Monthly Archives: November 2020

The Surreal Thing

There are subjects I return to again and again for a final word. This is one of them. It started, as so many things do, with art. Magritte and Duchamp, Buñuel and Dali, ‘Un Chien Andalou’ and ‘L’Age D’Or’ and ‘Dr Caligari’. Many critics wrote off Salvador Domingo Felipe Jacinto Dalí i Domènech because of his […]

Fowler’s Miscellany

Things that should not bother me but do.   It’s probably not bad grammar, especially from the Washington Post, and I hugely admire Americans for taking welcome shortcuts through language, but in my head this reads ‘lose even more badly’. Sorry. I’ve managed to adapt to ‘train station’ instead of ‘railway station’ and even ‘bored […]

The Path Less Trodden Part Deux

I’ll read anything really esoteric so long as Aleister Crowley’s not in it. Andy Sharp’s ‘The English Heretic Collection’ seems to have avoided that ridiculous old fraud so far, and it’s a real curate’s egg. It provides an alternative mythology for Britain, zooming about between Druids, B movies, magickal wars and old psychedelia while inevitably […]

The Path Less Trodden Part 1

Esoteric Books For Christmas Under normal circumstances the bookshop tables should by now be groaning with the weight of popular Christmas books. This is the time of year the crowd pleasers come out, but it looks as if this time we’ll have to buy most of our books online. I’m as happy as anyone to buy […]

How Bryant & May Saved My Career

You don’t need imagination to write drama, you need empathy This week I finished the main draft of ‘London Bridge Is Falling Down’, the 20th Bryant & May novel, and became aware that I’ve entered a new stage of a writer’s life. I started very young with no confidence at all, fooling around with elaborately […]

The Battle For London’s Character

The Whitechapel Bell Foundry in London’s East End has been in existence in some form or other since the 1570s and has been going like the clappers ever since. Here were forged the bells of St Pauls’, Bow Bells, the great Big Ben bell itself, America’s Liberty Bell and many grand bells supplied throughout European […]

Back Open For Business

You never know if it’s real or a robot, do you? I’ve been out of the country for the past week, and as this happened at short notice I wrote a couple of articles in advance. But I didn’t pack my laptop. I hadn’t expected to end up chasing turtles off the coast of West […]

Cinema VS Netflix: A World Of Difference

In my files I have around 20 projects that have been abandoned. Many of these are adaptations of my own published stories and novels. Some are written intended to be feature films, because that’s what we all wanted to do, write films. It’s a fantasy still entertained by British writers; believing that there’s an infrastructure […]

Lying For A Living

  Lying for a living is no longer the sole province of the writer. A complaint from a reviewer today about a new historical fiction. ‘It’s interesting, but would have been so much more exciting if we’d known it was a true story instead of fiction.’ Why? The obsession with true stories strikes me as […]