Macho man Trump does a runner in Reno after gun threat

I'll put my hands up! Just don't shoot!

I’ll put my hands up! Just don’t shoot!

Oh Donald…in a scene reminiscent of Stephen King’s novel, The Dead Zone, you ducked and ran for cover when security identified an armed threat.

Oh dear.

We thought you liked guns…

We thought you were a tough guy…

We thought you’d protect us…

There you go.


Cafe Spike


Mr Mercedes by Stephen King – Reviewed By Ted Pemberton

A picture of a picture of a proper book

A picture of a picture of a proper book

It’s amazing what a man can achieve without really putting any effort into it. After all, I got this job as a book and film reviewer here on Café Spike and I hardly ever read books, or watch films. When I was asked to review Mr Mercedes I just responded in the usual manner. With a shrug and a chuckle, but the boss man insisted that on this occasion I was going to have to bite the bullet and read the damned book in order to earn my corn.

But I argued, as one does. I pointed out that Stephen King has a net worth of a squillion dollars or more and that he hardly needs an endorsement from a two-bob rag like Café Spike in order to up his media profile, or increase his book sales. In any case, I sincerely doubt that our dozen or so hard core readers would have any noticeable effect on the Maine man’s bank balance even if they all rushed out and bought ten copies each of the hardback version.

“Listen to me, you drunken old fool,” my Editor snarled as he took me by the throat in an almost vice-like grip. “Café Spike is down on the bones of its arse. It’s failing spectacularly. And you aren’t helping at all. You WILL read this sodding book and you WILL write a review or I WILL KILL YOU.”

Which quite frankly I thought was a bit strong, and I would have said so in no uncertain terms had the Editor not virtually crushed my trachea.

“We can get ourselves out of this mess in several ways,” the swine said, once he’d stopped manhandling my throat. “We can rip-off other humour sites, we can cop other people’s original styles and churn out reams of crap, or we can revert to click-bait.”

“Click-bait?” I croaked.

“It means using trending key words or famous names in deliberately misleading headlines, hoping people click on our rubbish and hang around for longer than three seconds before hitting the back-button. It’s old school internet cajolery. Read the book and write the review. Now. I want your copy on my desk by Monday morning.”

The Trouble With Books

Without being disrespectful to Mr King or his legions of fans I just don’t like books. Paper brings me out in a rash, so I make a point of reading as little as is humanly possible. Which can be a tad problematic for a literary reviewer. But I had my orders. I also had a problem. How does one write a book review without actually shelling out cash for a copy and reading the damned thing from cover to cover?

GIYF – Google is your friend.

A quick internet search turned up an audio version of Mr Mercedes – perfect! Just like listening to the radio! So I retired to my bedroom with the laptop and laid down, making myself comfortable and closing my eyes as the narrator started to tell his tale.

It didn’t work.

I got to the part at the beginning where people were lining up overnight in the cold and damp waiting for a job fair to open the following morning – and then I dozed off.

I tried several times but the result was always the same. About three minutes in I dozed off. This tactic obviously wasn’t going to work. The narrator’s voice was way too soothing. I kept waking up to bits of the story where I had no idea whatsoever about what was going on.

Luckily, a lady acquaintance down the pub had the ideal solution…

This Kindle’s On Fire

It's exactly what it says on the tin, but not really in flames

It’s exactly what it says on the tin, but not really in flames

So I took myself off down the local leccy appliance shop and bought a Kindle Fire. Then I set up an Amazon account and bought Mr Mercedes online. It was amazing! To this day I have no idea how Stephen King manages to type out a whole novel and send it out in a minute or so, ready to read. It takes me three days to write a ten line email.

And guess what? I loved the Kindle Fire, and I actually read the entire book in double-quick time.

It was a thoroughly enjoyable read too – told in the usual amicable camp fire style of a master storyteller who knows his audience intimately, and who understands exactly what that audience expects.

Mr Mercedes – The Review

Mr Mercedes is an extremely enjoyable book which I romped through at breakneck speed, but I don’t want to spoil it for anybody who may be considering reading it.

Suffice to say, it’s about a nasty piece of work who does something horrible with a Mercedes and a retired detective and his chums who set out to nail Mr Mercedes.

There’s even a bit of romance in it and lots of carefully crafted suspense leading up to a thrilling climax.

I’d highly recommend it.

The only problem I had was that the tight fisted bastard at Café Spike refused to reimburse me for the Kindle Fire HD.

Ted Pemberton reporting for Café Spike