. Working as an oil company engineer in the wilds of Yemen, he is hijacked at gunpoint by Islamic terrorists. Clay has a choice: help uncover the cause of a mysterious sickness afflicting the village of Al Urush, close to the company’s processing facility, or watch Abdulkader, his driver and close friend, die. As the country descends into civil war and village children start dying, Clay finds himself caught up in a ruthless struggle between opposing armies, controllers of the country’s oil wealth, Yemen’s shadowy secret service, and rival terrorist factions. As Clay scrambles to keep his friend alive, he meets Rania, a troubled journalist. Together, they try to uncover the truth about Al Urush. But nothing in this ancient, unforgiving place is what it seems. Accused of a murder he did not commit, put on the CIA’s most-wanted list, Clay must come to terms with his past and confront the powerful forces that want him dead.”
And here, to tell us about how he’s planning to simplify his life (if his book collection will allow it!) is debut author Paul E. Hardisty …
Pretty Soon I am Going to Simplify my Life.
I’ve realised that I don’t need much to be happy. Don’t need three-quarters, more, of the stuff that fills up the place I live. Hell, I don’t even need the place I live – now that the kids are older and starting their own lives. A roof to keep out the ever less-frequent rain and something to keep me warm on those ever rarer cold nights, sure. But rooms filled with furniture and exercise equipment and shipping containers of appliances and toys and obsolete printers and all of the clutter that suffocates most citizens of G20 nations? I’ve decided no.
So one day soon, we’re going to go South, into the bush, and live in a shack. All I need, I’ve decided, is my mountain bike, writing stuff, and my favourite books. But the place won’t be big. And we’ll probably build most of it ourselves. So I’ll have to choose carefully. The first twenty or so are easy, like your all-time best ever football (or in my case, ice hockey) side. After that it gets tougher. I guess I could always just go with the kindle, pack a lifetime of reading in one place, but I can’t be stuffed with all the chargers and cables, and quite frankly, the lack of smell. That musty old-book smell that makes you want to stick you face into the pages and breathe in all of the words you love. I must be part dog (my wife thinks so).
Ok. Top Twenty. Criteria: none – just go with it, without planning. And be honest. As fast as you can. A Farewell to Arms (Hemingway) – my dad’s old paperback copy; The Way of a Transgressor (Negley Farson) – a first edition, falling apart. He was the original real traveller. My hero. War and Peace (Tolstoy) – read it while rough-necking in Texas, oil smudged pages, the contrast; A Moveable Feast (Hemingway) – when I realised I wanted to be a writer of fiction (which I’ve since found is truer than non-fiction); The Count of Monte Cristo (Dumas), in French, timeless storytelling; Chaos (James Gleick) – everyone should read this, the mysteries of the universe exposed; Goodbye to All That (Robert Graves) – to survive that war, the way he did, and to think of what could have been lost if he had been killed, how much was lost in that nightmare; and so, I Claudius and Claudius, the God (Robert Graves) – his masterpiece (counts for two). What’s that? Nine.
Eleven more. Okay. Les Particules Elementaires (Houellebecq) – in French, hard, challenging, utterly contemporary; Antarctica (Kim Stanley Robinson) – science fiction about the present, beautifully written; Adventures in the Skin Trade (Dylan Thomas) – another one of my dad’s old volumes; Jude the Obscure (Thomas Hardy) – pretty close to top five, the last line has propelled me ever since I read it; Pure (Andrew Miller) – something about this book grabs me, it’ll take me a few more years to figure out exactly what; Le Pere Goriot (Zola) – in French, genius; Martin Eden (Jack London) – another book that cried out to me not to give up; A Night Over Water (Ken Follett) – a subtle thriller, loved it; Three Cheers for Me (Donald Jack) – the funniest book I’ve ever read; Macbeth (you know who) – just re-read it a few months ago, more there every time I pick it up; and twenty (but probably first) Seven Pillars of Wisdom (T.E. Lawrence).
Out of space. Too many missing. Especially some fantastic newer stuff. Guess I’ll have to take my kindle along. Screw it, we’ll build the interior walls of the shack out of books.
You can find out more about Paul here: http://paulehardisty.wix.com/paulehardisty
Follow him on Twitter @Hardisty_Paul
Plus, check out his fabulous publisher ORENDA BOOKS here: http://orendabooks.co.uk and on Twitter @OrendaBooks
And don’t forget to hop over to the other stops on this fantastic blog tour …