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THE SAVAGES written & directed by Tamara Jenkins (USA, 2007)
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Though this movie received universal acclaim upon release, there were the inevitable naysayers. It’s interesting to read some of the negative comments. One says the story is depressing because it’s too much like real life while another says he was disappointed because he had expected a comedy.

I confess that, having glanced at the DVD cover image, I thought it would be more comic than dramatic. There are some amusing scenes but nothing to laugh out loud about. This is not so surprising since it touches upon a number heavy themes including sibling rivalry, mid-life crises, parental abuse and, most serious of all, dementia and dying. Not much cause for hilarity in this list!

It stars Laura Linney and Philip Seymour Hoffman as Wendy and Jon Savage. Both are single with messed up personal relationships, both have aspirations as writers and both are fundamentally unfulfilled. View full article »

SHAKESPEARE by Bill Bryson (Harper Press, 2007)
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Do we really need another book about William Shakespeare? The answer is, of course, a resounding ‘NO’.

In fairness, Bill Bryson is fully cognizant of this fact. He is honest enough to admit that this book contains not so much his own opinions “but is instead about what I learned of William Shakespeare from people who have spent a lifetime studying and thinking about him”.

Bryson makes the accurate observation that the Bard of Stratford-Upon-Avon is “not so much a historical figure as an academic obsession”.

He is in his element when debunking some of the unsubstantiated claims the so-called ‘experts’ have made in an attempt to uncover the man behind the myth. View full article »

THE RHYTHM & THE TIDE by Mike Badger & Tim Peacock  (Liverpool University Press, 2015)
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As founder member of The La’s, Mike Badger is no stranger to interview requests. However, more often than not it’s not his version of events journalists actually want to hear. All too frequently, his insights are edited out from the story of a band who could have been to Liverpool what Oasis are to Manchester but instead ended up being regarded as  little more than one-hit wonders.

Subtitled ‘Liverpool, The La’s and Ever After’, The Rhythm & The Tide finally gives Badger the opportunity to explain how he overcame early disillusionment to forge a modest yet varied and fulfilled career as a musician. artist and record label founder. Above all, this is the tale of a man with no axes to grind but a compelling story to tell. View full article »

THE HEART IS A LONELY HUNTER by Carson McCullers (First published, 1940)
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This has to  be one of the best titles of all time and  is widely regarded as one the great American novels.

It is certainly a remarkable achievement especially considering it is the debut work of a writer who was just 23 years old when it was first published.

Full of worldly wisdom and compassion for life’s underdogs,  it suggests that Carson McCullers was writing from her own bitter experiences. View full article »

LFCSometimes the good

guys win in real life

too!!

Congratulations to

Leicester City Football

Club and Claudio

Ranieri on their

remarkable achievement.

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