The French Dispatch: For All Your Escapism Needs

he French Dispatch has plenty of interesting things to look at. Anderson is known and often parodied for this and to some it may seem tired and tedious by now. What can I say? He is who he is. I like it when a creator has their own unique vision and will go the extra mile to share it with humble viewers like me.

Until We Fall by Nicole Zelniker – A Review

Fiction about frightening and undesirable societies offers great opportunities for women, people of colour, and LGBTQA+ people to unpack the dangers of the present and envision their potential consequences for the future. Although dystopias make good stories, they can be so much more than just a narrative device, and function as a powerful socio-political tool. In her new novel Until We Fall, published by Jaded Ibis Press, Nicole Zelniker demonstrates just that.

The Great American Novel?: A Brief Look at the Work of T.C. Boyle

‘ve liked T.C. Boyle’s books ever since I first saw him perform at the UEA Literature Festival in 2012. I had just moved to the UK and had just started my PhD. I was excited, not just because of all the changes that had recently happened in my own life, but also because I felt as if I was now in the middle of it all. Whatever “it” was. A place where world-famous others magically appeared in packed lecture theatres to talk shop.

Brian Lumley’s Necroscope – A Vampire Novel, but Different

become a cliché to the point that they seem to have lost much of their ability to scare, I still can’t resist a good vampire story. For every boring, unimaginative Twilight rip-off, there’s a lesser-known gem lurking in the darkness somewhere, waiting to be devoured. Or, perhaps, to devour unsuspecting readers first. One such story is Necroscope by Brian Lumley.

Quick and painless – Shorts on Recent Horror Reads

My love for horror has recently been rekindled. With yet another dreadful Saw instalment out there, one would almost forget that there’s still plenty of original stuff around. Not only that, older works are increasingly at risk of being forgotten. To support my own memory as much as anything, here’s a quick overview of some good books I’ve read in the past month.

Book Review: Michael McDowell’s Blackwater

Blackwater is a Southern gothic family saga, tracking the lives of several generations of the Caskey family, as they make their fortune in the fictional town of Perdido, Alabama. Connecting the many subplots is the story of Elinor, a woman who mysteriously appears during a flood, marries one of the Caskeys, and proceeds to rule the clan. Oh, and she’s also a river monster.

Lisa Alther: Kinflicks – Book Review

I only picked Kinflicks because of its slightly raunchy cover – a scantily dressed young woman jumping into the air, her face drawn into an expression of pure ecstacy. Turns out the book is actually a coming of age novel about Ginny, who returns to the Virginian town she grew up in to look after her dying mother. Oh, and also because her husband has thrown her out for what she insists was not cheating. Promising start.

New Reads: How I Discovered a Community Library in the Woods

I have done very little reading over the past few months, and even less writing, because, well, life. That and the library still being closed. Fortunately things appear to be taking a turn for the better and I have discovered a little community library I’ve been borrowing books from. It’s little more than an oversized cupboard in a green space aptly named Old Library Wood. A bit of research suggests that its presence is part of an ongoing effort to make the area a safer and more pleasant space for local residents. Of course books should be part of that. Books are always a good idea.