Welcome!! My name is Paul Lappen. I am in my early 50s, single, and live in Connecticut USA. This blog will consist of book reviews, written by me, on a wide variety of subjects. I specialize, as much as possible, in small press and self-published books, to give them whatever tiny bit of publicity help that I can. Other than that, I am willing to review nearly any genre, except poetry, romance, elementary-school children's books and (really bloody) horror.

I have another 800 reviews at my archive blog: http://www.deadtreesreviewarchive.blogspot.com (please visit).

I post my reviews to:

2 yahoo groups
Amazon and B&N (of course)
and on Twitter

I am always looking for more places to post my reviews.

Sunday, June 22, 2014


Semmant, Vadim Babenko, Ergo Sum Publishing, 2013

This is the story of a man and his sentient computer program.

As a boy, Bogdan Bogdanov is taken away from his home in the former Yugoslavia, and sent to a special school for the very intelligent in Brighton, England. After several years, the school is forced to close, so Bogdanov finds himself on his own.

His first job is at a laboratory in Switzerland. He starts it with the highest level of enthusiasm, but, after a couple of years, he gets bored and quits. Moving from lab to lab all over Europe, the pattern is always the same. Bogdanov learns about world financial markets by working for a swindler and currency manipulator. He eventually finds himself alone in Madrid.

Bogdanov spends months writing the ultimate financial trading computer program, which he calls Semmant. He does not just fill it with prices from the financial section of the local newspaper. He also fills it with books and articles on psychology and sociology, anything that might have an effect on the financial world. Semmant's first solo financial trades do not end well, but it eventually gets the "hang" of it.

Meantime, Bogdanov has loved and lost the lovely Lidia. In an attempt to get her back, he creates an online character named Adele, and posts stories of their "relationship" in an online forum that Adele is known to frequent. The reconciliation does not end well, and Semmant (who has been filled with a lot more than just financial information) falls for Adele. It then takes matters into its own hands.

On the positive side, this book has a lot of interesting ideas, like a computer program that achieves anything resembling sentience. On the negative side, told in flashback, the reading is dry and slow. Also, cuts could have been made in the word count of this book. If the reader has a lot of patience, then this book is worth reading. Otherwise, this book can be skipped.


  1. This is an informative blog. We can know more about different books and their reviews as well. The book mentioned in this blog is sounding cool, I will read it some day.

  2. Hey paul... My best wishes are with you for your blogs. This story sounds interesting not just like typical love stroy. I will read the book for further story.