The Japanese Proust? Yukio Mishima

Any discussion of Yukio Mishima's life and work has to deal, at some point, with his death. A right-wing nationalist appalled by the Western influence on Japanese society and culture, he tried to lead his own personal militia in a coup. It failed and Mishima immediately committed seppuku - ritual suicide - before (following the … Continue reading The Japanese Proust? Yukio Mishima

Review: “Tales from the Shadow Booth: Volume 4”

Just 6 months after the superb volume 3 of Tales from the Shadow Booth (which I reviewed here), "the international journal of weird and eerie fiction", Dan Coxon brings us another. And its just as good: that's all you really need to know. But if you want more, read on... It begins, as all trips … Continue reading Review: “Tales from the Shadow Booth: Volume 4”

Kathleen Jamie: “Surfacing”

In a previous post I looked at the increasing importance of, and focus on, the natural world in Kathleen Jamie's poetry throughout her career. With hindsight, the two essay collections she has written - 2012's Sightlines and it's 2006 predecessor, Findings (surely one of the finest books of the century so far) - seem to … Continue reading Kathleen Jamie: “Surfacing”

Carol Rhodes

"The places I find myself interested in are ones that service other places, like refineries, electricity generators, processing plants and waste areas. Generally they are hidden areas, one way or another." The Scottish artist Carol Rhodes, who died in 2018, created a body of work that's of interest to anyone involved in the crossover area … Continue reading Carol Rhodes

Max Porter’s “Lanny” & Melissa Harrison’s “All Among the Barley”

First, let's agree on what these two stunning books are not. They are not Folk Horror, but they did grow in a neighbouring field. All Among the Barley by Melissa Harrison and Lanny by Max Porter are two of the finest novels I've read so far this year. They're part of a growing number of … Continue reading Max Porter’s “Lanny” & Melissa Harrison’s “All Among the Barley”

F.U.S.E. – “Dimension Intrusion / Computer Space (25th anniversary edition)”

I know, I know. I said once before that I'm not going to blog about music. That post was about Warp's 'Artificial Intelligence' series from 1992-4, of which Dimension Intrusion - the debut album by English-born Canadian DJ & musician Richie Hawtin - was my favourite release. Now re-released, remastered and packaged with a load … Continue reading F.U.S.E. – “Dimension Intrusion / Computer Space (25th anniversary edition)”

Clive Barker: “Candyman”, “The Forbidden”, Place, Race & Time

Bernard Rose's 1992 film horror Candyman was adapted by him from Clive Barker's 1985 short story "The Forbidden", published in volume 5 of the groundbreaking Books of Blood. Candyman transports the action from Barker's Liverpool to Chicago, specifically to the "projects" (US term for "housing scheme") of Cabrini-Green. In addition to the source material's look … Continue reading Clive Barker: “Candyman”, “The Forbidden”, Place, Race & Time

The Nature Writing of Jim Crumley

"The landscape matters first and last for its own sake. It owes us nothing, yet it offers immeasurable rewards to those who revere it." April saw the publication of the third of Jim Crumley's seasonal nature studies. Following Autumn and Winter, we now have The Nature of Spring. Crumley is a well-established name in nature … Continue reading The Nature Writing of Jim Crumley

Review: “Bird Cottage” by Eva Meijer

This book took me places I didn't expect it to. Firstly, I assumed it would be a biography: of Len Howard, who left everything behind in London to pursue a life dedicated to studying the behaviour of garden birds. I was intrigued. Then, when I discovered it was a fictional re-imagining of her life, I … Continue reading Review: “Bird Cottage” by Eva Meijer

The Renaissance of Nan Shepherd

Two nature writers, from different countries writing in different eras. Both were long dead and forgotten; their reputations languished, books long out of print. The last decade has seen the profile of each rising beyond what could ever have been expected in their lifetimes. Nan Shepherd and JA Baker: authors of the two finest works … Continue reading The Renaissance of Nan Shepherd