Media

Press Could Have Risen To Occasion; Sinks Lower Instead

Over the last few days, to my mind one of the biggest disappointments has been the behaviour of the fourth estate. In a classic illustration of the Frog and the Scorpion fable, the British press, given a shining opportunity to show excellence and grow by informing and leading, turned tail and crept back into its […]

War Of The Worlds In The Narrator’s Own Words

Looking at my research notes on ‘War Of The Worlds’ I found that if you take the key dialogue lines from the narrator in H G Wells’ story you get an interesting synopsis of the main events – what comes through is the extraordinary clarity of the storytelling. Phillip Pullman’s excellent book of essays on […]

What Happened To War Of The Worlds?

War of the worlds Click on the above and you’ll find me banging on about this project. When it comes to science fiction my first question is always; Why aren’t there filmed TV versions of books by Ray Bradbury, Christopher Priest, Arthur C Clarke and at least twenty other superb SF authors? Why are the only […]

Gomorrah Never Dies

…But just about everyone in it does. You probably already know the backstory to ‘Gomorrah’, the fictional TV adaptation of Roberto Saviano’s 2006 real-life exposé of the Camorra, the Neapolitan crime syndicate, and how the writer has to live with bodyguards these days. It was turned into a hit gangster series and became the first Italian […]

The Lie That Will Be On Your Tombstone

Reading today that Emilio Estevez says ‘Brat Pack’ will be carved on his tombstone, I’m reminded of Bette Midler’s line that ‘She started at the Continental Baths’ will be stamped on hers. Everyone is cursed to have the origin of their success marked on their grave because people don’t realise that when they’re starting out […]

In Which The Kindle & I Part Company

Kindle, you know how our secret shame-ridden love affair began – years ago, when I first glanced away from my beloved print books. Seduced by the sleek lines of my first reader (a Kobo, sleekish, but it was no iPhone) I began to leave my books behind on the shelf. It was the hardback ‘His […]

‘Evening All!’

Our image of the police is now informed by riot footage as much as anything else. The humble copper has been through a lot of changes in my life so far. The earliest one I can remember is the TV show ‘Dixon of Dock Green’, which began in 1955 and ran in the UK for […]

And Here’s What I Ate Last Night

This is the first photograph of a woman ever taken, certainly that has survived, and dates from 1840. Photography has now vanished due to its ubiquity, paradoxically  rendered obsolete by being unfettered. Like most people of my age I have a couple of shoeboxes with old photos that now belong to a different era, and […]

The Echo Of Wormwood

America’s prime serious documentarian is Errol Morris, a man who does not merely recount events to a timeline but who brings a profound artistic sensibility to the gradual unfolding of truth. From ‘The Thin Blue Line’ and ‘The Fog of War’ to ‘Standard Operating Procedure’, the story of Abu Ghraib, Morris’s films are mood pieces […]

How This Blog Ended Up As It Is

Books. It’s meant to be about books. Specifically my books. At least, that was the plan at the start – in 2008 my publisher wanted me to start a book blog and dedicate one side of it to direct selling. Now, anyone who knows me knows that I’m the world’s worst networker. At a party […]