Month: July 2016

Book review: Vernon God Little

Vernon God LittleVernon God Little by D.B.C. Pierre
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

So hey, here’s a novel that’s about school shootings, the presumption of innocence, the weird pull of adulthood and sex, the prison system, Mexico, reality TV, hucksters and the corrosive effect of media-driven groupthink on the execution of justice and, well, executions, and whether God really exists. Sounds pretty weighty, right?

Well, if you’re talking about D.B.C. Pierre’s debut (and award winning) novel Vernon God Little, then the answer is sorta. It is indeed about all those things, all Big Topics and worthy of some navel-gazing time. But it’s more importantly a portrait of what it is to be a teenager that knows he’s living in the arsehole of the world, and is wise enough to have a fairly accurate sense of just how dumb he is. (more…)

Keeping Bad Company, twice

Continuing the play-through-the-PS3-backlog project, I’ve just completed the two Battlefield: Bad Company games, my first proper excursion into the Battlefield world. I didn’t play any of the multiplayer, so I assume this means I am now an associate dudebro. (more…)

Book review: Bad City Blues

Bad City BluesBad City Blues by Tim Willocks
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Another out-the-door read, I began this in order to get it off my shelves. I’m trying to downsize books, and I felt that this would be a good read-and-donate, so away I went.

I may have to reconsider this plan of action.

While this is the second Willocks book I’ve read, it’s the first of his to be published. Green River Rising was my first, and it’s undeniable that while that book is more polished, Bad City Blues is more viscerally interesting. There’s certainly a sense that Willocks is working out ideas here, and the writing sometimes veers close to formula, but in genre fiction, that’s hardly a cardinal sin.

Willocks’ writing here is resolutely Southern-fried gothic violence. There’s touches of Chandler and Cain, with sweaty balls; religion, robbery and the fuckery love leads you to are foremost. (more…)

Running out of Forgotten Sands

So I finally reached the end of my Prince of Persia saga, and have found it’s concluded not with a bang, but a whimper. A pretty whimper but a whimper nonetheless.

Prince of Persia: The Forgotten Sands is not, as you’d expect from the cover, a tie-in with 2010’s moustache-twirling film. (more…)

Book review: Burial Rites

Burial RitesBurial Rites by Hannah Kent
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Time to enthuse: this is one of the most striking first novels I’ve read in a long time. It’d sat on my shelf for a while, and I grabbed it as I hustled for a bus, so I approached it with no real expectations. So to end up reading something that came across as a more astringent cross between Atwood’s Alias Grace and the austere bones of Miller’s The Crucible was a surprise, to say the least.

Kent’s book is rooted in history and tells of the final weeks of Agnes Magnusdottir’s life. It’s the story of the last woman executed in Iceland, (more…)

Prince of Arse?

My sporadic attempt to play through the Prince of Persia games continues apace with a whip through 2008’s Prince of Persia. Fancy a trailer?

There you go.

Firstly, wow. I know that I’ve most recently been playing fancified versions of the original console trilogy, but this game is very pretty – almost pretty enough to counteract a few of its glaring flaws. In this episode, you’re wandering around and stumble into a battle between a couple of gods who’re somehow involved in a family matter.Maybe.  (more…)