Blog / 2020

Christopher Fowler
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Books
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This selection pretty much sums up my appallingly narrow range of guilty pleasures, although there's not a good film book here as they seem to have fallen out of vogue, and there are no books exploring the back-alleys of British history this time. Scoff First up in Pen Vogler's ' Scoff', a delightful look at foods so ubiquitous that we haven't really bothered studying them much in British cuisine…
7 comments
Christopher Fowler
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Books
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This was the year in which hardbacks really came into their own. Suddenly £18 seemed a reasonable spend on a brand new novel when going out to dinner (remember that?) set us all back an awful lot more. But in these wretched times of political ineptitude, disease, loss and economic betrayals our tastes grow tame. A glance through the window of any large bookstore window reveals the extent of the…
31 comments
Christopher Fowler
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Books
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I'll read anything really esoteric so long as Aleister Crowley's not in it. Andy Sharp's 'The English Heretic Collection' seems to have avoided that ridiculous old fraud so far, and it's a real curate's egg. It provides an alternative mythology for Britain, zooming about between Druids, B movies, magickal wars and old psychedelia while inevitably taking in the usual suspects, Dennis Wheatley, JG…
21 comments
Christopher Fowler
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Books
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Esoteric Books For Christmas Under normal circumstances the bookshop tables should by now be groaning with the weight of popular Christmas books. This is the time of year the crowd pleasers come out, but it looks as if this time we'll have to buy most of our books online. I'm as happy as anyone to buy a fat biography or the new thriller, but what if you want something a little more obscure…
7 comments
Christopher Fowler
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Books
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Let's start at base camp When it comes to the arts, there's a scale of achievement many of us feel we have to tackle. The base camp for books is not Mr Dan Brown, as many might think, but the novels of Joan Collins. Joan was taken to court by Random House (my publisher in the US) because she delivered a book that was not publishable. (The story was turned into an episode of Sky's ' Urban Myths')…
46 comments
Christopher Fowler
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Books
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Question 1: Early Work - Bin or Keep? Last week I posed a question on Twitter to other authors. It was prompted by the discovery of four novels I had written between the ages of 12 and 16. They are uniformly dreadful, derivative and clumsy, with only a rudimentary grasp of construction. To be honest, I really don't feel like keeping these carbons of my teenage influences. They reflect influential…
33 comments
Christopher Fowler
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Books
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One of the purposes of the Bryant & May series is to try out different sub-genres within the overall embracing genre of crime fiction. I've already worked my way through many of them - I'll stop when I've done them all - but one which has until now eluded me is the spy story. I never appreciated much beyond 'The Third Man' until I read Ben McIntyre's books and learned about the sacrifices demanded…
81 comments
Christopher Fowler
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Books & Bryant & May
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Could I actually get Bryant & May to be the longest running mystery novel series? No, sadly, though quantity should never beat out quality. I've been trying to draw up a list of detectives with longevity, but it's hard to figure out. I should comfortably pass R Austin Freeman at 21 Dr Thorndyke books and Holmes doesn't count as there were only four novels. But Gladys Mitchell managed 66 Mrs…
18 comments
Christopher Fowler
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Books
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We talk about everything under the sun here (except sport and cars) but as the nation heads for September 3rd and the biggest single release of new books in the year, let's get back on track a little. Let's talk about our saviour in time of COVID, books. Looking For A Book Or rather, noticing the lack of them in the coming autumn, because as the New York Times points out this morning, the two main…
17 comments
Christopher Fowler
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Books & Film
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The British Film Institute shop continues to be the best destination I know of to find serious works on cinema. Its booklist includes the BFI Screen Guides, the International Screen Industries series and the prestigious BFI Film Classics, in which an academic conducts a study of a single film over 100+ pages. The BFI site lists them all, and they are enlightening reads for writers. A few thoughts…
32 comments

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