Blog

Christopher Fowler
Posted in
The Arts
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Hot Enough For May Southern Europe is experiencing an unpleasant, debilitating heatwave. This afternoon in Barcelona's Palo Alto market a young woman fainted in front of me and was instantly attended by an ambulance team. Instead of being concerned for her I could only think that the NHS would have warned her of a two-hour delay. The market is the least likely to ever be compared to Camden Market…
26 comments
Christopher Fowler
Posted in
Books
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May feels like a quiet time for books, although my reading continues at the same throughout the year. According to a GQ survey, men only account for a fifth of literary fiction readers. In 2000 men wrote 61% of the top-selling hardbacks. Now it's lower than 43%. Changing demographics, cultural diversity and female readers' preferences for emotional stories over tales of POW camp escapes have…
28 comments
Christopher Fowler
Posted in
Observatory
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Morocco Is Timeless Yet Fast Evolving Travel has become more complicated since Brexit. Now that the UK is designated as a 'third country' we have different entry requirements and are checked separately. For many travel is no longer the get-up-and-go experience of the past but an elaborate and expensive maze of paperwork. Officials in other countries, it seems, are infinitely more courteous than…
21 comments
Christopher Fowler
Posted in
Observatory
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'Fez is for culture, Casablanca is for trade, Marrakech is for tourism,' said the driver. Marrakech is a city of two halves; the post-colonial remnants of its former French incarnation and a far older Berber Medina of clay walls, narrow souks, feral cats, bread-carts, overladen motorbikes and those old men who sit in hatches surrounded by fiercely coloured spices all day. Out on the Place El Fna…
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Christopher Fowler
Posted in
Observatory
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Good morning. There's an old Stanley Holloway music hall song called 'My word, you do look ill', in which Holloway is stopped by various acquaintances who tell him he looks terrible, until one says he never looked better in his life. It's amazing how easily we can be affected by outside news and the opinions of others. In London, endless depressing news can drag at the soul. Health problems had…
19 comments
Christopher Fowler
Posted in
London
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Imagine writing a book on a subject that fascinates you - a famous sports ground, vintage cars, town planning, movie stars. You research it for years, write it, rewrite and edit and proof it, and after you've finished and the book has just gone to press you discover that a new piece of information - one that's crucial to the story - has come to light for the very first time. This new information…
12 comments
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
Film
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'The absence of love is the most abject pain...' Last night I attended a centenary screening of a masterpiece of German expressionist cinema, Murnau's 'Nosferatu', with live orchestral accompaniment. There's nothing new in this; many scores have been written for the film, one of the best being by James Bernard, Hammer's greatest composer. It's easy to believe that the film is 100 years old; it…
12 comments
Christopher Fowler
Posted in
Bryant & May
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If you've been following this blog you'll know that 'Bryant & May's Peculiar London' is not a traditional murder mystery like the other volumes in the series but an investigation of an altogether different kind. The suspect is London itself, with the detectives, along with Janice, Meera, Colin, Dan, Sid, Maggie and various other characters expounding on (and arguing over) their specialist subjects…
15 comments
Christopher Fowler
Posted in
Bryant & May
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One Bryant & May book didn't get published in the US. If you're a career writer and manage to sell a few books over the years, you'll be shocked at the space they take up. I live in a flat, so room is at a premium and international editions can't be kept. I tried separating the covers and storing them without the text but I somehow managed to throw those out by mistake. Once, an English language…
29 comments

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