Wednesday 30 October 2013

The Fifty Year Sword

(October 2013)

Did you ever read
The House of Leaves?
A story strange,
of drunks and thieves.

Monday 28 October 2013

Verbal Hygiene

(October 2013)

…grammar drills present pupils with an apparently trivial and pointless task which must nevertheless be performed precisely on command. The point is not to teach the task in and for itself, but to teach discipline – obedience and punctiliousness – in all tasks.

Stop me if you’ve heard this one before…

Wednesday 23 October 2013

The Age Atomic

(October 2013)

The sequel to Empire State which, you may remember, did a lot of stuff well but never quite recaptured the same WHIZZBANGWOW scale of imagination that marked its opening few pages. This is quite a different beast (and you should probably be aware there’ll be spoilers ahead).

Monday 21 October 2013

There is no 'try'

One of the boys got sick and, as is now traditional, that means we all got sick. Sitting round the breakfast table this morning with everyone wheezing and rattling it felt like a particularly mucus-filled Darth Vader convention.

Which is good, because it means I can post this. I've got nothing else as I've spent all week trying to wipe snot of the faces of people who fight and scream and whine every time you try to do them a favour, even though if they just let you sort things out it'd be over in half the time. I've also been cleaning up after the boys.


Friday 18 October 2013

The Book of the Dead

(October 2013)

Well now. An unsolicited ARC*. This, I don’t mind admitting, is something of a first (OHMYGODOHMYGODOHMYGOD). The fact that it’s coming from a publishing house/enterprise/concern I’ve previously been quite enthusiastic about is very nice, but I’m aware that this is the first step down the fraught and slippery path towards Industry Blogger. In an effort to keep my Fandom credentials intact as best as possible, I shall of course try to ensure my comments here are as (un)fair and impartial as they are for everything else. Professional detachment is, somewhat ironically, very much the name of the game (OHMYGODOHMYGODOHMYGOD).

Wednesday 16 October 2013

Choc n' Nut

A little crispy on top, but there are worse ways of using up all those nuts and chocolate bars. Afternoon tea is just so civilized, don't you think?

Monday 14 October 2013

A Tale for the Time Being

(October 2013)

This isn’t really one book. This is two books, one interleaved with the other. And while one of these books is really very, very good, the other isn’t. The other’s quite bad, actually.

Friday 11 October 2013

Too Shocking Even for Channel 4

Bright lights, big city.

Growing up in rural Middle-England it’s fair to say I didn’t have much exposure to the seedier aspects of the human experience. I mean, sure, there was the village tramp who everyone viewed with a sort of tolerant condescension and the church committee would give a hamper to at christmas.* Looking back, the guy was clearly suffering from at least one sort of mental illness, but talking about these things isn’t done so the fact his lifestyle choices included living under an upturned bath in a cave was publicly attributed to nothing more than good old-fashioned English eccentricity.

Wednesday 9 October 2013

The Art of Rhetoric

(October 2013)

The purpose, then, of democracy is freedom, that of oligarchy is wealth, that of aristocracy has to do with education and customs, and that of tyranny is security.

Friday 4 October 2013

From the Mouth of the Whale

(September 2013)

Difficult to pigeonhole, this one. That’s good; books that are difficult to pigeonhole generally promise to be much more interesting than those that neatly slot in the middle of your main genres. But convention demands some sort of slotting should occur, so let’s say magical realism and move on, shall we?

Wednesday 2 October 2013

American Elsewhere

(September 2013)

They fuck you up, your mum and dad.
They may not mean to, but they do.
They fill you with the faults they had,
And add some extra, just for you.