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Books Reviewed by Guppy

3 Published Reviews

57 posts on the forums

About Guppy

Currently reading:

  • Loose Threads
      by J. O. Quantaman
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    Officially rated 4 out of 4!
    View official review by Guppy - Published November 23, 2016

    Genre: Other Fiction
    View book: on Bookshelves | on Amazon | on B&N

    About the Author: "Here are my thought processes and life experiences that’ve gone into the eBook “Loose Threads.” # I drove a taxi in Vancouver, BC for 27 years. I worked the night shift, which starts in midafternoon and ends in the wee hours of the morning. # Daytime customers worry about getting to work on time, making appointments, meeting schedules and so on. Their concerns are upfront and objective, in other words, going from point A to point B. Nighttime customers go out with friends, have a few laughs and forget about anything serious. Their mindsets are recreational and subjective. # Over the years I’ve seen and heard the best and worst of human nature. Just part of the job. # Folks change when the sun goes down. After a few drinks the masks come off. Minds take flight. The shyness vanishes. The whole world becomes high adventure or rosy romance until nonsense conquers all. On the way home, groggy customers will swear they’ve had a wonderful weekend, even when they can’t recall the details. Some will blurt out secrets they’d never tell their sweethearts, friends or family members. Others become confused or even belligerent. # It’s fortunate I was never seriously injured from disgruntled customers or errant vehicles, considering the number of times my cab was totaled by drunk or berserk drivers. # Cabdrivers wear many hats: transporter, advisor, jump starter, problem solver, bouncer, bulk hauler, fee collector... all the while fronting the friendly ear of a bartender. # I learned one hard and fast rule. Most hookers are honest to a fault. They don’t always tell the whole truth, but they don’t push you off a cliff. They can’t afford to lie because they operate in that stratum of society which is best left “under the rug.” Hookers don’t have standardized price tags or government seals of approval to fall back on; they have only themselves to trade. # Vancouver wasn’t the city of my childhood, so when I began in the cab business, I didn’t know half of the shortcuts or restricted approaches to common destinations. For example, hotels are often located beside major byways with traffic dividers. Unless you arrive from the right direction, you won’t have access to the hotel. # It was the ladies of the night who taught me the shortcuts and whether to drop off at the front door or the back door. They had ulterior motives, of course, since the shortcuts saved them money on the meter. Yet I got valuable info that made me a better cabdriver, which over time paid dividends. # One night I drove across Vancouver’s busiest bridge. I was ten-car lengths behind the car ahead whose brake lights flashed, the passenger door opened and out tumbled a body. The driver slowed but never stopped. After two somersaults , the body stood up and waved frantically. I pulled to stop and learned she was a lady of night who had a bad date and no money. She asked me to take her to an apartment where she promised I’d get paid. When we arrived at the place, it turned out her boyfriend was out, but she managed to convince the apartment manager to fork out for the cab fare. # This illustrates my point that hookers don’t lie. Here was a young woman who’d gone through a traumatic ordeal, who felt afraid of being injured by a bad date, enough to jump out of a moving car. Some folks would’ve given her free cab ride, and I didn’t expect to get paid. Yet her word was her bond, and she made good on it. Over 27 years, I’ve gotten stiffed by con artists, young punks, lawyers, registered nurses, financial tycoons and even a standing judge. I’ve had to fend off a couple of attempted robberies. But I’ve never gotten the run-around from hookers. If they can’t pay the fare they’ll tell you upfront. # A serial killer stalked Vancouver during the last decades of the 20th-century. He owned a pig farm east of the city. He murdered more than fifty young women, many of whom were runaways from dysfunctional families; many were zonked on drugs of one sort or another. They may’ve taken a few wrong turns, but they were human beings, just trying to survive. The pig farmer found a novel way to dispose of his victims. He’d grind them up with his fodder and feed the mix to his pigs. It made DNA retrieval difficult if not impossible, so the world may never know how many young women he murdered. # In a small way, I wanted to pay homage to the young women who service the sex trade, and especially to the victims of the pig farmer. The main character of “Loose Threads” is Nyssa Persson who spent three years under the thumb of a Tokyo pimp. Nyssa has a feisty nature which is composite of several women I’ve known, including my late wife. # The narrative isn’t about the sex trade; it’s about adjusting to life after rescue where Nyssa is freed from the masquerades of the sex trade. She faces the same dilemmas that brave soldiers face as they return from the battlefields of Afghanistan. It’s not easy to shift from the insanity of war to the petty quietude of normal society. Adrenalin-charged flashbacks of lethal dangers don’t vanish overnight. Nor is it easy to switch from a serflike regimen to an informal society offering untold freedoms. # Nyssa learns it’s possible to thrive a society without adverts, without income inequity, without politicians, without bureaucratic snarls of rules and regulations. However, she also learns that utopia comes with a price."

  • Dream Job
      by Janet Garber
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    Officially rated 3 out of 4!
    View official review by Guppy - Published December 11, 2016

    Genre: Other Fiction
    View book: on Bookshelves | on Amazon | on B&N

    About the Author: "Long ago, Janet received a BA from Queens College (NY) in English/French and an MA in English from the University of Rochester and then had the distinction of being a late-stage PhD dropout. She’s had a L O N G career in HR while moonlighting as a freelance journalist, fiction writer and poet, book and movie reviewer, and author of a non-fiction book, I Need a Job, Now What? Now she’s decided in her debut novel, Dream Job, Wacky Adventures of an HR Manager, to put a comic spin on what it takes to survive in the workplace. When she’s not writing, she and her husband hang out or hike on the outskirts of NYC with their two emotionally-challenged rescue cats."

  • Achieve Your Dreams
      by Scott Hughes and A. Lynn Powers and Adam Buongiovanni

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