Thirty Seconds Before Midnight Kindle ↠ Thirty


  • Paperback
  • 250 pages
  • Thirty Seconds Before Midnight
  • Helen J. Beal
  • English
  • 11 December 2014
  • 9781909354005

10 thoughts on “Thirty Seconds Before Midnight

  1. Margitte Margitte says:

    Thirty Seconds Before Midnight by Helen BealIt was the first time ever that I seriously thought about the different forms of laughter I honestly never thought I had it all in me While reading this book it went from uaint gigles tee hee hees harrah harrah harrah woo hoo hoo snorting chuckling bwahaha ha to almost indecent guffaws snickers and titters Which form of laughter do you think would you indulge in when you read this just as the main door to the Big House flew open with an almighty smash and the man with the stripy hair stood proud on the step naked as a nectarine With his hands on his hips he screamed as though his toenails were being extractedBob dropped the bucket It tumbled down the Hill emptying its contents a delicious assortment of lettuce ends and cucumber starts in its wake First his face weathered like one of Stella's vintage handbags went a chalky white Then as Naked Man his hair swinging against his gluteus maximus posed in prayer then like a standing star and then low down like a wheelbarrow so low that I was sure the tip of his genitalia must have been scraping on the gravel Bob turned puce And he stomped off to the feed shedBut wait humor and satire are not the same all over the world What the English and most of the world who shared a life with the Brits at one point regard as hilariously funny might be regarded by the Americans as dull and not funny at all Whatever the case might be this book will touch you in ways than one Actually in ways than you could ever have imagined I cannot help but smile again when trying to introduce the duo Digby the parakeet and dear Herbert the gigantic land tortoise who is not the only but mostly our main narrator My first impression was that I have been fooled into reading a children's book Perhaps it was a fairy tale for grown ups which had me uite infatuated with the idea since it worked so well as the story initially unfolded Well as I mentioned there's Digby the flying arm of the gossip team and Herbert the wallflower a real tortoise though enclosed in his 'exuisite boredom' observing the lives of their new neighbors at Bestwood Herbert had a crush on Stella his human friend Best friend he ever had The feeling was mutual Digby regarded Herbert as his mother but that's another story Perky Herbie my nickname for Herbert is bowled over with the voice of Ollie one of the twins of the new neighbors Herbie just figured out that Sid and Ollie with their band Apollemis were indeed the incarnation of Apollo and Artemis with Ollie no doubt being Apollo the God of music and light He wasn't so sure about Sid though But he would go with Sid as the male embodiment of Artemis lady of wild things the moon the dark side The twins were like the sun and the moon Truth and chastity These twins were united by their band called Apollermis The name was a combination of the two Greek Gods' names Right then Ollie was the musician and Sid the party animalThe previous owners who lived a uiet life at Bestwood sold the impressive property to the twin's dad Dave with his new trophy wife Issa and her three dog lits She might have been a mistake in Dave's life since he soon realized that he cannot make her happy that her discontent with life is permanentHerbie felt it unfair that these humans could have multiple talents explore multiple uses of themselves and be good at than just one thing It was like living several lives in just one it was gluttonous A richness that wracked my simple life dedicated to observation with poverty rendered it positively dissatisfyingI would say that this thought of Herbert pretty much sums up the fast flowing story with its surprising twists and turns The turning of events will begin with the famous rock star Dave Palmer buying the estate planning to turn it into a health resort getting rid of the animals as well The gatehouse where the zookeeper Bob and his daughter Stella reside would make a perfect recording studio for the twins Ollie planned his own record labelThe idea will receive creative ingenious opposition mostly kicking and schemingfrom the existing occupiers both human and animal alike It promised to be hilarious in its originality The book addresses life including animal human antics with wit and wisdom in an easy flowing format All the animals have names and characters like their human counterparts The story proves that we are somehow either through blood or the company we keep family The story line is original and very well executed The events are funny sad feisty profound thought provoking heart wrenching but definitely grown up in nature There is a dignity and depth in all the characters There is a skillful intermixing of narrators to keep the story flowing Most of the character development will be done in epistolary style The initial impression of dealing with a bunch of lunatics will be balanced out very uickly by the rolling events The characters show respectability and responsibility in their make up which renders the story real and utterly believable apart from fairy tale characters Herbert and Digby being their twittering pondering and philosophical selves And do not forget the phantom tigress called KevinStella would become the catalyst that would force all the human and animal family in her life to address their own truths hurt and way forward There is anger sadness laughter as well as a state of total disbelief in the situation There is enough drama to keep the reader absolutely riveted to the unfolding tale And no it turned out not to be a fairy tale for grown ups at all In fact I was so totally caught off guard for what would happenI never thought I would enjoy this book this much Honestly I have a confession to make Well yes I want to pull on a British flag short jump over the wall into the zoo encampment take a bow; where the Naked Man's had been punchy mine will be wide generous and all inclusive like Ollie's and like him want to yell Hello I'm Ollie Ollie Palmer And it is my absolute pleasure to meet you all How terribly fast life changed after Ollie's clownish jumpThis story is brilliant No annoying lose ends will blow into your eyes; no emotion will remain unaddressed A tragicomedy par excellence I have been soooo wrong into believing differentlyFive stars All the way I recommend this book to anyone who enjoys a heartwarming yet soul wrenching community and family drama This book will surprise you beyond believe


  2. Rachelle Ayala Rachelle Ayala says:

    Herbert is a giant land tortoise whose ancestors came from the Galapagos Islands He was born and raised in a menagerie in England at the estate of Bestwood His entire life is circumscribed by the mundane routine of the small zoo and he had never wandered beyond the WallThings change when the aristocrat owner of Bestwood sells the estate to Dave Palmer a rock and roll star His strange family including a pair of twin sons and a Brazilian model wife move in and upset the routine of the menagerie and the zookeeper Bob and his daughter StellaMost of the story is told through the eyes of Herbert the tortoise aided by his able spy Digby the parakeet who can fly and hide in trees to observe human activitiesChanges are afoot for the residents of Bestwood and not for the best Midway through the story on the best and worst day of Herbert's life tragedy strikes Part III is told in a series of letters written by Ollie one of the rock star's sons who shows an aptitude in both music and love Unfortunately without giving away the ending the story becomes tragicMaybe I'm not a reader of literary fiction and I cannot understand the senselessness of tragedy but I was left feeling depressed and lonely Did the author really have to kill off everyone Herbert loved or even liked and enjoyed as a friend? It all seemed pointless and cast a damp pall on my enjoyment of the storyThat said I think the author is absolutely brilliant in the voice of Herbert his apt descriptions and wry observations and the emotions he as a tortoise can feel while still thinking rationally What an unusual protagonist I prefer to think that Herbert and Digby are together again And even though I saw the reference to Orpheus and Eurydice in the narrative I'm perhaps too dense to figure out why the author did what she did It just made me sad and maybe that was the point of it allMy Favorite uote Every life means something to someone somewhereHelen J Beal 2012 11 30T0800000000 Thirty Seconds Before Midnight Kindle Locations 3146 3147 Carapace Kindle Edition


  3. Sarah Sarah says:

    I won this book in a giveaway and was immediately intrigued at the idea of a tortoise as narrator since I have my own little pet tortoise From the moment I began the book I could not put it down Wonderfully written and the narration of Herbert the tortoise is sure to capture the heart of anyone This book had me both laughing and crying and not ready to say goodbye when it ended Excellent read


  4. L L says:

    This compelling work is a masterpiece of classic mythology given a contemporary classy twist as to make it relevant within today’s modern world This re telling of the classic Greek myth Orpheus and Eurydice is beautifully crafted giving it a modern flair as to make it current within the twenty first century A concoction of Sex Drugs and rock and roll which is combined with thought provoking narrative on evolution this makes for a fascinating and utterly absorbing read A comedic tragedy full of truth drawing moments character driven intense plot and dramatic twists and turns that leave you in suspense this brilliant book is such an exciting read As an avid reader of literary fiction and someone who can connect to poignant tragedies that are full of such deep meaningful prose I took great pleasure in loosing myself within this intricately woven saga of love and loss Being written in first person perspective through the eyes of Herbert the Tortoise gives this novel a uniue and distinctive flair making it a most interesting read Herbert the giant land Tortoise whose ancestors came from the Galapagos Islands was born and raised in a small Zoo within the estate of Bestwood England He has never known freedom liberty or the true meaning of ‘living in the wild’ The catalyst for great change is in the form of Dave Palmer a rock and roll star who becomes the new aristocratic owner of the estate Upsetting the menagerie is his twin sons and Brazilian model wife who divergent to Zookeeper Bob and his daughter Stella are unaccustomed to the daily routine and obligations responsibilities of the Zoo and its occupants Tragedy strikes in the form of loss and the profound lasting affect that it has on those who love others Full of exuisite detailed descriptions that make the story so atmospheric bringing it vividly to life before your very eyes I was so impressed by Helen J Beal’s extraordinary work that was truly overwhelming and uite unexpected“Every life means something to someone somewhere” uote I could connect to the protagonist and enjoyed seeing the world through the eyes of this animal who gave the story such a fresh new outlook that perhaps would have been a little less remarkable had it of been one of the humans within the story The link within the narrative to Orpheus and Eurydice was perfect clarity and expressed through the emotive passages and sections within the tale therefore fans of Greek mythology will love this ‘new take’ on old fables Young love and romance animal antics rock and roll popstars and beautiful settings within the uintessentially British countryside is just a wonderful tantalizing treat and mix I was drawn into this emotional story that was so moving and memorable whilst I was able to empathize with the attractive characters and their stories The lush cover and uality of paper and binding is very exclusive and makes this an ideal gorgeous gift and book to treasure ‘Yes’ you thought back at me and then ‘BLINK’ I have no eyes I thought but I did it anyway And then we wereIN A DESERT On a Mountain Surrounded by the Oceans LIGHT rushed in at you Your Cheekbones GLOWED And your eyes Burned Amber I won a copy of this book through a ‘GoodReads First Read’ giveaway I would like to take this opportunity of thanking the author for having a select number of their work as a giveaway


  5. Sierra Sierra says:

    Every life means something to someone somewhere This book was given to me by the author I would first like to thank her for sharing her story with meHelen’s retold story of the Orpheus and Eurydice myth is given through the eyes of a land tortoise Herbert whose ancestors came from the Galapagos Islands He was born and raised in a menagerie in England at the estate of Bestwood His entire life is circumscribed by the mundane routine of the small zoo and he had never wandered beyond the WallThings change when the owner of Bestwood sells the estate to Dave Palmer a rock and roll star His strange family including a pair of twin sons and a Brazilian model wife move in and upset the routine of the menagerie and the zookeeper Bob and his daughter StellaMost of the story is told through the eyes of Herbert the tortoise aided by his able spy Digby the parakeet who can fly and hide in trees to observe human activities These parts made me laugh the most Herbert was always relying on Digby for the latest newsChanges are afoot for the residents of Bestwood and not for the best Midway through the story on the best and worst day of Herbert’s life tragedy strikes What could be the best day for a tortoise? You will have to read the story to find outThat said I think the author is absolutely brilliant in the voice of Herbert his apt descriptions and wry observations and the emotions he as a tortoise can feel while still thinking rationally He very uickly became my favorite character It also made me think that if I had a tortoise I sure do hope he would be as loving as HerbertAlthough this story does end in slight tragedy it is well worth the read I found so much in the story that just the tale being toldKeep an eye out as I will being doing an interview with the author


  6. Rich Rich says:

    This book just grew and grew I found it a little slow to start with but after the first couple of chapters that are really just setting the scene the pace picked up I can't think of many actually make that any books that I have read where the narrator is an animal and a giant land tortoise at that This just adds to the story and if it makes you hesitate to pick it up then don't as Herbert is such a character and it just adds to the tale Ageing rock stars young love a menagerie not so full of animals an old country house dancing the coastthis book has everything The author has such a great way with words that you are feel empathy with the main characters and you are drawn into an emotional story It made me both laugh and cry and I would definitely recommend it Herbert rocks


  7. Sam Sam says:

    Contemporary retelling of the classic Greek Myth Orpheus and Eurydice takes sex drugs and rock and roll mixes them up with doses of evolution and pantheism and swings between comedy and tragedyWhat I got was simply a plain fun read I loved it This book has something for everyone It will make you laugh cry rethink friendships relationships you name it It is such a fun fast readI received this from the author and I highly recommend it


  8. Danny Danny says:

    Uniue and thought provoking The tortoise viewpoint and parakeet's tales reminds me very much of the Olga da Polga books by Michael Bond but of course with adult themes The pantheistic philosophy is refreshing and suits the retelling of Greek myth perfectly Altogether this is a very worthwhile read


  9. Harri Harri says:

    I received this through first reads Yes this is another book I received years ago and never got round to reading thanks to life getting in the way Four years later university is finished and I'm reading for pleasure again so here comes my belated reviewI found the novel hard to get into at first Possibly because of the sentence structure and language choice due to the main character being a tortoise And I did find the novelty of having a tortoise narrate added interest to the book; it's not often that a tortoise is a narrator After the first few chapters as the story began to pick up I found myself interested and by the last few chapters I was hooked desperate to find out what happenedThe book was deceptively sad Perhaps I should have been expecting it with the word 'tragedy' written on the blurb but the feeling of the earlier chapters lulled me into a false sense of security Bad things happened but I felt like the events couldn't get worse No proper spoilers but wow the final events in the story really hit me and I realised I was much attached to certain characters than I thought I wasI didn't actually know the myth of Orpheus and Eurydice before I read this novel so I looked it up afterwards to see if I had missed anything While I can see parallels this book works as its own story and I don't think the myth adds muchThree stars because of the slow start and the difficulties I had with the voice of the tortoise but I did enjoy the book


  10. Alice Alice says:

    First off I want to say thanks to Helen J Beal who gave me this book in a Giveaway It's hard to really review this story as it doesn't feel like just one book but two neither of which had time to blossom but were interesting in their own right I'll tackle what I consider is the 'first' storyfirstThe blurb introduces this novel as a pushpull argument between the old and the new the haves and the have nots Not something I'd normally read but the idea of the menagerie and particularly the narrator intrigued me I was drawn into the love affairs and the felt strongly about the closing of the menagerie The narrator Herbert the tortoise was a bold and brilliant choice I did wonder how he was going to be able to notice all the minor details but with his friend Digby the parakeet he manages very well The other amusing animals my favourite being Colin the grass snake were endearing and amusing and I could have read about 300 pages about the little zoo Sadly this story line was short lived and underdeveloped That's what brings me to the 'second' storyIn the second part a major character becomes unwell and this part is told through letters While I liked this use of the epistolary style as well it didn't feel like a plot twist it felt abrupt and if I'm honest lazy The romantic subplot at this point isn't well built on perhaps because Herbert can't see EVERYTHING but also perhaps because Beal was hurrying the narration After this point the plot speeds up and pretty much nothing is resolved apart from Herbert's desire for adventure The blurb is very misleading as almost none of the narrative is about the redesigning of the land and the closing of the menagerie It flits about wildly and had there been development of these plots would have made an excellent though much longer novel Which saddens me as I'm sure I would have really enjoyed it The blurb also makes reference to Orpheus and Eurydice trying not to spoiler Greek god who's good at music loves a woman and then things go badly wrong While I don't want to belittle Beal's re imagining of this story it feels like it's a shoehorned in reference The bulk of the narrative has nothing to do with this story apart from a pretty weird 'hippy dippy' moment in a hospital and that there is a love story involving a musician As the denouement approaches Beal gets the tortoise to muse on Greek myth and the whole believability falls apart for me I could no longer suspend my disbelief and was disappointed with her need to force in a completely unnecessary reference There's nothing new under the sun but you don't have to reference every influence It was a clever narrative without that and frankly only took away from the experience I know this review sounds like I'm blasting this book But I did enjoy it I would recommend it I would just not recommend reading the blurb first


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Thirty Seconds Before Midnight❰Download❯ ➺ Thirty Seconds Before Midnight Author Helen J. Beal – Buyprobolan50.co.uk What happens when the old money runs out and the new money rolls in Welcome to Bestwood a dilapidated estate in the wilds of the English countryside where Herbert a giant land tortoise presides over t What happens when the old money runs out and the new money rolls in Welcome to Bestwood a dilapidated estate in the wilds of the English countryside where Herbert a giant land tortoise presides over the tatty menagerie The zookeeper Bob Thirty Seconds eBook Î and his daughter Stella are mystified when rock legend Dave Palmer arrives with his twin sons; that is until they announce their plans to reinvent Bestwood as ‘Palmer Springs – Where Hope Is Eternal’ – a luxury refuge for creative souls – and no place for a menagerieThis contemporary retelling of the classic Greek myth Orpheus and Eurydice takes sex drugs and rock and roll and mixes them up with doses of evolution and pantheism swinging between comedy and tragedy.


About the Author: Helen J. Beal

Helen J Beal was born in York in the north of England in She has a degree in English Literature and Language from London University and a professional background in Information Technology sales specializing in creating and growing start up Thirty Seconds eBook Î businessesShe is the author of three novels Thirty Seconds Before Midnight Rich in Small Things and Riding a Tiger and a collection of short stories.