In Mourning

In Mourning   There used to be a sparkle in your eye fired by a vigorous joust with life. No more.      I watched it die as I watched you lose your wife, wanting to weep but dry-eyed at being left behind. She would have told you what to do:      to keep … Continue reading In Mourning

“Milkman”

What. A. Slog. I can't recall when it last took me as long to read a book as it has Ana Burns' Booker winner "Milkman". Be warned, it is not an 'easy' book. I picked it up and put it down far too many times. Firstly, it's very dense. Virtually no reported speech, so page … Continue reading “Milkman”

‘The River’ – a short story

A long time ago, someone explained the difference between a salmon river and a trout river to him. Brown and swirly versus one that was black, quieter. He cannot remember, as he stands looking down at water as dark as ink and filled with menacing eddies, which is which. And then he wonders if it … Continue reading ‘The River’ – a short story

‘News’

News I wait for the telephone to ring. The inevitability of it. This is a strange waiting, a long waiting wishing for something not to happen even though it must.   I tried your line today. My turn to call. There was nothing after the dialling tone as if that was the end of it, … Continue reading ‘News’

Portrait of the Artist as a Pair of Feet

We should start with the feet. Not because there is anything special or distinctive about them, but simply because they are what grounds him to the earth. Literally. They are the wheels, the tracks on which he runs - both metaphorically and semi-literally. In real terms they are feet that have not been without their … Continue reading Portrait of the Artist as a Pair of Feet

“Mythos”

If "Mythos" had not been written by Stephen Fry, I do not see how it could have been a best-seller. Indeed, even now I struggle to believe that Fry wrote all of it. It's like Homer meets 'Eastenders' or 'Dallas'. Some parts of the book (too many in fact) just make you cringe: inane dialogue … Continue reading “Mythos”

Let’s not make the same mistakes next year…

Perhaps that should be the only resolution any of us make when facing into a new year. After all, it is bound to cover a number of bases..! Twelve months ago - almost to the day - I posted a review / preview of my writing years, '17 into '18. The stand out? That I … Continue reading Let’s not make the same mistakes next year…

“The Distal Point”

Fiona Moore's "The Distal Point" is segmented into three reasonably discrete section: personal mourning, what might be loosely termed 'the political', and 'the rest'. Finding it difficult to cope with too many back-to-back pieces on the same theme - and especially those whose subject matter is deeply personal (I'm really struggling with Hughes' "Birthday Letters"!) … Continue reading “The Distal Point”

“An Attempt at Exhausting a Place in Paris”

This is a funny little book. And it is a little book - in almost every sense of the word! What's more, it defies description: it isn't poetry and it isn't fiction, yet it isn't entirely non-fiction either. "An Attempt at Exhausting a Place in Paris" is the result of Perec sitting in the same … Continue reading “An Attempt at Exhausting a Place in Paris”

“A Town Like Alice”

The first thing that struck me about Nevil Shute's "A Town Like Alice" was how old-fashioned it was. I don't mean old-fashioned in the sense of the language it used; the words weren't, for example, 'Dickensian' or 'Austenesque'. It was rather that the sentiment that lay behind it seemed to belong to another era completely. … Continue reading “A Town Like Alice”