GOOD OMENS is Good

A creative title. If you’re looking for a story which encompasses pretty much all facets of sci-fi and fantasy, a story which is improbably mad and fascinating, and a story featuring protagonists you can read in the voices of Michael Sheen and David Tennant, then you’d be hard-pressed to find a story more suitable than…

Learning HOW TO STOP TIME

(spoilers) It does me little pleasure to write a negative review of a book, especially when it comes so highly acclaimed; its front cover contains proclamations of positivity from Stephen Fry, Graham Norton and Marian Keyes. But, besides some enjoyable writing here and there and fun moments, I couldn’t get into How to Stop Time….

Discovering The GODS AND MYTHS OF NORTHERN EUROPE

I recently spent just under three weeks travelling through Europe, the latter part of which led me to Northern Europe (Germany, the Netherlands, and Sweden) and the Liseberg theme park, where many of its rollercoasters are themed around Norse mythology and where this review’s featured image was taken. Fitting to be below Balder, a character…

Playing A GAME OF THRONES Once Again

It’s been over five years since I first sat down to read George R.R. Martin’s A Game of Thrones, fuelled by the esteem I held the then-very-good Game of Thrones in. I don’t recall what first sparked me to watch that first episode, but whatever it was is responsible for one of the most significant…

THE BOY WHO BELONGED TO THE SEA

It’s not often that I pick up books on a whim, but there was something in the cover of The Boy Who Belonged to the Sea that brought me to think, “yes, I should definitely buy this and read it as quickly as I can.” Is it the lone seagull? The blending of the plain…

The Road to HOMO DEUS?

I’m a big, big fan of Sapiens. The first of Yuval Noah Harari’s trilogy-of-sorts is a wondrously accessible yet thoroughly analytical exploration of how Homo Sapiens got to the 21st Century, identifying the key ingredient for success: our ability to tell stories. For Harari, human stories come in many forms; a multinational corporation is just…

Feel THE POWER of Naomi Alderman’s Writing

I don’t normally read fiction. For some reason, I’ve mentally associated films with fiction and books with non-fiction. Books are for facts. Analysis, typically political. Or, if they must tell a story, it must be a story well-known and well-told – a classic, like Lord of the Rings, or Fifty Shades of Grey. Nonetheless, I…

WE WERE EIGHT YEARS IN POWER

The word I associate Ta Nehisi-Coates’s writing with is ‘ethereal.’ Throughout his work, Nehisi-Coates conjures up myth and mysticism within his subject matter, be it casting Michael Jackson and Kanye West with divine providence or evoking the pride and power which he feels in being “the progeny of slaves.” Myth is infantilised: “I know now…

FALL OUT: The Tory Civil War Begins

I published my review of Tim Shipman’s All Out War back in November, as the British state grew incomprehensibly gridlocked and the spectre of a no-deal Brexit began to loom larger. Over two months on, we’ve hit January 2019 – the effective shutdown of governance continues, and a no-deal Brexit seems all but inevitable. These…

How to THINK LIKE AN ANTHROPOLOGIST

Back in secondary school, I had a teacher who was fond of saying “Geography is everything” (three guesses as to what she taught). I was always slightly dubious that one discipline could encompass everything, least of all one which, at that point, was still just studying mountains and the weather. Cut to today and I’ve…