The Sharks Are All Sharks

A little over a year ago I wrote about Ernest Hemingway’s The Old Man and the Sea (here’s a link if you want a reminder) and it’s a great story. It’s a novella about an old man who is out fishing, which is slow and thoughtful until quite near the end when a bunch ofContinue reading “The Sharks Are All Sharks”

Shakespeare and the Serial Killer

I reckon you’ve probably heard of William Shakespeare, right? Given that he lived and wrote in the late sixteenth and early seventeenth centuries, and that was quite a long time ago, so he must’ve been doing something right for us to still be reading, performing and watching his work four hundred years later. That beingContinue reading “Shakespeare and the Serial Killer”

How Not To Propose

Pride and Prejudice was Jane Austin’s second novel, published in 1813, and has never been out of print. In fact, I imagine it is a truth universally acknowledged that Pride and Prejudice must be doing something right, hey? It is a romantic novel of manners and also a satire, and many things in between. IfContinue reading “How Not To Propose”

Serious Writers and Adolescent Poetry

T. S. Eliot is considered one of the major poets of the 20th Century, and for good reason. Thomas Stearns (which is a great name, apparently in Anglo Saxon it means ‘stern’ , surprisingly enough) Eliot is a great Modernist poet, The Waste Land being probably the best known of his serious, grown up poems.Continue reading “Serious Writers and Adolescent Poetry”

The Canterbury Tales – drunkenness, fart jokes and arse-kissing

The Canterbury Tales was written by Geoffrey Chaucer in the late 14th century. It’s 24 very different short stories held together by the idea that a group of pilgrims are travelling together from London to Canterbury and decide to have a story-telling competition. It’s worth reading for a lot of reasons (and there are plentyContinue reading “The Canterbury Tales – drunkenness, fart jokes and arse-kissing”

What Robinson Crusoe Did Before The Shipwreck

You may have guessed this if you’ve been following me for any length of time, but I read a lot. As well as stuff I pick up because it looks interesting, I’ve also got a ‘100 books you should have read’ list that I’m very slowly working my way through when I’m not distracted byContinue reading “What Robinson Crusoe Did Before The Shipwreck”

Watching TV

Childhood’s End by Arthur C. Clarke is a science fiction novel published in 1953. It is about aliens coming to Earth and taking over in a completely non-violent way. Basically, they see what an utter mess we’re making of everything – all the war, bigotry, cruelty to animals, and so forth – and they stepContinue reading “Watching TV”

Young vs Old

A couple of months ago I discussed Tolstoy short stories and how people of different generations discussed each other. Seeing as Wilkie Collins was alive and writing around the same time as Tolstoy (and they both had great beards), I thought I’d return to the subject through his eyes. The Woman in White was firstContinue reading “Young vs Old”

The future… as seen from the early 1980s

Let’s talk about graphic novels for a change. If you’ve been following me for any length of time you’ve probably picked up on the fact that I read a lot across all sorts of genres. I’m currently reading Portrait of a Mutant written by Alan Grant. The graphic novel was published in 2002, a reprintContinue reading “The future… as seen from the early 1980s”

The Lord of the Limited Colour Palette

A couple of months ago, I was talking about Odd Colours in the Odyssey, about how Ancient Greek didn’t have a word for ‘blue’ (which I think is pretty interesting, go take a look if you missed it). In the comments, calmgrove got me interested in another related topic – the use of colour descriptionsContinue reading “The Lord of the Limited Colour Palette”

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