Blog / 2015

Christopher Fowler
Posted in
Great Britain
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We have two guest columnists today: Raymond Kirkpatrick is a colleague of Arthur Bryant's. The bear-like heavy metal-loving Professor of English is currently working at the British Library. Maggie Armitage is a Grand Order Grade IV White Witch of the Coven of St. James the Elder in London's Kentish Town. In retrospect it was probably not a good idea to invite them to give predictions. RAYMOND…
11 comments
Christopher Fowler
Posted in
Great Britain
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The great Hatton Garden robbery captured the public imagination; the total stolen had a value of up to £200 million, and was called the largest burglary in English history. The heist was planned and carried out by four elderly men who were experienced thieves, all of whom were caught and pleaded guilty. But fifty years earlier the title of greatest English robbery meant only one thing; the Great…
6 comments
Christopher Fowler
Posted in
The Arts
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This is a Punch cartoon in the late 19th century that sums up the writer's job. Sitting and thinking, or just sitting, is good news for writers. While office workers have to rush-hour ride LT's mobile TB clinics to work in hangars lit like garages, we can drift to our studies with a plate of biscuits in our dressing gowns to think and write. Score one to the creatives. But wait; our pay is stuck…
7 comments
Christopher Fowler
Posted in
Film
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No spoilers The Force can't be resisted. 'Star Wars: The Force Awakens' is the fastest-grossing film in history because it needed to be; the studio had to release high box office figures to jump-start a vast array of movie sequels and spin-offs that will power spending for years to come. Press editors around the world have told their writers to come up with a new angle on it; hence an article in…
12 comments
Christopher Fowler
Posted in
Observatory
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What happened this year? London got a Triffid street, Apple brought out a watch nobody seems to want and a number of the capital's less-known attractions closed down, like the Type Museum and the De Morgan Foundation Collection of antiquities - but are they actually gone? Attractions seem reluctant to announce their closure and the Type Museum certainly has a good online presence. The Cinema…
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Christopher Fowler
Posted in
Bryant & May
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When I research a Bryant & May novel I don't just source locations and history; I talk to people, and if I want to know how seniors cope now (my own parents and grandparents having gone) I find ones willing to chat. With 1 million seniors living alone in the UK and half of them alone at Christmas you'd think it would be easy to open up communication lines, but some are suspicious after having had…
9 comments
Christopher Fowler
Posted in
Film
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At the birth of film there were stories about great achievers, from Nelson to Washington. Last week I watched a film about a woman who invents a mop and manages to sell it on QVC. Not exactly Scott of the Antarctic. Joy is directed by David O Russell and stars Jennifer Lawrence. The performances are nice, but God it's long. And it's about a mop. Which is fine. It delivers if you wanted a warm pro…
3 comments
Christopher Fowler
Posted in
Bryant & May
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'You should just think of it as a day off,' said Alma Sorrowbridge. 'Relax, have a glass of sherry, eat some mince pies and watch Bruce Forsyth.' 'As it seems the entire country has been doing since the old king died,' complained Bryant, pulling his ratty maroon dressing gown around him and sinking further into his armchair. 'It's not like this on the continent. They don't spend the day wearing…
34 comments
Christopher Fowler
Posted in
Reading & Writing
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It's taken a long time for critics to realise that some of the finest writing in the world is - and always has been - fantasy literature, and that it takes many forms, from, say, John Crowley's 'Little, Big' to Natsume Soseki's 'I Am A Cat'. But how do you attract the right readership? It's easy to see the demographic strategy behind cover art, and to dismiss a great many authors on the strength…
3 comments
Christopher Fowler
Posted in
Film
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A few readers have asked me to revive this column, which I discontinued a couple of years ago. (You'll find the old columns all stored here if you're looking for unusual films). In the late 1960s audiences tired of old-fashioned pictures and made 'Easy Rider' a hit. The studios were caught out. What were they meant to serve up to the public? Director William Friedkin understood the problem; he'd…
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