So, say you have the blueprints to a time machine, just what
mysteries of the universe would you like to explore. Well,
the first thing that comes to our heroes mind is to throw
himself into the orgiastic delights of Cleopatra's hedonistic
court, but without the financial means to build his machine
our hero forms a pact with a morally corrupt and slightly
homicidal industrialist, who insists that his only son, Bertie,
go on each trip as well..
Needs Cleopatra by Steve Redwood was without doubt a delight
to read. I'm always wary of publishing houses whose motto
is 'getting writers read', it usually denotes vanity presses
and vanity presses usually denote pretty awful writing. Not
so in this case. If Redwood is indicative of the level of
writers that this press turns out then I'd be very interested
in reading more of their output.
Redwood sends his chrononauts to discover some of histories
greatest mysteries. Unfortunately, Redwoods two would be adventurers
consists of one very hairy and stupid Bertie, the son of the
homicidal industrialist and our hero, who thinks more with
his private parts than his evidently limited intelligence.
These two try to discover the secret of Mona Lisa's smile
and the death of Rasputin. More controversially they also
involve themselves in the crucifixion of Jesus, the birth
of Mormon faith and the beginnings of the human race with
Cain. You might think that the last three were controversial
choices for the author, but he describes the events with wit
and a subtlety that should only upset the most religiously
central facets of the book, that should interest the potential
reader, is that the book is both a good read, as a science
fiction novel, with enough twists and turns to please the
most demanding time travel fan. Not only that
but the novel, as a whole, is really funny. It's nice to read
a novel with a comic narrative that you don't instantly spend
your time knowing who the author is trying to emulate. Redwood
has his own voice and his own sense of humour.
you can find this book it's a steal at the price. Given his
style of writing it's maybe worth looking out for his other
of Devils and The Heisenberg Mutation and
Other Transfigurations. I can't attest to how good they
are but if Who Needs Cleopatra is anything to go on
Redwood would have had to suffer a real creative implosion
for them not to be worth reading.
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