Ew i hate Green Mile. There is a lot I would take before that! Running Man, Stand by me, Carrie
Halfway through The Bottom Corner: A Season with the Dreamers of Non-League Football by Nige Tassell
A really good insight into non-league football and some of the characters that inhabit the nether regions of the football pyramid
Crash by JG Ballard. I saw the film many years ago and wondered how true it was to the book. If anything the book is even more pervy. If you like your sex off the scale kinky, this is for you!
Just finished Antony Beevor’s Stalingrad. It’s a deeply affecting read, or listen as it was in my case. It’s a brilliant study of arguably the most important battle in world history, a titanic struggle between two totalitarian states. As a reader, the only side I could pick was that of the common soldier, sent into this crucible by armchair megalomaniacs that never knew the hardships they were creating or perpetuating, Hitler being especially prone to his own press. Stalin doesn’t come out of this much better as a human being, even though the Soviet Union was the nation that managed to achieve the imperial expansion it sought pre-war, including a large part of Germany.
Along with Verdun, Stalingrad is up there for one of the least-wanted representations of hell on Earth. Human beings so malnourished that when many eventually got food, it killed them, because the body’s ability to process fats had atrophied. A Wehrmacht sent into territory they were told was full of sub-humans, with an order to kill all partisans, and a very loose definition of what a partisan actually was.
The SS, operating behind the front lines, applying Nazi “policy” to any “untermencshen” unfortunate to come their way. POW camps that were just barbed wire enclosures, with no shelter, where soldiers were simply left to die. Summary executions and collective punishment meted out by the Nazis, returned in spades by the Soviets.
Insane decisions from the totalitarian leaders. Stalin disappeared from view in the first three weeks of Barbarossa, simply because he couldn’t believe he was wrong (he’d been warned for months beforehand and attributed it all to a Churchillian plot to bring the Russians into the war), and probably had cause to dwell on the 30K experienced Red Army officers he’d purged in the preceding decade. The last comment I’ll make on the contest between the two leaders, and it’s not one made by the book, but Stalin, whatever else he was, was a man learning harsh lessons from huge mistakes. Hitler was someone convinced that previous success made future success inevitable.
The human cost was incredible. Barbarossa took at least 26m lives. Stalingrad was the furthest the Nazis ever got, and from Beevor’s account, seems to be an illustration of just how depraved and immoral we humans can be when motivated, properly or otherwise.
Arguably humanity’s darkest moment.
I ‘enjoyed’ this too.
If this sort of thing had been on the syllabus I may have enjoyed History at school.
Still, it’s no Spinning Jenny.
Just finished reading the Helliconia trilogy (Brian Aldiss), the first 2 were very good I feel he ran out of ideas for the 3rd part.
Still interesting scientific ideas and good social commentary.
Especially liked the idea of necrogenes!
I also learnt some new big words which I am unlikely to remember or use in RL
The cricket scores and cant find any
Ah been a way from here.
Artemis was OK not as good as The Martian and almost as if it was written as a new movie script.
A meh ok for beach/plane 6/10.
Jack Reachers’ last book was imho one of the best yet. A dramatically small cut down scale and a very informative read on the massive Opiate crisis in US society and it’s impact on relatively normal people. Tom Cruise will ruin it but best read on a long time.
For my upcoming 6 hour no frills B737 flight I had no choice went straight to Dan Brown & Origins. 6 hours in 29" seat pitch and driving at other end I need brain numbing. Made sure it was bearable. So far not as bad as his sequels. Still hate how I get Tom Hanks voice in my head with it though.
Oh and have you never tried cricinfo @philippinesaint ?
I purchased Ready Player One a couple of years ago, kept meaning to read it. It’s is now queued up on my Kindle app…
My son appeared one day with this book in his hands. It had been given to him by a friend on his bus to school. They’d passed it around between themselves like a piece of illicit contraband. Yes, just like his father, my son is a bit of a geek.
Anyway, I decided to read it and actually enjoyed it quite a bit although I wondered to what extent the kids who’d read it understood any of the references. It’s a piece of nostalgic, espcapist nonsense, but fun nonetheless.
My son is now badgering me to take him to see the film.
My son wants to see the film as well but I know if I see the film I won’t read the book.
Talking of nostalgia and kids not getting the reference (a bit OT I know) but have you seen Wreck It Ralph?
Make him read the book. It really is an easy read.
Yes, I saw Wreck it Ralph, but that was a colourful film which the kids could engage with.
See the film at Imax and in 3D while you can. Visually astonishing.
Today, I bought The City and the City by China Miéville. I saw that it’s been adapted for the Beeb but wanted to read it first.
Currently reading Mark Curtis’ book: Secret Affairs-Britain’s Collusion with Radical Islam.
But definitely going to be reading this next:
Another 6 hours on low cost airlines Tuesday.to Katowice this time (70km from Krakow)
So bought Ready Player One to pass the time.
I will let you know if you can read it AFTER seeing the movie
To be honest, I wish I hadn’t seen the film, not a patch on the book and almost totally different too.
Amazing how Simon Pegg manages to get in a lot of films these days…
Just finished The Gorse Trilogy by Patrick Hamilton
I enjoyed it but as the three books went on, instead of building to a powerful conclusion it petered out.
We meet Gorse in book one at school in Sussex and watch as he starts to manipulate and abuse the girls and women in his life.
By book two Gorse is a consummate conman defrauding his victims with elaborate stories and invented identities.
Book three follows Gorse as he exploits a young barmaid and her family in London but Hamilton seems to lose his way towards the end as if another book or two were planned and we reach no real conclusion.
Shame really as the first two books were building to tell the story of the real-life conman and murderer Neville Heath that Gorse was loosely based on.
Either of the first two stand alone outside of the trilogy and are worth a read but give book three a swerve.
I’d previously read Hangover Square by Hamilton and was really gripped by it - thoroughly recommended.
An exploration of a man - George suffering from what we would now see as multiple personality disorder. He, by turns, is romantically obsessed with Netta or wants to brutally murder Netta - depending on whether he’s ‘having one of his moods’.
Netta, an out of work actress and good-time-girl is viciously cruel and keeps a throng of men (including George) at arm’s length to buy her drink and entertain her without every giving them full access to her.
It build and builds and the mistreatment of this slightly slow, gentle giant George gets worse and worse and it ends predicatably but brilliantly.
Think I’ve got Stuart MacBride book lined up next which I’m really looking forward to.
I thought this was going to be a book about the plant that seems to spread everywhere.