A Murder on the Appian Way

Hey glad you stopped by, got a book for you to read "A Murder on the Appian Way." A real whodunit page turner.

I loved this book, it gave a historical point of view on Political propaganda and the problem with engaging peoples prejudges rather than having them engage in critical thinking. 

“A Murder on the Appian Way” by American author Steven Saylor.

It is election year 52 BC and Rome has erupted in gang fights on its streets. A prominent political candidate Clodius Pulcher is found murdered on the main road, the Appian Way, the main suspect is the rival candidate Titus Annius Milo. A detective, known in those days as a finder is hired to find the truth after Rome’s Senate building is burned to ashes and the city teeters on the verge of destruction.

The story is rich with legendary powerful super stars of the day such as Caesar, Marc Antony, Pompey, and Cicero, all lurking in the shadows, with whispered gossip of plots and sexual escapes.  Gordianus, the finder, his task is to find and bring back the truth out of the chaos, but not without peril to his own life, for a trial, that is explosive and politically motivated by such luminaries as Cicero and Marc Antony. 

The power brokers work the cities inhabitants as if chess pieces on a chess board, a city now scared by fear and filled with madness.

From this book came the lesson of why there should be careful deliberation and critical thinking on the parts of voters when making a decision – two paragraphs I have condensed and paraphrased into this sentence is this -  “Yes Gordianus … because you went there, you saw, you spoke with witnesses …but the jurors (in our case, the voters) will have done none of these things, it is up to me (the politicians) to shape their perceptions, … truth … if man could be made to respond as they should by telling them the truth, do you think I would use any other tool?... But truth is not enough for them; often it is the very worst for a man with a cause (political ambition) …Thus there are men (politicians) who are clever enough to bend the truth … (they think) in order to keep the State free and in one piece.”  

This book, I found to be a very good read.  Let me know what you think.


Review: The Gigantic Beard that was Evil


Since we are talking about Beards what better time than now to introduce this awesome new book:

The Gigantic Beard That Was Evil, by Stephen Collins

Cartoonist Collins' debut graphic novel is filled with black-and-white sketches, which are funny, whimsical, bittersweet, and darkly visually.

Collins's fable-like graphic novel details what happens when borders collapse and stories have no tidy endings.”  this graphic novel is the perfect Archetypal parable that appreciates the value of eccentricity in a world of overwhelming uniformity and the thought of what could happen with just the appearance of one unruly facial hair.”

This Off-beat ambitious writing style of Stephen Collins novel has put this work in a class worthy of the names Roald Dahl and Tim Burton – being a darkly funny meditation on life, death, and what it means to be different.  And oh did I mention a timeless ode to the art of beard maintenance.  Now add to that the pages of crosshatched art panels, rich with nuances of black-and-white interiors put's the artwork in this book in a class with Aubrey Beardsley.

If Collins stylistic fable is no more than what Collin calls – “Stories are necessary lies.” -  Then I hope this awesome juiced up writer/artist has got a lot more lies to tell us.