Rock Springs, Kentucky - last chance for the second-rate.
Or even third. Slaves had no choice, of
course, until the Civil War freed them. Free to
set in Kentucky in
the 19th century is quite a change of direction, but Robinson
has succeeded with this hugely enjoyable book... Forbidden love,
kidnappings and false accusations help the plot along but it is the
backdrop and the supporting cast that steal
show... a wonderful novel...full of hilarious and
"Robinson handles his enormous subject with skill and vigour... Reading Kentucky Blues is exhausting but never dull." - THE SPECTATOR
You're an American airman,
washed ashore on the most heavily fortified part of Hitler's
You want to blow it up. The islanders think otherwise. Who's right?
Who's crazy? Who survives?
''Excellently plotted... the
book moves along at a great lick to a
"An original and dazzlingly
controlled novel... Major Wolff
Nutshell: Cold War spies can see a
double-cross coming a mile away, but this one is so obvious,
it must be a triple-cross. Or maybe a simple
cock-up? Let's start again...
Rock Springs is a backwater. It's as high upstream as the riverboats can go, which is why, in the 1840s, the settlers who got off the boat reckoned the West could wait, this was good enough. The town grows like a Hollywood saga turned on its head. The people do their best but their main product is failure.
One man's calamity being another man's joke, you might say they make their own entertainment.
Anyway, the slaves do the real work - until the Civil War makes them free. However, the war has left everyone flat broke, so nobody wants to hire an ex-slave. Where do they go next? Well, there's a big old wilderness up in the hills, all snakes and bears and buzzards. Go live there. And do what? Make moonshine, maybe. Leave the white folks to drink, fight, fail and blame others. Leave them to feud badly and accuse wrongly and have a big murder trial in very poor taste. That sort of thing gives a man a thirst for moonshine. Hey... Isn't that what folks call black humour? Rock Springs has more black humour than you could shake a stick at. Pass the bottle. Top of Page
| Kramer's War (Published 1977. Paperbacked 1978)
It's 1944. Lieutenant Kramer, sole survivor of a ditched American bomber, crawls ashore one night. He knows he's in Europe when he sees a German sentry, so he kills him. That's what war is all about, isn't it? Then Kramer discovers he's on Jersey, in the Channel Islands, the only part of Britain occupied by Germany. Hitler's armies have made it a stronghold, and Kramer finds it an irresistible target for sabotage. But the islanders have spent the past four years working out how to survive. They know that resistance is worse than pointless, it's stupid, because it damages everyone and accomplishes nothing. Since Jersey must import food, co-existence is essential. Someone had better tame Kramer before he runs amuck. With the best intentions, of course.Top of Page
With Honour (Published 1973. Paperbacked 1975)
Starin, head of Soviet Intelligence in London, is good at his job. Too damn good. How can British Intelligence get rid of him? Maybe let him steal one of the West's biggest military secrets and take it back to Moscow - despite the efforts of one of the best British agents. When the secret turns out to be a dud, so is Starin. That's the plan. Unfortunately, all the best British agents are busy, so the job gets given to Hale. Nice chap, Hale. Very honourable. We shall miss him.Top of Page