Monthly Archives: March 2013

The most boring thing in the world

Someone I follow on Twitter recently posted a photograph of this: The evidence certainly seems to agree with Timberlake. You can’t go anywhere without something ‘entertaining’ your senses. Browse in any shop and there’s music being played, walk through a … Continue reading

Posted in Poetry, Teaching | Tagged , , , , , , | 3 Comments


The short story seems to be staging something of a recovery. Today, the winner of The Sunday Times EFG Private Bank Short Story Award for 2013 is announced, the £30,000 is the most generous prize in the world for a … Continue reading

Posted in Fiction, Short stories | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Happy Birthday Philip Roth!

Another Philip said that Sidney Bechet’s voice falls on him ‘Like an enormous yes.’ The same is true for me when I read Philip Roth. Six years after the retirement of Nathan Zuckerman, his alter ego narrator, in ‘Exit Ghost’, … Continue reading

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‘Death and the Penguin’ by Andrey Kurkov

Not that long after The Wall fell I had the opportunity to travel to Siberia. It was summer, the weather was fine, the people friendly and intelligent. Omsk, where I spent a few nights, was different. My memory is of … Continue reading

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Learning to read

If Steinbeck was alive today he’d be 111 years old. That’s about how old I feel after every time I read ‘Of Mice and Men’. Don’t get me wrong, I like it. Or I should say, I liked it. For … Continue reading

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