tasting ‘the larton chronicles’

The Larton Chronicles by James Anson

The Blurb:

Robert March, acerbic writer and ex-policeman, moves to Larton where he meets Michael Faulkner, the hard-riding, hard-drinking ‘squire’ of the village. Robert comes to like Larton, but finds there are drawbacks to living there – Michael being one of them.

The Larton Chronicles is a gentle, humorous amble through the English countryside meeting Michael’s relatives, Robert’s long-suffering agent, the Irish showjumping team, Robert’s beloved Aga, and the folk from Larton itself. Damp dogs, hard-ridden horses and snooty cats roam pages filled with the story of Rob and Mike – fighting, laughing, loving and building a life together.

Why I bought it:

It was a present from my mate Jenre cos she loves me. Minions please take note.

Dislike/like (ending on a high note):

Dislike~ There is nothing I really disliked about this book – far from it in fact – therefore my so-called issues might seem a little petty cos they are. *ahem* I have to admit that the character of Michael pissed me off at times. He just seemed so self-absorbed with his horses, his drinking with his mates and his carelessness with money. By the same token, he could be amazingly caring and he was completely devoted to Robert. Not an irredeemable character, but still…

Like~ I adored Robert. He was by no means perfect either – yeah, contrary I know -, but where Michael grated on my nerves Robert appealled to me with his grumpy personality and acerbic wit. He was a total shit. *Hmmm. This is beginning to ring bells.* I also loved the way the author conveyed how Robert begrudgingly fell for his new home, neighbours, family and everything associated with country living. It was terrific.

Dislike~ This is going to seem weird; however, something about the setting put me off and this was the sense of time. For the life of me I couldn’t get a good grasp about the period in which the book was set and, although I knew months and years were passing, I had no idea how long it had been. When the reader finds out that Robert and Michael had been together for 8 years towards the end of the book, I almost spat out my mouthful of red wine! This is good in a way because I obviously got caught up in the story, yet it did niggle at me. Told you it was weird.

Like~ How great to read a story set in the heart of the English countryside! Interestingly, the book was both familiar and unique to me. Familiar in that it contained some of the ‘typical’ English characters you get in this kind of setting, including the reclusive writer and the horse-mad local gentry. Unique because it told the tale of two seemingly very different men falling first into friendship and then into love. This, for me, contributed to making it such a great reading experience.

So, what I think: If I had to describe this book in one word it would be ‘charming’. That might seem a bit patronising and dismissive to some, but The Larton Chronicles is an utterly delightful story which I think many will enjoy.

Those intrigued should also go read Jenre’s review. She is much better at this kind of thing. πŸ™‚


β€˜Tasting’ is my version of a mini-review where I talk a (very) little about what I liked and disliked about a book as well as who I think the story will appeal to.Oh, and I’ve added a bit about why I picked up the book in the first place – sometimes this can be interesting to know.

About Kris

Reads, rants, randoms & R+s. You've been warned. BTW, don't follow me if you're a GLBTQQphobic wanker. It won't end well. For you.
This entry was posted in contemporary, humour, james anson, Jenre, m/m, m/m romance challenge 2010, tasting. Bookmark the permalink.

21 Responses to tasting ‘the larton chronicles’

  1. Will you possibly be tasting my alter ego in the future?


  2. jitterbug says:

    I've wanted to read this book for a looong time, but @bookdepository (no, no twitter references… I still can't believe you have given in) it's out of stock. I know, I should probably just buy it from the publisher *rolls eyes*. What can I say, TBD has ruined me for all others ;).

  3. Eyre says:

    Sounds like I should put this one on my list.

  4. Juniper says:

    I keep visiting the Wayward site (it's one of the only times it has paid to be from the UK), but, although I keep purchasing paperbacks, many remain unread whilst I stick to e-books. Why, when the excerpt is Pdf, can't they release it as an e-book too?

  5. Jenre says:

    Ooh, so glad you liked it too. All thanks to Chris to brought it to my attention in the first place :).

    I get what you mean about Michael. He really needed a kick up the arse from Robert – and at one point I thought that was going to happen but the silly man backed down *sigh*. Oh well, I suppose it showed just how much Robert loved Michael if he was prepared to put up with him :).

    I think the story is supposed to be a contemporary – or at least within the last 10 years. Some of the stuff to do with the Anglo-Irish angle seemed to have come from the IRA truce which happened a short time after the Omagh bombing in 1998.

  6. Tam says:

    I remember Jen saying this was a good book. I'll have to look into it. Eventually. πŸ™‚

  7. Chris says:

    Aw, thanks Jen – and it was Josh Lanyon mentioning the book as one of his comfort reads that got me interested in it. πŸ™‚

    Hmm, I didn't really have any niggles about the book, Kris – everyone as they were, annoyances and all. πŸ™‚

  8. Kris says:

    Katebabs chook: Maybe. If you're very very nice to me. πŸ™‚

    Sara: You are a broken record.

    The Emerald City (aka TBD) are Gods. I resent buying from anywhere else too. Shall I put The Larton Chronicles into the swap??

    Eyre: 'Tis good. You should definitely put it on your list.

  9. Kris says:

    Juni: “Why, when the excerpt is Pdf, can't they release it as an e-book too?”

    Absolutely no idea. I thought exactly the same thing when I visited the site because there are a couple of other books that I also thought looked interesting. Bloody publishers!

    Jenre: I did like it. Thanks for sending it to me, Jen!

    “I think the story is supposed to be a contemporary – or at least within the last 10 years. Some of the stuff to do with the Anglo-Irish angle seemed to have come from the IRA truce which happened a short time after the Omagh bombing in 1998.”

    Oh. Okay. I think it was because the setting seemed so stereotypically interwar or just post WW2 that I wasn't sure. Thanks for that, Jen.

  10. Kris says:

    Tam: Ok. I'll definitely put it in the swap. That way more peeps will get a chance to read it.

    Chris: Well' I did say that they were pretty petty niggles. That should cover me. πŸ˜›

  11. The countryside blurb through me off a bit but your charming description put it back on my read list.

  12. Kris says:

    KC, I just added it to the swap so you should go put your name down on the mailing list. πŸ™‚

  13. Kaetrin says:

    silly question – what's the swap?

  14. Kris says:

    Kaetrin: The swap is The Great Yaoi Swap (see right side bar). It's a group of people who swap yaoi books and novel to each other from all over the world. Occasionally other books are put into the mix such as those by James Lear, the awesome Black Wade and now this one.

    The swap is open to anyone. You just need to be willing to pay the cost of posting the book to the next person on the list.

    Are you interested??

  15. orannia says:

    This minion has taken note πŸ™‚

    I like the sound of this. It's like m/m meets Jilly Cooper…that makes it sound not to good…I'll shut up now!

    Oh, it's on the swap? *races over* I love the swap!

  16. Tracy says:

    Sounds good. I love the friendship to love trope.

  17. Kris says:

    Orannia: *pats* Good minion.

    Tracy: T'was good. Have you put your name down for it in the swap? If not, you should. πŸ™‚

  18. Kaetrin says:

    re the Yaoi Swap – could I join for the novels or does it have to be the Manga too? If so, what should I do next?

  19. Kris says:

    Kaetrin: We'll convert you eventually you know. πŸ˜›

    Email me at krisngoodbooks AT gmail DOT com and I'll see what I can do about hooking you up.

  20. Kaetrin says:

    @ Kris. I've been trying to email you but I keep getting a message there's a delay. Apparently my ISP doesn't like Perth. Or something. Anyway, BOLO for something from me!

  21. Kris says:

    Kaetrin: Will do!

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