Notes on the first ‘Game of Thrones’ Season 8 trailer.

The first trailer of Game of Thrones Season 8 promises a Helm’s Deep-like hellscape of death, and shining moments of the heroism, ugliness and beauty that can result when thousands of people are locked up in the dark with no chance of escape.

‘Night Waking’ by Sarah Moss (Book Review)

Sarah Moss’ Night Waking is a mournful tale of motherhood and family life that is likely to put you off having children forever. While its brutal honesty on the downsides of child bearing is a welcome change from the usual moonshine and roses version of the thing, pacing issues and a lack of narrative spark make…

‘Normal People’ by Sally Rooney (Book Review).

The hype is deserved, the rumours are true and the Booker snub is scandalous. Sally Rooney’s Normal People is the love story of the twenty-first century; big on ideas, sparse on words, and awash in the sexual and emotional politics of our generation. Sally Rooney has taken the age-old ‘boy from the wrong side of…

‘Ghost Wall’ by Sarah Moss (Book Review)

Obsessive love of ancient societies can lead to human sacrifice. It’s an idea that has been explored to great effect by William Golding and Donna Tartt, but Sarah Moss’ folk horror novella Ghost Wall offers a perspective on the issue that resonates much more in a world that has seen far-right extremism come back into fashion….

‘Melmoth’ by Sarah Perry: Book Review (of sorts)

The Monster’s Words to Melmoth To Melmoth the Witness Accept the homage of one who has no name, and who, like you, was born the child of an accursed creator and cast out in the hour of my first great sin. Your travels have bloodied your feet and mine my hands, but while you have…

‘Washington Black’ by Esi Edugyan (Book Review).

Slavery, marine biology, and raw artistic instinct collide in Esi Edugyan’s Washington Black, shortlisted for the 2018 Man Booker Prize and winner of the 2018 Giller Prize. George Washington Black’s very name is a mockery of his torment. An eleven-year-old slave on a sugar plantation in Barbados, Wash has not been brought up, but beaten…

What in Tarnation has Disney done to Artemis Fowl?

This month in ‘there is nothing in this world that Disney cannot fuck up’, we examine the trailer for that Artemis Fowl movie that should have been made when Asa Butterfield was still young enough to play the lead. The trailer subjects the story to numerous indignities that include a pathological case of seeing things through rose-tinted…

‘Everything Under’ by Daisy Johnson (Book Review).

In the Booker Prize-nominated Everything Under, Daisy Johnson exchanges one vivid mythology for another by transplanting the Oedipus myth into a remote canal boat community in modern England. The book is mesmerising, unusual and pleasantly challenging, placing unusual trust in the reader and successfully challenging a number of literary conventions.

The Niffler’s Lament.

In which the Niffler writes a letter to J.K. Rowling. Dear Joanne Kathleen… no wait, Newt says I have to call you Miss Rolling, like the rolling I do on a Saturday night upon my collection of cuff-links that sparkle shinily in the light and that Newt polishes nicely as long as there are always…

‘Fantastic Beasts 2’: imperfect, but worth the wait.

Fantastic Beasts : The Crimes of Grindelwald is a feast for the eyes and the heart. Unfortunately, even the best efforts of J.K. Rowling and some excellent acting from Johnny Depp and Zoë Kravitz cannot save this overly-busy sequel from a schlocky script and a plot more confusing than Father’s Day on Game of Thrones.