Wednesday, 28 May 2014

Twitaceous Era 11: Nick joins the rest of the world's population

This week on my Twitter feed, I said the following stuff.

I do wish ginger wouldn't keep turning up in foodstuffs where it's not invited. Like this rhubarb crumble.
2:20 PM - 21 May 2014

Red sky at night, Angel Delight.
9:18 PM - 21 May 2014

Prestidigitator Spot: Dynamo on The Cut.
9:33 AM - 22 May 2014

Tuesday, 27 May 2014

Book review: Deadeye Dick

An early-Eighties Kurt Vonnegut novel, Deadeye Dick is a sort of twisted life story, narrated by Rudy, who happened to be away from his home town when it was destroyed by a neutron bomb. It's a meandering but interesting story of someone crippled by guilt over a childhood event - at the age of 12, Rudy's father got him to clean a loaded gun, which resulted in him shooting dead a pregnant woman and acquiring the titular nickname. Feeling that he deserves an outcast's life, Rudy lives as a neuter, a term he defines not just as sexual, but meaning he steers clear of any kind of emotional or intellectual investment in the world at large. It's an emotional distance that's reflected in the narrative style itself - a failed playwright, when Rudy needs to retell some of the more complex and important encounters of his life, he turns them into playlets in his narration, distancing himself from the fact that they happened to him. Not a classic, and a little bit aimless at times, but I found it worth the read.

Wednesday, 21 May 2014

Twitaceous Era 10: She's not some Jezebel

This week on my Twitter feed is mostly about me stalking celebrities. Actually I'm pretty sure it's them stalking me.

Finished watching Breaking Bad. Walter White is basically Evil MacGyver, isn't he?
5:16 PM - 15 May 2014

Well I don't remember taking a whole load of drugs tonight but apparently I must have done #intervaltweets
9:00 PM - 15 May 2014

If Jeeves and Wooster is closing in September, does that make the timing right for American Psycho to go to the Duke of York's?
4:01 PM - 16 May 2014

Wednesday, 14 May 2014

Twitaceous Era 9: There's no best bit

This week on my Twitter feed, witness the annual noise of the Eurovision Song Contest.

This bus driver looks like Bob from Twin Peaks. It's a disconcerting start to the day, I won't lie #damnfinecoffee
8:53 AM - 9 May 2014

The Gays: Before you get excited about Gary Lucy in The Full Monty, remember: It's backlit, you won't actually see anything.
10:29 AM - 9 May 2014

Don't mind me, I'll be in my bunk, thinking about Ben Foster playing Stanley in A Streetcar Named Scully.
10:47 AM - 9 May 2014

Tuesday, 13 May 2014

Book review: The Ocean at the End of the Lane

The latest all-ages Neil Gaiman book is The Ocean at the End of the Lane, a short fantasy with a dark side a little bit in the vein of Coraline (but without anywhere near as many sinister buttons, so my friend Vanessa needn't have a panic attack at it.) Instead it's a reminiscence of a boy's rural childhood, and a sequence of supernatural threats that are kicked off when the family's lodger commits suicide. The man's death attracts a presence from another realm, and when the boy accompanies a mystical local girl there to try and solve the problem, they only make it worse. There's a creepy au pair and, on the side of good, a trio of witchy women in Gaiman's recurring configuration of maiden, mother and crone. It's a simple enough story but, like the pond that hides an ocean, it opens up the possibility to contemplate greater depths.

Wednesday, 7 May 2014

Book review: The Dying Hours

This year's Mark Billingham thriller is a return to the Tom Thorne series, and The Dying Hours comes from a challenge from a couple of uniformed cops to Billingham: Namely to see how Thorne would handle being back in uniform. The detective's been threatened with demotion enough times for it to seem plausible that he'd piss his superiors off one time too many, so he's now back on patrol in South London.

Aside from the embarrassment this also means the experienced policeman's hunches are no longer taken as seriously, and when an unusual number of elderly people start committing suicide, his bosses don't believe that there's something else behind it. So Thorne has to call in some favours and try to fit in his own private investigation around night shifts in Lewisham. The unpredictable structure is one of the fun parts of Billingham's writing, and here the revelation of what's going on comes a lot earlier than might be expected, leaving time for a lot more twists and complications.

Twitaceous Era 8: Certain hypothetical scenarios

This week on my Twitter feed, I find someone new to fixate on, which is always fun.

According to the countdown screen, the bus I'm waiting for is going backwards. Which wouldn't particularly surprise me.
8:56 AM - 30 Apr 2014

Ooh, the RSC's Other Place shows are doing a couple of perfs at the Royal Court *skips the EV Crowe one*
5:41 PM - 30 Apr 2014

Hottest. Benedick. Ever. #intervaltweets
8:55 PM - 30 Apr 2014