Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Jonny Gibbings' review of PIRATES

I'm not sure where to start with Greg Cummings 'Pirates', what I will say though, is it is a wonderful book. If you, like me, started out reading popular books that had a romping pace, the stuff like Robert Ludlum and Wilbur Smith and you loved the roller coaster plot, but soon got bored of them because they quickly lacked substance. So you started reading novels with more bite. Pirates has every bit the plot and pace of epic yarns but also has a unique depth and integrity, effortlessly weaving around serious issues and the politics of deepest Africa.

Pirates is the tale of a Safari guide and who happens upon his believed to be dead friend Johnny Oceans, who recruits him to help him re-enter Somalia. However things are not what they seem. The reader is taken through the Gulf of Aden, facing jihadists from Al-Qaeda and al-Shabaab, a different understanding of Somali pirates and Somalia itself. I imagine many base their view on Somalia as I do on films such as Black Hawk Down and on news footage of AK-47 toting pirates. Greg shows us proud people fighting to keep Puntland independent in the face of growing pressure from Muslim extremists, through beautiful, tight t-shirt wearing, skinny jeans loving matriarch Kahdija. Where Pirates excels is that it uses real issues as plot points, not the plot itself. Greg has so many plot points that fragment, leaving you in suspense as you just know they are in a funnel and will all meet at a singular event. While there is real tension, and real issues, the story is all adventure and drama with some brilliantly funny parts. There are some far-fetched elements that are Indiana Jones over the top, such as the Vulture/drone bit, but you don't mind, simply as it is infused with such reality and drama that it balances it out. The story builds and builds to such a fantastic end once you have read through twist after twist. With US Navy drones, CIA Spy's, treasure, kidnap gunfights and romance. This is a brave book and Greg pulls it off, the result is simply staggering and a truly epic read.

Jonny Gibbings is the author of 'Malice in Blunderland' (Cutting Edge Press) and you can follow his blog here.

Sunday, August 25, 2013

20 Minute Interview with Jonny Gibbings, author of 'Malice in Blunderland' re PIRATES

23:05 Jonny Gibbings
Just finished! Fucking EPIC! Honestly, what a romp! Amazing book. Jeez!! LOVE it!

23:05 Greg Cummings
That was a brisk read

23:08 Jonny Gibbings [SPOILER ALERT!]
Oh mate - what a read! The whole mujahideen vs pirates with Derek as a patsy to Johnny - the watch, twist of the son about to martyr, Johnny not being dead... his wife kidnapped... fuck! I've not been able to put it down and I've not been held by a book like that for a decade at least.

I've been non-stop on it. Loved it sooo much!

23:09 Greg Cummings
Wow! That's quite an accolade. Thanks mate

23:10 Jonny Gibbings
I genuinely mean it - it is simply stunning, genuinely.

You utter cunt... where did it come from? This is huge!!

23:11 Greg Cummings
Martin is looking for reviews...

23:11 Jonny Gibbings
I will write one ASAP!

23:12 Greg Cummings
I don't know where it came from. I wrote most of it while I was at my folks in Baja - right up to the drone ride - then worked on it LA, London and at Martin's house in northern France, which probably helped with the inspiration

23:13 Jonny Gibbings
You know, your being the gorilla man has just marinated it in Africa, it has so much depth. This is massive. Martin must be freaking over this!!!

23:14 Greg Cummings
He seems pleased but he's keeping his cards close to his chest. Susan my editor and Maggie my agent both remarked how much of a leap it was from G'LAND

But yours is the first genuine review I've gotten from it
I'm blown away you liked it so much

23:15 Jonny Gibbings
Oh man, this is big league shit. This is a whole other world.

23:16 Greg Cummings

23:16 Jonny Gibbings
G'land was good, but Pirates is amazing! Just has everything.

23:16 Greg Cummings
You liked Khadija?

I think she's pretty hot. Sandra, my other half really helped me get her right

23:19 Jonny Gibbings
When I was younger I used to read Robert Ludlum, it has the same relentless pace. Khadija? Hells yeah, she's hot. What I liked most was how she dressed. we are sold Somali as tribal, third world not independent women, sexy - tight jeans etc. even the reference to CSI miami helped to show they are as modern as us etc.

23:23 Greg Cummings
I read Ludlum when I was younger too, and Forsyth, even a few Wilbur Smith, but my taste in books took a whole different direction in high school and I can barely remember the genre now.

I expected Susan to ask me to fill it out with more description in the second draft MS but she had hardly any edits. I guess I cracked it...

23:25 Jonny Gibbings
Me too, but you know that pace. and how the story splinters and you know it will all meet and it will be action, but you can't work out what and your 'Argh... I can't wait' but with pirates there was a maturity with the politics and cast/race issues. Very impressive.

23:26 Greg Cummings
Fuck me, I'm chuffed!

23:28 Jonny Gibbings
You should be. I'm jealous... prick! lol!

23:28 Greg Cummings
I could do with some success - who couldn't

If Pirates is as good as you say it is, my fucking ship might be coming in
which is no easy feat in a land-locked country

23:29 Jonny Gibbings
It deserves to be massive!!

"Exhausted… just finished Greg Cummings new book Pirates. Quite simply a quantum leap from 'Gorillaland' - in my top five best books I have ever read. enormous in how brilliant it is. Old school epic with cutting modern issues/politics and a fast paced romp. Utterly fucking brilliant." - Jonny Gibbins, author of 'Malice in Blunderland' Read his full review here.

Pre-order PIRATES on Amazon:

Jonny's blog: