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Not Connard Sage

Reading (slowly) Philippe de Commynes memoirs straight through. I’ve been dipping in and out of them for bits of interest for scenarios and general information for about 35 years but I’ve never read them through. So I decided in fairness to the man I ought to have a go. Surprisingly modern- though I suspect a fair bit of that of that is the translator – the slowness is because of real life getting in the way rather than de Commynes fault.


Didn’t M R James mention de Commynes in one of his ghost stories? Not surprising I suppose, given that Monty was a medievalist


Picked up a copy of Shirley Jackson’s ‘We Have Always Lived in the Castle’ last week and just started it. Slightly disappointed/irritated by the style initially. It’s a short book, only c150 pages and I should have read it through by now but I can’t care about any of the characters at the minute. I picked it up because it was recommended on ‘A Good Read’ on Radio 4 some months ago and I thought it sounded intriguing. I should have realised it was probably going to be problematic when they said it was an ideal read for a coming of age experience for a sixteen year old girl (which I’m not).

Her last novel. If you haven’t read Jackson before, try The Haunting of Hill House. It’s another slow burner, but worth the effort. Made into a film, The Haunting in 1963. A really creepy affair, where you don’t actually see any ghosts. Or do you?

Bryant and May – came across them in Fowler’s ‘Rune’ years ago and didn’t realise until much later that he had developed them in a very different direction. Rune was a sort of crossover with Fowler’s mystical/magical material. I read that he thought using Bryant and May in Rune was a mistake as he didn’t really see them in a world of the supernatural, however peripheral to their existence. I’m glad he didn’t re-write it, a la Stephen King, as I love it even though I can see it sits at odds with the ‘normal’ Bryant and May series.

A slightly bonkers octogenarian and his septuagenarian sidekick solve weird crimes in that London. A truly daft premise for series of detective novels. Fowler isn’t that good at plotting either, and makes an awful lot of continuity mistakes that his editors also seem to miss. Enjoyable waste of time though 🙂


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