Sunday, August 02, 2009

For one night only

I’ve been away to Bristol for the weekend having a very nice wedding anniversary rest and recuperation holiday that involved much food and wine but also a trip to see the Banksy exhibition 'Banksy vs the Bristol Museum', which was better than I anticipated after queuing for nearly three hours to get inside. His art is cool and funny and clever and poignant, some works only fall under one of these adjectives but others take into account more if not all of them at the same time. I’ll add some photos to my flicker stream which can be seen here.

Last week was busy as I went to see a couple of authors both with new books out. First was John Connolly, who was full of energy and eager to regale stories from his trip to New York talking to men who were cops during the late 70s. Having read the new parker novel you appreciate the amount of work and research that John puts into his books. You can read my review below.

Me and John Connolly

The second author was to meet with Alan Campbell who’s third volume from the Deepgate Codex: God of Clocks is out in hardback. Alan is of course the writer of the introduction in the small print and on the back of our meeting I now have a small performance spot at this years Fringe Festival.

I’m joining other writers as part of Underword on their ‘newbie’ night. Details are below:

Wednesday 19th August, 7.50pm–8.40pm

Fingers Piano Bar, Frederick Street

Admission is free so if you’re in Edinburgh come along and give me your support. I’m going to need it.


The Strain is the teaming up of Guillermo Del Toro (director of such films as Pan’s Labyrinth and the Hellboy franchise) and Chuck Hogan. Now Del Toro is one of the most prolific directors in the cinema today and I can't imagine he has much time to sit down and write a best seller, therefore I conclude that the ideas are his and in truth Hogan wrote the book.

It’s not bad, a retelling of the Dracula myth but set in modern day New York. It feels very much like a modern American TV show, a sort of 24 or else Heroes format. The story really picks up near the end but as this is part of a trilogy it doesn’t end very satisfactorily. The vampires are interesting, giving a new twist to the idea and staying far away from cool Goth types with tonnes of sex appeal.

The new Charlie Parker novel is brilliant. Stop reading this review and go and buy it. Go on, get it now! Oh all right - The Lovers sees Parker trying to get to the bottom of his family life. Why did his father kill two innocent teenagers and then take his own life? What happened on that fateful night? Why will no one talk about it? Parker travels back to New York to visit his father’s old friends and something is waiting for him, something old and nasty.

The books are getting darker and moving ever closer to a natural conclusion. I feel that Connolly is taking the reader somewhere and that somewhere is going to be a very dark, very bad place. The supernatural elements are also increasing as Parker delves deeper into the honeycomb world that exists around us. The writing as ever is fluid and fast paced, the characters are well rounded and mature and the ideas are frightening. A great book from a continually improving author. Thanks for this book John.

Read this week:
The Strain by Guillermo Del Torro and Chuck Hogan
The Lovers by John Connolly

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