Monthly Archives: July 2017

Little Boy Found: Verdict In

I always read my reviews – don’t believe authors who tell you they don’t ever look at them – and provide as much feedback as I have time for to readers, especially if they’re confused about a book’s effects. But I was more than a little trepidatious about publishing a suspense novel under a pen […]

Catching The Mood: How Writers Hit Or Miss

There’s a writers’ saying; If you try to jump on a bandwagon, it’s already too late too board. This is because writing is like slow cooking or gardening – it takes a long time to see the final result. Yet some writers manage to ride the national mood. There’s a simple reason why fantasy films […]

Revisiting Mr Grimaldi

Here’s the respected Mr Grimaldi. And here’s the same chap as most people saw him. I wrote about him before (seven years ago) because he’s a local resident in my neighbourhood – or rather was. But he’s still around. ‘Bryant & May: The Bleeding Heart’ opens with a young man and his girlfriend in a tiny […]

Keeping Cities Mysterious

If you read much fiction about London (or any other old city that’s rapidly modernising), one term you keep coming back to is ‘mystery’. Almost every London-set thriller, fantasy, SF novel, crime novel or drama incorporates and/or augments this sense of otherness, and where it no longer exists it has to be invented. From ‘Harry […]

Banksy VS Constable

So graffiti warrior Banksy has beaten Constable to the position of Britain’s favourite artist (even though it should be stressed that this is a fake-news poll created to flog us Samsungs). Still, the result seems likely. Should we be surprised? His art is accessible and addresses current concerns for the majority of the nation now […]

Valerian Will Bring Out Your Inner Geek

‘Valerian And The City Of A Thousand Worlds’. It’s just so…French, that title, like ‘Le fabuleux destin d’Amélie Poulain’, which everyone ended up calling ‘Amelie’ before a backlash began against its perceived tweeness. The film was attacked by critic Serge Kaganski for offering a picturesque vision of bygone Paris with few ethnic minorities, although the […]

London Buildings I Like No.1

Let’s start with a controversial choice; the National Theatre on the South Bank. This is what was written about the formation of a National Theatre in 1904 by William Archer and Harley Granville Barker. ‘The National Theatre must be its own advertisement – must impose itself on public notice, not by posters or column advertisements […]

Unplanned London

Once there were a great many things I took for granted in London; a trip to a museum, cheap last-minute returns for the theatre, a bit of classical music, a talk given in a shop or a hall, a public event, a dance party, perhaps in a park or on the river – the London […]

Cor Blimey!

So I comes down the apples and pears with me Rosie Lee this morning and stone the crows, I find aht I’m a bleeding’ cockney, don’t I? An’ I think they’re having a giraffe and I’m feeling a right Jeremy (upgraded from James, apparently – you work it out). *changes to RP* Actually I have […]

Broadening The Mind

It costs a lot of money to bring a body back from overseas. When my best friend died in France, we had to decide whether to ship him back or have him cremated on the spot. We opted for the latter option. Some of him was sprinkled from the back of a boat in Monte […]