Perris of the Cherry Trees by J.S. Fletcher, The Good Soldier Švejk by Jaroslav Hašek and a couple of skinnies.

I am still recovering from an upper respiratory infection. I’m off antibiotics but still tired. I hate being sick. It’s like entering a time warp where my schedule and life is in a grey zone. Tomorrow I’m going back to work and I think that will perk me up a great deal.

In the meantime. Here’s four books I’ve just finished.

I read this on my kindle

Perris of the Cherry-trees by J.S. Fletcher

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

At first I wasn’t sure if I was going to like this story. It’s heavily written in Yorkshire dialect and the story looked like it was going to be kind of depressing:

A beautiful woman, Rhoda Perris, is married to a lazy good for nothing, Abel Perris. He has not worked on their land as he should and now the rent is due and they don’t have the money. Rhoda goes to their nearest neighbor, Mark Taffendale, to beg a loan. This is very humiliating for her, but she has no choice.

Mark Taffendale is a wealthy landowner and prosperous. He generously gives her the money insisting she need not pay him back.

Well, to cut to the chase, one thing leads to another and Rhoda falls in love with Master Taffendal, whom she cannot help comparing to her lout of a husband.

A couple of things develop at this point. One, Rhoda and Taffendale begin seeing each other on the sly in the woods. Another, and this is rather unexpected, Perris turns into a hardworking man.

Perris’ turn about seems to be from a hiny chewing his wife gave him.

Thanks to his diligence Rhoda and Perris are able to keep up the land (which has a grove of cherry trees, as the title indicates) and their living goes from being desperate to congenial.

However, Rhoda takes Perris and his newly found work ethic for granted, not to mention the relative ease of the lives now that they no longer live in financial straits. She has fallen for Taffendale and is contemptuous of her husband.

For a long time Perris is ignoranct as to his wife’s “excursions”. He believes her when she tells him she’s going to choir practice Sunday nights.

However, inevitably, this does not last. A farm hand for Perris, a miserable excuse for a man named Pippany Webster, sees Rhoda and Taffendale, chuckles to himself as he schemes to turn his knowledge to his advantage.

The fact that both Taffendale and Rhoda saved his life not that long ago (which is how they met in the first place- that’s called an irony) doesn’t seem to affect his conscience any.

And that’s all you’re going to get. I don’t want to give anything away, because you should read this story for yourself. It’s free on Gutenberg. Here’s some ingredients:

A murder takes place shortly after.
The affair is discovered, but not the way you think.
Perris disappears.
And the village performa a “Stang” on the individuals they deem guilty of sin.

A Stang is an old pagan practice, carried over from primitive times into 19th century England. Basically it’s a lynch mob. That’s all you need to know, except that no good comes from it, needless to say.

The ending is not predictable and the story, which started out a little boring, quickly accelerated into a good hearty suspenseful story.

J.S. Fletcher is known for being one of the Golden Year Detective writers. This story has many mysterious elements in it, although it cannot be called a murder mystery, even though there’s a murder.

I did end up enjoying the colorful dialect and customs of a Yorkshire that is undoubtedly long gone.

At least it is preserved among the pages of this writer’s works.

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Dragons: Legends & Lore of Dinosaurs by Bodie Hodge

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This was a wonderful book and I loved the illustrations and the presentation of each country and their folk lore of dragons.

I also like how they tie together the obvious, yet willfully ignored by many, observation that dragons resemble dinosaurs and originally the two words were used interchangeably.

Anyone who is curious about dragons and dinosaurs and their authentic place in history, based on historical and legendary accounts from every continent will enjoy this book.

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Korean History in Maps: From Prehistory to the Twenty-First Century by Lee Injae

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I really liked the illustrations and photographs in this book. The time periods were broken down according to dynasty and the relevant leaders, both political and cultural of each time.

The 20th century part was the most interesting to me, simply because I’m more familiar with it and curious about the breaking of north and south and their global relationship.

The one thing that surprised and disappointed me was the comment about North Korea’s constitution guaranteeing religious freedom for Christians and Buddhists. That’s an outright lie.

Also, there was no mention of North Korea’s prisons and gulags that make up a significant percentage of the population and provide a slave labor class with a high mortality rate.

Other than that serious flaw. I found the book worth reading.

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The Good Soldier Švejk by Jaroslav Hašek

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Jaroslav Hasek was Czech writer largely known for the writing of this novel, which as been translated into 60 languages.

Svejk is a naif or a fool who does not seem to be able to comprehend the atrocities that are happening around him. If he is sent to jail, that’s a good thing. If he is interrogated by the police on suspicion of subversive activity, he has every faith the officials know what they are doing.

He spends an inordinate time in jail as different governing officials try to figure out what he has done wrong, torturing him to get him to admit crimes that he has no clue about. Yet his faith in the eptitude of government work never falters and he congratulates and celebrates all the horrible things that happens to him.

He is sent to a mental asylum, because his answers are so simple and silly, he must be mentally incompetent.

Later when he is freed, he is followed by policemen to try to catch him committing crimes against the state. He even joins the Austrian Army, although he has rheumatic athritis and must go to war in a wheelchair.

The book is an exercise in buffoonery, but like Court Jesters and other buffoons, it makes clear that the absurdity lies in the “sane” people who abuse their authority over common citizens.

Really the whole method of writing is a very acute and deft satire on the atrocities committed to helpless citizens who have no means of exercising their rights as human beings.

The situations and calamities that befall Svejk made me think of Stalin’s mock trials and gulags, but I had to remind myself that this was written before the Soviet Empire really got rolling, since Hasek died in 1922.

Which shows that governments ignoring basic human rights pre-dates many of the later despotic regimes. Anyone reading about the welfare of soldiers during the Crimean War will understand that.

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8 thoughts on “Perris of the Cherry Trees by J.S. Fletcher, The Good Soldier Švejk by Jaroslav Hašek and a couple of skinnies.

  1. Fletcher is one of my favorite authors but i haven’t read this one. where did you get it? i have read his novels in ebook form and haven’t tried to buy them yet, but if i can find them for sale i’d probably cough up the bread… i tried reading the Svejk one but bogged down. it just seemed pretty silly… i’m glad you’re feeling better… how’;s Josh doing? great post by the way: multi-blogging for sure!


  2. I love the dinosaur/dragon connection you’ve made here. We have bones and we have stories of giant lizard things. Seems obvious to me.

    North Korea. I wasn’t expecting to see that here! I have high hopes. Tomorrow will be better than yesterday when it comes to that place. Do you pray? Sometimes I see the world leaders on the news and my heart is filled with hope.

    I really need to read the book at the end about the Czech soldier. I like him already!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Sandi! Thanks so much for visiting my blog! I am a huge prayer warrior. Make all our petitions known to God! I believe that Christ is working in Korea, we just know so little about what is going on there. I feel the same way about Afghanistan. It won’t be our weapons that change the hearts of the Taliban. It will be the missionaries.

      Blessings to you. I really enjoy your blog. It’s such an encouragement.


      1. Sharon, I wish I had read your reply here before posting my comment on your most recent post. This is a sweep of encouragement across my dusty soul. Ha… my terrible poetry, but just wanted to say thank you. Praying here too.

        There is a lot that is secret in Korea I think, and these other places, and here in the US too. 💙


  3. Sharon sorry first of all to read you have been ill. Hope you are doing much better every day. Perris of the Cherry Trees sounds like a good read. Will have to research my library and check this one out. In the meantime take care of yourself friend. Thanks to for visiting my blog and leaving an encouraging word. Hugs

    Liked by 1 person

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