Miscellaneous


Brief Asides on She’s My Witch by Stewart Home

Brief Asides on She’s My Witch by Stewart Home

This is a love story following a pretty conventional trajectory, told with feeling and warmth. Who’d have thought? Mind you, if I tried to summarise what was going on then it’d sound a lot like a typical Home affair: lots of wild sex, drugs, weird esotericism, Metro Euro-London rad lefty underground culture, music references with time travel, witches and reincarnations thrown in to keep the pot boiling. It’s playful and subversive of course, but what I found new was the tone of the performance which seemed to be less astringent, less belligerent and more tuned to the hallowed than the sensational. It rattled along at a fair old pace and there’s lots of it which gives Home the space to game large and wide.

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Brief Asides on Licorice by Bridget Penney

Brief Asides on Licorice by Bridget Penney

‘Chalk, gorse, old coppice, redundant dew ponds, a crossroads formed by the intersection of a B road and an ancient fisherman’s track. It’s August. The rain shows no sign of stopping. Licorice, a reclusive middle-aged filmmaker, has only a brief window of opportunity to realise her long-cherished film project about the story of Nan Kemp. A grisly story of infanticide, cannibalism and rough justice remembered on the map: local kids have dared and scared each other to run round ‘the witch’s grave’ since way back when. The rebuilt windmill provides a hypothetical link between the time from which Nan’s ‘story’ springs and the present.

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Brief asides on No-Signal Area by Robert Perišić

Brief asides on No-Signal Area by Robert Perišić

I like this new book by Robert Perišić which is set in somewhere like Croatia. Probably is Croatia given that that’s the place he writes about. He’s got what it takes to carry a complicated story through to the end whilst giving you the politics and zeitgeist of the place. And he’s got a great eye for detail, especially the humane stuff between people. So when I read it I felt I knew his characters well enough to argue with them and sometimes I wondered if they’d really do what they did. I felt I could ask that because he does such a good job letting you know what the character is thinking and what she or he did before so you can say: hmm, I don’t believe you. Or, hmm, you wouldn’t do that. Or else. If you’re doing that then what you were saying, doing, thinking before wasn’t quite the truth.

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Brief Asides on SJ Fowler's I Will Show You the Life of the Mind (on prescription drugs)

Brief Asides on SJ Fowler's I Will Show You the Life of the Mind (on prescription drugs)

The private garden of a dying mind, loaded and loading prescription drugs towards a dying end in ‘a state of extremely slow emergency’, is laid out as compassion and seed initiates. Substituting feeling and emotion with slo-mo information mosaics the life resembles one rapidly discarded stage set after another, folding over and over, with permanent effect, a sense of meaning ruled by shifting identities, transient delusions and fickle estrangements.

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