Monthly Archives: November 2018

Movie Hatchet: ‘Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again’

Cher looks like a nylon-haired Barbie doll with fewer moving parts There’s a really creepy website called Plugged In that seems to be run by the Very White Far Right. It’s worth going on it just to count the number of times they say ‘family’ in a paragraph. In their review of the first ‘Mamma […]

Wanted: Braver Bloggers

 Book Bloggers, It’s Time To Raise Your Game I have always trusted the American press over its British equivalent – that is, until Mr Trump decided to invent a new form of the fourth estate by making shit up. Now I’m not sure whom I should trust, although I tend toward the New York Times […]

Paperback Incoming!

Writers who don’t listen to readers are idiots. My delightful editor for the Bryant & May novels is concerned about what readers like, and concentrates of making the covers particularly gorgeous. There’s a hint of modernisation going on in my Bryant & May paperbacks at the moment, with the cleaned-up non-retro typeface – and although […]

Night And The City

An open-topped sports car races through the West End at night… These days London’s Soho streets are not so mean. The faint undercurrent of corruption still lingers, but now it involves property speculators, not spivs and bookies. Once, though, London low-life writing involved getting in with the wrong people, rather than just hanging out in […]

My Home Library Part 3

I filled my entire house with built-in bookcases Yesterday’s comments reminded me of something I hadn’t thought about for years. When I moved into my last house in Kentish Town, it was in a cobbled backstreet mostly still filled with Irish families, and the properties were still council. Opposite me was – I kid you […]

My Home Library Part 2

Sometimes I have a houseguest who fails to remove a book from any of the shelves. Meanwhile, over in the shelves reserved for serious fiction, Dickens still remains the pack leader, mainly because I believe that characterisation is the single most essential element of fiction writing. My favourite Chucks are ‘Our Mutual Friend’, which adds […]

Underground Myths

Yesterday I asked readers to work out why I had chosen Trafalgar Square & British Museum as my favourite tube stations. Interestingly, although there were hints of a correct answer nobody actually got it right. Both are now closed, and have now passed into London mythology. Trafalgar Square – which I can remember using – […]

My Home Library Part 1

The secret is to be as idiosyncratic as you like and follow the path of your own pleasures When do your bookshelves become a library? At some point you probably found you had too many books to fit tidily into your home. You looked around and found them by the bed, in the bathroom, in the […]

Never Mind The Balkans

Mr Trump may not know his Baltics from his Balkans, but I suspect many others would have trouble sticking a dart into the right part of a map. The Balkans cover the countries in the Balkan Peninsular, roughly South-Eastern Europe below the Balkan mountains. You’ve got about twelve languages, give or take a few, in […]

A London House

In the evening paper is a house for sale in Hampstead, a gothic Victorian monstrosity of the kind beloved by hedge fund managers. It’s selling for five million and will probably get it. The interior rooms are covered in gilt, with Latin phrases and improving proverbs etched into the ceilings, figurines and stained glass and an […]