HERE BE SPOILERS. Avengers: Endgame is not a film you can talk about in detail without spoiling it for those who haven't seen it, so please don't read on if you get upset by spoilers. I MEAN IT. I don't yet know if I liked the whole film or not. I was very bored in … Continue reading Avengers: Endgame.
I found this book of travel writing about the south-west of mid-1950s USA in The Second Shelf, a new antiquarian bookshop in London specialising in works by women. This was only the second book (partly) by a man I've seen there (the other was a lesbian pulp novel apparently written by a man with a … Continue reading J B Priestley and Jacquetta Hawkes, Journey Down a Rainbow
I pre-ordered Madeline Miller's Circe on learning its publication date, and then couldn't bear to read it for months in case it turned out to be not as good as I wanted it to be. I loved loved loved her The Song of Achilles, so I was hoping for great things of this second novel, more … Continue reading Madeline Miller’s Circe
The blurb on the back on the Panther edition promises titillation in rather 1970s Observer fashion: 'Perhaps you'd better find out what those fairies are up to at the bottom of your garden ...', assuming (a) that you have a garden, and (b) supervision of it is something you will be held to account for. … Continue reading Maureen Duffy, The Erotic World of Faery
In which I agree with the universal acclaim for two hugely hyped books that show no signs of losing any popularity. Mary Beard, Women & Power Mary Beard is doing very nicely out of her television presenting work because (a) she’s being herself, unaffected and normal, and (b) she’s writing some well-received books about that … Continue reading Believe the hype
Ursula Le Guin has died, and I’m currently living in a different country to all my copies of her books. So I had recourse to my reading diaries to find out what I’d read of her work in the past ten years. Lavinia (2008) This is the only one of Le Guin’s historical fantasy … Continue reading Reading some Ursula Le Guin
These two novels are the sequels to West's The Fountain Overflows (1957), a saga about an eccentric and musical Aubrey family in London from the Edwardian period to the Depression. I really loved The Fountain Overflows, but I'm not so sure about its sequels. This may be because they were incomplete on West's death, and … Continue reading Rebecca West: This Real Night, and Cousin Rosamund
About 18 months ago I wrote about Susan Cooper's five-novel sequence called The Dark Is Rising. If published today they would be classified as children's / YA fantasy fiction. In the 1960s and 1970s when the five individual novels first came out - my editions are the slim 1980s Puffins with tight leading and a … Continue reading Re-reading Susan Cooper’s The Dark Is Rising
Which Loki do you prefer? The Tom Hiddleston iteration of Loki is out and about again, in Thor: Ragnarok, which I would rate at 7 out of 10. He's a lot less Loki-ish in this film than in his earlier appearances in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and I think he loses impact by being normalised. … Continue reading Which Loki?