Recent Reviews for James Cumes
America's Suicidal Statecraft (Book) - 6/17/2013 12:15:53 PM|
This is an excellent analysis and displays a keen sense of political world history. Congratulations on a well written insightful work.
The Young Bug (Book) - 8/1/2010 4:58:32 AM
enjoyed the excerpt
Their Chastity was not too Rigid (Book) - 2/8/2008 5:50:33 PM
Loafing through AD's offerings, I came across this title and I find the subject fascinating as well as unusual.
Much success to you, James.
The Human Mirror (Book) - 4/14/2007 8:24:28 AM
Excellent premise. I'm looking forward to reading your book.
The Human Mirror (Book) - 12/30/2006 11:02:50 PM
I always enjoyed the Premise "All living are offspring of Progeny". I Look forward to reading your books.
Their Chastity was not too Rigid (Book) - 7/24/2005 2:31:35 AM
"Their Chastity Was Not Too Rigid
Leisure times in early Australia
Cumes J W C
Longman Cheshire/Reed Melbourne/Terrey Hills, NSW 1979
This innovative title gives an impression of the ways in which earlier generations of European settlers in Australia filled their leisure time. From often-sketchy data, Cumes paints a lively picture of organised and unorganised, public and private, group and individual recreational activities, including the part played by women. As well as sport and social life, he also looks at the quest for culture, and the role of mechanics institutes. Includes black & white photographs and drawings."
Operation Equaliser (Book) - 3/11/2004 5:19:22 AM
Sounds both compelling and intriguing! "A Must Read To Be Sure"
A Bunch of Amateurs (Book) - 3/11/2004 5:16:58 AM
Right On! Right On!
The Hedonists (Book) - 9/20/2003 2:46:34 PM
A review of The Hedonists by James Cumes
This isn't a book about plot anyway. It's about observation, about wit, about enjoying the beauty of the English language when it's employed by a master wordsmith.
Reviewed by Michael LaRocca
by James Cumes
Paperback: 452 pages
Crystal Dreams Publishing; (April 2003)
Yet again, I've been called upon to review a book that is much easier to read and enjoy than it is to describe. But, I shall do what I can.
James Cumes excels in creating characters who are real, vivid, alive. They are not characters. They are people. Throughout this novel, they often seemed more real to me than many whom I've actually met in my life. This book shines with subtle humor, unflinching honesty, and world travel and world-weary cynicism.
Randall Pascoe Maitland is an Australian diplomat who rollicks from a post in the heart of Europe, to Africa, to the United Nations in New York, to Mexico, across the Pacific in a transit of Venus, to a climactic riot of sex at a party in Mugga Way, at the heart of Australia'a national capital, Canberra. Most of the time he dwells, in a protocol sense, in the shadow of his Ambassador, Richard Makepeace - as Randall sees him, a Makepeace always on the make. Through Randall's eyes, the reader enjoys a behind-the-scenes look at what happens in diplomatic life, at the UN and elsewhere. The author knows of what he speaks, and I don't need to look at his bio to say that.
Randall is also a hedonist who, as the book opens, is enjoying an affair with a married woman. But, he's only a minor hedonist. Oh, he'd like to be a major hedonist, but he just doesn't have the innate charisma of Howard Winston Jocelyn the Third, the 38-year-old bachelor to whom many look as their champion. Never get involved, never make a commitment, just enjoy all the physical pleasures both overt and subtle that the opposite sex has to offer.
However, Howard has fallen from grace. He's fallen in love with the mysterious Anika. The story is told through Randall's eyes. Randall admits that Anika is beautiful, though not as beautiful as the numerous others who have graced Howard's bed. But mainly, Anika is a she-devil. Anyone who could bewitch Howard so thoroughly, and turn him monogamous without surrendering her virginity to him, must surely be a she-devil.
That may not sound like a new plot, but that's because there are no new plots. This isn't a book about plot anyway. It's about observation, about wit, about enjoying the beauty of the English language when it's employed by a master wordsmith. I believe the author could make a cereal box interesting reading, and he has far more to work with in this novel than a cereal box.
Are the characters sexist? Absolutely. The women as well as the men. Is the author sexist? Not at all. He's honest, as every writer should be. That is our job, folks. He's showing us life. Maybe the reader's life, maybe something the polar opposite, but it's real life.
The book may entertain you, thrill you, or offend you. Maybe all of the above, maybe all at the same time. But it will affect you. It will stir you. You will think about it after you read it. You will think about it while you read it. And, you will remember it.
For more information visit: The Hedonists
or visit one of the author's websites: http://members.chello.at/schulte-baeuminghaus
About the reviewer: Michael LaRocca, an American, is the brilliant author of the widely acclaimed RISING FROM THE ASHES,
AN AMERICAN REDNECK IN HONG KONG, THE CHRONICLES OF A MADMAN, and VIGILANTE JUSTICE, the latter of which was an EPPIE 2002 finalist. He also wrote HOW TO GET PUBLISHED, winner of two Sime~Gen Reviewers Choice
Awards. His website, http://freereads.topcities.com,
was listed as one of THE BEST 101 WEBSITES FOR WRITERS by Writers Digest in 2001 and 2002. He is also an editor, a teacher of English and an active participant in several publishing enterprises of quality. He has been a long-time member of the Hong Kong Writer's Circle. He has edited for CrossroadsPub, and currently edits for Hard Shell Word Factory and Books Unbound. He has taught Advanced English Writing at the Zhejiang Institute of Science and Technology since September 2002.
Uncle Rupert (Book) - 7/10/2003 2:16:05 PM
Another "MUST READ" by multi-talenter writer, James Cumes!
The Human Mirror (Book) - 7/10/2003 2:14:13 PM
Sounds like a "MUST READ" to me!
Haverleigh (Book) - 3/21/2003 10:37:02 PM
Gigantic! Enormous and fulfilling - on every level!, March 16, 1999
Reviewer: leew.mailcity.com from San Francisco
Clearly it's hard not to get carried away on this one. This author is so steeped in place and subject and so skilled in crafting a human canvas uniquely suited to this locale and litany of experiences that anyone associating major Australian fiction with paulhoganist one-dimensional pap needs to read this book.
It's easy to raise comparisons to Dostoevsky and Kings Row and War & Peace and Gone With the Wind and The Sundowners, but yet in some respects these comparisons appear dwarfed when held up as standards by which to evaluate the enormity and all-encompassment of the piece at hand.
The Indigent Rich (Book) - 10/17/2001 8:18:00 PM
A very interesting read!
Victoria Taylor Murray
'Thief Of Hearts'
The Hedonists (Book) - 10/17/2001 8:16:29 PM
It sounds like a wonderful romantic story--one that I can't wait to read!
Victoria Taylor Murray
'Thief Of Hearts'
War and Peace (Short Story) - 10/27/2011 1:11:08 AM
thanks for sharing
The Purpose of Sandy Thompson (Short Story) - 8/1/2010 4:59:45 AM
interesting read, holds reader interest
Life is a Belly Dance (Short Story) - 6/2/2010 3:50:51 PM
I feel your positive energy, we need more of that James.
Lunch with Bob (Short Story) - 1/30/2009 2:33:13 PM
There are those rare moments that are crystallized in our memories that we shall always be defined by and never forget. I have posted several of mine here at AD, extending the effect of the original event ad infinitum. This was one such important memoir of our days gone by, told by a stellar story teller at his best. Thanks for regaling us with this wrinkle in time!
Lunch with Bob (Short Story) - 3/29/2008 3:10:25 PM
What a wonderful glimpse into a small piece of history.
What a life you must have led!
The Purpose of Sandy Thompson (Short Story) - 3/29/2008 3:04:18 PM
I wish I'd read this before. It is so well written and so poignant. I'm glad they had a child, it seems to ensure he will continue in some way.
The Youth Syndrome (Short Story) - 6/13/2007 12:51:22 AM
Interesting read...I think it's menacing!
It's like a pop up sprinkler system...just try standing on one pop up..The others spray up even more!!
You cure one ill, and several more pop up.
Ty for this James
Lunch with Bob (Short Story) - 6/13/2007 12:43:57 AM
Yes, that was our Bob indeed. I find it most interesting, reading tales of the luncheon/meeting.
Great write, and as Miller has said, I bet there are many interesting stories you have to tell.
PS Do you think our current PM would be as amiable as BOB?? :)
Lunch with Bob (Short Story) - 7/15/2006 1:25:28 PM
Dear Sir or isit Lord james?
It should be anyway.
What a distinguished career you have had. I am planning to visit Australia to research a novel and visit my post graduate daughter next winter(up here)
Lunch with Bob was a marvellous read.
Your memoirs must be in great demand.
Life is a Belly Dance (Short Story) - 6/29/2005 8:48:48 PM
War and Peace (Short Story) - 12/23/2004 3:36:35 AM
A wonderfully written account of how things were for you all those many years ago, and of how you recall them today.
Thanks for the sharing James,
The Youth Syndrome (Short Story) - 7/9/2004 4:16:39 AM
War and Peace (Short Story) - 7/9/2004 4:16:12 AM
The Youth Syndrome (Short Story) - 2/13/2004 8:28:35 PM
Oh, James! What a darling photo! Makes me want to bring the baby home with me. I just love zeeeee babies! Ha,ha,ha...
Life is a Belly Dance (Short Story) - 2/13/2004 8:26:23 PM
This is sooooo good, James! I loved it!
Happy Valentine's Day!
War and Peace (Short Story) - 2/13/2004 8:24:56 PM
Excellent Write, James! Thanks for sharing this!
Terror and the Self (Article) - 12/28/2011 10:34:59 AM
Narcissism is great.I thoroughly love myself.
Cold Turkey (Article) - 8/1/2010 5:00:04 AM
Is Rudd Another Scullin? (Article) - 11/16/2007 2:37:16 AM
Hi James How are you?
Look I'm no expert when it comes to politics and economics, but I see signs that are telling me, we are heading for trouble. To a SAHM/carer and one who is on the receiving end of a Sickness pension ( Husband With Deteriorating lungs) We have been given the usual quota this year... There is talk again of increasing pensioner benefits which alot in our position of course think is great and is going to be a huge benefit, but my mind tells me, its all in keeping with current inflation, nothing more, and that is the increases already enacted, and the up and coming increases that I see are coming.
We trade through Ebay a little, as MY Other Half is still able to do a bit of electronics due to his trade part time, and using international paypal, you can't help but notice, that each time you purchase something from the US, the Ozzie dollar is neck and neck with the greenback, and to me, that spells disaster!!
How on earth can Australia export?? China is taling dropping the dollar, and going euro from my last update on world affairs...
I see how shockingly unstable the world currency is in general, and many of the things you have mentioned in your most informative write, I do honsetly see happening.
It has to happen acutally, we have to have another economic crash. Though I cannot put it into words why, I just know that the gross expenditure and hapless spending on wars, aquiring land at such cost to human life and the economy has put a serious deficit in every country around the worlds economic status. Australia of course is no exception. This Rudd government is....IMHO just too nice for it's own good. I see Rudd as a potentially decent sort of bloke, but I have to note that he is way to cocky about the whole deal. I see that he is green as grass, and even though not many are singing Johnny's Praises, one thing about Mr Howard is that he has more moves than a can of worms, and if anyone could pull this country through a crash, it would more likely be something he could pull off, not Kevin Rudd.
You gotta have a rhino hide, and be able to boot yourself up by the bootstraps when trouble hits, no place for nice guys. I share your views, though I am much younger and do not know how the world was after the Crash of 29, I know what my grandparents and parents had to say about the aftermath of it all, and it was no picnic, understatement.
I honestly do not know how they survived back then, but one thing is apparent,and that is that most folks, especially the younger generation, and young married couples, were able to accept much much less material things. Today's average teen is high maintenance, todays average Young Adult is even more high maintenence, and young couples getting married, pfffft...they dont know the meaning of the word economize!!! How on earth are these young ppl going to manage/surive/?? The way I see it James, they arent, they are going to crumble. I have grave fears to be honest, as their survival skills are just so undeveloped having loans at the ready so easily, and extravagence on every street corner of life.
Me and the ole man know poverty from our youth and growing up through the early to late sixties, and then on through the seventies as well, we did it tough both of us, and we watched our parents knuckle under and make do with less, gradually aquiring more over a longer period of time. I came from a farming background, and that was no picnic either, it was nose to the grindstone in NZ and it was here too.
Push come to shove too when it comes to learning to live off less in the food dept, that is a finely tuned skill taught to me and my Husband by our Parents/Grandparents...but these days spending up even in the supermarkets on totally unncessary items that are a luxury item, are a weekly or twice weekly purchase!!!
Cold Turkey (Article) - 9/10/2007 2:31:50 AM
Wow. Impressive scholarship on complicated economic issues. Can't say I understand it all - but it sounds like you do and it doesn't sound good. Thanks for the heads up. Would you recommend moving our securities to cash positions? Malcolm Watts
We must all seek to over-ride the narcissistic imperative. (Article) - 8/18/2006 5:20:44 AM
I believe the author of narcissism, is out to do just that, destroy us all.
However, I also believe the author of life will see to his demise, as his reflection is that of a created being, rather than a creator!
Interesting and deeply thought provoking article James, a pleasure to read you.
Globalisation and Derivatives (Article) - 6/12/2006 3:30:13 AM
thought provoking article
Terror and the Self (Article) - 8/8/2005 7:18:50 PM
Standing ovation! This article is well-written and gives us much to think about.
Terror and the Self (Article) - 8/6/2005 2:07:34 AM
I can't fall in love with my mirror, and I can't fall in love with my image, because there is no one like me. Cousin, Paul, I did appreciate though ...
We should all be pursuing a lasting victory over world want. (Article) - 7/9/2004 4:17:21 AM
We should all be pursuing a lasting victory over world want. (Article) - 3/11/2004 5:15:08 AM
I, too, agree! Great Article, James!
We should all be pursuing a lasting victory over world want. (Article) - 10/20/2003 5:43:53 PM
I couldnt agree more, James, it is time for another giant leap.
TY for the write and for sharing.