Review for the Wordsworth Edition as edited by Cedric Watts (proper review using my old Penguin one I used in 2008 forthcoming):
Decent introduction inReview for the Wordsworth Edition as edited by Cedric Watts (proper review using my old Penguin one I used in 2008 forthcoming):
Decent introduction including much discussion of the play's "difficulties" (the muddled religion, problems of staging and uneven tone) and an interesting revelation about the Paphlagonian origins of the Gloucester part of the play (from Shakespeare reading "Arcadia" on top of his Holinshed etc.) and a bit of Thomas Hardy "fanboyism" from Watts.
The actual play itself is presented in a nicely readable fashion with the traditional Wordsworth preference for endnotes and a glossary at the back and it preserves the Folio (Edgar) ending which I always prefer if only so I can say "fuck you Orwell" to his views on the Gloucester "sub-plot" (see the essay "Lear, Tolstoy and the Fool")....more
Tony Wilson's "24 Hour Party People" is probably the greatest novelisation of all time precisely because what could have been nothing more than a halfTony Wilson's "24 Hour Party People" is probably the greatest novelisation of all time precisely because what could have been nothing more than a half-arsed cash-in on the Tony Wilson biopic cum post-modern comedy/drama film about Factory Records, Joy Division/New Order, the Happy Mondays - is a post-modern novelisation/chatty memoirs/rock history book written by the man in question - full to the brim with wit and just sheer cultural...no, I can't use energy. It wouldn't be proper. Pride, perhaps?
Wilson, who was everything from TV journalist to rock label manager for Factory Records to owner of the famous/infamous Haçienda, takes the comic fictionalisation of the film and runs with it - injecting (probably not the greatest verb to use with the amount of drug use depicted) his acerbic wit and expanded reminiscences to the point where he provides an absolutely brilliant look at his life throughout this era and a tale of rise and fall (that notion of Boethius' wheel will be engrained in you by the last page).
The first half of the book does carry it in my view, with the sections on the rise of punk with a Manchester focus being particularly breath-taking and I felt so much for what that era must have felt like. Honestly, it was just pure musical reading ecstacy (again probably not the greatest choice of verbs given what the second half is about). That being said the real story is in the Joy Division/New Order side of things and to a lesser extent the Happy Mondays and the Hacienda and whilst you do not get a comprehensive history (or even a comprehensive personal history like in Deborah Curtis' "Touching from a Distance" which was used as a basis for Anton Corbijn's "Control" - both of which I highly recommend to Joy Division fans who haven't read/seen either) - you do get a series of sketches that form a great whole.
Wilson may be a minor character in his own story but through tearing the notion of the novelisation to shreds, he gives us a truly amazing little piece on his role in music history and the cultural revival of Manchester that truly had me as enthralled as I was the first time I listened to Unknown Pleasures.
If you haven't heard that album, great, but you should probably listen more.
[And you Goodreads readers will end up adding at least five to six books to your To Read pile - guaranteed.]...more
Not really of much interest for all but the most committed of Bond fans - Gardner's novelisation of Goldeneye started with promise and with an interesNot really of much interest for all but the most committed of Bond fans - Gardner's novelisation of Goldeneye started with promise and with an interesting attempt to synthesise a troublesome literary Bond character with the attempted post-Cold War (and slightly post-modern) semi-reboot of the films that was Goldeneye. Ultimately turned out to be a rush-job of a novelisation with only a few little interesting bits of added characterisation but lacking much of the refined tension of the film.
A wasted opportunity but nonetheless a curious effort. Of course one should never have too much in the way of expectations when it comes to novelisations and literary Bond continuation efforts. Still, I could not help but be a little disappointed....more