REVIEWS FOR Brownout – 666:: The real meaning of the swastika

Fantastic read, 
Brownout is a great read and offers an insight into a world of internal struggle in an unfamiliar culture. It is a very intriguing read with several plots that get you thinking. I definitely recommend giving this book a read as you won’t be disappointed.” – avidreader, Amazon review *****

If your interested in obtaining insight into another culture this is the book for you. It’s a window into the culture of a population we see every day but sometimes know little about. It is also a really good and fast-paced story with a lot of twists and turns. A book well worth reading. If there is one drawback it is that the sex is a little graphic for my taste, otherwise, having said that, I would certainly recommend it.” – lawyer, Amazon review *****

Dec 08, 2018

“Teaching …is sort of like being a policeman without a gun, surrounded by criminals.”

Author Mr. John Richard Spencer appears to be making his literary debut with this book BROWNOUT-666. There is no biographical data available so we can only imagine the depth of experiences that allow him to write such a vivid novel about strange circumstances.

One aspect is certain: without taking a breath John jumps into his chosen setting of the Philippines and sets the tone for this intriguing story – ‘An uncanny tone pierced the stifling tropical air. A brilliant flash tore the firmament asunder. Then, amidst the blasted debris, a deafening cacophony arose. The sudden arrival of a rocket-propelled grenade was all too apparent. Chilling screams and the acrid smell of burning flesh accompanied the shattering of glass. Smoke billowed from the second-floor balcony of the Intercontinental while a line of tanks cautiously surveyed the scene from the Paseo de Roxas. Swirling overhead in elongated circles WW II vintage warplanes, known as Tora Toras, were bombing Malacanuang Palace. The December sunshine competed with flashes of artillery fire while rebel soldiers took key installations, one after the other. It was the second day of the coup against the yellow lady, Cory Aquino, who in 1989 was at the zenith of her power and folly. The wish of death had been palpably hanging over this otherwise idyllic paradise for a good many years. From high on verdant hills the fortresses of the privileged and wealthy gazed nonchalantly on the slums of the others below. Priests in their pulpits preached brotherly love, countless unwanted babies made their way into the world, the armies of beggars looked as hopeless as ever and virtually anything could be bought, or arranged, for a price. Yes, for the Philippines, it was almost business-as-usual. Somehow rising to his feet in the blinding dust, the thirty-something, six-foot tall and slightly muscular Rick Daly strode over the detritus of the balcony and slipped inside the body of the building. He was too dazed to speak. He merely nodded in an inane fashion at every movement or gesture directed his way. After fifty meters or so an immovable obstacle made its existence known. The bar, surprisingly, still boasted intact bottles of whiskey along with surrogate promises. Habit or shock caused Rick to grab the first full bottle and pour a generous portion down his throat.’ And so we meet the central character of this book.

John’s outline of the plot reveals not only story but also his philosophy: ‘In the land of flaunted sex, money, and flexible rules, an ambitious but lonely Rick Daly faces his demons. Rick Daly has established a business in the exotic surroundings of the Philippines, while simultaneously discovering Marilyn Delgado, the woman of his dreams. However, a clash of cultures and his own naiveté lead to disaster. Falsely accused of a sexual crime, Rick loses both his freedom and his business. To add insult to injury, a prison escape merely amounts to switching jails. In a world where the rich prosper, honest individuals are forced to the wall, and a cynical disregard for all but the dollar is destroying society from within, crime soon follows punishment for Rick. Close to losing his soul, will Rick’s ultimate success in drug and arms dealing finally lead him to face up to reality?

The flavor of the book is achieved by John’s survey of a high octane adventure, which will takes us into a sea of cultural and ethical flashpoints, while exposing huge cracks in the world’s political and social order, supplanting it all with erotica that adds its own flavor to the story. There is a screenplay potential within these pages. Recommended. – Grady rated it *****
it was amazing – Grady, Good Reads review

Dec 10, 2018

Brownout-666: or the Real Meaning of the Swastika by John Richard Spencer has it all, sex, a fast pace, danger, an interesting protagonist, and plenty of crime. The story takes place in the Philippines, with all of its incongruity, the haves and have nots, and a multitude of available sex partners. Rick Daly is the lead character, who has a business, yet seems to always get in over his head. There is a wealth of adventure within these pages, a subtle commentary on the political and cultural climate of our times, and Daly himself who must come to terms with who he is. You will find this story riveting, with a solid plot, an interesting setting, a ton of erotica, and much more. Highly recommend for a fun and enticing read. Looking forward to more from this author. Valery rated it ****
really liked it – Valery, Good Reads review

Uhhhhh, not what I thought but I stayed with it even though the ‘intimate’ scenes were unnecessary at times. The writer is spot on though in the clash of the two countries as I had visited them both several times during my military service. Lets’ call this “an adventure and geography”. I think it will be well received. Ranger Harper, NetGalley review ****

A realistic and well written story that reflects life and customs in the Philippines as they really are. The story follows the life and adventures of Rick Daly, an Aussie expat who attempts to start a business and life in the Philippines. It gives an insight into both the Filipino and Australian mind set and the complications which occur when the two interact. This is an essential and entertaining read for anyone who is contemplating visiting the Philippines for an extended period, forming a relationship there, or simply in search of a good story. Peter Hardwicke, Amazon review  *****

Minion Reviews

One of the first things to hit me as I began reading Brownout was that it was as if I was watching this on the big screen. The language is so well crafted and visually stimulating I did feel I was deep in the thick of the action and the story was happening around me. Spencer’s literary dexterity is truly a marvel, and Brownout is an incredible read. Whether describing the lush landscape of the Philippines, the vivid scenes of destruction, or the subtleties of character interaction, everything was handled with the greatest of skill.

A truly enjoyable book I will definitely read again. (less)
Minion Reviews, Goodreads  *****