Friday, 11 November 2011


These may or may not get reviewed later.

Contrary to the above image, Haruki Murakami's latest and longest work -1Q84-  is actually published in two volumes. The first contains Books 1 & 2, the second (which I've just started is) Book 3. Needless to say it's an amazing piece of work and Murakami is one of my very favourite writers. He's unique and brilliant with an absolute mastery of prose.

Also from Japan is another one of my big favourites -writer/artist the late Osamu Tezuka (no stranger to this blog) with one of his earlier works (serialised 1953-56) and now published in two volumes by Vertical. Unlike their other editions of his work, Vertical haven't flipped Princess Knight and so it reads from back to front and from right to left which is a bit of a pain.

About as far from Princess Knight as you can get is Adam Macqueen's Private Eye: The First 50 Years. With an RRP of £25.00 for this hefty hardback, Amazon are selling it for £12.50 but I bought it from Amazon Warehouse for £8.50. Az Warehouse is an Amazon outlet that sells new but damaged items at a reduced cost. In this case the damage was a minor crease to the top of the front jacket cover so as far as I'm concerned I've got a bargain.

The book itself is great. Written by an Eye insider who is more than willing to display the magazine's warts and all (indeed it would extremely hypocritical given the Eye's willingness to expose those of others not to do so) and is arranged on an A-Z basis, with plenty of cross-references to enable the reader to follow particular strands, which makes it an ideal book to dip into rather than wade through. In an odd way it's also a kind of a history of the underbelly of British society of the last half century given then number of scandals that the satirical magazine has brought to light. Lots of photos and cartoons too. Great stuff. (That was the the review.)
Next up is a book I happened to see in Waterstones. I never actually buy books there, I just check it out to see if there's anything I've missed, which does happen sometimes, and then order it from Amazon or one of their marketplace dealers. It's an absolutely massive collection of short stories, one of the largest I've ever seen being a large format paperback over 1100 pages long and in a 2-column format. The writers range from Algernon Blackwood to China Mieville (check out the names on the cover) and span over a century of writing. I'm looking forward to reading it but don't hold your breath waiting for a review; it may take some time.

This DVD was loaned to me by my friend Ian Penman who has a particular interest in the 1960's British pop scene. It's a biopic of Joe Meek, the brilliant but nutty independent record producer. I was a teenager around the time the events of this film took place so it should bring back some memories. I actually saw Heinz (the blonde on the sleeve above), one of Meek's proteges at the Sunderland Odeon (a cinema now bingo hall) on one of those one-night pop star package tours which were so popular at the time. A classmate boasted he gave V-signs to the singer.

Yes, I know this comes from 1992 but I've never seen it and picked it up for 50p at the Animal Krackers charity shop (see my Cat Rescuing blog).

I've got to watch this African-set zombie movie in the next few days as I received it as a review copy from Amazon Vine (the review freebie programme of which I am a happy member) so expect to see the review here soon.

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