celticman's blog

Elizabeth Strout (2021) Oh William!

I’m not a great fan of Elizabeth Strout. Yet I’ve read most of the books in this series ( My Name is Lucy Barton, Olive Kitteridge, Olive Again, and Anything is Possible ).William Gerhardt who Lucy was married to for twenty years, and had two daughters with, before they separated and she married David, the cellist (who died last year), would explain it in terms of compulsion. William admitted he had affairs when he was married to Lucy. That was...

Danny Weston (2021) A Hunter’s Moon.

Where there are sheep the wolves are never far away, Plautus. Danny Weston weaves a spell that adolescent children—and those that think young—should follow under a Hunter’s Moon. A combination of coming-of-age drama, morality play and a supernatural thriller. It resonates with contemporary themes and Scottish folk lore. Callum, aged fourteen, narrates. Kids will warm to him, because he is the feisty everyman-child. His father lost him in a card...

Christopher Clark (2013) The Sleepwalkers: How Europe Went to War in 1914.

It’s been over 100 years since the war to end all wars. An impoverished and tubercular Gavrilo Princip, who carried all his possessions in a suitcase and had nowhere to stay when he arrived in Belgrade, firing the bullets in Sarajevo that killed Franz Ferdinand, Archduke of Austria-Este and the heir to the Habsburg throne for the cause of Serbian nationalism. Shots that rang around the world. Sophie Chotek, the Czech noblewomen, a love match and...

The Killer Nanny: Did She Do It? 25 Years Later, The Untold Story of the Case. Channel 4.

https://www.channel4.com/programmes/the-killer-nanny-did-she-do-it/on-demand/71550-003 ITV showed a documentary about the trial of Louise Woodward on 11 th November 2021. Channel 4 covers much the same ground. But they tell the viewer they have the untold story. What they have are two jurors in the trial that found Louise Woodward guilty of murder speaking anonymously in this documentary. Both female jurors were fizzing that Judge Zobel had...

Things Fall Apart, BBC Radio 4, BBC Sound, written and presented by Jon Ronson, produced by Sarah Shebbeare and Sam Peach

https://www.bbc.co.uk/sounds/series/m0011cpr Jon Ronson has the kind of job I’d like. He meets interesting people and writes books that are worth reading. Here over eight episodes and around four hours he investigates the culture wars in American where he lives. They’re happening here in Britain too, with the little Trumpet Boris Johnson lying about Brexit to get elected and pretty much lying about everything else. But this is America, where the...

Future of Work, PBS America, writer, director and producer Laurens Grant.

https://www.pbsamerica.co.uk/series/future-of-work/#6571 In this three-part series, The New Industrial Age, Future Proof, Changing Work, Changing Workers , Laurens Grant looks at the Future of Work . If you fell asleep while reading this far you are quite safe, because I’m not artificially intelligent. I’m not even intelligent. My feeble powers of fiction and non-fiction have already been far outstripped. Economics is a better bet. Quite a...

Dan Carlin (2019) The End is Always Near: Apocalyptic Moments From the Bronze Age Collapse to Nuclear Near Misses.

Dan Carlin’s book is based on his HardCore History Podcasts. I’ve never listened to them. Books are better. A good apocalypse always gets my attention. Carlin asks the question were men (and women) tougher in ye olde days. The answer, not surprisingly, was probably. Let’s look at the Spartans. No fat kids. No food unless children foraged for it. Stole it from each other. Childhood obesity is no joke, but you know we should try that at Eton, and...

Anne, ITV, ITV Hub, written by Kevin Sampson.

https://www.itv.com/hub/anne/2a5505a0001 Not many programmes can get away with a one-word titular introduction—Anne. I’d have had no idea of who it was referring unless I’d read the pre-publicity for the four-night drama starring Maxine Peake. Anne Williams, an unremarkable woman from Liverpool who worked in a shop, and who died in 2013. That might have been that. But if we throw in another word, Hillsborough, the unremarkable becomes remarkable...

Ufos: The Proof is Out There, Channel 5, Film Editors Chris Scurfield and Gary Crystal, Director of post production Ed Begona, produced and directed by Mark Raddice

https://www.channel5.com/show/ufos-the-proof-is-out-there/ A screenshot from USS Princeton released by US defence department, April 2020. Stare at the tic-tack long enough and the object will move. “Senior officials briefed on the intelligence conceded that the very ambiguity of the findings meant the government could not definitively rule out theories that the phenomena observed by military pilots might be alien spacecraft”, the New York Times...

Hector, BBC Scotland, BBC iPlayer, writer and director Jake Gavin.

https://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/m000qt06/hector Peter Mullan always seems to snag the parts of the homeless alkie. Hector McAdam doesn’t even have to be an alkie, just grizzled looking as Peter Mullan in a beanie hat, and as if he’s just stepped out a cardboard box, washed up in a motorway café’s toilet and rustled up a quick snack. He’s left two pals and a dog still sleeping at the side of the building. He nips of the post office to pick...

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