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The Unhappy Medium: A Supernatural Comedy by [Brown, T. J.]
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The Unhappy Medium: A Supernatural Comedy Kindle Edition

4.2 out of 5 stars 237 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

T J Brown was born in Dorset during the 1960s but was too young to realise how good the decade was meant to be. Instead, he had to make do with the 1970s, which only became interesting towards the end when many, Brown included, started wearing charity-shop clothes and swearing. Conscription into arts school was at this time mandatory and as a result Brown found himself reading German literature, creating miserable paintings and performing music that in retrospect, and at the time, was dreadful. After three lost years at art school Brown moved to London to begin five lost years on the margins of the capital’s fashionable underbelly. After all that, a career in publishing almost came as a relief. And so, after many years producing illustrated books on astronomy and aviation, Brown returned to his love of comic writing. He lives in Kent, dangerously close to two pubs.

Product Details

  • File Size: 1119 KB
  • Print Length: 394 pages
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
  • Publication Date: February 22, 2014
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00ILRX3D0
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #169,255 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Kindle Edition
The Unhappy Medium has everything I look for in a comedic fantasy/SF novel. The protagonist is a skeptic (think Mythbusters, James Randi, Harry Houdini et al) who finds that reality is...not as he had always assumed. Call it supernatural noir with a dash of historical (not to mention prehistorical) fiction for flavor, along the lines of the Bobby Dollar series by Tad Williams, the Inferno series by Larry Niven and Jerry Pournelle, the Reality Dysfunction series by Peter F. Hamilton, or the Ghost Trilogy by L. E. Modesitt.

Although the novel is a self-contained story, the author also sets up what looks to be a bang-up series. Highly recommended to any SF, fantasy, or horror fan who likes their humor dry and their spooks snarky. In the interest of avoiding spoilers, I’ll just say if any of this sounds like your cup of tea (with a nod to the charming UK and continental settings, including castles *and* pubs, not to mention the lovingly restored WWI-era tank that plays a role), grab this book!
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Format: Kindle Edition
I really wanted to like this book. I stuck with it until the end, but I skipped parts. The first 30% (sorry I don't have numbers)was supposed to introduce the characters, but I spent the whole time thinking what is this all about and where is the medium. The middle I enjoyed when the main character started doing missions but things started getting violent and gross. I don't enjoy reading about torture so I skipped large portions of the book in the back. It just might be my age, but I didn't like it.
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Format: Kindle Edition
Brown's writing style flows with ease; a wry smile quickly appeared in the corner of my mouth and I was laughing by page two. This book has all the promise of a great potential series! Respected physicist Newton Barlow has spent his life rejecting the spiritual, but when your reputation is destroyed and your dead mentor tells you (to your face) there's more than just this life, and offers you a job, well...things get interesting!
There are really relatable characters in this tale and everyone, from heroes to villains, is distinct, memorable and enjoyable. I'm a big fan of this genre and this one was a true joy to read. It's earned its place alongside my favourite books, and there aren't many debut novels on that shelf! I really hope he writes more of these, I'm hooked!
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
A very unusual novel in that it starts out as an apparent one genre novel but soon morphs into several genres, to include, time travel, historical fiction, action, skulduggery, ghosts, etc. This should be enough for almost any reader. If you get bored with one segment, then just keep reading. I really don't think anyone would get bored. The author has put many fictional characters in this novel but also mentions a lot of real characters. I found it interesting to do a Google of these characters in order to understand the development of the author's main characters. This had the additional benefit (to me at least) to review my history of the Spanish Inquisition and other past or present incidents mentioned in this novel.

I won't go into the story since much of this has been mentioned in previous reviews. Don't be afraid to read these other reviews as they contain no spoilers and may further incite your curiosity of this book.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This was such a delightful read! My life's so busy I don't allow myself the joy of reading fiction often, so when I do it must be entertaining. This certainly was. The story flowed well and kept my interest, the characters were unique and enjoyable. The writing was wry and witty and had me laughing out loud several places (which drew the attention of my husband and children, so I had to read them parts--makes a good read-aloud, too). As a skeptical atheist woman with a scientific bent, I loved the clash of science, skepticism and the supernatural. I'd recommend it to anyone looking for a casual, fun read. I'm looking forward to whatever Mr. Brown has next for us.
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Format: Kindle Edition
This was unexpected. I happened upon this after developing an itch to read a book by a new author and at the same time having this one recommended to me by a friend. It hooked me early on as it zigged and zagged and outpaced my expectations. Just when I thought I had a handle on the book, Brown shifted scenes and styles -- scientific, historical and magical moments follow one another in The Unhappy Medium and Brown handles them with equal aplomb, eventually placing them all on equal footing as the book became impossible to put down. Along the way there's a warmth in each of those distinct perspectives that felt like taking a vacation to a foreign place I've always wanted to visit and finding the best tour guide who shares both his home-grown excitement for the spots that made me want to go there in the first place and his disfavor over the things robbing it of its essential charm. There is an unmistakable, genuine British wit in the Unhappy Medium that can't be manufactured elsewhere. It's worth seeking out and sharing.

Of note is that the characters and scenes are drawn with a painter's eye for detail and precision. I found the depictions of the characters and scenes engrossing in and of themselves -- beyond what what they contributed to the story's progression. Those finely wrought moments were like going to a museum and appreciating a painting without worrying about what movement the painter belonged to or what it's supposed to mean.

Collectively, though, the book concerns a Dr. Newton Barlow, a character who initially struck me as sharing a similarity to Richard Dawkins in their outspoken reliance on science as their first and last method of understanding the world.
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