I’m pleased to say that, even though The Only Genuine Jones has now been out for over two months, the excellent reviews continue to roll in! The book has now received a total of sixteen reviews on Amazon UK, of which no less than twelve are 5* (and four are 4*, leading to an average rating of 4.8). On its Goodreads page the novel has been rated eight times and gets an average of 4.38.
Needless to say, I’m extremely pleased with these results and astonished that not a single person has hated the book so far! I honestly expected it to be the sort of book that would polarise readers–some are bound to hate my approach to historical facts, after all–but I have yet to receive a single negative review.
Here are the three most recent reviews. My thanks go to all my readers who have taken the time to share their experiences of my book, either directly through email, via online review, or who have helped spread the word by prolific retweeting on Twitter. It all helps!
***** An entralling winter read, 31 Dec 2012
By M. Hogan “mikehoganbooks” (Bangkok)
I was as unaware of climbing fiction when I picked up The Only Genuine Jones as I was of Sherlock Holmes pastiches when I started to write my books. Maybe both genre descriptions beg some questions.
I read The Only Genuine Jones as a novel, and it stood up well to that classification.
We are transported to Victorian London (and Wales. the Lake District, Scotland and the Alps) by a writer who knows his period, his characters, his settings (above all) and his idiom. I learned of climbing techniques not accepted by the conservatives and used by the young Turks of the climbing establishment; I joined the protagonist, OJ Jones in inns frequented by climbing men (and women) with rows of ice axes in the lobby, roaring log fires and stories of ice faces and rock chimneys.
The writer is confident enough to describe lochs, hills, mountains and highland villages with a delicacy that made me want to up sticks, do a John Buchan and head for the Highlands.
It was all enormous fun. Add to that Aleister Crowley, the north face of the Eiger, murder and mayhem; really, what’s not to love? It’s a fine winter read. I cannot recommend this book enough.
***** 11 Jan 2013
A book about climbing and mountaineering – not for me I thought but I was wrong. This book held right the way through to the point I wanted much more as I got to the end.
***** Alex Roddie delivers a high altitude page turner., 12 Jan 2013
This was one of the most anticipated books in mountaineering circles in recent years and it certainly does not disappoint.The author is already a highly respected mountaineer and in many ways, by releasing The Only Genuine Jones, Roddie was taking a bit of a risk with that reputation. It would have been safer to turn out a formulaic, technically accurate climbing procedural that would have satisfied the rather strange types who obsess about such things as gear placements and technical specifications. Don’t be put off if you’ve never climbed a mountain in your life. Roddie manages to do what all good writers do, he transports the reader to another place and time. Combining genuine characters from the early days of mountaineering with a great fictional plot, Roddie delivers a well paced novel that deserves to reach a wider audience. I would urge you not to compartmentalise this book. This is not merely “mountain fiction”. This is great fiction, set in the mountains. It matters not that you’ve never climbed the north face of the Eiger. Roddie’s climbing scenes are so engrossing that by the end of the novel you will feel that you have shared something of the cold deprivation on those icy mountain ridges. The author’s love of the mountains is evident throughout this book and his evocative descriptions of the mountain settings perfectly captures both the beauty and the often brutal and unforgiving harshness of these high places. The Only Genuine Jones: Not just for climbers and mountaineers.
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