Wandering On Chesil Beach

“Their wedding night, and they had nothing to say.” I devoured On Chesil Beach in two sittings, taking advantage of the warm air and the small old table that has become my desk in my small garden, a square plot of grass and some messy flowerbeds that I’ve never paid much attention to but has…

Back in Time with DOCTOR WHO AND THE CYBERMEN

It’s not all highbrow literary fiction and non-fiction, polemics, okay. Sometimes I just need to kick back, relax, and read some terribly corny Doctor Who novelisations from the 1960s. The Target novelisations are a treasure trove of Classic Who, and arguably the most accessible way to discover much of what it holds; older episodes are…

Drink Up BEFORE THE COFFEE GETS COLD

(note: spoilers) I’ve always been interested in the concept of time travel, its philosophical implications as well as the fun, mad practice of it, so it was inevitable that I was to devour Before the Coffee Gets Cold, a Japanese novel about a cafe which can send you back in time. But there are hard,…

A Kingdom of Posh Boys

How big is the world? It’s a question with an answer in constant flux. The world was once divided into four-walled rooms, extending only as far as a fence or front door. It is also what’s told in technicolour from behind a glass screen, images and shapes that might not make sense but seem to…

Studying A PHILOSOPHY OF WALKING

On the whole, we don’t think much of walking anymore. It is a necessary act to transition from A to B, and even then a largely unwelcome one. Why walk when one can drive? Walking is the simplest and most base form of transport, but it has gradually been eradicated from public life. For those…

The Personal is Political in DOWNSIZING

I burned through Tom Watson’s Downsizing in the first two days of 2020 and found it indelibly refreshing. Partly this was because it’s rare to read a book by a politician which isn’t entirely about politics (or so we think); but largely, because the mere existence of Downsizing is so unexpected. Watson illustrates this in…

Having FUTURE SEX

I wasn’t entirely certain what to expect when I bought Future Sex in The Last Bookshop in Bristol (all books being £3, hence the price sticker). ‘A New Kind of Free Love’ suggested it would be a celebration of sex-positive feminism, perhaps intertwined with speculation of how technology will further alter how we define sex…

Were They Really SERVANTS OF THE PEOPLE?

I have never been one of those on the left who despises New Labour. Though I am firmly of the left and believe New Labour ultimately failed to embark on the necessary structural reforms of society and our political system (and, of course, Iraq), I do not think it valuable to consider it some Tory-lite…

Journeying Through THE UNDERGROUND RAILROAD

“All men are created equal, unless we decide you are not a man.” Reading and reviewing The Underground Railroad has been a long time coming. I first bought the book when I was a student at Queen Mary in London, circa late 2017, but it wasn’t until late 2019 that I finally got around to…

Is This HOW DEMOCRACY ENDS?

Much ink has been spilt since 2016 on the question of whether democracy is coming to an end. The rise of right-wing strongmen to positions of elected office in Brazil, Turkey, the Philippines, the United States and the United Kingdom, amongst others, men who routinely express a greater desire for self-preservation than for the preservation…