Posts from 12th March 2009

Mar 09

Crime Writers: Lawrence Block

The Brown Wedge2 comments • 321 views

I like a good series character in my crime fiction, and no one has offered us more of these than Block, and they cover a range of styles.

Matthew Scudder (16 novels) is a private eye in NYC, whose best friend is a hardened criminal. The novels vary in tone and story, some tough to the point of brutality, but morality is always complex, and Scudder being a recovering alcoholic plays a big part. These are worth reading in order, mostly, because the character does develop (including getting married, eventually).

Bernie Rhodenbarr (10 novels) is a professional burglar who also runs a bookshop.


Hauntography: The Mezzotint

FT + The Brown Wedge8 comments • 5,984 views

To read the story, click here; to read about our ‘hauntography’ project, click here.

“See that space between the panels? That’s what comics aficionados have named “The Gutter!” And despite its unceremonious title, the gutter plays host to much of the magic and mystery that are at the very heart of comics! Here in the limbo of the gutter, human imagination takes two separate images and transforms them into a single idea.”

– Scott McCloud, Understanding Comics

A ghost story about a picture that comes to life might or might not be frightening. “The Mezzotint” isn’t one. It’s a ghost story about a picture that turns into a comic strip, and as McCloud says, it draws its fear from what’s happening – or what might be happening – from one frame to the next.


Proof That Norway Has Soul: The Twit 40, March 2009

FT2 comments • 317 views

Another round of the Top 40 singles as seen through the lens of Twitter (previous instalment here). Rules: I take (roughly) the most recent substantive comment about each track, searching for title first then artist. The result? A snapshot of what the Twittersphere are feeling about pop right now! (Or, in some cases, yesterday).



Do You See + FT9 comments • 270 views

Frost/Nixon (is it the only film with a slash in the middle of it?) is a play made into a film. That much everyone knows. But as part of this transition, the film took the central cast from the play and put them on screen. And we are used to Michael Sheen somehow parleying his cheap impressionist act into major screen roles by now: he is the Alastair MacGowan of the big screen. And Frank Langella, whilst always being Frank Langella is just another in a long line of actors to get their rubbery chops around Nixon. Though not as rubbery as the attempt in Watchmen which assumes that Nixon in the eighties would turn into Pinnochio, or indeed one of the bank robbers in Point Break. The high point for British viewers though perhaps comes with Matthew MacFadyen’s surprisingly dynamic John Birt (I wasn’t expecting a Private Eye dalek, but something close).

But let’s say they had not have brought Sheen/Langella over.