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Archive Entries for August 2019

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Saturday August 31, 2019

Books in August

  • Lethal White by Robert Galbraith [read by Robert Glenister] BOM-LethalWhite.jpg
    Like much of the female population I was very taken with Robin and Cormoran and their interesting (and developing) friendship. It seemed to me that the author had written a trilogy, which was nicely rounded off in the way that perhaps a real life situation would be. However, we knew the series was going to continue, and Rowling pitches it perfectly, showing those fractions in time which have no significance, and yet at the same time could not be more significant - and Matthew's tiny betrayals which are both something and nothing - until they become really something...
    The plot was certainly very good - if a bit convoluted - and I found the workings of the politician's back-office life and his support staff (including the apparent nepotism) pretty engaging.
    [The very excellent actor Robert Glenister is set to appear in the cast of the TV adaptation Lethal White].

  • The Ashes of London by Andrew Taylor [read by Leighton Pugh ] BOM-TheAshesOfLondon.jpg
    I read a Guardian review recommending The Firecourt by Andrew Taylor, and then found it was in fact the second in the series, so decided to start at the beginning. I'm always suspicious when the marketing blurbs say things like "if you like Shardlake you'ill love this" ** and so on - but I'm afraid in this instance I absolutely did fall into the right demographic. Also, I did spend a year at school studying the Stuarts, which made the historical context seem very familiar.
    Here, we are introduced to James Marwood and Cat Lovett - and they to each other - against the backdrop of London in 1666, in the process of being consumed by fire. The action revolves around the destruction (and subsequent rebuilding) of St Paul's cathedral. A charred body is discovered among the ruins, but pretty obviously not a victim of the fire. Later, another body is discovered - and, among many other subplots, our protagonists struggle both to unravel the mystery, as well as to survive in this time of complex political intrigue.

    [** this type of recommendation always depends on what it is that you actually liked about the said book - often they look merely at the subject matter with no regard to skill of the author]

  • Corduroy Mansions, The Dog Who Came In from the Cold,
    and A Conspiracy of Friends by Alexander McCall Smith

    As the name suggests, this is a trilogy of stories set around the inhabitants of a block of flats, which, in this case, are in Pimlico rather than Edinburgh. As usual it's full of truly likeable characters expressing view on all kinds of philosophical subjects - not to mention featuring a very likeable - as well as philosophical - dog. If you are not a keen follower of Alexander McCall Smith, then, of course, it's just another set of gently (and genteel) humorous stories - but, if nothing else, his undiminished popularity demonstrates they are above the ordinary.
    Most enjoyable.

    BOM-CorduroyMansions.jpg BOM-TheDogWhoCameInFromTheCold.jpg BOM-AConspiracyOfFriends.jpg

Posted on August 31, 2019 at 4:21 PM. Category: Books of the Month. | Comments (0)

Sunday August 25, 2019

Romeo and Juliet


Classic Bourne reinvention of Romeo and Juliet which I found excellent and enjoyed a lot more than the recent "Christmas family" ballets. The setting is some sort of institution or asylum, and there are not "two houses divided" but an authoritarian oppressive system with brutal guards - into which the teenagers are committed by apparently unfeeling parents.
A very fresh and new feel achieved by Bourne working with a young cast of dancers and choreographer. Prokofiev's ballet music is reorchestrated, cut and reordered by Terry Davies.

Posted on August 25, 2019 at 7:54 PM. Category: Art and Culture. | Comments (0)