Review: “Hollow Shores” by Gary Budden (2017)

Some books just don't do it for you first time. Some never will, and you have to acknowledge that. Others leave spore-like traces that may not germinate for months or even years, but will eventually bring you back to them. Hollow Shores is one such for me. Published in 2017 by indie press Dead Ink, … Continue reading Review: “Hollow Shores” by Gary Budden (2017)

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Marguerite Duras

Alma continue their attractive re-packaging of the Calder backlist1 with The Garden Square, one of the lesser-known gems by Marguerite Duras, best known for The Lover (l'Amant) and the screenplay for Alain Resnais's Hiroshima Mon Amour. Although grouped with the 1950s French nouveau roman, her work eschews the formal innovation of Butor or Alain Robbe-Grillet. … Continue reading Marguerite Duras

Review: “Mothlight” by Adam Scovell

I don't know where he finds the time. Adam Scovell is a film-maker, has just completed his PhD, writes articles for the BFI, runs the award-winning Celluloid Wicker Man blog, writes short stories, wrote the definitive book on Folk Horror and has now published his first full-length work of fiction. The short fictions on his … Continue reading Review: “Mothlight” by Adam Scovell

The afterlives of Kit Marlowe

"Marlowe's turn on the world's stage had ended, but Shakespeare's was just beginning. Memories were short and history unkind. It was the way of the world." Deborah Harkness, Shadow of Night. Christopher Marlowe was stabbed to death in 1593, aged 29. A successful playwright, his Tamburlaine, Doctor Faustus, The Jew of Malta and Edward II … Continue reading The afterlives of Kit Marlowe

Mike Tomkies: Wilderness(e) man

"No man is an Iland, intire of it selfe" wrote Donne. Well, Mike Tomkies tried his damnedest. Tomkies's books sold in their thousands in the 1980s, but in today's Nature Writing Revival he is nowhere to be found. Both my Dad and cousin Colin (with whom I went birdwatching in my teens, chugging around Fife … Continue reading Mike Tomkies: Wilderness(e) man

A completely unnecessary piece on Neil Gaiman’s “The Sandman”

I had thought about compiling a ranking of Neil Gaiman's Sandman books in the manner of my previous (and gratifyingly popular) China Mieville and Clive Barker top 10s. But if you don't know Sandman, although they can be read as stand-alone volumes, you'll get more out of them if you read them in order. So … Continue reading A completely unnecessary piece on Neil Gaiman’s “The Sandman”

Every fertile inch: Derek Jarman’s “Modern Nature”

Dungeness occupies a peculiar place in the English psyche. If the more overtly symbolic Dover cliffs can be read as embodying England's stance toward Europe - aloof, haughty, withdrawn - Dungeness, whose geography is far less confrontational, is more ambiguous. It is an English wilderness; one of the largest expanses of shingle in Europe. It … Continue reading Every fertile inch: Derek Jarman’s “Modern Nature”

“Landfill” by Tim Dee

My copy of Landfill was supplied for review by Little Toller Books. Tim Dee's latest book may just be his most important. His 2008 work The Running Sky is justifiably recognised as a classic of modern nature writing. Through the months of a year Dee looks at a particular species, habitat, or aspect of our … Continue reading “Landfill” by Tim Dee

Lodestone – the work of Benjamin Myers

Benjamin Myers is a writer whose time has come. Recent winner of the Walter Scott Prize for his stunning The Gallows Pole, Myers has been a prolific voice of the English North for several years, and his wider renown is thoroughly deserved. It also comes at a fertile time for writing from the North of … Continue reading Lodestone – the work of Benjamin Myers