celticman's blog

The Countess and the Russian Billionaire, BBC 2, BBC iPlayer, editors Gregg Morgan, Chris Dale.

https://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/m000h3nt/the-countess-and-the-russian-billionaire A poignant voice towards the end of this docu-drama told viewers Sergei Pugachev was likely to be down to his last £70 million (or it might have been dollars $70 million). That was to put things into perspective. I’m not sure if we were meant to feel sorry for him. My Russian stretches to nada. Pugachev had once been worth around $15 billion. He was a Russian...

James S. Hirsch (2000) Hurricane, The Life of Rubin Carter, Fighter.

I guess those of us that have been kept under house arrest for a week or more, might have a little more sympathy for Ruben Carter, fitted up, for a triple murder and served nineteen years. His co-defendant, John Artis served more than fifteen years. He too refused to bend, plead guilty or finger Carter as a murderer, even though it would have got him out of prison earlier. The focus of the prosecutors of Paterson, New Jersey was so much on...

Michael Thomas (2007, 2009) Man Gone Down

Miscegenation n 19 th century from Latin miscere ‘to mix’ + genus ‘race’ + ation Man Gone Down is a terrific book. Whether the subject is race, or class, and the gentrification of New York, the opposite of white flight, and the squeezing out of the poor and disenfranchised, well, that’s not a book, but a documentary. Here we have a black writer, unwilling to compromise. We have the ticking clock, the unknown narrator (whose name is Ishmael)...

Wolf Hall, BBC 4, BBC iPlayer, based on the Hilary Mantel novel, adapted for screen by Peter Straughan, director Peter Kosminsky

https://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/p02gfy74/wolf-hall-1-three-card-trick https://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/b05172x8/wolf-hall-2-entirely-beloved https://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/b0520v9d/wolf-hall-3-anna-regina https://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/b052sfnf/wolf-hall-4-the-devils-spit https://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/b053j5n1/wolf-hall-5-crows https://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/b0547rvc/wolf-hall-6-masters-of-phantoms ;’ I...

A.J.Cronin (1937) The Citadel.

I read this years ago. Probably, the beginning of the 1970s. Mrs Bell our next door neighbour was on her throne. She kept a firm grip on her son, Pete(r). TV Times , Reader’s Digest, Sunday Post and borrowed our Sunday Mail . All was right in her world. She admitted she skipped the boring bits in books. Descriptive stuff. A.J.Cronin was one of her favourites. No boring stuff and everything was black and white. There were good guy and bad guys...

Heather Christle (2020) The Crying Book.

The Crying Book doesn’t really have a beginning or end. Heather Christle explains: ‘This book began five years ago with an idle idea about what it might look like to make a map of every place I’d ever cried…’ So it’s an ongoing conversation like making a rug of your experiences, tagging it onto another strip. Crying with friends. Crying alone. Crying for god’s sake. ‘I suppose some people can weep softly and become more beautiful, but after a...

What happens after Covid-19?

20 Jan 2020 - USA has first confirmed imported case - From China. 20 Jan 2020 - COVID-19 included in Statutory Report of Class B Infectious Diseases and Border Health Quarantine Infectious Diseases in China - Measures to Curtail: Temperature Checks, Health Care Declarations, Quarantines - Instituted at Transportation Depots - Laws of China - Wildlife Markets Closed - Captive-Breeding Facilities Cordoned Off. 22/23 Jan 2020 - WHO decides not to...

Nicky Nicholls & Elizabeth Sheppard (2018) Not a Proper Child.

Graham Greene’s whisky priest in The Power and the Glory doesn’t drink whisky, but damnation. Author, Nicky Nicholls also drunk of damnation. She drunk so much she found it her only salvation. ‘Needing to drink like I needed to breathe air. A craving so total that there’s no space around it.’ Nicky Nicholls (aided by Elizabeth Sheppard) has all the elements needed to create a successful misery memoir or a work of fiction. In my unpublished novel...

Celeste Ng (2017) Little Fires Everywhere.

Author Celeste Ng’s Little Fires Everywhere was published in 2017 to critical acclaim and is still a number one bestseller in Amazon in 2020. It terms of book sales, the author has produced the literary equivalent of Meatloaf’s Bat out of Hell . Being a writer that never writes much now, I thought I’d take a look. It’s a page turner were the end begins at the beginning. I liked it. The review should end here with recognition of that neat trick...

Jawbone (2017) BBC 2, BBC iPlayer, director Thomas Napper.

https://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/m000gx8n/jawbone Writer Johnny Harris takes the central role of Jimmy McCabe in this smashing film with a boxing background. We’re all familiar with the Rocky theme tune playing in the background and the stereotypical rags to riches story. We know there’ll be a fight and our hero will win. Johnny Harris gives it a bit of twist, his fight is with the booze. He can still shift, but his better days are gone. He...

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