The Empire of Things by C. J. Stone
Disclaimer: I received this book from the author in exchange for a review.
Summary: Politics, paganism and .... Vlad the Impaler. Selected stories from CJ Stone from 2003 to the present. Meet Ivor Coles, a British Tommy killed in action in September 1915, lost, and then found again. Visit Mothers Club in Erdington, the best psychedelic music club in the UK in the '60s. Celebrate Robin Hood's Day and find out what a huckle duckle is. Travel to Stonehenge at the Summer Solstice and carouse with the hippies. Find out what a Ranter is, and why CJ Stone thinks that he's one. Take LSD with Dr Lilly, the psychedelic scientist. Meet a headless soldier or the ghost of Elvis Presley in Gabalfa, Cardiff. Journey to Whitstable, to New York, to Malta and to Transylvania, and to many other places, real and imagined, political and spiritual, transcendent and mundane. As The Independent says, this is "The best guide to the underground since Charon ferried dead souls across the Styx."
Review: A collection of stories and articles ranging from legalizing of marijuana, Stonehenge, hippies, and the state of the British government.
With books that contain only a few stories, I can remember details easily enough. With books with more stories, it’s become harder for me to remember individual stories. So in short, I should have taken notes and I do apologize for that as I will only mention a few stories. I did enjoy this collection and I feel it contains enough of a variety that a reader should find something to enjoy.
The story I found most poignant was Requiem for a Dreamer. It really does show how alcohol can destroy a life. It’s easy enough to say it was a preventable tragedy, but reality is much harder to fix with words.
I enjoyed the article about Drug Problems or Drug Solutions? It’s a very polarizing topic and easily has people up in arms. I really liked the thoughtful and logical way the author approached the situation.
I also enjoyed the section about Stonehenge. It’s a fascinating place with so much unknown, including how it was built, why it was built, and what is was used for. Stonehenge can represent different things to different people.
My least favorite section was on the state of the British government. Perhaps that is because I am American and now too terribly familiar with British history in the 20th century. The author has very strong views towards Margaret Thatcher which might upset a few people.
Recommendation: I would recommend this book to those that enjoy nonfiction stories about politics, drugs, and other current issues.