Category Archives: Books

COLEMAN

RHODRI DELANGES is delighted by a punctual arrival from one of our premier living poets

 

Only once a year, normally around late September/early October time, does Lissie Coleman send out of her extraordinary poems out into the world; always handwritten, always on the same pages from the same battered notebooks, it is as true a sign of autumn as the falling of the leaves or the sounds of conkers in the playground.

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SEMPLE

Frank Semple’s first new book for a decade impresses TOBY FERGUSSON

The Broken Frame by Frank Semple,  344 pp, $18.99, (Lorrimer Jackson);  The Indiana Tower by Frank Semple (1998), out of print; Swimming Holes and Other Stories by Frank Semple (1990), out of print; Cutting Teeth by Frank Semple (1990), out of print; Deep Within The Wheat by Frank Semple (1989), out of print

Reviewing Franklyn “Frank” Semple’s splendid gothic novel ‘The Indiana Tower’ in 1998, the critic John Freibeger politely noticed that Semple was “not a writer over encumbered with popularity”.  It was, and is, a fair comment.

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GRANTA

The Teleportation Accident

FRANK HOLLENTERBY and the Granta Under Forty List

Exciting as it is to see so many well-deserved names on the brand-spanking-new Granta  list (of the most promising young British novelists under 40) one can’t help but feel that – as in decades gone past – the list has allowed itself to be dominated by the “traditional” novel.

Not, that is, traditional in form per se; the presence of such a diverse set of writers as Xiaolu Guo (whose A Concise Chinese-English Dictionary for Lovers certainly knocked me for six), the always engaging and promising Tahmima Anam and the inestimable Jenni Fagan proves that much.

But in the sense of the requirement (implied or obliged) for a text based, “written down” novel – bound forever to floppy old pieces of paper or the softly illuminated words of the kindle – we might as well be looking at oh-so-many Victorian baggy monsters.  At its furthest reaches perhaps there is Adam Thirlwell – whose playful Kapow! so delighted and upset critics last year (it even left Steven Poole in the Guardian  “queasy”, poor fellow) – but that, alas, is about it.  It’s a sad sad missed opportunity.

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Lissie Coleman

RHODRI DELANGES is delighted by a punctual arrival from one of our premier living poets

Only once a year, normally around late September/early October time, does Lissie Coleman send out of her extraordinary poems out into the world; always handwritten, always on the same pages from the same battered notebooks, it is as true a sign of autumn as the falling of the leaves or the sounds of conkers in the playground.

Musical

We’re Broken Free: Troy, Gabriella and the death of Religion, by Toby Fergusson

troybolton

1.

Interviewed in London, just prior to the launch of ‘High School Musical 3’, Kenny Ortega, the director of all three films was quoted as follows:

“I met a little girl in an orphanage in Africa, in Nairobi, where every child in there  is HIV positive or is living with AIDS. She’s 15 and her name is Joyce, and I’ll  never forget her, and I’ll work for her for the rest of my life. She said to me: “Thank you for High School Musical, Mr Ortega, because you’ve given me back my hope  and you’ve given me back my courage.” And if someone can find that in a little movie like High School Musical then I’ll do four, I’ll do five, I’ll do six, I’ll do seven of them.” (Quoted in The Northern Echo on 20th October 2008)

2.

The High School Musical films are a careful and difficult trilogy of films; as the audience watches, it becomes clear that the films are studded with exciting and revolutionary arguments.   Continue reading