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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”

Purple Facial Hair

The Way We Live Now by Anthony Trollope is weighty tome, getting on for 1000 pages, but is mostly an easy read – lots of characters living their lives, all interesting folk and many of whom are deeply morally ambiguous, against a backdrop of political satire and a biting response to the recent financial scandals.Continue reading “Purple Facial Hair”

A Thinking Horse

Anton Chekhov was a Russian writer who lived in the late 19th/early 20th century. He was a pretty good playwright but I’d say his short-stories are his best work. I’m not alone is thinking that either; even Wikipedia says he’s ‘considered to be among the greatest writers of short fiction in history’ (although it doesn’tContinue reading “A Thinking Horse”

Victorian Gammon

I know that I’ve written about Dickens a few times now – my first ever post was about the dinosaur at the start of Bleak House – but, well, posts about his work pretty much write themselves. I’ve talked specifically about Nicholas Nickleby before, and I still maintain that the bit about The United MetropolitanContinue reading “Victorian Gammon”

Beards and Beer Milkshakes

Cannery Row by John Steinbeck was published in 1945 and is set during the great depression, but is significantly less depressing than some of his other novels. It technically has a bit of a plot but it mostly reads like a series of interlinked short stories or vignettes about the deadbeats, the general store, theContinue reading “Beards and Beer Milkshakes”

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