Category Archives: Literature

In The Sprawl Of The Outer City The Stench Became Narcotic (China Miéville, ‘Looking For Jake and Other Stories)

In China Miéville’s London there are shadows, and there are shadows. There are the shadows thrown by what we see and what we assume, and what we’re familiar with enough to no longer notice. The long stretch of non-sunlight cast … Continue reading

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He Knew The Pain Would Come Later (Nathan Ballingrud, ‘North American Lake Monsters’)

There is a moment at the end of the eponymous story in Ballingrud’s collection where our principal character, Grady, returns to the implacable corpse-thing he and his daughter discovered the day before on the lake shore. Previously, the dead thing … Continue reading

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Of Clerking And Of Slaughtering (Alasdair Gray, ‘Lanark’)

Nicola Sturgeon wants Scottish legislation by Scottish MPs. A rightful request, given the political fissure caused by the not-inconsiderably close result in the 2014 independence referendum. Given the iron-clad confidence of the SNP’s political swaggering since, you might be mistaken … Continue reading

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An Even Leafier Land Not On The Map (Dennis Potter, ‘Hide and Seek’)

When people are reminded of Dennis Potter, certain things will always bubble to the surface, archipelagic images insistent on being associated with the man: Michael Gambon’s hospitalised skin. Mary Whitehouse. The Devil raping a disabled girl. Gina Bellman’s eyes. Michael … Continue reading

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One Wonders Why It Had To Be Presented In The Horror Style (Koji Suzuki, ‘Dark Water’)

When discussing Japanese literature in a 2003 interview, Koji Suzuki brings up the Japanese tradition of Shishōsetsu, or the I-novel ; the literary adoption of actual private experience, usually but not exclusively of the author, as a basis for fiction. … Continue reading

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Books That Have Stayed With Rich

Inspired this morning by skullsinthestars‘ own fascinating list, I have come up with my own list of 10 books which, as according to the stipulations on Facebook, have “stayed with you in some way”, and which “don’t have to be … Continue reading

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Waiting For The Future To Hear Them (David Pinner, ‘Ritual’)

Whilst living in New Zealand, I attended a fortnightly gathering in Wellington called Curry-Beer-Men. It was, as the name suggests, an excuse for blokes to get together, eat curry, and drink beer (specialist breweries, usually.) We’d meet at someone’s house, … Continue reading

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