• Wake Up, Sir!

    September 2, 2015 Blog

    FROM THE PROLOGUE ALONE I could tell that the story would embrace utter randomness. It would seek it out and toy with it, almost defiantly so, proving that anything could be funny if written the right light.

    Through the booze soaked mind of Alan Blair – our wayward hero – we are encouraged to see the world through his slightly skewed view, whose humorous opinions made me wonder if its initial charm could compensate for its …

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  • The Suspicions of Mr Whicher

    May 9, 2015 Blog

    As somebody who is not the greatest fan of non-fiction books, I took a little persuading before I got involved in Kate Summerscale’s meaty account of an infamous murder that took place in Wiltshire many moons ago. In fact, it was only because a fellow industry peer continued to recommend it that I finally gave in.

    In 1860, a young child was murdered in a stately home belonging to the hugely wealthy Kent family and subsequently …

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  • The Mystery of the Yellow Room

    May 9, 2015 Blog

    Desmond Christy from The Guardian once famously offered £500 to anyone that could guess the solution to the crime set out in Gaston Leroux’s The Mystery of the Yellow Room. It was a safe bet, because quite simply, it’s impossible.

    For me, this is the major flaw that has always prevented me from becoming a huge fan of the Sherlock Holmes franchise. The moment that a mystery becomes impossible to solve, you become a passive reader, …

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  • The Silver Linings Playbook

    May 9, 2015 Blog

    First person narratives, in my view, lend themselves perfectly to comedy because it gives us direct insight into the lead character’s decision making process. In this case, our hero is Pat Solatano – an innately sweet guy with the ability to explode. In fairness, he only gets angry when the circumstances are justified, but since his subsequent placement in “the bad place,” fairness is no longer something he can take for granted.

    Behind every great story …

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  • Tuesdays with Morrie

    May 9, 2015 Blog

    I first fell in love with Mitch Albom when I read his breakthrough non-fiction book, Tuesdays with Morrie, where he did such an incredible job of relaying the humour and heartbreak of the last few days spent with his dying high school lecturer, Morrie Schwartz. The book really struck a chord with me because of the close relationship I had with my English teacher, who I had not seen for a number of years, and …

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  • The Secret Life of Walter Mitty

    May 9, 2015 Blog

    People always seem fascinated when comedy actors take on a serious role. Suddenly, a whole wave of people fall silent before turning to their friends in the cinema and whispering in dismay: “He can act!”

    Quite frankly, it amazes me that people such as Will Ferrell (Stranger than Fiction), Steve Carell (Dan in Real Life), Jim Carey (The Truman Show), Adam Sandler (Punch-Drunk Love) and more recently, Ben Stiller, were ever labelled as anything other than …

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  • The Words

    May 9, 2015 Blog

    When I saw this 2012 film pop up on Netflix I wondered how I hadn’t heard of it. For me, Bradley Cooper is one of the smartest actors around at the moment when it comes to the film decisions he’s making and Zoe Saldana is somebody I find every bit as engaging as she is beautiful. Add to that the inclusion of Jeremy Irons and Dennis Quaid then you’ve got yourself one hell of a cast.

    I …

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  • Elizabeth is Missing

    May 9, 2015 Blog

    The story

    Elizabeth is Missing is about 82-year-old Maud’s journey as she searches for her friend, Elizabeth. With onset dementia, Maud tries to solve the case by piecing together a collection of self-written post-it notes. Whilst unravelling these clues, memories of another old case are triggered for Maud, who faces a losing battle with her illness as time and her deteriorating thoughts work against her.

    My thoughts

    Basing this story on a character suffering with dementia limited the …

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