John Boyne – This House is Haunted (2013)
Jan18

John Boyne – This House is Haunted (2013)

This House is Haunted     I’m always on the look-out for a good modern-day ghost story; and that’s ‘ghost’ as opposed to ‘horror’, although if you want to mix in a bit of both, that’s all right with me. The last time I came across one was several months ago:  Closing Time in Neil Gaiman’s 2006 collection, Fragile Things.  I’m not a big fan of Gaiman’s longer pieces (I found it impossible to finish American Gods) but some of...

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he by John Connolly
Nov25

he by John Connolly

An Infinity of Echoes: he by John Connolly     “Each evening thereafter he travels to the hospital to be with Lois. “On the ninth day, his son dies.”   Was this what it was really like for him at the end, this joyless existence at St. Monica’s Oceana Apartments, ‘at the dawning of the last days’? And here am I, slipping into this curious way that John Connolly has chosen to tell his story.  Referring to him only as ‘he’ and ‘him’; and...

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The Anti-Irish Sentiments of H. P. Lovecraft
Nov25

The Anti-Irish Sentiments of H. P. Lovecraft

‘Criminals and Mongrel Wretches’: The Anti-Irish Sentiments of H. P. Lovecraft   From the Chicago ‘Irish American News’, November 2017     Well now, I’m not the better for that!  In fact, I’m almost sorry that I came across this correspondence from 1918/20. You see, I’ve been a lifelong devotee of the writings of Howard Phillips Lovecraft (1890 – 1937) of New England.  When I was a schoolboy in the 60s and 70s he was pretty much...

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The Inklings – Humphrey Carpenter
Nov02

The Inklings – Humphrey Carpenter

  The Inklings C.S. Lewis, J. R. R. Tolkien, Charles Williams and their friends       In the absorbing book at hand the author and academic C. S. Lewis is credited as being the main catalyst behind a loose literary Oxford group of writers and teachers in the ’30s and ’40s — the Inklings – whose roughly defined membership included J. R. R. Tolkien; and it seems odd to me now that although I’ve had a lifelong...

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J.G. Ballard : The Complete Short Stories
Aug21

J.G. Ballard : The Complete Short Stories

The Pacifics of Our Imaginations: J.G. Ballard The Complete Short Stories       “In the codes of Renata’s body, in the junctions of nipple and finger, in the sulcus of her buttocks, waited the possibilities of a benevolent psychopathology.”  (Zodiac 2000) “Its ruined appearance [was] profoundly depressing, an Auschwitz of the soul whose mausoleums contained the mass graves of the still undead.” (The Terminal Beach) “Already...

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A Feast for Crows: Book Four of A Song of Ice and Fire
Aug21

A Feast for Crows: Book Four of A Song of Ice and Fire

A Feast for Crows Book Four of A Song of Ice and Fire     Those early episodes of HBO’s Game of Thrones…they seem so long ago, don’t they?  Why, back then Ned Stark’s head was still firmly attached to his shoulders and Daenerys’s dragons were cute and playful little tykes.  Now, with the penultimate series well under way, Ned’s head is but a distant memory and the dragons are all grown up and ready to burn… So I thought it might...

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