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Beryl Cook

Many years ago I was at the National Theatre for a play I have long forgot. In the interval I went to their bookshop and came across THE WORKS by Beryl Cook. The cover alone reduced my theatre-going companion and myself to uncontrollable hysterics. Beryl Cook occupies a unique spot on art as she is [...]

May 15, 2024 // 0 Comments

Titanic lives/Richard Davenport-Hines

The Titanic sank 112 years and 1 month ago but it’s still an iconic event and I have often wondered why. It must be the sheer tragedy of the greatest liner of its age sinking on its maiden voyage and/or the film which launched the career of Kate Winslet and/or the horror of rich and poor [...]

May 11, 2024 // 0 Comments

Earth/John Boyne

This is not your normal football novel as the subject – Evan Keogh- is gay and does not like football but instead wants to become a painter. The story is that his teammate Robbie Wolverton is accused of raping a girl which Evan filmed. Much of the 168 pages of this novella is taken up with [...]

May 8, 2024 // 0 Comments

State of Emergency/Dominic Sandbrook

This is an account of the years of Edward Heath as Prime Minister (1970-74). It was a tawdry time of rock bottom industrial relations, high inflation, the ill-advised Barber “boom”, soccer hooliganism and extreme violence within the Province (“The Troubles”) and IRA outrages on the [...]

April 30, 2024 // 0 Comments

Sussex win & top League Two

After two draws and yesterday’s win by four wickets against Gloucestershire, Sussex now top the second division. After coach Paul Farbrace went on record saying that we will never witness again the golden period of the noughties when Sussex won 3 Championship titles and the Cheltenham & [...]

April 23, 2024 // 0 Comments

The Savage Storm: The battle for Italy 1943/James Holland

Pursuing my interest in the less well known theatres of World War Two warfare I read James Holland’s account of the Allies’ Italy campaign with great interest and enjoyment. The Allies had booted Rommel and his Afrika Korps out of North Africa, taken over Sicily and in late 1943 planned the [...]

April 3, 2024 // 0 Comments

The Rumor Game/Thomas Mullen

The Rumor Game is set in Boston in 1943 and features as central characters a Jewish activist journalist (Anne) and an Irishman (Devon Mulroy) who works for the FBI. Both are conflicted. Anne wants to be more involved in exposing rising anti-semitism, chiefly inflicted by the Irish community, and [...]

March 27, 2024 // 0 Comments

Dead In the Long Room/Andrew Green

Dead In The Long Room is a novel which works on several levels: as a murder mystery, as a depiction of Edwardian literary life and as a description of the pavilion at Lords. The story is of a murder of an actor Harold Wilde during the Authors v Actors match at Lords. This fixture still takes place [...]

March 19, 2024 // 0 Comments

All The Light We Cannot See/Anthony Doerr

For those who do not enjoy reading, or may be intimidated by a 500 page book, you can start – as I did – with the Netflix film starring Mark Ruffalo and Hugh Laurie. I was sufficiently engaged – and thought the film may not have done justice to the novel – to read the book. [...]

March 5, 2024 // 0 Comments

Don’t Look Now/Radio 3

Many a well-known film or play has started life as a radio play – Bill Naughton’s Alfie being an example. Don’t Look Now, the 1973 film directed by Nicholas Roeg starring Donald Sutherland and Julie Christie, is so well-known that many may not be aware that its source was a short [...]

March 4, 2024 // 0 Comments

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