RECENT REVIEWS & ENDORSEMENTS

  • Pursuit of Ordinary, The
    Nigel Jay Cooper
    I loved this book, it was well written and some good plot twists. You are actually left wondering who has the mental illness.
    This book covers some pretty harsh topics, domestic abuse, homelessness, depression and mental illness. The story is told from the point of views of both main characters. Will be recommending to others.
    ~ Sharon Healey , NetGalley

  • Pursuit of Ordinary, The
    Nigel Jay Cooper
    Loved it, a must for everyone’s list! Original, thought provoking and sensitively written, The Pursuit of Ordinary tackles subjects that are often left untouched in the world of fiction, yet are so prevalent in everyday life. That is not to say that it is a dark read, quite the opposite in fact, with an element of subtle humour woven in. Despite covering themes including mental health and homelessness, following the journeys of the two main characters makes for an interesting and thoroughly enjoyable read. This is an intriguing book which maintains a good pace and provides unexpected twists along the way. A fantastic follow up novel to Nigel Jay Cooper’s debut, Beat the Rain, I can’t wait to see what’s to come! 5 Stars. ~ Julie, Amazon

  • Entangled Lives
    Imran Omer
    Behind the inflammatory headlines lies a tragic reality

    The newspaper headlines only present one side of a complex story when it comes to reporting about the Taliban. The reality is heartbreaking and the author uses his narrative to explain how poor young men are cannon fodder for the war machine that feeds the extremism of the Taliban.

    Young boys that are orphaned or from poor families are given to the Madrasa, supposedly to be educated but the reality is that they are indoctrinated, often suffer horrific sexual abuse at the hands of the very men that are supposed to protect them and are then sent to fight for a cause that has no meaning to them. Money is exchanged in return for this steady supply of young men by the wealthy countries supporting the Taliban such as Saudi Arabia. The reality is that these young men are no more than pawns in a dirty game of war and power.

    This wonderful book puts into perspective exactly who the enemy is, and it is not the young man or woman forced into situations over which they have no control. The so-called enemy wearing the suicide belt or driving the truck into the crowd or planting the bomb is just another casualty of war.

    If only the reporters took the time to look behind the scenes and in doing so would report a very different story. The majority of news agencies seem more concerned with headlines than reporting the other side of the story.

    If the public was given the real story, that these young people are targeted as vulnerable youngsters and given no choice but to carry out the instructions of those that control them, there might be more understanding and empathy.

    Raza is the ‘face of the enemy’, a poor Pakistani boy whose life is blighted by tragedy. The local Mullah offers to take him in and educate him after he is left an orphan but this turn of events leads him to be sold to the Taliban as a soldier. Even after running away with a young girl he meets in the Madrasa he cannot escape the fate that powerful men have decided for him. The young woman is also another pawn in the game that these powerful men play and she has been promised to a much older man as his third wife and she too has no control over her destiny either.

    Raza is ultimately captured and imprisoned in Guantanamo Bay and this is where he meets the American journalist from his past. This past encounter serves to highlight that humanity can triumph in the worst of circumstances.

    It is a tragic story and the reader is compelled to examine the reality that faces so many young, destitute people the world over. The author makes it clear this is one aspect of a very complex situation but it is certainly food for thought.

    ~ Gillian, Breakaway Reviewers

  • Pursuit of Ordinary, The
    Nigel Jay Cooper
    Having read reviews on this book I thought I would enjoy it and I did. Without reiterating the whole story, the two main characters appear to be poles apart in every aspect of their life. However having been “thrown” together under unusual circumstances, it is a the story of their journey, separately and together. The story is basically one of mental health and several branches of it and self doubt and blame. The story jumps around and sometimes takes some concentration to understand where the characters are but it is brilliant! I would recommend everyone reads this book to get more of an insight into mental health problems. ~ Karen Farrow, Amazon

  • Entangled Lives
    Imran Omer
    A gem of a story--emotionally resonant while being culturally impactful. The novel isn't some forgettable social artefact but an exceptional literary work. ~ Daniel Casey, NetGalley

  • Entangled Lives
    Imran Omer
    Thought provoking and sad, everyone should read this to understand some of the many facets that make up human conflict. Imran Omer gives us a vivid picture of a Raza, poor Pakistani orphan brought up in a corrupt madrassah. He tries to escape, but never really has a chance of a normal life and is eventually forced to fight for the Taliban. The novel starts with his meeting with Rachel an American journalist who persuades him to tell her his story, so we see the conflict in Afghanistan from both perspectives. The characterisation and the narration are so clear, I had to check to see if it was a true story. ~ Jill Burrows, NetGalley

  • Pursuit of Ordinary, The
    Nigel Jay Cooper
    This is a compelling read, thankfully I was on holiday when I started reading the book so didn’t need to put it down too often! The story offers a fascinating insight into the tricky issues of homelessness and mental health. The story is written from the perspective of all 3 main characters over 5 parts, which provides a brilliant 3D story. I highly recommend this novel, which has left me wondering about a few things! ~ Alison Clarke, Amazon

  • Some Assembly Required
    Michael Strelow
    A quirky and odd tale that is half mad scientist, half bow-down-and-worship-our-AI-overlords. The 'how' is never really explained apart from loud declarations of 'SCIENCE', 'AI' and 'ALGORITHMS' so as you're catapulted through the stream of consciousness of the ADHD narrator, you're constantly wondering what is real or if it is all in his head.

    Recommended for readers who like transrealism and AI. ~ CJ, NetGalley

  • Pursuit of Ordinary, The
    Nigel Jay Cooper
    This is an excellent book and the sort you don't want to start too late in the evening as you will want to continue reading and not go to bed. There are no spoilers in this review which makes it difficult as there are so many tortuous twists and turns. A fatal road accident has the soul of a dead man (Joe) entering a nearby homeless man (Dan). Dan then tries to befriend the dead man's widow with Joe in his head telling him what to do. It is an intriguing premise and it is beautifully executed. The book keeps you guessing and Mr Cooper is a strong enough writer luckily to keep all the characters clear and distinct. The point of view changes but because each person has a unique voice, you always know who is speaking - even Natalie can tell the difference between Dan and Joe because of their accents.

    The narrative is complicated and satisfying and there is much to admire and enjoy in this story. Even if you find yourself disliking any of the folks, you still want to know how it ends. My feelings vacillated throughout the story and I found the whole book entertaining and moving and I was glad I had read it. The ending is suited to the plot and leaves you satisfied.

    Recommended if you like mysteries with twists and well-drawn characters.
    ~ Anne Maguire , GoodReads

  • Feral Chickens
    C. McGee
    Laugh out loud funny novel. I would love to see it made into a film. ~ Nancy Mijangos , NetGalley

  • Pursuit of Ordinary, The
    Nigel Jay Cooper
    I was gripped by Nigel Jay Cooper’s first book but I have to say this one is even better. The plot twists were beautifully crafted & I had no idea which way the book was heading. As a Brighton resident I enjoyed the familiar settings and can definitely picture this as a film/TV show. Especially with the changing narratives of each of the characters.

    It was great to see some of the names from Beat The Rain tie in to the story as well. Except Imogen - boo hiss to her :D

    The subject of mental health issues was sensitively handled and I found this to be a hopeful and life-affirming book, completely contrary to what I had been expecting! 5 Stars. ~ Emma Dallos, Amazon

  • Pursuit of Ordinary, The
    Nigel Jay Cooper
    An engaging book I couldn't put down. Difficult subjects are handled very sensitively and with real understanding and warmth. I loved the way the story is anchored so firmly in its Brighton location, with affectionate nods to Nigel Jay Cooper's previous novel Beat the Rain. Hurry up and write more! ~ NKM, Amazon

  • Pursuit of Ordinary, The
    Nigel Jay Cooper
    The story gripped me right from the beginning. The debate between the supernatural and mental health issues was well played out through the multidimensional characters. Can hope come from a tragedy? Is it real or an illusion? I found the story extremely emotional at times. Death and grief are one of the greatest challenges we experience as a human being. This and the hope, false or real, makes us very vulnerable. This is so well depicted in this book. It was sometimes difficult for me to read as it was an anniversary of a terrible loss for me, but I did find cathartic to follow the story to its conclusion. ~ Sue Ross, Goodreads

  • Pursuit of Ordinary, The
    Nigel Jay Cooper
    When Natalie’s husband Joe is killed in a freak traffic accident, she is cast adrift but before long she is sought out by homeless Dan who she recognises from the accident scene. But the problem is that Dan is insisting that the spirit of Joe has entered his body and has asked him to find her so they can be together again. As a witness to the incident that changed her life forever, Natalie needs to know what Dan saw of that night.

    The story flicks between the perspective of Natalie, Dan and Joe, and is sometimes told through conversations Joe and Dan have together.

    A brilliant story of perceptions, all in the pursuit of ordinary.
    ~ Fiona Moreira, Goodreads

  • Pursuit of Ordinary, The
    Nigel Jay Cooper
    An excellent read... it gripped me from the opening paragraph and kept me on the hook while the complexities of the plot unfolded. The characters are well-written and you find yourself drawn into their lives and desperate to see how (or if) it all works out for them. Five stars. ~ Customer, Amazon

  • Pursuit of Ordinary, The
    Nigel Jay Cooper
    This is an intriguing book. Can the spirit of one person transfer and live on in another? The premise seems ridiculous. The main characters first come in to view at the scene of a fatal road accident where this appears to have happened and then their fates are entwined forever. Initially, the story was not convincing to me as a reader and I almost put it aside but as the plot progressed I found myself engaging with it more. The dialogue between Dan and Joe and the interactions with Natalie are well-written and clever. As we see two damaged and vulnerable characters attempt to change their lives, we gain an insight into how ordinary people deal what befalls them... An emotional and ultimately positive read.
    ~ Linda Parry, NetGalley

  • Feral Chickens
    C. McGee
    A relaxing book about an exotic island that you should consider taking with you to the beach. ~ Reading Badger, Reading Badger

  • Justice Gone
    N. Lombardi Jr.
    Praise for THE PLAIN OF JARS: 'The writing is picturesque, cinematic, vivid, and sharp...a splendid achievement. A well-researched, finely crafted novel.' ~ Richard Crasta, author

  • Pursuit of Ordinary, The
    Nigel Jay Cooper
    Beautifully written book. Very well written characters. Very different to anything I have read before. Highly recommended. ~ Jodi H, NetGalley

  • Pursuit of Ordinary, The
    Nigel Jay Cooper
    Such a pleasure to read a story so unique and compelling. It is written so beautifully, with the characters coming to life with each page. I've never read a book like this and loved the sensitive handling of such a complex condition..Simply Superb! ~ Samantha M, NetGalley

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