Howzat! Approximation of a playlist ยง39

18 08 2009

Vaguely topical cricket-related playlist

Joy Division Oven Gloves – Half Man Half Biscuit
What’s a Girl to Do? – Bat for Lashes
Tea In The Sahara – The Police
Slip Slidin’ Away – Paul Simon
Vanishing point – New Order
Nice weather for ducks – Lemonjelly
20th Century Boy – T.Rex
Rubber Ball – Avonsthe ashes urn
Deep and Wide and Tall – Aztec Camera
Bye Bye Love – The Everly Brothers
I saw a maiden – Choir Of King’s College
Sultans of Swing – Dire Straits
Glory Box – Portishead
Cap in hand – The Proclaimers
Catch – The Cure
The cutter – Echo and the Bunnymen
Hello, Dolly! – Bobby Darin
Drop dead gorgeous – Republica
Drive – The Cars
Extras – Boo Hewerdine
I Will Follow [on] – U2
Bernadette – Four Tops
Gay bar – Electric Six
A Little Bit More – Dr. Hook
The In Crowd – Dobie Gray
Out In The Street – The Who
Move closer – Phyllis Nelson
All Over The World – Electric Light Orchestra
Working My Way Back To You – Detroit Spinners
Howzat – Sherbet
Ashes To Ashes – David Bowie
Test Match Special – The Duckworth Lewis Method


15 08 2009

Restoration by Rose Tremain

Very good indeed.


As the blurb has it:

Robert Merivel abandons his medical studies for the vibrant Court of Charles II, where he finds unexpected favour with the King and serves as a ‘paper groom’ to the youngest of the royal mistresses. But by falling in love with her, Merivel violates the one rule that will cast him out from his new found paradise. Driven to work in a Quaker Bedlam, he must endure a yet more painful fall from grace before he can achieve spiritual and social restoration.

Merivel is a terrific character, utterly flawed and yet extraordinarily interesting. A lavish portrayal of the period this really is an excellent book and a great yarn to boot.

4 star

Diamonds are (not quite) forever

12 08 2009

Diamonds are forever by Ian Fleming

“Where Bond goes, trouble is a fellow-traveller”


Entertaining enough. As might be guessed from the cover, this is not the most literary of novels but the plot fairly rattles along and all of the elements of standard Bond fare are present, including some rather unfortunate casual sexist and racist observations by our hero which really do grate.

2 star

All aboard the night train

8 08 2009

Night Train by Martin Amis

night train

From the Amazon summary:

On a beautiful night in a second-tier American city, a beautiful astrophysicist with the proverbial “everything to live for” shoots herself dead with a .22. Tough-talking detective Mike Hoolihan, quickly summoned to the scene, has witnessed every sort of victim: “Jumpers, stumpers, dumpers, dunkers, bleeders, floaters, poppers, bursters.” But this case is different. Mike has known the young woman for years–she’s the daughter, it turns out, of Mike’s mentor, Colonel Tom Rockwell. And the colonel is desperate to find a perp, despite massive evidence to the contrary. In Night Train, Martin Amis has fixed his sights on the American female–with a difference. Mike is in fact a woman–a hulking, chain-smoking, deep-voiced alcoholic who comes complete with a squalid family background and a none-too- happy foreground.

Almost a novella this and a pretty pacy read. Mike is a thoroughly compelling character and the story of her progress through the investigation is quite gripping at times. The writing is superb and everything about the setting and cast of characters feels real. Never really been attracted to this book before despite liking everything else Amis but glad have finally caught up. Excellent.

4 star

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