Friday, 29 March 2013

The Trial

Franz Kafka, 1925 [Idris Parry, 1994]
(March 2013)

When we moved out of our last apartment the landlord sent round an agent to give the place a once over before we got the deposit back. We’d had an unexpectedly good relationship and it was relatively painless. I’d geed myself up for a bit of an argument, so the fact that he didn’t even try to gouge us on the price for a new set of tatami mats was almost a disappointment. He did, though, charge us for a new internal door and sadly I could have no complaints about that.

Wednesday, 27 March 2013

Voodoo Chili*

Chili-less chili. I know that usually makes about as much sense as a eunuch working as a gigolo, but there’s method in my madness. Not much, but some. The eldest kid can’t handle the really spicy stuff yet, despite my best efforts to toughen him up, and I’m just too damn lazy to decant a portion of onions and mince into a separate pan prior to adding the real heat. The ‘mild’ version I’ve come up with is OK, but it’s not quite there yet, so this is a request for suggestions from the more culinary minded among you.

Monday, 25 March 2013

The Book of Human Insects

Osamu Tezuka, 1970-71 [Mari Morimoto, 2011]
(March 2013)

I am by no means a manga or anime fan. They’re as valid art forms as any other, I suppose, but my experience of them is incredibly limited. I’ll occasionally joke that Neon Genesis Evangelion is the reason I first came to Japan, but that’s a story for another time. And a lie.

Wednesday, 20 March 2013

The Nao of Brown

Glyn Dillon, 2012
(February 2013)

This is just gorgeous. Here, have a look at some panels other people have uploaded in far better quality than I could hope to reproduce. The actual book has two hundred watercolour pages that work perfectly.

Monday, 18 March 2013

Spinning Wheels

There’s a fine line between being in a groove and being in a rut. That’s a quote I’ve used before but it’s a good one so I’m recycling it here without any shame whatsoever. I am slightly more ashamed that I seem to have wobbled out of the former and into the latter, and even more embarrassed to be blogging about blogging, because these types of post normally bore me to tears. I promise I’ll keep this short.

Friday, 15 March 2013


Chuck Wendig, 2012
(February 2013)

I wanted to like this. I needed to like this. After all the fractured narrative, unreliable narrator, non-linear, multiple viewpoint, worldbuilding nonsense I’ve gone through recently this promised to be a straightforward but fun urban-fantasy thriller, with a bit of edge and a strong and spunky heroine.

Wednesday, 13 March 2013

Monday, 11 March 2013

All of This is True

3. Romance of the Damned

I’m going to talk about football now, specifically the English Premier League. Don’t worry if that’s not something you particularly care for, I’m completely confident that you can substitute in your home country’s most popular sport and you’ll know exactly what I’m on about.

Friday, 8 March 2013


Jeet Thayil, 2012
(February 2013)

I’ve previously expressed my dislike of the Wall of Text – massive paragraphs over a page in length which make you feel that you’re trying to parse meaning from a wordsearch grid, not a story. The opening sentence to Narcopolis is almost 7 (seven) pages long.

Wednesday, 6 March 2013


Yoko Ogawa, 1998 [Stephen Snyder, 2013]
(February 2013)

Oh, Jesus. It’s been a long time since I had to put a book down in mid-sentence because my stomach wouldn’t stop turning, and that should be taken as a glowing endorsement.

Monday, 4 March 2013

I ♥ Kimigayo

I mean it. I love Kimigayo. I know I may have spoken about it before with a certain degree of cynicism, but I take it all back. Kimigayo is great and the politicians who advocate its inclusion in school events - and the compulsory standing of all present during its playing - are benevolent, wonderful people whose insight and wisdom we can all learn from.

Friday, 1 March 2013

His Music is Better than it Sounds

2.    I’m just diggin’ you now

So then, Mr. Charisma Man, good luck to you, I say. Go forth and dip ye wick whilst ye may, because who wouldn’t? As long as all concerned are consenting adults, what business of mine is it how other people chose to employ their genitals for their own amusement (cf. Gay Marriage. Why the fuck do you care)?