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 […]

When The Jokes Stop

How did we get from there to here? In 1940, comic book villain the Joker was introduced as a lunatic criminal with a warped sense of humour. The DC Comics universe was rich in superheroes but was never so good with villains. Superman had Lex Luther and Brainiac but Batman’s Joker stood out. In the 1950s […]

Nerd Corner: Which Is The Best Writer’s Phone?

The story so far: Having had my stuff stolen I’ve been without my phone for two weeks and haven’t missed it as much as I thought I would. Without Google Maps you have to start asking strangers how to get around, and if you say you had your phone stolen they start to think you’re after […]

Go Back! Go Back!

I try to post here on most days, but that’s only really possible when I’m in Barcelona because my working hours are consistently much longer. Light, it’s all about the light…shortly I return to London and try not to feel depressed about the months ahead. Sometimes I simply run out of ideas, because they’re all […]

What Has The Internet Ever Done For Us?

As we now know, with the full acceptance of the internet came a great unshackling of information and inevitably, the rise of disinformation that gave us Russian meddling, whistleblowers, Cambridge Analytica and several disastrously compromised leadership contests. The latest heroes to be turned into villains are social media influencers, upon whom advertisers pounced because they […]

Weekly Input: TV Shows

This is an occasional catch-up into what I’ve been watching (I need to turn off occasionally and stop thinking about books!). As I use an iPad more than a TV I tend to view on the move in small chunks, which is not conducive to anything too demanding and atmospheric. For films and shows that […]

Are Theatre, TV & Cinema Converging?

With so much entertainment readily available (I speak as one whose first family television had two channels) it’s hard for any new film, game, play or programme to get enough traction to draw in large audiences. Each terrestrial network has its own repertory company – the BBC’s is so limited that you can track performers […]

The Children Of The Ritz

This is Hero Beauregard Faulkner Fiennes-Tiffin, who is an actor/model and salt-of-the-earth working class lad…joking, I’m joking. Hero is from acting royalty, and seen here wearing everything we were told to stay away from. Yet he somehow owns the look, even if the look is Jobless Man Answering Door to Debt Collector. Also here on […]

What, Me Worry? Not Anymore.

So after all these years MAD magazine is closing down (except for a few back-catalogue-trawling specials). Of course it was never very funny, just beautifully put together in its earliest days, with an amazing roster of artists from the greatest-ever caricaturist Mort Drucker to Frank Kelly Freas (above) and Don Martin. As the dominant English-speaking […]

No More Leisure Left

How much spare time do you have? Can I have some of it? Time is clearly the key commodity of the new century. We’re working shorter hours (in theory, although unpaid overtime is currently being addressed by European governments), we have more spending power (well, the US, much of Europe and 1% of the UK […]