Harsh tale of triple murder in the Highlands


When novelists take real life events and people as the bedrock for their fictional stories I quite wrongly feel cheated that the narrative is not a journey into the writer’s undiluted imagination. Clearly my objection to grafting fiction onto elements of real life is ridiculous as ultimately all a writer’s thoughts must in some way […]

Sherlock on the Trail of his younger self

Mr. Holmes

For me there will only really be one Sherlock Holmes and that is Jeremy Brett in the classic ITV series that ran during the 1980 and 1990s. He was superb in playing the character who lives life on a tightrope between genius and drug addiction, perhaps because he himself battled his own demons.   The […]

Great stories from the Deep South


Currently I have a yearning to visit the southern states of America. The reason for my desire to see myself sipping whisky on the desk of a Mississippi paddle steamer rather than taking my holidays in a caravan in Bognor is entirely down to the efforts of the author Tim Gautreaux. I stumbled across a […]

Literary great or heap of mother love?

Carel Fabritus, who painted Goldfinch, the painting at the heart of Tartt's novel.

It’s not often that you come across a new word, or one that is a splendid as bildundsroman. Apparently it is used in literary criticism to describe a coming-of-age story like Harry Potter’s adventures or Pip in Dickens’ Great Expectations. Bildundsroman fits perfectly what The Goldfinch is – the story of how Theo Decker staggers […]

Tale of a true trailblazer

Laurie Cunnigham

As a modern day football fan I have been a season ticket holder at Brighton and Hove Albion’s new glitzy stadium for the last three seasons. One thing I really enjoy about the match day experience at the ground is there has never been any overt racism against black players. Sadly that wasn’t the case […]