Monthly Archives: May 2011

Breaking The Readership Barrier

I have a feeling I need to pull the stops out for the next Bryant & May here in the UK. In the US the series does better and better, but here we lag far behind. This isn’t helped by the fact that WH Smith, the ubiquitous railway station-souk, thinks they’re a mite too clever […]

How To Become Invisible

I get a bit depressed when I’m writing my forgotten authors column in the Independent On Sunday – the weekly column is now called ‘Invisible Ink’ , which allows me more scope to cover authors who are still alive – I don’t want to offend them by calling them ‘forgotten’ (as I managed to with […]

Ladies & Gentlemen

The sequel to ‘Boys & Girls’, ‘Men & Women’ is a collection of new short stories and essays which contains an uncollected piece by me entitled ‘Ladies & Gentlemen’. Glasshouse Books is publishing the new anthology on 14 July 2011. Edited by Time Out’s Paul Burston, Men & Women features the best in new and […]

Beach Culture Shock

From one beach to another, I’m full of cold and back from Greece, which is experiencing climate change in the form of abnormally turbulent weather, and heading to Cornwall for next weekend. I haven’t been there since ‘Straw Dogs’ put me off, but now I believe it’s all Rick Stein restaurants and millionaires’ homes. Certainly, […]

Superhero Worship

Edgar Wright says about “Hellboy 2″ ‘I really liked. I’ve never read the comics, so I watch “Hellboy” as a Guillermo del Toro fan. He really creates his own universe, and it’s just beautiful. On a production design level it’s just absolutely staggering.’ Until I saw it again recently, I’d forgotten that it contained monsters […]

Dad’s Army Rides Again

Rather nice coverage of Bury’s East Lancashire Railway enthusiasts’ train weekend in the Guardian here.If you’re going to do nostalgia, you might as well get it right, as these lovely people have done.

Piracy Of The Page

Maybe I should be flattered that the Bryant & May series is successful enough to qualify. With grim inevitability, the electronic pirates have hit my books with a massive number of illegal download sites. And because I’ve had occasion to look up Bryant & May material online (I can’t remember everything off the top of […]

Greek Style

The thunderstorms are due to end on the morning I leave Greece, and thereafter it’s glorious sunshine through the season. Coincidentally, this is the same day that the hotels switch from ‘Low Season’ rates to ‘High Season’, so presumably they have a deal with the local meteorological office. I like Greek styling. It seems to […]

Putting the Eek In Greek

So I disobeyed my own advice and ate at the restaurant chosen by Tripadvisor as the one voted best restaurant in the Greek islands. It’s on a beach and has a bamboo roof. It has a worrying grammatical error in its name. Its main room is dominated by a picture of a man’s head sticking […]

My Advice? Avoid Tripadvisor

How much do you need to know about where you’re going? Obviously some ground information is good, but when I started using Tripadvisor, I realised I was entering a world of very nitpicky people. Attempting to destroy the reputation of a hotel because you didn’t like the colour of the bathroom is a little loopy. […]