Book 04: The Ghost

The Ghost, written by Robert Harris, a one-time friend of Tony Blair, features a former British Prime Minister not named Tony Blair.
The character, Adam Lang, was a charismatic PM (but not named Tony Blair), was accused of lacking depth (but wasn’t named Tony Blair), and got Britain heavily involved in the War on Terror (but remember, he isn’t Tony Blair).

This Robert Harris doesn’t have a very good sense of imagination

I’m not quite sure whether to refer to The Ghost as a thriller or a satire. It definitely progresses as a thriller – the protagonist, a celebrity ghostwriter, is hired at the last minute to make sure Adam Lang’s forthcoming memoirs are completed in time for the deadline. The story follows his progress as he tries to learn more about Lang, to understand the psychology behind the former Prime Minister.

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Born Offside – Lower League Week

Just a brief post to tell everyone reading this (and statistically, that means you’re probably a random googler who was searching for a picture of a mountain or jawless zombie) that my latest column for BornOffside is now up.

In it you’ll be able to read about Les Parry at Tranmere, Paolo di Canio’s actions at Swindon, and Giles Coke making a bad impression at Bury, which is pretty much  the same thing, right?

Go on, you know you want to.

Comedy, Film & Television Opinion

The Developing World Throws a Hissy Fit, and I Find Someone Foolish Enough to Publish my Writing

Today I make my triumphant return to The Leaky Wiki.
I cover a speech made at the UN yesterday (why a speech would be made at the UN on a Sunday I don’t know, but give me a bit of leeway here).
Unlike previous entries on The Leaky Wiki, there’s no particular backstory you need to know, just to know what ‘the developing world’ is, and that it seems to me like the people at the UN like to talk. A lot.

Anyway, the story is here:
Developing World Objects To The Label Developing World, Finds it Patronising

And, in a quite exciting piece of news (well it excited me at least, and therefore technically counts as exciting, in a linguistic sense) I’m writing for Den of Geek.
My first piece, a defence of the recent reinterpretations of Sherlock Holmes, has gone up this morning.


Monday Recap 23/1

I’ve promised to start recapping the week on Monday morning, and I am sort of true to my word, when I finally get around to it.
I’ve reviewed The Afrika Reich and The Valley of Fear here on the blog, and linked to my previous Lower League Week over at Born Offside.

If you’re  a regular reader of this blog, you may have noticed I’ve not linked to any articles posted over at The Leaky Wiki for a while.
There’s a reason for this, and it’s not that I’ve been lazy and not thought of anything to write, oh no.
The fact is, I have been suspended for a serious breach of journalistic ethics – I took more than my share of biscuits from the communal tin.
I have apologised deeply to my colleagues and employer, and, having spent my month of suspension on full pay getting blind drunk  reflecting on my errors. I will soon be returning to action.

While I’ve been suspended (on full pay! Can you  believe that?) my colleague Chris Switzer broke the story that a new study (a very controversial new study) which hints that the creation of babies may be linked to sex.
Matt Upchuck covered the launch of The UK Space Agency’s probe to Mars, or possibly France.
And there was news of a revolutionary new political debating technique to be introduced in forthcoming American debates. The next Republican debate will be settled not with words – which have failed the political process for so long – but with hammers.

I’d also like to draw your attention towards an interview on Born Offside with Mark McAllister, the ‘video coach’ for Gillingham FC. Personally, I found it an interesting look at a part of professional football most fans wouldn’t think about. Okay, technically it went up longer than a week ago, but for a football fan, it’s definitely worth reading.

Also at Born Offside, the African Cup of Nations has just begun over the weekend, and my colleagues at Born Offside have previewed every team, and covered the matches so far.

That’s pretty much all I’ve written on the internet this past week, and what I consider the best of what my colleagues have wrote. Watch this space, as there should be a bit more later today…


Book 03: Sherlock Holmes: The Valley of Fear

I’ve set out to read a minimum of 52 books this year, and write a brief review of each. I’ve reached a point that I didn’t think I’d reach this early – I’m justifying my selection by saying that it is technically a book.

Yep, it’s the novelisation of Transformers 2

Although I’m reading from The Complete Adventures of Sherlock Holmes, The Valley of Fear was originally published as a standalone novel. So, I’m going to count it as such, even if it is just over a hundred pages long.


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The Third Week Since Last Friday

My new column is now up on Born Offside.
Once again I offer a brief summary of the events in the lower leagues of English football, the big events this week and in recent weeks.

Yep, still what the  cool kids are talking about

Anyone foolish enough to have wasted their time reading the first two columns (and it’s foolish to wsate time reading anything I write) will notice I’ve given each column a name.
A name should be something that in some way summarises or explains what’s within.
Being an observant sort, I noticed, after completing the column, that a majority of the subjects are, in one way or another, are moving up.
Some are players moving to bigger clubs, one is a club moving up the leagues, and so on.

It’s called creating a theme, and I am truly a master at it.

Click here to read my latest column


Book 02: The Afrika Reich

I’ve just finished reading Afrika Reich, which is a very tough book to read at times. The book is set in a parallel universe where Nazi Germany’s victory at Dunkirk forced a ceasefire with Britain. They then defeated Soviet Russia, while pacifist America stayed out of the war. At the Casablanca Conference in 1943, Germany and Britain then carved up Africa between them.
Burton Cole, a retired former soldier and the protagonist, is hired to kill Walter Hochburg, the Governor of German Kongo.

This is all feeling quite dark and serious. Here, have some pictures of lego men evacuating Dunkirk

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