Monthly Archives: March 2014

Can Sleep Improve Creativity?

A lack of good quality sleep  stymies creative thought. When I was 41 I nearly died, and as a result I suffered a bout of  depression. All I remember about that summer was that I slept through it. When I emerged I went into creative overdrive, writing drafts for four books and half a dozen […]

New Look, New Books

Welcome to the new website, where you’ll find all of the content that was here before, plus new features. Play around with it, and let me know what you think (as if I could stop you). On March 27th the next Bryant & May novel, ‘The Bleeding Heart’, arrives from Transworld in stores as a […]

My Favourite Moments In Novels No. 1

In George Orwell’s ‘1984’ Winston Smith rents a shabby room in the Proles’ part of town where he can conduct his illicit trysts. I suppose now one looks back and sees how much middle-class guilt informed the writing, never more so than in the moment when Smith looks out of the window of his room […]

British Horror On Blu-Ray

We obsessive collectors will forever buy on DVD and Blu-Ray, no matter how anxious the major studios are to get us to stream their Hollywood-mainstream-only films. Do you honestly think Hollywood will ever stream Belgian horror film ‘The Bone Collector’? As it is, Apple has done away with optical drives, so I now carry a […]

A Fresh Eye On London

It takes a good photographer to make a mundane place look special, or to find a new angle on something that has been photographed to death. Umbreen Hafeez is a hobbyist photographer whose work is currently on the Time Out site here. She doesn’t plan her shots, shoots on the hoof and catches London – […]

Re:View – ‘Dirty Rotten Scoundrels’

If the new version of ‘Dirty Rotten Scoundrels’ has one plus over its Broadway counterpart from 1995, it’s that Robert Lindsay is a much better fit for the lead role than John Lithgow, who struck me as rather supercilious. Lindsay channels Prince Charles as the fake-royal conning beautiful women on the Riviera, only to find […]

The New London Explorers

Taking one last look at Peter Jackson’s treasure troves of London, I note that he talks about The Seven Stars pub, built in 1602 and still serving today, and a nearby shop (clearly no longer needed) called the Silver Mousetrap, which sold pretty traps to ladies to keep beside their beds, because they slept in […]

Bleeding Hell(o)!

Yes, the hardback of ‘The Bleeding Heart’ is now in my hot ‘n’ stickies, and I’m very excited by the lovely waxy cover and chunky heft of the tome. Tipping in at close to 400 ops, it’s one of the longer entries in the series, and I’m in love with the natty cover. Here’s the […]

The Tragedy Of British Seaside Towns

Tourists come to the UK for all sorts of reasons, one being its ‘Englishness’, something I only start to appreciate after returning from overseas. The cities are enjoyed for their vibrancy, the countryside for its beauty, but the coastal seaside resorts are largely sidestepped. Our seaside towns had a different history to their European counterparts. […]

The London Explorer No.4

A miscellany of oddities from Peter Jackson’s London books today. This sounds like a fun game – if you want to play Caesars & Boadiceas, you need a pencil, a pad and good legs. You form two teams headed by a Caesar & a Boudicea, and have to find the greatest number of statues, famous […]