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Film and Writing (M.A)
Book Review: "Our Haunted Shores" ed. by Emily Alder et al.
Full Title: Our Haunted Shores: Tales from the Coasts of the British Isles by Emily Alder, Jimmy Packham and Joan Passey As we have all known for a while now, my love for the British Library Tales of the Weird is pretty expansive. I love reading scary stories, some of which have no author named, others only published in Blackwood's Magazine and everything in between. The anthologies often cover a vast amount of different stories on a particularly weird theme. My recent reads in the series have included The Uncanny Gastronomic and Dead Drunk - both of which I have enjoyed a lot. This anthology I have just read is entitled Our Haunted Shores: Tales from the Coasts of the British Isles and is especially weird for me because I thoroughly dislike beaches and coasts (but mainly I dislike beaches) so everything in here only justifies my discontent with the beach. However, that is not to say it isn't frightening and weird at some points.
Book Review: "Normal Women" by Philippa Gregory
Full Title: Normal Women: Nine Hundred Years of Making History by Philippa Gregory As you may or may not know by now, I have practically read everything that Philippa Gregory has ever written. As my favourite living writer, she has made a career out of writing some incredible historical fiction about figures I would have never dreamed were worthy enough of telling the stories of. Philippa Gregory proved me wrong and wrote one of the most endearing works of historical fiction ever (in my humble opinion) - The Lady of the Rivers. Now, although my favourite book by Philippa Gregory is The Wise Woman, The Lady of the Rivers is a close second with The King's Curse being third.
Book Review: "Shakespeare: The Man Who Pays the Rent" by Judi Dench
Is it true that when Trevor was asked if the Macbeths were the Nixons... He said, "No, they're the Kennedys." They're the golden couple. They adore each other. And she'll do anything for him. If he wants to be king then it'll come to pass. 'You are glamis, you are Cawdor, and we know what's been promised next. You're going to be the effing King, darling.'
Book Review: "Hidden Pictures" by Jason Rekulak
I have read many different thriller books over my time and some have been brilliant and others, not so much. Modern thrillers tend to follow some rules and by doing this, it makes them seem almost boring. Many of them are books I feel like I can predict in the first few chapters and therefore, there is no denying I will be giving it a slightly more negative review. However, I have found a niche of modern thrillers in which have many twists and turns, more atmosphere and a slight mixture of horror - this does not mean they are definitely good but it might mean that they have something more to offer than the simple modern thriller.
Pan of the Woods
Part 1: The Forest The forest grew into sight around her, the wet smell of damp ground washed out by rain and hail held the scent of mud and humidity. She awoke to silence, the chirping of birds were nowhere to be found and no flies buzzed as she regained consciousness. Without a single idea of how she got here, she looked about her, grappling with the large tree she stood against. With her eyes to the floor, she saw a gnawed rope, gnawed like an animal would - realising she must have at some point, been tied to the tree she let out a small gasp. It echoed around her in the endless lines of trees upon trees. She felt up the bark for any clues, as if there would be any, but got a handful of splinters instead. The taste of dry, murky air lifted around her and she straightened her clothing alongside cautious movements forward. The rope lay about the tree as a checkpoint and whether forward was really the way she was going, she didn’t know.
Book Review: "The Uncanny Gastronomic" ed. by Zara-Louise Stubbs
Full Title: The Uncanny Gastronomic: Strange Tales of the Edible Weird edited by Zara-Louise Stubbs As you know by now, I love the British Library Tales of the Weird books and this one is no exception whatsoever. The Uncanny Gastronomic: Strange Tales of the Edible Weird is perhaps one of the most varied books in the series I have read. With a ton of different kinds of stories, there are a few that stand out amongst the rest but also, each one has its own personality. From the absolutely horrifying to the darkly comical, these books often have an anthology quality in which the text is set on a theme. For this, we have food. From Robert Browning to Franz Kafka, from Shirley Jackson to Christina Rossetti, Saki, Angela Carter and even Jim Crace, this book is packed full of brilliant writers on the theme of food and eating in which we are given multiple different types of horrific texts that add to a truly creepy experience.
Book Review: "1689" by Amy Cross
Now, when it comes to horror novels I like as always, to keep it nice and simple. I do not want a convoluted story filled with millions of characters, that's what the drama novels are for, or even literary fiction. A horror novel needs to keep its storyline nice and simple so that it can be expanded in some really interesting ways. In this novel by Amy Cross, the author explores several different avenues of horror all involving a simple case of a possibly haunted house aligned perfectly with aspects of revenge tragedy.
Book Review: "Dead Drunk" ed. by Pam Lock
Full Title: Dead Drunk: Tales of Intoxication and Demon Drinks edited by Pam Lock As we all know, under the influence of an alcoholic beverage, people turn into something else entirely. Some become happy, some become sad, some become loud, some go quiet and some turn into monsters. In this book edited by Pam Lock, we look at the interpretation of that from the Victorian Age primarily and see through the eyes of the past, the horrors that went wrong under the influence. From spectral stories to guilt trips of the worst kind, from Robert Louis Stevenson to Anthony Trollope, from simple drinking down to bawdy drunkeness. This book explores some of those stories that we tell amongst the horrors of ingesting the world's most acceptable toxic liquid.
Book Review: "He Who Whispers" by J.D Carr
"...if you were to attend a dinner of the Murder Club you did not go in by the front door. Instead you went round the corner to the side entrance in Greek Street. Beyond a low door and up a thick-carpeted flight of stairs - according to popular legend, this was once royalty's discreet way of entering - you emerged into an upstairs passage with the doors of private rooms along one side..."
The Letters of Eustace Fairfax
On the 5th June, 1877, Mr Eustace Fairfax set off on an exploration of the Sahara Desert with one week of food and water rations. What you are about to read are the four letters his sister, Mrs Penelope Ellington, recieved. Though he could not post them, they were eventually found on his person when he was located. His final letter is not signed off for reasons that our department have not been able to find out.
Book Review: "Playground" by Aron Beauregard
I normally feel myself wading through films and films before I get to a good horror film. Unfortunately, this also applies to books. I have to read lots and lots of terrible horror novels to get to the good ones. This is one of those bad ones I have to wade through. On the cover of the book, we are advertised a terrifying novel that will make even the 'most jaded' horror fan squirm. As someone who thinks that they are maybe not the most jaded, but somewhere in the ballpark, I can honestly say I neither was squirming nor was I very impressed.