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April 13, 2013
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March 21, 2013
Comments Off on James Herbert

James Herbert

The Rats

The Rats

Too young to get into 18 certificate films, and jealous of my cousins who could, my alternative was to read horror novels, and I soon discovered James Herbert. The Rats, The Spear, The Fog, Fluke, so many great stories that had everything I wanted as a kid from a book.

 

I remember an interview in which James Herbert described being in a meeting and wondering “What if someone got up and jumped out of the window – what might make them do that?” – or something along those lines. All his books were great What ifs?

 

Along with Stephen King, Roald Dahl, Frederick Forsyth and William Goldman, James Herbert was what I read as soon as I had a say in it (although my parents were always great in letting me pick their books from the shelves to read, thus the Goldman, Forsyth and adult Dahl stories), and fostered my love of horror.

 

January 9, 2013
Comments Off on Not what I wanted to see while reading The Last Policeman

Not what I wanted to see while reading The Last Policeman

 

highly recommend The Last Policeman, btw

 

July 18, 2012
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Amazon US & UK

Shame there isn’t some connection between Amazon.com and Amazon.co.uk so that when they shunt me off to the UK Kindle site from their button…

…I’d end up on the page for the book I was looking at on the U.S site. If the two companies got together and partnered up they could be invincible

May 22, 2012
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Can you get past “moldywarp”?

“[Miéville’s] writing is incredibly smug. I can feel him leering at me through his typewriter, shoulders up, breathing hard. That’s when I stand up, walk over to the bookshelf, and place it with the others. No way. We have no shared history; I’m not going to bore through one of these things out of deference to some prior affection. I don’t owe him shit.”
Penny Arcade

vs

[T]here’s the novel’s voice, the prose stylings, the exotic nomenclature and neologisms. Aping his master template, Miéville dares to offer purely discursive chapters that are just long enough not to pall. He dips into an omniscient voice from time to time, directly addressing the reader and meta-commenting on the text.
Railsea reviewed by Paul Di Filippo

I enjoyed Perdido Street Station, and would read it again solely for the Weaver – a giant dimension spanning spider. Freaky as fuck. Can’t say I ever got a sense of Miéville “leering at me through his typewriter”, but the B&N review is possibly all the confirmation Penny Arcade’s Tycho needs.

April 14, 2012
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Alan Moore on BBC HARDtalk

HARDtalk - Alan Moore

I read Alan Moore as grumpy in printed interviews. Perhaps because most interviews are preceded with a introduction describing his “frustration” “anger” “mistrust” at whatever the current situation prompting the interview. Take the time to read the full interview rather than “sensational” highlights, and his complaints seem more than justified. But even better is this HARDTalk interview, covering a lot of ground for a TV interview with less the “fuck off” and more the “well, here is how I see it…”

April 8, 2012
Comments Off on Rereading and By Reason of Insanity

Rereading and By Reason of Insanity

By Reason of Insanity, Shane StevensNot big on rereading books for much the same reasons as Mark Watson*, but one of the few I do is By Reason of Insanity by Shane Stevens.

Mentioned in the afterword of Stephen King’s The Dark Half which also has a character named after one from another Stevens’ novel Dead City, finding a copy back in the day wasn’t as hard as now. Which is a shame, as it was published before the serial killer thriller was written to death, a genre I stopped reading when I would pick one up in a bookshop and struggle to remember if I had read it already. Thirty-three years on By Reason of Insanity still stands head and shoulders above nearly all of them.

And while I enjoyed Thomas Harris’ Red Dragon and Silence of the Lambs, their tight writing and pared down story took away the need to reread them. They were a gripping one shot hit, brilliant for those very reasons, and if you haven’t read them you must. But By Reason of Insanity at 500 pages or so, with a plot that twist and squirms getting more and more desperate as it develops, rewards rereading and is one of a handful of books I return to.

Hopefully the rumours that Shane Stevens was a pen name for another author are true, otherwise he apparently passed away in 2007.

Guardian article c/o John Barger on Google+

*a shelf of books and a stocked kindle waiting for time