Monthly Archives: March 2020

What Makes A Great Fantasy Story?

Here’s a confession: there’s a lot of fantasy fiction I’m not interested in. I simply do not care about elaborate world-building for the sake of it, no matter how imaginative, intricate, or clever. Nor do I care about the history … Continue reading

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Dr Gribbles and the Beast of Blackthorn Lodge Revisited

Last month, I revisited my debut novel Uncle Flynn with a number of articles. This month, I’m putting the spotlight on Dr Gribbles and the Beast of Blackthorn Lodge, but with just one article this time. Dr Gribbles and the … Continue reading

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Film Review – Portrait of a Lady on Fire

Portrait of a Lady on Fire, the latest from Girlhood writer/director Celine Sciamma, is a superbly constructed, painterly, emotionally gripping psychological drama/romance. With a female director, all-female cast, and barely a glimpse of a man for the duration, this has … Continue reading

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The Pillars of the Earth: Brilliant Books and Bad Sex

Recently I finally got round to reading Ken Follett’s historical epic The Pillars of the Earth. A sprawling tale covering the medieval anarchy period between 1123 to 1174, it concerns the building of a cathedral in the fictional town of … Continue reading

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Film Review – Military Wives

Military Wives, the latest film from Peter Cattaneo (best known for The Full Monty) isn’t going to change the course of cinema. Inspired by the real life story of the Military Wives choir and their inspirational legacy, the film is … Continue reading

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Film Review – Onward

Onward is another first-rate animated feature from Pixar, with adventure, humour, and tear-jerking moments aplenty. The plot concerns a land of magical beings (elves, trolls, pixies, centaurs, and so on) which in the past was filled with magic, but in … Continue reading

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Fancy a gripping read?

Fancy a gripping, page-turning supernatural mystery? Why not check out any of the five novels below. I refer to them collectively as the “Spooky Quintet” (a silly collective term, I know). Each one features a nail-biting central mystery, a tenacious … Continue reading

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Film Review – True History of the Kelly Gang

“Nothing you are about to see is true” appears onscreen at the start of True History of the Kelly Gang  – the latest in a long line of films about Australia’s most celebrated and notorious outlaw Ned Kelly. It’s a … Continue reading

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Film Review – The Invisible Man

HG Well’s classic novel The Invisible Man has no real bearing on this film, which uses the concept and little else. Not that it matters. The Invisible Man has been riffed very effectively throughout cinema history, in everything from James … Continue reading

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