Has with all aspects of life, my time with Culture Jam has come to an end, not for any bad reasons, just life. Of all the reviews I wrote for Culture Jam my favourite review was for Sunshine on Leith, the cinematic version of the Proclaimers‘ musical. What makes the review so special to me is that it was a challenge to write as I decided I’d work the name of every song in the film into the review. You can find out after the break whether I managed it or not, and how much damage I did to the English language in the process!
Originally posted on the 28th of March 2007 on my (now dead Bebo account!)As I recently purchased a new copy of the book after my old one went missing I thought it was a perfect time to re-blog this – with a few changes to the spelling and grammar.
This is not really a blog entry but something I think people may be interested in. It was my birthday on Monday and for my birthday my wonderful mum brought me a book called “The Boy In The Striped Pyjamas” by John Boyne. However, my mum had wrapped the front and back covers of the book as she didn’t want me reading the blurb on the back (as it ruins the story completely). While I looked odd reading it on the train – and probably got many odd looks – my enjoyment was improved. As I don’t want to ruin anyone else’s enjoyment I won’t do any further into it. However, to give you a small idea what the book is about here is the blurb from the hardback edition:
“The story of The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas is very difficult to describe. Usually we give some clues about the book on the cover, but in this case we think that would spoil the reading of the book. We think it is important that you start to read without knowing what it is about. If you do start to read this book, you will go on a journey with a nine-year-old boy called Bruno. (Though this isn’t a book for nine-year-olds.) And sooner or later you will arrive with Bruno at a fence. Fences like this exist all over the world. We hope you never have to cross such a fence!“
The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas is available to buy from all good bookshops
However, as of writing this movie is no longer in production. It’s stars have moved on with Chris Pine now filming Star Trek and the promise of being the next big thing in Hollywood while George Clooney has left because other films got in the way.
For those who don’t know the Jazz Singer was the fist talkie (non-silent film) and showed Hollywood that movies with sound were the way to go. Cameron claimed Avatar would do the same for 3D. It doesn’t. In fact it only highlights the problems with 3D. Cameron has created a beautiful looking film that is dulled by the 30% colour loss that the 3D effect brings. It was often more enjoyable watching the film with the glass off, even though the image was out of focus. When the glasses were I often forgot the movie was in 3D.
Much like The Mouse Butcher, The Fox Busters is equally as good and isn’t a children’s book you need nostalgia goggles to read. It is also filled with a number of quite mature themes. The opening chapter is like the start of a horror movie, a group of innocent chickens are playing in the farm yard before going to a trough for a drink. Beneath the murky waters hides a fox. You can guess what happens next (an even bigger hint is at the bottom of this post!).
This blood thristy opening sets up the conflict for the rest of the book between between chickens of Foxearth Farm and foxes who hunt there reaches its climax. Therefore the rest of the book feels like a chicken version of the Battle of Britain from our three heroes names’ Ransome, Sims and Jefferies to how the chickens win the war. It also helps that they are super smart and can fly. You can guess what happens next from the title of the book!
Originally published on the 11th of February 2008 on my now deleted Bebo Account.
The Mouse Butcher by Dick King-Smith is one of my favourite childhood stories. I use to rent it out from Linlithgow library on cassette all the time. I wish I could remember who read it now.
Well I recently purchased a copy of the book (51p off the net!) cos I wanted to read it again. Now as everyone knows, re-reading books from your childhood – like watching your favourite childhood movie – is a dangerous business. Certainly, ‘The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe‘ no longer holds the magic it once had. When I re-read it the other Christmas, i found it patronising and simple. There is little to no description – perhaps why I loved it as a child. I had complete control over what Narina looked like. However, as J.K. Rowling showed, a level of depth in a book doesn’t limit one’s imagination.
This post was originally published on my Blogger Account on the 5th of March 2010. This post has been edited before it was published today.
Finally this post includes very limited SPOILERS for The Night Sessions by Ken MacLeod
This time last week I finished The Night Sessions by Ken MacLeod – a futuristic thriller set in Edinburgh and New Zealand. It was a fun read with lots of very interesting ideas about robots and religion. Sadly none of them were fully explored in my view.
However, that is not what I want to talk about today. I want to talk about the location of the final scenes in the book. This is the dramatic conclusion where our heroes – The Lothian and Borders police – send a civilian, undercover, into a meeting of bad guys which is happening in Linlithgow. Yes that small sleepy commuter down about 30 minutes outside of Edinburgh.