Film and Writing (M.A)
British Born Punjabi Girl.
Focus in Film: Adaptation from Literature, Horror Filmmaking Styles and Auteur Cinema
Book Review: "Dreamland" by Rosa Rankin-Gee
Normally, I would say that fiction set in the future has ‘all been done before’ and that there are no more stories to tell. When it comes down to “Dreamland” though, I think that there has not yet been a book set in the not so distant future quite like this one. Strangely different from its title, “Dreamland” has absolutely nothing to do with the atmosphere or subjects of the book but instead it is regarding a specific place within the book. Instead, “Dreamland” is a cross between a migration novel and the post-apocalyptic nightmare of hell in a hand basket. However much I thought this book was dark and grim to the extreme, it was also extremely well written and is set in our own near future, to become one of our generation’s modern classics alike to “1984” and “Brave New World”. A future which is possible, which is plausible and yet, one we can only imagine in our darkest thoughts.
Book Review: "Legend of a Suicide" by David Vann
I have read quite a few books about people killing themselves or contemplating suicide. There seems to be this narrative of having been overtly depressed so to that it is reflected in the language whether it is narrated by the victim or not. But there is something different about “Legend of a Suicide” in the sense that there is not this sense of desperate grief but instead this question of why. There is this question of why because of the fact the victim of the suicide is someone whom the protagonist and narrator viewed as not only successful financially but also as a person who was moving on with their lives. Now, there is an argument of the fact that people commit suicide when they believe people least expect it as to not worry anyone in advance, but the scene in which the fact does kill himself is something else entirely. There is this sense of time stopping, but there seems to be none of this helplessness that surrounds it. In actuality, the scene is pretty disgusting. The father shoots himself in the head and his own brother finds him later on when the birds have already been pecking at him and the flies, eating him. His desecrated corpse is then reported to the child (narrator) and his mother. We then get this flashback upon the parents and why the marriage crumbles into nothingness.
We, the Depressed Night
A heartless break, the exhausted soul rips apart The black hole of darkness, the ultimately trip and fall Out of the air and into the nothing. Nothing at all.
Book Review: "People From My Neighbourhood"
For starters, let me say that I do not normally read flash fiction as it is a bit too short and non-descriptive for me. I like long, philosophical and breathtaking descriptions of atmosphere and setting so the longer the book means the more the description and the more the description, then the better. However, I have read Hiromi Kawakami before. I have read “Strange Weather in Tokyo” and “The Nakano Thrift Shop” and both of those book explore realms of the extraordinary other in terms of their place in the world if they existed. This book entitled “People from my Neighbourhood” is not much different but instead of exploring the extraordinary other, it instead normalises or attempts to observe the behaviour of the people who are considered to be ‘normal’ and therefore, ‘others’ the ordinary. Kawakami does an amazing job of writing to shock and terrify but sometimes the stories are far too short and lose their effect straight after reading. So overall, I would think this book is a good attempt at shocking flash fiction but probably was not up to my own personal tastes.
The Wrong Colour for Art
Light brown, splattered with burnt yellow and my backpack hits my spine. Scowling into the mirror I find that young woman who is always
Book Review: "Lore" by Alexandra Bracken
I have read many revenge narratives. Everything from Shakespeare to Marlowe, Shelley, Byron and Coleridge, Faulkner and Melville, Fitzgerald to Kerouac’s revenge on modern life and all the way down to the modern narratives of Philippa Gregory’s women of history and their own private acts of revenge. From time to time, I have noticed that changes in the narrative style of revenge make it more and more pleasing when the protagonist finally gets their revenge every single time. With each turn, we have a new meaning to the act and it is never just one single act. It can be many small acts in which the protagonist builds to a pinnacle and the climax of the novel becomes more intense than ever. There are possibilities though, left in our modern times, for even more changes to the revenge narrative. This is where “Lore” by Alexandra Bracken comes in.
Book Review: "Tomorrow They Won't Dare to Murder Us" by Joseph Andras
“Tomorrow They Won’t Dare to Murder Us” is a book about morality and how we begin to question it in situations of extreme danger. When a terrorist attack is being planned by Algerians upon France, there is a certain expectation that we must detest them and we must condone the safety of the public. When the Algerians state that nobody must die then not only do we begin to question our morality but we also begin to question their motives. In this book, we see exactly what horrors these people have endured their more violent neighbours of the French. We see exactly how the Algerians are constantly treated as the outsiders despite being able to speak French and live as the French do. We see exactly the price that is paid for being different in even the slightest of ways. Within the book there are these moments of brutality in which we see people come together against adversity and yet, be punished differently based on who they are and where they are from. It is an absolutely gut-wrenching book for the most part because of the way in which we see certain characters go through intense amounts of pain.
Book Review: "The Midnight Library" by Matt Haig
Matt Haig is one of the great writers of our time. His understanding of the human condition is more than incredible and his writing style never fails to touch your very soul. One thing that is incredibly unique about Matt Haig's writing is that there is a quality to it that makes it very easy to read and yet, it gets into some real depth about what the character is going through. I have found him to sort of resonate the writing of Ian McEwan. When I read Ian McEwan's "Nutshell" - though it was easy enough to read, there was some real depth to the character the reader encounters. This is the same with Matt Haig's writing and especially the book "The Midnight Library" - it is something that touches everyone even though not everyone will certainly experience the same thing. From the very beginning in which we see the character when she is about sixteen years’ old and all the way through the book that is set nineteen years’ later when she is thirty-five years’ old - we constantly get reminded about various aspects of uniqueness about this character and thus, we sympathise with the difficult position in which she has found herself in.