Category Archives: Reading

lauren scott and the seahorse, by chris jones, and trip to windsor and eton

lauren scott and the seahorse (a teenager novel self-published by a friend) a fantastic first chapter – a gripping opening, strongly establishing the futuristic london, and pulling my eyes along the lines of the page as the chase became intense; … Continue reading

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london’s hidden rivers and hamlet

london’s hidden rivers, by david fathers north of the thames (west to east) Stamford Brook Counter’s Creek River Westbourne River Tyburn River Fleet Hackney Brook River Walbrook south of the thames (west to east) Falcon Brook River Effra River Neckinger … Continue reading

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being adam golightly and the ferryman

being adam golightly an account of how a middle-aged widower with kids has begun to rebuild not his life but a new one – ‘not the same life as before but just a bit crappier’, but something different the account … Continue reading

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the day of the triffids and a visit to bamford quaker community

the day of the triffids far better than i expected (i’d grabbed it from a friend’s shelves in a oh-i-haven’t-read-that-and-really-should-have mood) (though i had enjoyed the midwich cuckoos) – a dark, sober, and believable evocation of london as it might … Continue reading

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silence and the shape of water

SPOILERS silence shusaku endo’s novel (and scorsese’s film) is set during the persecution of portuguese jesuit missionaries in 16th-century japan, but its impact is more 20th-century existential: the story of rodriguez’s slow progress to apostasy is closer to winston smith’s … Continue reading

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Protagoras

In Plato Protagoras seems to be a pompous but likeable old chap who’s dined out on his cleverness for many years. In both Protagoras and Theaetetus he seems to focus on advising young men, both those in power and those … Continue reading

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“Sweet Danger” by Marjery Allingham; “Have his Carcase” and “Whose Body?” by Dorothy L. Sayers

Sayers is great fun – Wimsey is a wonderful character, such a perfect epitome and caricature of clubland and the Edwardian aristocracy, and her murder mysteries are intricate and teasing. Allingham though is to be preferred: her Campion has greater … Continue reading

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Ray Bradbury: Fahrenheit 451

The Illustrated Man was my previous experience of Ray Bradbury: beautiful and disturbing post-war sci-fi stories, set in our present. Fahrenheit 451 is clearly, from the author’s various prefaces and the publisher’s blurb, a much more famous work, probably because of … Continue reading

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“The Liturgies of Quakerism” by Ben Pink Dandelion

Perhaps the dullest of book titles. Ever. Especially when received as a Christmas present (one I had asked for…). And I didn’t read it all, as the middle chapters seemed very similar to Pink Dandelion’s more recent and general history … Continue reading

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“The Trial of Mussolini” by ‘Cassius’

A wonderful find (I’ve forgotten where from). A 1943 fictionalised transcript of the trial Benito never had, at some putative war-crimes tribunal in London. Part of the Gollancz series of anonymous books published in the war. The first prosecution speech … Continue reading

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