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Christopher Fowler
Posted in
London
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'Take Every Englishman And Twist Him By The Neck' I spend far too much of my time in London's tube system. From the age of two I'd been taken on tube trains at regular intervals (although my mother had preferred the old trams) and by my eighth year I was on them by myself. At sixty I got my official Old Person's pass to go wherever I liked on the system at no cost, but there are still stations…
64 comments
Christopher Fowler
Posted in
London
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Where is all this new money coming from? For a while London has returned to normal, so long as vaccination can be provided in a continuous rollout cycle. We're free to choose whether we want to mask and distance. My neighbourhood remains wary thanks to its large population of Chinese and Japanese students, for whom masking is second nature. Londoners learned to be vigilant about terrorism but it…
22 comments
Christopher Fowler
Posted in
London
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When it came to positioning the next Bryant & May book, I and the Transworld team faced a dilemma; 'Bryant & May's Peculiar London' is neither a novel nor a collection of short stories, but it has all of the characters you'd expect in a B&M adventure. Nor was it a guide book. Its contents are impossible to catalogue and its tone is conversational rather than instructive. In fact, I'd argue that…
49 comments
Christopher Fowler
Posted in
London
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'It is him.' 'No it isn't. It can't be. What would he be doing here?' 'I heard his name called on the tannoy.' 'It must have been someone else with the same name.' 'No, look, that's him. Say something.' 'No, you say something.' I could hear all this from the couple seated in the oncology department waiting room, which has many colourful mosaic designs and finger paintings and notices that read:…
34 comments
Christopher Fowler
Posted in
London
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Some years ago, I was sitting in a Soho taxi late at night when its driver was violently attacked by two drunk businessmen who walked across his path. I agreed to act as the driver's witness, but outside the courtroom the police persuaded the plaintiff to drop his case in exchange for cash. The driver had shouted at the men, who were filled with drunken anger and beat him up while I was locked in…
42 comments
Christopher Fowler
Posted in
London
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These are the books which are hard to find in bookshops, being independently published or self-published. In a way, Amazon has levelled the playing field for us seekers of rarities, as it is now possible to find all manner of strange and highly specific books dedicated to unlikely subjects. Bookshops can't stock print-on-demand volumes and many shops don't even stock classic literature beyond the…
27 comments
Christopher Fowler
Posted in
London
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This is the time of the year when I have to see 100+ films to vote in the British Academy. These mini-reviews are merely pointers for viewing purposes and don't necessarily represent my choices. A Lot of Lustre At the end of the last film column I suggested we have better stories to tell than Tammy Faye's. Well, here's one; a tale of lust, greed and betrayal. It's been four years since Guillermo…
14 comments
Christopher Fowler
Posted in
London
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One of the hugely enjoyable benefits of churning out this weekly grab-bag of topics known as a writer's blog is the Comments Section. Readers are happy to sound off on any subject under the sun. Sadly, we've lost quite a few delightfully eccentric and knowledgeable commenters over the years. I'll have to add some bits of Snowy's many musings, but here are a few I pulled out at random. Pheeny and…
41 comments
Christopher Fowler
Posted in
London
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You won't have to look hard to find 'West Side Story' - it will no doubt win big at the Oscars; after last year's dour 'Nomadland' audiences could do with an uplift and this fits the bill. It's respectful of the original, replaces the white actors with a properly Puerto Rican cast, finds a new star in its female lead, Rachel Zegler, and it's augmented Spielberg-style into a colourful epic with…
10 comments
Christopher Fowler
Posted in
London
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I haven't caught up with any graphic novels for a while, so I tried Albert Monteys and Ryan North's adaptation of Kurt Vonnegut's 'Slaughterhouse 5'. It was never a favourite novel of mine, an uneasy and peculiar mix of satire, war memoir, farce and science fiction, but this is a superbly realised project that captures the freewheeling strangeness of the original and actually improves it in places…
28 comments

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