Monday 23 March 2009

A Quick and Pathetic Excuse for a Post

Apologies for the silence. I've got a cold and it's messing with my writing head. Should be back on track soon.

I've just noticed that I haven't posted a book review since the beginning of March. I've read some great novels since Zeltserman's Pariah, but I was riding an inspiration wave for the novel in progress, so I chose to ignore them for the time being. Just for the record, they were:

Cold Caller by Jason Starr
1977 by David Peace
The Guards by Ken Bruen
1980 by David Peace.

Actually, I don't think I'll review the two Peace books. They got quite a bit of coverage over the last few weeks after the Red Riding films aired on Channel Four. I'll maybe do a roundup when I've read and watched 1983, but I don't think David Peace will panic much if I don't get around to it. I will say this, though... if the movies didn't float your boat, don't let it put you off the books. I wasn't hugely impressed by parts one and two of Red Riding, though in fairness, I've watched a lot worse. But the thing with the Red Riding Quartet (as opposed to the trilogy of films) is the writing, not the story. Hard to convey that on the screen. They're all available in nice snazzy paperbacks through Serpent's Tail.

As usual, Ken Bruen delivered in spades with The Guards, and I've a few thoughts on Jason Starr's first novel that I'll hopefully get around to sharing. Right now, I'm reading The Dirty South by Alex Wheatle. It puts me in mind of the Noel Clarke movies, Kidulthood and Adulthood, and it's a nice easy read. I hope something big happens in the second half, though. The teenage protagonist's inner whining is starting to bug me a bit. I need him to stumble into a mad situation so I can see how he reacts, because I've no real respect or sympathy for him right now. He's just a bit of a prick, really.

Hmmm, I'm getting a bit negative here. Think I'll have a Lemsip and a smile and shut the f**k up.


Unknown said...

Jeez, Brennan, have a hot tottie and a nap you grumpy bastard. Just kidding, Sir. How about a quick review of Cold Caller, it's a classic of modern noir as far as I'm concerned

Gerard Brennan said...

Keith - Heading to bed right now. I'm hoping to get eight hours sleep for the first time in ages. Maybe that'll help.

Since you asked, I'll review Cold Caller this week.



adrian mckinty said...

Gotta say I think 1980 is the best of the quartet. (The one with the Yorkshire Ripper).

Peace isnt hurting. Isnt The Damned United out this weekend on the big screen?

seana graham said...

No apologies necessary, but I have missed seeing your latest post pop up on my blog watch.

We've taken it in turns at the bookstore to be felled by successive waves of...something. I was semi-ill to all out from the middle of December to somewhere in February and it didn't seem that my plight was uncommon. Not sure how it's tracking around the globe, though. Same bug or a different one? Couldn't tell you.

I look forward to your getting up to speed again.

Gerard Brennan said...

Adrian - What I liked most about 1980 was that the character was first presented as a 'good' guy, which made his self-destructive journey even more fascinating that Dunford's, Fraser's and Whitehead's. For a change of pace, I think I'll watch 1983 first, then read the book in a few weeks. Mostly because I've a lot of other books on the TBR pile that deserve some attention.

Yeah, Damned United is out soon, and the trailer's been sitting on the IMDb home page for the last few days. Guy's gotta be on easy street now.

Seana - Thanks. Dunno why, but this year I've caught more of these stupid cold things than any other. I'll live, though. Seen others around me getting a lot worse.