Picnic At Hanging Rock

Should Books Be Shorter?

A story is a journey you undertake to see what happens. The long Victorian novel was a box-set binge; episodes appeared in magazines like The Strand, and had built-in cliffhangers. Crime novels weren’t constructed around hooks; most old Penguin paperbacks didn’t even put a plot synopsis or description of any kind on their jackets. The […]

You Can’t Say ‘Clever’ Anymore. It’s Elitist.

A short while ago I expressed admiration for someone I thought was clever, and a girlfriend of mine told me off for being ‘elitist’. Here’s my thinking on that. The UK’s low-rent Channel 4, which is government subsidised (outrageously, it still pays no tax) is currently running a dating show in which people decide who […]