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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”

‘Boots’ Theory of Socioeconomic Unfairness

I’m a big fan of Terry Pratchett for a lot of reasons. Somewhere between the fantastical worlds he writes about and the recognisable, relatable characters that inhabit them, between the magic and the mundane aspects that move forward the plots, I always find something new in them. I have loved his books since I wasContinue reading “‘Boots’ Theory of Socioeconomic Unfairness”

Jane Austen’s Gothic Parody

You know Jane Austen, right? Writing in the late 18th and early 19th century, her books largely focus on young ladies wanting or needing to get married. Sometimes praised for her biting wit and social commentary, sometimes dismissed as ‘chick lit’, everyone’s at least heard of her. The first novel she wrote, although one ofContinue reading “Jane Austen’s Gothic Parody”

Pets in the Underworld

I’m a big fan of the Dresden Files by Jim Butcher. There are currently 17 novels in the series, each one narrated by Harry Dresden who is both a wizard and, at least to start with, also a private investigator. It’s contemporary fantasy with a large cast of faeries, demons, vampires and other monsters, andContinue reading “Pets in the Underworld”

The Dangers of Trusting a Goat With a Secret

The name of this post is the name of a chapter from The Hunchback of Notre Dame but I reckon Victor Hugo could, and indeed should, have used that as the title of the book. One of the main themes is the love of Quasimodo, the hunchback of the title, for La Esmerelda, a beautifulContinue reading “The Dangers of Trusting a Goat With a Secret”

Classic American Literature – With Sharks

Ernest Hemingway won the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1954 and was very influential in his understated style, but I didn’t know much else about him when I read The Old Man And The Sea. It’s a short novel about an old fisherman who goes out in a small boat and catches a large fish.Continue reading “Classic American Literature – With Sharks”

The Mythical Thermos

The Mabinogion are a collection of medieval Welsh folk tales. They are a collection of old tales of derring-do and are really good fun, but there’s one bit in particular I’d like to draw your attention to. Prince Culhwch wants to marry Olwen. I mean, his stepmother curses him so that he can marry noContinue reading “The Mythical Thermos”