Monthly Archives: October 2009

An influential book from an influential writer …

Howards End is on the landing by Susan Hill That pesky Susan Hill! She’s managed to set the book-blogging world alight with her latest – a memoir about reading the books in her house and the stories they are associated with. HEIOTL, as I shall abbreviate it to, has become a blogging hot topic – but in the nicest possible… Read more »

My Season of the Living Dead is over!

My month of vampire reading is over – Ended! Finito! I’ve read six novels back to back, mostly extremely enjoyable until I came to the last. Dracula – the Un-dead by Dacre Stoker and Ian Holt … Co-written by Bram Stoker’s great-grandnephew and a vampire expert, this official sequel tries to shoehorn in every single bit of vampire lore in… Read more »

A chilling and contemporary twist on the vampire novel

Let the Right One In by John Ajvide Lindqvist All the other vampire books I’ve read in my ‘Season of the Living Dead’ have been rather cosy or had a good sense of humour. But then they’ve been mostly aimed at teens and young adults.Then I came to a Nordic vampire novel Let the Right One In, and found something… Read more »

Paving the way for the teen vampire sensation

Vampire Diaries  by L J Smith Anyone reading this book would be forgiven for thinking that it was rather derivative of a certain other one – Twilight that is. It even has an apple on the black cover … Amazingly, it was published over ten years before Stephanie Meyer had even started hers. Understandingly, the publishers have jumped on the… Read more »

Sookie & Vampire Bill – what a couple!

Dead Until Dark by Charlaine Harris The high-school vampire novels I read last week were but mere hors d’oevres in preparation for this – the main course. The Sookie Stackhouse novels have been given the HBO treatment by Alan ‘Six Feel Under‘ Ball, and are currently on our screens as True Blood, but before I watch the TV series (I’ve… Read more »

Brothers under the skin???

I will get back to writing about books very soon, but an off-duty photo I saw yesterday of Twilight hunk Robert Pattinson in my daughter’s kids’ newspaper ‘First News’ gave me a jolt – for the delightfully chiselled Robert is looking rather like the handsome younger brother of the comedy demi-god that was John Belushi! I couldn’t find the exact… Read more »

Now I can see why teenage girls love vampires …

Although I have more of the same stacked up, (vampire novels aimed at teenagers that is), I think I’ve worked out why teenage girls love reading them… They have all the features of many traditional favourites:- set in schools pupilled with bullies, geeks, jocks, all the usual stereotypes are there; there’s good/bad, sympathetic/not teachers; an overwhelming hatred of maths; but… Read more »

Bad Haikus for National Poetry Day

It’s National Poetry Day and to celebrate here are two topical Gaskella original haiku(s?) plugging my current reading trail… Sorry but they’re the best I can do in the short time available. Please feel free to slag them off and show me how to write a haiku properly – I can just about get the 5-7-5 and a seasonal reference,… Read more »

The Police are but a small episode in this busy life …

Strange Things Happen by Stewart Copeland The emphasis is on fun in this memoir – for Copeland is a hyperactive sort, a workaholic but easily bored, loving a challenge, never playing anything quite the same way twice, liking to be boss, and he’s also much more than a mere drummer. Jumping about in time with flashes back and forward, the… Read more »

What happens when the woman of your dreams becomes a reality?

I’ve been saving a few reviews to post until I’m ready to start talking about vampires in my Season of the Living Dead. So today it’s time to introduce you to: Miss Hargreaves by Frank Baker Norman and his friend Henry are on holiday in Ireland. They duck into a church to shelter from the rain and the sexton gives… Read more »

Black! Black! Black!

Dear friends, Today is October the 1st, and I’m about to slip off into the darkness – I may be some time… No, seriously, it’s time to begin reading for my I’m going to delve into the black-covered world of the teenage vampire novel, and I’m going to start with the biggie Twilight. Then I’ll make my way via Marked… Read more »