The Joy of Text

It’s come as a great relief to learn that a recent survey has revealed that 80% of those who use subtitles when watching TV are not deaf or hard of hearing. I am, it would seem, not alone, and it’s reassuring to know that my increasing subtitle-dependency does not mean that other writing is on … Read more

What I don’t get about ‘Not Now Bernard’

There are many books I don’t get ( see, for example, ‘What I don’t get about Stoner’ –, but I was surprised last week to discover that I might have been misreading my all-time favourite for many years. The book in question is David McKee’s ‘Not Now Bernard’, and it’s my favourite for several reasons: 1. It … Read more

Boyhood, Hydra, and Leonard Cohen

Watching Richard Linklater’s brilliant ‘Boyhood’ left me asking the impossible question posed in that old Fairport Convention song -“Who Knows Where the Time Goes?” The film shows a boy growing into a young man, but it does so by filming him and his family in real time. They all, literally, age before your eyes and … Read more

The literary thwack!

Thwack! Thwack! Thwack! As I grow older one of the sounds which gives me increasing satisfaction is the thud of books hitting my bedroom wall. This is not, I hasten to add, the result of a strange literary fetish. It’s what happens when I decide I can go no further with whatever it is I … Read more