I’ve finally started re-reading and re-writing my book with a little more earnest this week. I’ve was merrily putting it off and then just knuckled down and began. There is a definite art in trying not to melt through the bottom of the chair whilst cringeing in embarrasment at some of the phrasing. It needs to be done though. Then I can move onto the next project… (which I’ve sort of started thinking about in very general terms and digging out copies of Foundation.)
I saw (when I wasn’t fast asleep) most of Spike Jonze‘s film of Where the Wild Things Are. I was perhaps a bit wary of it given the reviews but I loved Dave Eggers’s novelisation (post here) and Jonze really got to the heart of the Sendak book. Given the original novel’s brevity, it needed somebody who could get under its skin to succeed and the film does that.
I finished John Dickinson‘s The Widow and the King and Philip Reeve‘s A Darkling Plain. Dickinson gets under the skin of medieval fantasy and enjoys itself. It is not trying to be reactionary or anything similar but it is a well thought out world which explores the difficulties of Middle Earth and remakes them. I was surprised by the ending of A Darkling Plain (spoiler alert) when Shrike imbibes of Anna Fang’s memories and turns the series into his own narration by repeating the opening words to the children. It makes you question the validity and perspective of the series.
I gave in to my inner fan boy and read Neil Gaiman‘s Instructions, delightfully illustrated by Charles Vess. A reprint of an earlier poem, it conjures up everything good and dangerous about fairy and Vess’s illustrations bring out the dual nature of the place. I’m currently reading Gaiman and Al Sarrantonio’s collectiuon, Stories, which has a couple of stories that have surprised me, namely Roddy Doyle‘s Blood and Joanne Harris‘s Wildfire in Manhattan (reminds me strongly of American Gods). No I haven’t got very far with it but I only picked it up this afternoon as a treat.