Thursday 11 June 2015

Would you BUY or PASS? (4)

Second World War for me this week - if you know all about this weekly feature already, skip to the line of red stars to start reading.

Rosie Amber's weekly Friday Five Challenge!

It's an interesting exercise for writers ~ it shows the little things that can put potential readers off that click-buy

Anyone with a blog can join in ~ here's what you do:

1) Go to any online book supplier
2) Randomly choose a category
3) Speed through the book covers, choose one which instantly appeals
4) Read the book bio/description, and any other details
5) If there are reviews, check out a couple
6) Make an instant decision: would you BUY or PASS?


I actually chose this week's book from a tweet rather than Amazon, because the cover caught my eye - it's the same process, really, as I do click on books if a tweet appeals, so I hope that's okay, Rosie :)

I chose Beneath The Rock by Tommy Birk; I've got a bit of a fascination for all things Nazi and both World Wars.

Okay, here's my analysis:

Yes, it did its job - the swastika stopped me in my tracks, and I liked the font ~ it's a great cover.  Sinister, professionally done.  Leaves you in no doubt about the subject, too!

In This Unique Novel, Tommy Birk evokes the anguish of combat veterans who leave their wars but whose wars don't leave them. He explores their helplessness to stop the strange osmotic process by which their pain passes on to their families. In this passionate and powerful story, Ernie and Gunny Balbach, who had fought on opposite sides during WW2, are now jointed by Ernie's son, Timmy – an equally damaged veteran of the still-in-progress Vietnam War – and live as outcasts at Piankashaw Rock, where they feel safe in the company of other misfits. Ernie and Gunny, sustained by the women who love them, and Timmy, in love with the beautiful but conflicted Maria, all prodded by a mystic priest with his own dark secrets, come to realize they and their families will escape the vicious circles of history and find redemption only when they take on and defeat the evil that haunts them.


None on UK, but 9 on .com, mostly 5* ~ unfortunately, they're all from people who've never reviewed anything else, or only reviewed one other book several years before.....

Would I buy or pass?
PASS, I'm afraid.  I'm not disputing that it might be a well written and thought-provoking book, but I thought the blurb was too detailed, which led me to think that the book itself might have too much skip-reading potential.  It's at the upper end of the price scale for unknown author Kindle books, but if it had really interested me that wouldn't have mattered.   Yes - it was the description that put me off; phrases like 'strange osmotic process' are not very blurb-friendly, and I am guessing the book might be a tad long-winded; one of those that some will think utterly brilliant, but won't have a very wide appeal.

The last 3 weeks have been all passes - hope I find a 'buy' next week!



  1. I’d be a bit torn on this one although the review situation may just swing the balance to a pass, for the moment anyway.

    1. Know what you mean - thing is, just because they're friends it doesn't mean the book's not good, it might just be that the writer doesn't know how to market it!

  2. Love the cover it is spot on for this story, as you say I was left scratching my head with the book blurb, it didn't flow had me stopping and re-reading bits, not a good selling point for the rest of the book. Along with the price a PASS from me too.

    1. Yes - it's one of those cases when the cover doesn't look like the sort of book it is. I'd anticipated a dark thriller!

  3. Sounds like it might be one of those books that the author wrote for therapeutic reasons. Could be interesting, but not sure I'd invest the time and angst.

    1. Aye - I can think of a lot more things I'd prefer to read about.

  4. I agree with Rosie, I had to re-read the blurb as it tripped me up a few times. The cover is striking though.

    1. Yes - I didn't quite get what it was about at first!

  5. I'm with you on this one Terry...found myself skipping over the blurb so that's not a good start is it!!

    1. Glad to see everyone's on the same page with this, as it were, G! One always tends to think, just a little, is it just me??!

  6. Very strange blurb which, like you, makes me wonder about the writing. I'd pass on this one too.