Book Reviews

An eclectic collection of books I have read and loved.

Homeless Free as a Bird by Clive Ward

A straight talking story about life on the streets. While the writing is fairly basic the story is fascinating and draws in you in. A compelling take on the life of homeless veterans and their dog.

The book starts in Nagasaki in 1945 just before the nuclear bomb is dropped and follows the life of Hiroko Tanaka who was engaged to marry Konrad Weiss.

Konrad is killed in the bomb as are all Hiroko’s family.

Hiroko works as a translator, but when an American tells her the bomb had to be dropped to save American lives, she knows she cannot continue to work for him. 39,000 Japanese lives were lost.

The book takes Hiroko through India, and then to Pakistan after the Partition. After her husband is killed she moves to New York and is there in 9/11.

Her son meanwhile is in Afghanistan.

It is a billiant, perceptive book which asks us to reconsider our preconceptions and attempt to look at ide├ęs fixes through other eyes.

Essential for the second book in my series which is partially set in London’s gay clubs in 1963 and beyond, I originally bought this book for research, but it soon became far more than just a research tool.

Fabulosa is a well written book which looks with humour at the history and use of Polari, as well as the culture and attitudes of the times in which it was most in use.

It also has an extremely useful glossary for anyone wanting to talk or read Polari books.

It is indeed FABULOSA.