Monthly Archives: March 2016

Why Would You Want To Be A Writer?

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A recent poll showed that the No.1 most desired job in the UK  was ‘writer’. Really? When I read that I tried to imagine what those polled thought being a writer was like. Here are a few pointers to the current status of the wordsmith, and bear in mind they’re not complaints, merely facts. Writers […]

Finally, A Fairytale With Teeth

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Last year I planned to write a  book of strange fairytale variations, having been commissioned to write such a tale for a new collection, which I enjoyed immensely. After suffering through Kenneth Branagh’s ghastly ‘Cinderella’ for research purposes my intention was to return to the roots of tales and darken them, keeping the strange logic […]

Genre-Blenders

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I’ve championed Pogo here often for his brilliant blends of cinema and sound, scratch-cut into mash-ups that create new music, a form of creative recycling that’s genuinely innovative. But there are many other types of genre-blending that can be found on online sites, and they’re moving in on the mainstream. DJ Zebra is a French […]

JG Ballard’s Psychotic London

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When you think of London books, a familiar list at first appears; Dickens for ‘Our Mutual Friend’, ‘Oliver Twist’ and ‘Bleak House’, Virginia Woolf for ‘Mrs Dalloway’, George Gissing for ‘New Grub Street’, George Orwell for ‘Keep The Aspidistra Flying’, Monica Ali’s ‘Brick Lane’, Colin MacInnes for ‘Absolute Beginners’, Patrick Hamilton’s ‘Hangover Square’, to which […]

Writing Lessons: Finding The Idea

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Writing is like cooking. When you love both, you quickly notice the similarities. They involve assembling the ingredients, tasting the concoction, trying it on friends, offering it to a wider audience. The difference is the imposition of the publisher in the process of writing, who helps to refine the recipe. But in cooking you don’t […]

Great Thriller Soundtracks: ‘Wait Until Dark’

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I’m thrilled that Ennio Morricone finally got the recognition he deserved with his first Academy Award after six nominations and 500 films – at the age of 87 – and he’s still touring Britain with his orchestra! Geezer! He made me think about my favourite soundtracks to thrillers. Here’s one by Henry Mancini, accompanying opening […]

Why Haven’t Bryant & May Made It To TV?

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Morse got there. Vera did too, and Wallender and everyone from Lord Peter Whimsey to the wonderfully eccentric Mrs Bradley – they all ended up as TV series. You can’t move without falling over Sherlocks, and even Christie’s boring Tuppences had their own show. The question I get asked on a daily basis is ‘Why […]

‘Strange Tide’ Is Out Now!

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Bryant & May are back! Although Bryant’s going barmy and May’s out of action, so who will find out why a young woman was chained in the Thames? This is the longest novel in the series so far, and hopefully answers all of your questions, although I’ve been very careful to make sure that ‘Strange […]

The End Of Press Freedom Reaches Turkey

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After taking over Zaman, the biggest daily Turkish newspaper, the ruling AKP and its President Recep Erdogan have swallowed the news agency Cihan, leaving only a tiny handful of independents with free speech – if they are brave enough to speak out at all. Most of the Turkish public get their news from the TV, […]

Raymond Kirkpatrick Tries London Shopping

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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 and is our occasional guest speaker. His opinions are very much his own. ‘Why do tourists always head for Harrods and Oxford Street? What the hell is on sale in Camden town apart […]