Monthly Archives: August 2019

The Brilliance Dims: Richard Williams Dies

When he died, he had just finished a full day’s work. He was 86, and living in Bristol, although he had been born in Canada. He was one of my true heroes, and I’d had the great pleasure of meeting him several times. Back in the 1960s, on the north side of London’s Soho Square, […]

The Curse Of The Curse

There are a couple of books that have entirely vanished in my occasionally ropey oeuvre. One is ‘Breathe’, a small press thriller I knocked out at great speed, and the other was a YA novel updating a Greek legend. ‘The Curse of Snakes’ was truly cursed. Timing is everything, and everything conspired against me in its writing. […]

What Makes A Perfect Book Club Choice?

The photo at the top is how book clubs like to see themselves. Flowers, wine and at least one lady who has come dressed for a cocktail party. Book clubs and reading groups are a global phenomenon more enjoyed by women than men, and the UK reading list tends to be aimed at women. It […]

Weekly Input: TV Shows

This is an occasional catch-up into what I’ve been watching (I need to turn off occasionally and stop thinking about books!). As I use an iPad more than a TV I tend to view on the move in small chunks, which is not conducive to anything too demanding and atmospheric. For films and shows that […]

Cool Shorts 1

I’ve a packed work-day today and have no time to write an article, but here’s something I’ve been meaning to post for about 10 years. If you haven’t seen it before, stay to the end. I may post other shorts I admire…

The Novel That Started A Shameful Movement

Occasionally a novel can have an unexpected influence that extends beyond its publication; such was the fate of AEW Mason’s most famous work. Alfred Edward Woodley Mason was the creator of Inspector Hanaud, described as the first major fictional police detective of the 20th century. Hanaud was based on two real-life heads of the Sûreté […]

Hunting Season On Films?

Today’s entertainment news concerns the Blumhouse arm of Universal and their film ‘The Hunt’, in which 12 red-state American strangers wake up in a clearing and realise they’re being hunted by liberals. The hunted are gun-toting NRA types who find themselves being chased for sport. It’s the latest reworking of ‘The Most Dangerous Game’, a […]

Long Read: Should We Rewrite Books?

You know when a suspense novel works because you tense up as you’re reading, so you should know when a joke works because you laugh, right? Unforch, it doesn’t work like that. As someone who has just spent the last two days trying to guide a comic scene to its payoff, I can tell you […]

Are Theatre, TV & Cinema Converging?

With so much entertainment readily available (I speak as one whose first family television had two channels) it’s hard for any new film, game, play or programme to get enough traction to draw in large audiences. Each terrestrial network has its own repertory company – the BBC’s is so limited that you can track performers […]

The Big Reveal

I once watched ‘Murder on the Orient Express’ at a cinema in Putney, West London, when the film broke down just before the ending and the audience didn’t get to find out who did it. Not that anyone cared much – this was the first version directed by Sidney ‘Living Statue’ Lumet, famous for never […]