In the last post: Early one morning, Dick Charmer boom-blasted music from a roof. The girls loved it, but Bert would kill him...
Dear friends, if you like a good chuckle, dim-witted heroes, and larger-than-life villains, then you'll love this fascinating series. On Tuesdays and Saturdays, I’m blogging nibble-sized chunks of new ‘Life in the Clouds’ stories. You can check in regularly and read them free, or wait to buy the whole story when published.
Enchanter on the Roof ® James Field. Part 03
As the sun rose higher and its warmth drew sweat from Dick Charmer’s energetic labour on the roof, he tossed his T-shirt aside, turned up the volume on his boom-blaster, and took a couple of minutes to dance. As on previous days, a group of spectators had gathered. Most of them were rich young girls who giggled behind their hands, danced wantonly, and called to say they loved him.
But today a group of men had also gathered to see what all the fuss was about. Among them were the Cloud Mansion’s two burly security guards, Alf and Bert. In front of them stood semi-retired Chief Inspector Dobbs, who owned a weekend cottage at The Stables, and beside him Vicar Bitter who lived in the small, disused chapel’s vicarage. At the front stood Morris, the Cloud Mansion’s pint-sized gardener and self-appointed General, hands in pockets.
“Yes,” said Morris, “I can’t find fault with his work. He’s made a good job of re-tiling the roof. Not so sure I approve of his modus operandi though.”
“It’s a sin the way he carries on,” said Vicar Bitter, and crossed himself.
Chief Inspector Dobbs tilted his head as if weighing evidence. “I’ll have my boys check him out.” He wrote a note in his notebook, dropped it into a pocket in his mackintosh, and then stabbed a finger at the hooligan. “I haven’t liked the look of him from day one.”
To be continued…
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A River in Darkness: One Man's Escape from North Korea by Masaji Ishikawa
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
To save the jobs of those in the Japanese government who helped him escape, Masaji Ishikawa wrote: “…obviously I wasn’t going to start talking to the press.” Instead, he wrote this mammoth best-selling book? Sorry, but I don’t believe this man’s autobiography can be true. If it is, then he is likely responsible for the sacking of those government officials who helped his return to Japan, and worse, expose his family to torture or execution in North Korea.
It may well be that he moved to North Korea in 1960, aged thirteen, where he lived until his escape in 1996. However, I rather believe his memoir is an over dramatised collection of exaggerated incidents he picked up from others. In which case, good for him.
I hope this is the case; otherwise, he puts himself in a poor light. From his book, he already comes across as egoistic, beating up anyone who upsets him and often leaving his family to starve while he runs off to find work to feed himself.
North Korea is undoubtedly not an agreeable place to live, but propaganda and false news flourish. The story in this book is captivating and mind-bogglingly tragic, hence four stars. I just don’t accept Mr Ishikawa’s life was as awful, or maybe I don’t want to believe, as he relates.
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