Month: December 2015

Book review: The Forger’s Shadow

The Forger's ShadowThe Forger’s Shadow by Nick Groom
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

I don’t normally write throwaway reviews, but in this case I’m kind of compelled to as I feel reading this has left me with a mindset similar to that of a drained-battery talking toy: all slurred nonsense and encroaching entropy.

That’s not what you want from something that, on the face of it, should be a ball-tearing recitation of forgery, counterfeit and outright literary bullshittery. (more…)

Book review: What Days Are For

What Days Are For: A Memoir.What Days Are For: A Memoir by Robert Dessaix
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

In 2011, Robert Dessaix spent two weeks in a Darlinghurst hospital after a severe cardiac episode. Rescued by an angel in a profane t-shirt, and vouchsafed by a cautious receptionist, he was shipped off to hospital and saved, though not without a certain amount of bleeding and partner-summoning concern.

The writer’s drift in and out of memory on the wings of pharmacy’s finest is recorded in What Days Are For. The title is cribbed from a Philip Larkin poem, though Dessaix ascribes more levity to the poet’s work than most. (more…)

Book review: Chasing the Scream

Chasing the Scream: The First and Last Days of the War on DrugsChasing the Scream: The First and Last Days of the War on Drugs by Johann Hari
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

The War on Drugs has been in existence for decades. Thousands of people – if not millions – have died as a result of the prosecution of this war. But we’re never allowed, really, to question the success or the basic justice of such an event: drugs are bad, right?

Well now. (more…)