With Into the Woods, Yorke has performed a service to every writer on the planet.
Personally, I found it uplifting and liberating because it encouragedWith Into the Woods, Yorke has performed a service to every writer on the planet.
Personally, I found it uplifting and liberating because it encouraged me to do what has always worked best: following my own quiet, but deeply held instincts about what and how to write.
It's so easy to be swept away by creative self-doubt and the fear that, just because you're not a 'big name' in fiction or film, your work isn't good enough. That insecurity sells every 'how to' manual ever written and makes gurus out of those who, perhaps through some notable success, appear to have found a foolproof 'system'. Writers with great talent but equally crushing self-doubt are all too ready to buy into such cults but consider this: if there was a foolproof system, every book would be a bestseller, every movie a smash hit.
As Yorke points out when discussing Nassim Nicholas Taleb's studies, it isn't past blockbusters we should focus on. Every game-changing book, film or work of art is a Black Swan; something no one saw coming or had ever conceived of before. That's why they're ground-breaking. Trying to reproduce the Black Swan phenomenon is impossible because each one is unique.
Into the Woods does so much more than tell you how to write or 'succeed'. It's about the principles of story, their bedrock, their natural shape and their purpose. It's a book that, rather than hold you to hard and fast rules - no matter how reassuring such rules might seem - will set you free into the realms of story.
By doing what you already do best and loving every minute of it, you cannot help but bring the stories only you can tell to life. I think that may be what Mr. Yorke is telling us and I'm grateful for his message.
Putting all this aside, the book was beautifully-written, told its own unique story and oozed fascination from every page.
If there's any artistic logic or justice in this world, Into the Woods is destined to join the classics of writing theory. ...more
I was extremely fortunate to receive a copy of this – one of only 150 printed – from Chris Roberts, the talented artist who illustrated it. It was sigI was extremely fortunate to receive a copy of this – one of only 150 printed – from Chris Roberts, the talented artist who illustrated it. It was signed both by him and the author, and that on its own makes it a unique and special book.
Marshall has an exquisite instinct for communicating imagery and uses it to convey one lingering impression after another. This is a very readable and affecting collection - and it stays with you, the surest sign of fine work.
The only shame is that I haven’t read J.M Barrie’s Peter Pan, the novel from which this tribe of poems takes much of its inspiration. And yet, despite that deficiency on my part, I think I picked up on a lot of the emotions the collection exposes.
Reading Skeleton Leaves prompted me to rethink what good poetry is: the sharing of secrets we already know.
Get yourself a copy before they’re all gone. ...more
Terror stalks the streets of Victorian London and a haze of madness chokes every alley and backstreet. Jack the Ripper isn’t the only psychIt’s 1888.
Terror stalks the streets of Victorian London and a haze of madness chokes every alley and backstreet. Jack the Ripper isn’t the only psychopath in the city – another killer, fond of dismembering his victims, is also on the loose. But is the killer a man or something much worse?
A gloriously blood-soaked and tense detective thriller, which blurs the boundaries between crime and horror to great effect. This is one trip to London you won’t forget in hurry!
And the hero, Dr. Bond, will soon return in the sequel Murder… ...more
Carter’s language is transcendentally lyrical and her style often archaic but she wasn’t writing all that long ago; this collection was published in 1 Carter’s language is transcendentally lyrical and her style often archaic but she wasn’t writing all that long ago; this collection was published in 1979 but, at times, it reads like something written a century earlier.
Many of the stories are retellings of fairy tales – Little Snow White, Beauty and the Beast and Little Red Riding Hood among them – and you feel a little like a child again when you read them. They have that mystery and authority.
For me, the most engaging tale was The Bloody Chamber, in which I did feel a real sense of dread for the trapped protagonist. Generally, though, the stories were more like paintings in an art gallery; objects to gaze at and ponder over.
Believe it or not, as literary as Carter is in style, you could justifiably stick her in the horror section of your local bookshop. You’ll find sadists, murderers, vampires and werewolves galore in here. And, throughout, a preoccupation with the flesh, lust and the loss of innocence.
I’m not totally crazy about The Bloody Chamber because it’s hard work to read at times and Carter isn’t trying to be an entertainer. However, I’m completely in awe of her linguistic ability and her understanding of myth. I don't suppose for a moment that I picked up on all her references or understood the imagery in every story but I’m glad to have had the privilege of reading her. ...more
This rating pertains to the 16 stories in this collection which I didn’t write.
And it’s five stars because the anthology is so damn eclectic and so daThis rating pertains to the 16 stories in this collection which I didn’t write.
And it’s five stars because the anthology is so damn eclectic and so damn good. Steve Haynes has, very consciously I suspect, edged out onto an untested limb of the Fantasy Tree when choosing these tales. He’s an editor who favours the dark side of literature and that bent is very plain here. I think he took a big risk and, in my opinion, it has more than paid off.
Anthologies are a tricky thing to put together and, quite honestly, I can’t see myself ever wanting such a responsibility. But SALT/Proxima got this book right. I enjoyed every single story and felt I’d taken a hell of a ride by the end. Brilliant stuff.
I can see BBF becoming a successful and respected series; one authors will trip over themselves to be included in.
Favourite story: Keevil’s ‘Fearful Symmetry’. That guy can write. Seriously.
Memorable others: Bestwick’s ‘Dermot’ and Lakin-Smith’s ‘The Island of Peter Pandora’.
That said, I was transported by every single work. A wonderful book which I’m proud to have been a part of.
It's astonishing to realise that such a powerful force for physical and spiritual healing exists in this Amazonian plant. The author's explanation ofIt's astonishing to realise that such a powerful force for physical and spiritual healing exists in this Amazonian plant. The author's explanation of his relationship with Ayahuasca and other medicinal plants was inspiring in its simplicity and sincerity. A wonderful book....more