Posts from 17th November 2006

Nov 06

THRILLERS FOR KIDS! — #4 le cheval sans tête

FT + The Brown Wedge13 comments • 3,604 views

berna51 years old, and more widely known in the UK as A Hundred Million Francs, this rereads as potently as ever, despite the by-now somewhat clunky translation (the always tricky problem of slang). Gaby’s is I think the BEST KID GANG EVER — ten-strong, living in the poorer quarter of the small Paris-satellite faxctory town Louvigny, multi-cultural (Juan is Spanish Romany, Criquet is black, Tatave is er fat), raging in age from 11 down to 4 (I think — Bonbon looks about that in Richard Kennedy’s wrigglingly lively illustrations) [update: confirmed]. Tho Berthe and Mélie slightly take the “twins” role — they giggle more with each other than engage with the rest — and Zidore and Juan remain a little unsketched (but there are three further books for them to unfold as people) (which I haven’t read for 30 years, but HAVE RE-ORDERED FROM AMAZON) (one of them cost 1p!). But oh MARION THE DOG GIRL, my first ever fictional dreamboat!! Er, anyway, the gang’s obsessive pleasure is a headless wooden horse on tricycle wheels, which they ride pellmell down a steep cobbled street until it hurtles them into a patch of bomb-cratered wasteland, hard by an ancient rusting railway engine known locally as the “black cow”. The horse is rattling junk worth nothing to any but them — until one day a local villain offers them a fortune for it. They reject the offer with scorn — and shortly after the horse is stolen!


T REX – “Hot Love”

FT + Popular172 comments • 24,038 views

#298, 20th March 1971

I long ago read a piece by Jonathan King, an attack on 70s pop as opposed to the 60s version. King’s argument was that the big stars who emerged in the early seventies – Bolan, Bowie, Elton – were all failed sixties wannabes who had only managed to become famous because the real stars had cleared the pitch. (“JK” himself was exempt from this, naturally, because of “Everyone’s Gone To The Moon”).