Friday 30 November 2012

The Best of All Possible Worlds

I recant. I repent. I confess. Forgive me father for I have sinned. Nevermore shall I blaspheme and take the name of AKB48 in vain. I am converted. The scales have been lifted and on the road to Akihabara mine eyes have beheld the glory, the fury, the majesty and the triumph that is the blistering satire of AKB. I was blind but now I see. The Lord is Light and She has illuminated my ere wretched path with the wisdom and the knowledge that, in a land justly unheralded for its political lampoonery, AKB48 are perhaps the most ambitiously conceived, expertly executed, and insidiously subversive commentary on the body politic ever unleashed on an unexpecting world.

Work with me on this.

Wednesday 28 November 2012

The Piano Teacher

Elfriede Jelinek, 1983 [Joachim Neugroschel, 1988]
(November 2012)

This is not a beautiful book. This is not even a nice book. This is a nasty, toxic, asphyxiating book. Page after page of bitter poison, acrid contempt, and warped humanity. It is also quite brilliant.

Friday 23 November 2012


At the start of this little book reading exercise I said I’d keep it up for a ‘year, or however long.’ Well, it’s been a year. No, really it has. The first birthday post for this blog passed by a little quickly (distractions, y’know), so I figure I’m allowed one slightly self-indulgent ‘retrospective’ post. Look at it like this: at least it means you won’t have to wade through any of this crap come the end of December.

Wednesday 21 November 2012

Transmetropolitan Vol. 9 and 10

Vol. 9: The Cure, Vol. 10: One More Time
Warren Ellis and Darick Robertson, 2001-2002
(November 2012)

And we’re done. Fittingly we round out this year’s reading with the final volumes of Spider’s antics.

Monday 19 November 2012

Obligatory Election Post

Here’s something I’ve noticed about Japanese elections: they’re a bit noisy, aren’t they? What with all those vans driving around just shouting people’s names. Why, just the other day I…

Friday 16 November 2012


Madeline Ashby, 2012
(November 2012)

The more I think about this, the worse it gets. That kind of mirrors the reading experience, in that the first half of this book is very good but the second, not so much. We’ll obviously be discussing that second half in some detail, so don’t come whining to me if you didn’t want to hear it. I’m also going lay into an enjoyable book I liked in many respects, so you can be sure that I’ll be showing my working.

Monday 12 November 2012

Winter King

The Dawn of Tudor England
Thomas Penn, 2011
(November 2012)

So I’m going to start this by ragging on the blurb again. It’s becoming something of a habit, for which I can only apologise. There’s an interesting twist to the usual SPOILERZ!!! NOES!!!11!!! complaint this time around though, what with this being REAL HISTORY and so, theoretically, being immune from spoilers. Unless your name is Biff.

Friday 9 November 2012

One Man Went To Mow

So the trouble with having a lawn is that eventually you’re going to have to actually cut the damn thing, otherwise it’s not a lawn, it’s a meadow.

Monday 5 November 2012

Who Fears Death

Nnedi Okorafor, 2010
(October 2012)

A confession: I’m pretty crap with blood. Though that’s not right, really. I’ve spilled enough of my own, as well as dealt with other people spilling theirs, to know that the actuality of blood is something I can manage with the minimum of fuss.