Tag Archives: review

Books of the Year (part 1)

It’s not been a particularly active year for the blog but, for what it’s worth, I thought I would collate some of my favourite cultural moments of 2014. Let’s start with those books published this year which gave me most … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Dannie

On a Sunday afternoon this year, I received an email from a close friend with the simple title, ‘Dannie’. I understood at once what it meant. One of the greatest Welsh voices of the last seventy years had finally been … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Frontier Visions

Embedded deep in the American consciousness is the idea of the frontier. The taming of the Wild West and the birth of the nation are part of American identity and it’s not for nothing that Captain Kirk and his Star … Continue reading

Posted in Fiction, Film, Music, review | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Just Perfect

It’s a bright but cold Saturday evening, the first weekend in May. We pass the crowds of testosterone-filled, shirt-bursting men, the groups of hens, high-heeled, perma-tanned, their sense of volume control lost in the day’s drinking. We make our way beyond … Continue reading

Posted in review, Teaching, Theatre | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Absolute liberty, perhaps

‘Open Door’ by Iosi Havilio With the dwindling number of bookshops on the high street, a market dominated by ‘big players’ such as Waterstones and the increasing power of Amazon and its Kindle, smaller publishers have had to work hard … Continue reading

Posted in Fiction, review | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

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

Posted in Fiction | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

‘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

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