Monthly Archives: February 2014

The Bridge With No End

I rarely watch TV except in box-set binges, although I made a huge effort to watch ‘The Killing’, which I thought was fairly boring and overly drawn-out. I’m not very good with TV cop shows, and always forget who’s who. However, I fell in love with ‘The Bridge’. I know there are half a dozen […]

Places Of The Night

A couple of years ago, one of our Mayor’s henchmen was asked why so many young people poured into London, and he bluntly replied ‘For the sex,’ which was at least honest. But London had always been ‘for the sex’. There were once 107 brothels in the immediate vicinity of Drury Lane alone. Nearly a […]

Riotous London Nights

If you’ve ever wondered any there are so many theatres in London (but no theatre museum – it was sadly closed down due to lack of funding), you have to go back to the King’s, the Rose and the Globe, to Shakespeare’s plays, and the coffee houses of London. The leading wits of the seventeenth […]

Stories From Another World

On my winding way back home, killing time between Saigon and Bangkok, I checked out the movies available to watch on the flight. Whenever I do this I’m always struck by the way in which the East has no interest at all in the West. While Hollywood tries to open inroads into India and China, […]

On The Move

No proper post today as I’m in Saigon airport looking for a wi-fi spot among a lot of people shipping TVs and microwaves to Kuala Lumpar. The only place to sit down is outside in a Burger King (ugh) which has the unappealing-sounding ‘shrimp-balls’ on the menu. Eek – the family on the next table […]

Goodbye Sid Caesar, Master Comic

It was Carl Reiner, writing as a young man for Sid Caesar’s Your Show of Shows, whose memoirs formed the basis of ‘Enter Laughing’, ‘So Long 174th Street’ and the Peter O’Toole comedy film vehicle ‘My Favourite Year’, which also became a musical. There’s a good reason why the story resonates. It’s about being young […]

Other Londons

In the opening of Bryant & May 12: ‘The Burning Man’, I’ve homaged my favourite quote from Charles Dickens about London, which comes right at the start of ‘Bleak House’. You’ll probably recall (erudite readers all) that he points out that there is so much mud in the streets that it would not be surprising […]

Bryant & May Across The Pond

Readers are always asking me; what’s the difference between the two English-language editions of the Bryant & May books, ie. UK and US? The first obvious change is in the covers. America’s artwork is actually created in the UK by Sarah Coleman at Inkymole, and is far more frivolous, although the next cover is taking […]

007 On And Off The Page

While I was away I reread a book I hadn’t touched since I was 12, Ian Fleming’s Goldfinger. One of the reasons I hated writing my only YA book The Curse of Snakes, was because I had to write within a dictated restrictive-material space, and that is not how kids read. At school we all […]

Vietnam 4: Last Stop

I have now left Hoi-An and have headed further south across Vietnam, finally reaching the spectacular Nui Chua National Park, an area of dry tropical woodlands and Arizona-type rocks which is home to around 1,500 species of plants, 160 species of birds and 60 species of mammals (including a few poisonous but shy snakes). At […]