June 29, 2009

From Little Britain to fiction

David Walliams is best known as one of the creators of the Little Britain TV series. This first novel is an exploration of "The Boy in the Dress" and seeks to explain a boy's journey into cross dressing. Beautifully illustrated by Quentin Blake, the boy in question comes to an understanding with his class mates at school and with his father. He is helped by being one of the school's best soccer players and is needed for a crucial game. I can't help wondering if a boy without a sought-after talent would have fared quite as well. More fable than gritty but an enjoyable read nonetheless. Walliams has a light and sure touch and hopefully will write more.


All marriages have their own secrets.....

A thought provoking read as a man re-discovers his life after his wife dies suddenly in The Marriage Club by Kate Legge. Each person in their circle of friends starts to wonder how much they each know of their friends and of their own marriages. The Age writes " Legge's compassionate intelligence informs a graceful and deeply felt novel that will arrive as a welcome breathing lesson in many lives. Satisfying and interesting.

June 03, 2009

Quantum of Solace - The Complete James Bond Short Stories

James Bond has had so many incarnations it is difficult to tell what defined the 'real' Bond from the hyperreal cinematic spy. Each actor has brought various aspects of Ian Fleming's iconic character alive from Sean Connery's seminal tough, handsome and uncompromising portrayal through to Daniel Craig's near brutal, strikingly masculine and physical realisation in the most recent films.

However, you need to go back to the original source material to get the feel, the grit, the intellectual thrill of the real James Bond. Ian Fleming wrote 12 Bond novels and 2 collections of short stories. Quantam of Solace collects these short stories in the one book. The brilliance of this volume is that the length of each story necessitates a concise plotline and distils for the reader the essence of Bond that is raw man, considerate and occaisionally compassionate human, as well as the cold instrument of the British government.

It is a great introduction to the written Bond and although they are half a century old, the stories still excite and make for compelling reading.