Wednesday, 21 September 2011

The Woman in Black

For my recent birthday, my boyfriend took me to see the London stage adaptation of Susan Hill's The Woman in Black.  It is primarily a ghost story: young solicitor Aurthur Kipps is sent to Eel Marsh house to close the estate of a recently deceased client, Mrs Drablow.  While at her funeral Kipps first spots the woman in black and from there onwards his visit is consumed with the supernatural goings on. 
  With only two people in the cast I was initially unsure if my interest would be held, but I was proved wrong.  We both found the play captivating and the plot was strong enough to withstand minimal set dressings, that forced the audience to be influenced by clever uses of sound and their own imagination.
  The experience left me wanting to see if the book had the same sort of magic.  A short read, perfect for one of my never ending train journeys that always seem to coincide with rainy days, but filled to the brim with amazing atmospheric description which never felt heavy handed or unwarranted.  However, once I finished, and still now, I'm not sure if having seen the play hindered my enjoyment of the book.  The play stays true to the novel but uses a different framing device to begin with and has an added twist at the end, both of which would have fit right into the novel itself and in my eyes improved on the original ending.  So, maybe my advice is to read the book first and then see the play. 

Tuesday, 13 September 2011


Tina Fey's Bossypants would be a contender for my non fiction book of the year.  I read it in a day and kept it for the remaining three weeks it was on loan because of it's readability. I think it is how all biographies should be: light, breezy and hilarious.
Fey steams right through her childhood, which for me was a bonus because, honestly, I think most celebrity bio's tend to languish in their childhood and then leave ten pages to the bits you really want to know about.  Thankfully Fey writes about the stuff I wanted to know about: SNL, the Sarah Palin skit, 30 Rock, how to know if you're on trouble on a cruise, etc.  So if you too like any of the above, I urge you to get your hands on a copy!  I'm also trying to locate an audio version with Fey narrating which I have heard is even better due to her comic timing.

Monday, 12 September 2011

Warm Bodies

I urge any fan of the supernatural genre to read Issac Marion's Warm Bodies.  This is not the usual zombie wants brains, rampaging the world, gore fest.  I didn't think a different take on Zombies could be skillfully done, but boy was I wrong.  Warm Bodies is a love story between a girl and a zombie.

Of course for this to happen R can't be like other zombies.  Already showing indications that he is something special (he has a name and he can speak)  R goes out for a snack and ends up saving a girl named Julie.  Events from there onwards spiral out of control and make for what has been the most interesting book I have read this year.  I loved the zombie hierarchy, (the bonies were terrifyingly funny) the settings of the abandoned airport, everyday bits and pieces of mordern life that have been mutated to fit a post apocalyptic setting.  Marion managed to take everything I loved from Max Brook's World War Z and from any generic Vampire love story I have I ever read and twist it into this beautiful story.

I hope there will be a sequel.  However, another part of me thinks that Warm Bodies is perfect as is and can stand alone without any continuation.  Hopefully, it will still be on book shelves in twenty years time.  Unless there's been a zombie invasion.