So let’s have a think about what comes to mind when you think of the Marquis de Sade. You know, Donatien Alphonse François. The famous libertine with a fixation on all things anal. The atheist who shagged anything that moved and put anything that didn’t up his backside. The corrupter of youth, the writer of obscenities. The beloved of surrealists. The perennial prisoner. This guy:
I dunno, I always figured his portrait would have more bare arses in it.
You’d think it would be something to do with sex that’d be the key driver of the guy’s story right?
Well, having read through all 600-odd pages of Maurice Lever’s biography, I gotta tell you that the sex shit is nothing. The real focus of ole DAF’s life was real estate.
Lately I’ve been trying to get into reading more comic books. Yeah, mostly graphic novels but also some superhero stuff. Because when I was a kid, I never really read much of that stuff, apart from the occasional Phantom comic. Certainly, I had read a couple of Batman one-offs, but never anything extended.
There’s absolutely no way that this will go badly.
So I decided to plunge back into the world of rich guy vigilantism with Geoff Johns’ reinvention of the caped crusader’s origins – and man, was I glad I did. (more…)
I guess I must be a glutton for punishment? I mean, I recently reread The Hellbound Heart (and found it wanting, alas) after forcing myself to sit through all the movies in the Hellraiser series. So of course, it was only natural that the next cab off the cultural rank was almost 600 pages of comics set in the same world, eh?
Nag nag bloody nag. (Also, check out those guns!)
Thankfully, this collection wasn’t a waste of time or good suffering, which is probably a better deal than you’d get from a Cenobite drop-in. (more…)
I suppose polishing off a Gothic fancy where death plays love’s fiddle put me in mood for something a little more grim, so I decided to revisit Clive Barker’s novella of puzzles and bad dates, The Hellbound Heart.
C’mon, you were thinking it. I know you were. I was, the whole way through. As the introduction indicates, it’s a rare text that can not only birth film adaptations but also pop chart-toppers. (And accompanying dance routines.)
Like a lot of people, I first came to this book because of the film of the same title. That film – though different in some ways to the book – is a classic of weird UK cinema, featuring Richard Burton as a suitably bitchy novelist with a catastrophic chip on his shoulder. Suffice it to say, I was intrigued enough to find a copy of the book to see how much it differed.
I guess a lot of what I wrote in my review of the first volume of Akira is applicable here: it’s something technological and dirty; something full of speed and movement, yet manages to not advance the story particularly far.
(Well, that’s not entirely true. The story told here hints at Bigger Consequences Yet To Come, even though the whole volume is essentially one lengthy chase sequence.)
Laconic and dry. That’s probably the write-up you’ve got in mind for Shots, songwriter Don Walker’s first book. And you’re probably not all that far wrong. But that reductionism is a disservice: The book is dry, with one economical eye on the door, but there’s a lot more going on.
The book is an autobiography, more or less, but it’s not a lot like that of his on-again off-again bandmate Tex Perkins, say. It’s a collection of images gathered together under the names of places that exist, or are a state of mind – Home, Carr’s Creek, Kings Cross, The Road, Paris and so on – but they flit, moment to moment. (more…)
This book serves as a re-translation of an early Icelandic translation of Bram Stoker’s bitey classic, Dracula. The Icelandic version of the Count’s tale dropped in 1900, only two years after the first translation (into Hungarian), and is notable because there’s evidence – lovingly detailed in forewords, afterwords and footnotes – that Stoker was in touch with the Icelandic translator of the work, Valdimar Ásmundsson, founder of the newspaper Fjallkonan, providing information from draft versions of the English text to work with. (more…)