Stairlift to Heaven – Terry Ravenscroft

Format  Kindle (for ipad)

My rating  2 /5


I downloaded this book when it was free a week or so ago.  Ravenscroft starts the book by saying that it is a series of diary entries that were made as and when humourous things happened. The diary excerpts cover a five-year period (up to 2011 I think) when Terry was 65-70. Terry does also note that he did embellish some of the stories. I would think he embellished them a lot in some places.


There are some very funny moments in the book, the trip to the Charity Shops in York made me smile, but I found that as the book went on the stories became more and more outlandish and unbelievable (the swimming lessons ones, the zimmer frame olympics to name just two) and Ravenscroft comes across, to me, as a bitter and grumpy old man.  At numerous points throughout the book he criticises well-known British ‘personalities’,  seemingly for the sake of it. Peter Kay, Tom Jones, Parkinson, Jonathan Ross and Cliff Richard are slated by Ravenscroft, but no real reason for it is provided, other than that they are more famous than he is (Ravenscroft was a script writer for the likes of Les Dawson and is keen to point out when more contemporary comedians recycle his work – although we only have his word on this).
The book is very un-PC, evidenced through his descriptions of ‘The Poles’ (and his subsequent (alleged) patronising parodies of them at the expense of a rail conductor), his fellow learner swimmers, his abused of an already ill-treated dog and his description of Manchester as ‘a city of dark satanic gay bars’.


I wanted to love this book. I wanted to find it funny. In the end I found it distasteful, disappointing and Ravesncroft immensely unlikable. There were whole sections I skipped through and I’m afraid that, for me, the odd gem that I did find wasn’t worth the time I spent reading the rest.


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R. S. Vern – two ebook reviews

The following two books have been read and reviewed on behalf of the Kindle Book Review


Haee The cat with a crooked tail (Haee and the other middlings)

This is an interesting book, focusing on the ideas of need versus want, what is self-fulfillment and exploring our motivations.

Its a short read, interspersed with beautiful images of Haee and the other characters.

I’m not sure that I really ‘got’ this book on the first read, and I suspect it is one of those books that you can turn to again and again and find different things, dependent upon your mood.

it is thought provoking as we see the human characters stuck in a life they think they should lead, rather than perhaps the one they want to lead. I suspect that a young adolescent would take the most from this book as they sit at a crossroad in life, making choices that will impact their future.

All in all an intriguing, well designed ebook. It is well edited and a well thought out and put together package.

The second book… The Unconventional Life of Haee (Haee and the other middlings)
Another wonderfully illustrated book from R.S. Vern, again following the life of Haee, the middling cat….

This book again observes those that are not quite pursuing a ‘normal’ life but also looks at the consequences of everyone being a middling… it doesn’t quite work, everyone (and thing) has a place in the world, and they contribute, each in their own way, no matter how trivial that contribution may be!

The images in the book are again wonderful, and really capture the idea of Haee and his other friends.

Certainly a quick and easy read that will provoke different ideas each time you pause to read it.

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My Humongous Hamster – Lorna Freytag

Today I received this book from the lovely people over at Piccadilly Press. Whilst I have been sent a free copy of this book, this is a fair and honest review.


This book is aimed very much at a young child, it is a picture book that follows a rather large hamster. Daniel and I have read this book and we rather liked it.


The accompanying press release says:

An imaginative story which grows! Lorna Freytag’s stunning photographs are surreal and comforting at the same time. It is certain to delight children and adults alike.


Now, the story itself isn’t one of the best I have read, I quite like stories that rhyme and I think rhyming stories hold my son’s attention better. But, that said, it is a lovely book and the pictures are brilliant. There is a lot of detail that, as Daniel grows, we will be able to highlight and talk about.

As Daniel is just under 17 weeks old, he isn’t really enjoying books at the moment, but this one did hold his attention until the end, and he certainly enjoyed looking at the pictures, especially the brilliant one of the hamster nose up.


This book would make a lovely gift for any child, and I’m sure will be one that Daniel and I read time and time again. It will also be a good opportunity to talk about hamsters and how they are looked after etc.



My Humongous Hamster is published by Piccadilly Press and is available to pre-order from amazon here.

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