Friday, June 21, 2013

The Camera Fiend  -  1911
Ernest William Hornung
160 pages ?
genre -  Adventure
my rating  -  4 out of 5 stars

Tony "Pocket" Upton is almost seventeen-years-old, a student at a resident school in England, and has suffered from asthma as long as he can remember.  Pocket makes regular overnight trips into London to meet with his doctor.  But this last trip is one that he'll always remember.

Even though the book is written about a teenager, it felt like it was meant for adults.  There are so many twists and turns and surprises in this story.  Very suspenseful.  The author did a very good job of slowly deepening the plot and pulling me into the story.

And I learned a some new things:

* myrmidon - a member of a legendary Thessalian people who accompanied their king Achilles in the Trojan War; or  a loyal follower, especially one who executes orders unquestioningly

* asthma cigarettes were used to deliver alkaloids with bronchodilator properties. They were sold commercially for asthma treatment until just before the middle of the 20th century

* stereoscopic camera - a special purpose camera for amateurs to take 3D photos
I'm not sure how many pages this book is.  Amazon says that their ebook is 160 pages, but it seemed much longer than that.  If you are reading Amazon's ebook, you'll see the page numbers in the middle of the sentences.  The last page is 319. says their ebook is 206 pages.  Dodo Press's printed book is 222 pages. 
About the author  -
Ernest William Hornung was born June 7, 1866 in Middlesbrough, England, son of John Peter Hornung, who was born in Hungary.
Hornung spent most of his life in England and France, but for two years he worked as a tutor in New South Wales, Australia.  Although his Australian experience was brief, it influenced most of his literary work.  Nearly two-thirds of his 30 published novels make reference to Australian incidents and experiences.
Hornung married Constance Doyle, the sister of his friend Arthur Conan Doyle on 27 September 1893. Hornung worked as a journalist.
The stories of  A. J. Raffles, a "gentleman thief", were published first in Cassell's Magazine during 1898 and the stories were later collected as The Amateur Cracksman (1899). Other stories of the series include The Black Mask (1901), A Thief in the Night (1905), and the full-length novel Mr. Justice Raffles (1909). Hornung also co-wrote the play Raffles, The Amateur Cracksman in 1903.
Hornung died in Saint-Jean-de-Luz, in the south of France on 22 March 1921.


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