I don’t know how long I can make this review. I mean, this is a book about an amusement park ride.
And there’s not really that much you can write about a ride, even one that features Jaws.(more…)
Making games sounds fun, right? Like, you get to hang out in cool offices and make things that are fun to play that people love? Sounds great.
It’s not, and that’s not just because the gaming audience is equally likely to lob death threats into your inbox as praise: it’s because the way games are made is fundamentally fuuuuucked.(more…)
The Grand Guignol was Paris’s smallest theatre, was named for a horrifying puppet, and was also a place where you could see various comedies interspersed with incredibly vivid, naturalistic horror.
Couple of laughs and some throat-slitting? Sure, mon ami, sounds swell.(more…)
You know, there’s not a great deal of point to reviewing something like The Outsiders. It’s the sort of work that’s become such a cultural touchstone – who hadn’t heard “stay gold” before reading this? – that it’s impossible to rank it. The score won’t change anyone’s mind, nor will it change the book’s reputation.
Still, in the spirit of trying to review everything I read in order to give some shape to my post-read feelings, I’ll give it a go.(more…)
This year, I moved a bit forward in time and read 54, set in 1954. It’s another creation by parts of Q‘s creative steering committee, except this time around they’re known as Wu Ming. Basically they’re a bunch of anonymous Bologna-based scribes who create playful pieces, which is just as well because their nom-de-plume is the Chinese phrase for anonymous.
How handy is that?(more…)
The Plague mightn’t have inspired a Cure song, but that doesn’t mean you should discount it. I mean, is it on the nose to be reading something with this title in 2020? It feels a little on the nose, but here I am, ploughing through Camus’s 1947 examination of the effects of bubonic plague on a city because frankly, there’s not much else to do in 2020 other than to try and avoid disease by any means necessary, as others seem hell-bent on playing chicken with it.
(Well. I suppose I could’ve come up with a radio adaptation and recorded it remotely but I guess I don’t have the funding or the spark of the BBC, so reading it was about all I can stretch to.)(more…)
Ira Levin. You know the guy: novelist, playwright and the man whose stories became adapted into a dozen or so films, from Sliver to The Boys From Brazil. A jobbing writer, whose tight planning is a thing of wonder.
Nightmares is a collection of three of Levin’s novels in one book club-style hardback. It’s something that I came across in an op shop in a small town in the middle of the country, which is probably fitting because each of the stories are about people fitting in – or trying to fit in – to a community.(more…)
You like to read about drugs? And the internet? Murder-for-hire? Inter-agency squabblings?
You’re probably not all that interested in the last of these, but they provide a lot of the forward thrust of Nick Bilton’s American Kingpin, a book about the rise – and eventual downfall – of the man behind The Silk Road, an online emporium that taunted law enforcement for years.
So Pulp, eh? Possibly – nah, probably – the best band to emerge from the Britpop years of hype and arse-smacking heroin chic.
The group – in existence since 1978, if you can believe it – weren’t typically sexy. I mean, there was an effort to evoke a certain PR sexiness from lyricist Jarvis Cocker’s gangly frame, but it wasn’t the body that made him sexy: it was the combination of his writing, and of sex itself.(more…)
Well, I did it. I survived In Search of Lost Time. Admittedly, this is probably easier to do in a year where chunks were spent in mandatory lockdown than in a year when you can do … I dunno, anything. But here we are.
This review of the final volume of the Modern Library edition will probably serve as a review of the piece as a whole, as it’s difficult to view them as anything except interlinked, because the individual books don’t stand on their own merits – it’s only as part of this elephantine endeavour that they can be appreciated.(more…)