Two New Reviews for MYOPIA

MYOPIA cover 2“A Triumphant Roar Against the Blind Stupidity of Bullying”

“Myopia is a YA novel of exceptional quality. The setting, story and characters
sing out with an unflinching and audacious authenticity. Gardiner tackles the
complex issue of bullying with sensitivity, skill and a kind of wisdom that
beats a defiant and persistent rhythm from within the heart of the book.”

“Myopia is a poignant, beautiful and heart-wrenching story that resonates with
truth, hope and above all, the immeasurable power of human compassion .
Thoroughly recommended.”

TJ Reids

For full review click here myopia3

 

“This is an important insightful book, that deals with the problem of bullying in schools.”

“A satisfying tale with a strong upbeat message, sorely needed in our sometimes depressing world.”

JL Bwye

Click here to see reviews in full

 

 

 

‘A Very British Blog Tour’

A Very British Blog tourAuthor, Nancy Jardine, has invited a group of British authors, to take part in ‘A Very British Blog Tour’ by visiting and supporting the websites of authors who are involved in the tour, and who are dedicated to turning out some of the finest books available in Britain today. Each author, named at the bottom of the page, has been asked the same questions, but their answers will obviously all be different. Click on the author’s link at the bottom of the page to see how they have answered the same questions.

Q. Where were you born and where do you live at the moment?

 I was born in Jos, Nigeria, to British parents. I now live in West Sussex.

Q. Have you always lived and worked in Britain or are you based elsewhere at the moment?

I’ve lived in Britain for most of my life having moved here when I was about two years old. I lived in West London through my teenage years.

Q. Which is your favourite part of Britain?

 I love the West Country: Cornwall, Devon and Dorset, and have really enjoyed holidaying on the Isle of Wight with my family for the last two summers.

Q. Have you ‘highlighted’ or ‘showcased’ any particular part of Britain in your books? For example, a town or city; a county, a monument or some well-known place or event?

‘Myopia’ is set in Crawley, which is a large new town between London and Brighton. It’s an exciting, vibrant town which is often (and unfairly) maligned. I’ve also written an (unpublished) romantic novel set in Nigeria in the 1960s during the Biafran War.

Q. There is an illusion – or myth if you wish – about British people that I would like you to discuss. Many see the ‘Brits’ as ‘stiff upper lip’. Is that correct?

I try to avoid stereotypes. I would imagine the people of Britain are as varied and wonderful as people in any country. Some will be buttoned up and some gushing. My experience of British people is that they are warm, caring and friendly. Of course there are exceptions. My concern is that modern capitalism advocates selfish competition and privacy – but this isn’t just a British problem.

Q. Do any of the characters in your books carry the ‘stiff upper lip’? Or are they all ‘British Bulldog’ and unique in their own way?

In ‘Myopia’ Mr Finn, a Deputy-Head teacher, seems initially stiff and formal, but turns out to be a quirky individual. I would hope that my characters go beyond being stereotypes. Being stiff-upper-lipped or bulldoggish wouldn’t occur to me as human-beings are too complex and, as you suggest, unique. myopia3I’m not overly concerned about my writing being ‘British’ – but a bit more universal.

Q. Tell us about one of your recent books?

‘Myopia’ is about a teenager called Jerry who is being bullied because he’s short-sighted and wears glasses. He attempts to teach the bully a lesson, but without resorting to violence. He has to be assertive and extremely creative. He discovers a great deal about himself as well as about the boy who is making his life such a misery. He also begins a romance with the lovely Parminder, which allows me to explore another form of prejudice – racism. Jerry starts to imagine himself as the ‘Knight of Myopia’ and even believes he has super-powers; a delusion which leads a very dangerous situation.

Q. What are you currently working on?

I’m currently about half-way through what might be called a ‘slipstream’ or ‘weird’ novel, employing fantasy elements in its narrative and themes. I also have a non-fiction book coming out later in the year which evaluates the works of writer, Michael Moorcock, and I’m putting the finishing touches to that.

Q. How do you spend your leisure time?

 I love films and go to the cinema a lot. My favourite movie is probably ‘Pan’s Labyrinth’. I also listen to rock, metal and prog music – and even sometimes get to gigs.

Q. Do you write for a local audience or a global audience?Glimpse of the Numinous Prototype

 I imagine a global audience when I write and have sold stories in America. I even got some articles translated into German a few years ago.

Q. Can you provide links to your work?

My website: www.jeffgardiner.com

Amazon Author page

Amazon.com

A link to 3 free stories of mine

Smashwords 

Crooked Cat Books

Other featured authors:

Nancy Jardine

David Robinson

Paula Martin

Jane Bwye

Ailsa Abraham

Mark Patton

(more will be added when posted)

Pank Magazine review for ‘A Glimpse of the Numinous’

A Glimpse of the Numinous by Jeff Gardiner (A Review by David S. Atkinson)

Glimpse of the Numinous PrototypeThere is something about characters coming into contact with something larger than themselves that makes for particularly compelling fiction. I don’t mean events larger than themselves, more of reaching for aspects of existence that transcend the experience in their particular world. Call it what you will: the other, god, correlated contents; that outward reaching seems to cause some kind of magnetic imbalance, tugging the reader inward inversely to the outward reaching of the characters.

The reaching of the characters in the stories of Jeff Gardiner’s A Glimpse of the Numinous certainly exerted that kind of pull for me. A man who finds a way to make his fears visible in order to face them? A woman approached by a stranger who claims to be in love with her and know everything about her? A boy who finally reaches out to a friend without awareness or concern regarding what the darkness in his own life will bring about? I like fiction about ordinary lives as much as the next person, but I cannot deny the pull of “the other.”

The opening portion of the title story is actually a wonderful way to explain how it felt to start reading this book:

”We haven’t made love for over a year now. Then one day a few weeks ago I was quite shocked when Helen began to masturbate in bed beside me in the early hours of the morning…But the first time this happened, her moaning woke me and I thought she was having nightmares but when I tried to shake her she pushed me away. In the darkness I could hear and feel her reaching climaxes of ecstasy that she had certainly never experienced with me.

Dan paused for a while and would not catch my eye, for which I was grateful, as I wasn’t really sure I wanted to hear this, but it was too late to stop him now.”

The narrator’s response in this scene mirrors my own reaction when I started reading A Glimpse of the Numinous. Indeed, Gardiner was telling me strange things, things I wasn’t sure I wanted to hear, but by that point there was no question of stopping him. I had no choice but to follow along.

Reflecting on this, I would have imagined a whole collection of stories like this would be somewhat similar. However, this is far from the case with A Glimpse of the Numinous. My personal favorite, “Bred in the Bone,” is one of the darker stories in the book. Told from the perspective of a little boy, it is definitely a horror-type story. This contrasts with some of the romantic yearning related stories of the book, centered on a variety of men and women. Of course, this portion of “Writer’s Block” demonstrates that there is also humor: “To have married one exploding wife was unfortunate, but to have married two was just getting silly.”

What’s not to like? Well-written strangeness is always a quick way to my heart. Stories that don’t give me any choice but to keep reading have an advantage on me as well. Given all that, there was no way I wasn’t going to be fond of Jeff Gardiner’s A Glimpse of the Numinous. It’s a collection that people really should reach for.

http://www.pankmagazine.com/pankblog/reviews/a-glimpse-of-the-numinous-by-jeff-gardiner-a-review-by-david-s-atkinson/

…And another review for ‘A Glimpse of the Numinous’!

Review from Fright.comA Glimpse of the Numinous

“The fourteen stories contained in this collection, the first by Jeff Gardiner, are notable for their considerable range. No two are alike, yet all are distinguished by beautifully evocative writing and a staunch commitment to originality. I can honestly say that, in a most unusual occurrence, nearly all the tales in A GLIMPSE OF THE NUMINOUS are defiantly unique, if not downright bizarre.

“A GLIMPSE OF THE NUMINOUS must be counted as a success, showcasing a new writer from whom I believe we will unquestionably be hearing great things.”

 

By Adam Groves   at  http://www.fright.com/edge/GlimpseNuminous.htm

A new review for A GLIMPSE OF THE NUMINOUS

A review for A GLIMPSE OF THE NUMINOUSGlimpse of the Numinous Prototype

by A. J. Kirby in ‘The Short Review’

“A trawl through this book, leaving lingering fingerprints on various wildly diverse surfaces, is almost like wandering through an antiques shop on the hunt for dusty treasures. At first glimpse it appears the stories, the objects d’art within, are too different, too disconnected, to form a coherent whole. But such a conclusion would be to seriously devalue Gardiner’s excellence as a writer.

“A Glimpse of the Numinous is Gardiner’s unheimlich manoeuvre on our expectations. A rapid shock to our systems, a release from our reading constraints. A flapping gull to our faces. A screamingly bright light shone into our eyes. A body deconstructed. Gardiner’s stories are “clues” to a deeper life, a stranger truth, a scarier reality. They are stories about dysfunctional sexual and familial relationships, about masturbation and transformation, about death, about religion, about the ominous.

“It’s about shifting us out of our comfort zones as readers. Gardiner has a skill for eye-opening first lines which immediately draw us, kicking and screaming, into the worlds he creates.

“And once you’re in, you’re instantly won over all over again by his boisterous, yet ultra-realistic dialogue … And then, after the unbeatable combinations, Gardiner provides us with his knock-out blow, his simple, great writing, which acts like an uppercut to the brain.

“A Glimpse of the Numinous is far from an easy read, but it is a rewarding one, and, more importantly, an eye-opening one. Reading is a form of escapism, and in Gardiner’s fiction, we escape to places we’d never imagine journeying to.”

Glimpse of the Numinous Prototype

See the whole review here:

http://thenewshortreview.wordpress.com/2013/01/31/a-glimpse-of-the-numinous-by-jeff-gardiner/

What the reviews say about MYOPIA

MYOPIA cover 2***** “A really enjoyable read with charming characters that stay with you long after you finish the book. A believable and grounded story with a few surreal surprises.”

 ***** “an awe inspiring cleverly written book … a realistic portrayal of teenage life.”

 ***** “This was a really great read … I loved how Jeff Gardiner showed that being a loser doesn’t mean there’s no room for redemption … Real people are portrayed very well, and sadly there are all too real situations, but Jeff Gardiner quite clearly demonstrates that the world is clearer for a bit of acceptance of our differences.”

 ***** “Brilliant book. I couldn’t put it down.”

 ***** “Although this book is written for teenagers it is also an excellent read for adults. Anyone who has had to deal with the effects of bullying or been the victim of it will be able to relate to the messages in this book and the author uses his teaching experience to create a realistic setting whilst overlaying it with a cracking tale. The story moves along at a fast pace and the beginning captivates the reader with the central character, Jerry, being physically and mentally tortured in school by his arch-nemesis Wayno … However, this serious undertone is supplemented with plenty of good humour and even a touch of romance.”

 ***** “compelling and challenging, a lovely read.”

 ***** “Jerry, the central character, is very compelling. He is at times cool and sure then suddenly out of his depth and blundering into dangerous mistakes and wild fantasies; very believable for someone of that age and in those circumstances … It would make a good starting point for a discussion about bullying either in a family or the classroom.”

 ***** “Don’t be short sighted, buy this book!”

***** “Lovely read.”

myopia3

 

Click on the cover image to buy ‘MYOPIA’