When a team of crack French troops are sent by Napoleon to sever the arteries of Britain’s war effort, which hero sprang to his country’s aid? Who rescued the huntsmen of Shropshire from a rampaging bear? From providing a getaway craft for families seeking refuge during the Swing Riots, to saving the reputation of a clerical gentleman and pursuing criminals into the fetid waters of the River Thames, there is only one man who claims to have done them all. Even if he probably did not, he might have done something like it. At least, he almost certainly did not accidentally shoot Lord Nelson.
In an attempt to fight off the forces of oppression, be they his daughter or the changing notions of decency in the nineteenth century, Job Carter looks back over his life in the hope of annoying his daughter, provoking local men of the cloth, and even teaching the younger generations - who have all improved themselves considerably - something about real life in the good old days.
Or maybe he was just making it all up. Who knows?
By Steve Dyster
Published by North Staffordshire Press, Sept 2017
isbn 978 0 9935783 2 8
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Thanks to Mark Jacobson for the first review of The Navigator
by Stephen Dyster
The Navigator: Job Carter - more a description of his occupation than his name – is a grand raconteur, or teller of tales, always about his younger days, mainly told to his son in law or grandson, and many designed to shock, but entertain, the listener. The veracity of these cannot be vouched for but their historical relevance captures the spirit of those times, from the late eighteenth to mid-nineteenth century. Historically this spans four Monarchs: George III, George IV, William IV and Victoria.
Starting with the bare bones recorded of Job Carter, Steve has enriched the tale by fleshing it out judiciously. The resulting narrative is easy to read, flowing from tale to tale with fluidity. Also, in using a larger than normal font size, the print is much easier on ageing eyes!
Each tale is a separate story but the character of Job Carter is exposed, likeable, if of an earlier age with different morals, so not necessarily understood in this more modern era. It also encompasses the contest between Church and Chapel which arose during this period, incorporating the temperance movement in the disputes. Job was a great believer in the sober use of ale, and less enamoured of drunken sots!
At the conclusion of this enjoyable book one is left with a single question: is it an historic novel, or a fantastic tale told to entrance?
Thanks to Verona Jay, who left this review at https://www.amazon.co.uk/Navigator-Stephen-Dyster/dp/0993578322/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1509030704&sr=8-1&keywords=Steve+Dyster
I am currently a student studying for a degree in English where the skill of writing a pretty good essay is a result of excellent research. Historical events, or just reading about history, are a great source of information, enlightening but sometimes boring.
I borrowed a copy of this book from a friend (who purchased it from a local coffee shop) read the preface, which grabbed my attention on the get-go, and preceded to read a few of the ten short stories. The chapter 'My Great-great-grandma and the Wooden Leg was my favourite and made me chuckle on more than a few occasions. An allegorical illustration opens each chapter before the author gives a brief background precluding each story.
The only book I can compare this to, for satirical content, is the History of the World in 10 ½ chapters by Julian Barnes. It is a refreshing change from reading laborious texts that leave you with a numbed brain and I can tell you I have endured many during my degree. Writing historical events in such a satirical format is genius!