FFB: The Comforters by Muriel Spark

I have been filling in some of the holes I didn’t even know I had in my readings of Spark on her 100th birthday year. I have not been disappointed. Don’t make my mistake: read everything of hers. Compounding the audacity of The Driver’s Seat (which really every crime writer needs to read especially) I at…

#FolkloreThursday: #storytime by Joanne Harris and the Storytime Band

If like me you have not been able to catch the live version of Joanne Harris’ #storytime, you’ll be glad to know that this CD captures the experience rather well (I suspect). Music, song and story blend together to create a magical experience with the freshness of a live performance. Folktale aficionados will find Harris’…

FFB: The Driver’s Seat – Muriel Spark

Was she asking for it? Was she asking nice? If she was asking for it, Did she ask you twice? Hole – Asking For It It seems redundant to call this a lean novel from Spark — her novels are singularly lean. I always feel as if they have been sanded fine. I’ve been on…

Review: Girl from the North Country

I’ll be honest: I really really wanted to see Mosquitoes. I queued twice to try to get tickets. But I was denied the two Olivias (sob!). So I went to the Tkts booth intending to maybe see Hamlet but there being only obstructed view, I decided to go with Girl from the North Country. Advertising worked: I…

Daphne Oram’s Wonderful World of Sound

We had a chance to catch the Blood of the Young and Tron Theatre presentation of Daphne Oram’s Wonderful World of Sound at Dundee Rep. This show is touring Scotland, so if you can do be sure to see it. If you don’t know anything about Oram, there’s a good primer at her official website. You may…

FFB: Porterhouse Blue – Tom Sharpe

I have been thinking about academic novels lately because I am — much as I swore never to do so — working on a roman à clef called Hire Idiots (the topic of which ought to be abundantly clear). I taught Lucky Jim in my senior seminar and enjoyed my students’ reactions to it. I’ve…

Review: Radio Girls

RADIO GIRLS Sarah-Jane Stratford The Great War is over, and change is in the air, in this novel that brings to life the exciting days of early British radio …and one woman who finds her voice while working alongside the brilliant women and men of the BBC London, 1926. ‘If we have the sense to…

Review: Much Ado about Nothing @DundeeRep

I am grateful to have so many opportunities to enjoy Dundee Rep, though I am shaking my fist to know I will miss for the second time my pal Gary Robertson’s latest play Scaffies which will be on in late January after I have to return stateside. However, I’m looking forward to their production of…

Review: Upstart Crow

The final episode of the first series of Upstart Crow has aired and David Mitchell, who stars as the bard himself, confirmed on Twitter that there will be a second series. It follows the adventures of the up-and-coming playwright who still finds himself  struggling to make his mark in the hurlyburly of Elizabethan England. Action…

Review: Love & Friendship

What absolute joy this film is. The sense of fun and delight in being bad is not what one usually associates with Austen but it is exactly the reason her best observations cut so deeply. I may have to reconsider Whit Stillman. First I should admit to being a hoarder. I had not read Lady…