Pedro Barrento was born in Mozambique in 1961. He has written two books: The Prince and the Singularity – A Circular Tale and Marlene and Sofia – A Double Love Story.
Tell us a little something about yourself as both a person and an author:
I’m a maverick, a loner and someone who loves to think about problems too complicated to ever have a solution. I also have very peculiar beliefs, as I do not believe in the existence of God but I believe in the existence of spiritual dimensions. It’s a very uncomfortable position to be in, because religious people consider me an atheist and atheists just consider me incoherent.
What made you decide to be a writer?
I always wrote short pieces, mainly about political satire, and I have a blog dedicated to that (mostly in Portuguese, though). One of my satirical pieces, “The Euro Crisis Explained to Grannies”, has now been viewed almost 14.000 times, so I guess at least some people must like it. I then started having ideas for longer and more complicated stories.
This is a short story with an educational intent, aiming to draw attention of both teenagers and adults to "no parent" households, where children are left to take care of themselves and the parents are absent. Apparently, it's something that is quite common in some countries.
The story is interesting and well written, although at times it is probably too well written, in the sense that it would be more effective if it were written in a language that is nearer to what is spoken by the target teenager readership.
This is a short comic strip with a very European / bande dessinée feel to it (although written by an American). It's too short to have a real plot, so, in my opinion, it's more of a snapshot of a mood / state of mind. Although "no future" is a slogan usually associated with late 70's punk, one gets the feeling that today's early 20's are the really "no future" generation. This strip is one of the many pieces of art out there that reflect the nihilistic feeling of what risks becoming a lost generation.
This is a very original and creative grammar book. It has been very useful to my wife and I, allowing us to boldly go to any English speaking country and lay down on our hotel beds every night in the certitude that our impeccable English grammar has not failed to impress the locals.
Allow me one small criticism only, if I can: the book is too short. If it were more comprehensive, it would have earned the full five stars.
(Suggestion: reading the book will allow you to correct the mistakes in this review)
"Excuse of the Day" is a very short piece of dialogue that should serve as an introduction to Tabitha Ormiston-Smith's style of writing. As everything else that I've read from this author it is well written, funny and imaginative but it is no more than a tiny bite-sized piece of literature. If you like this er... how should I call it... sample... what you should really be reading is "Gift of Continence" by the same author. That is a full book and it made me laugh out loud on every other page.
Having read previous books by Tabitha, I can tell her writing is maturing and getting more sophisticated as the years go by. Just like a good wine indeed. Operation Tomcat, her latest work, is a shortish mystery story that entertains and amuses in equal parts. It doesn't provoke roars of laughter, like "Gift of Continence" did (nor does it intend to) but it does elicit regular smiles from the reader. The ending is a bit lacking though. A more complex ending would be the cherry on top of the cake.
OPERATION CAMILLA is entertaining, humurous and a fast read. Tabitha seems to be setting on a style that is increasingly recognisable as her own and on which she is extremely competent. She also writes well.