Maigret Sets A Trap (2016 Britain)

So much effort was expended on getting the atmosphere of the whole thing right that tension and a plausible story went by the board. Another old serial killer plot? It may have been bold and edgy in 1955 when Georges Simenon penned the novel, but the subject has been explored endlessly from every possible angle these past few  generations that its hard not to stifle a yawn. The film looks authentic enough even if it was filmed in Budapest. But it gives us a Paris that is about as quiet as a sleepy village in Provence. The viewer never gets to see any bustle in this city, but I guess when you saddle yourself with a 1950’s setting, the correct vehicles are not that easy to come by, and it has that shot-on-an-early Sunday morning look. [Read more…]

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Christmas At Tiffany’s (Karen Swan)

11352798Chick lit sounds like a vaguely obscene phrase but that is what this is. I found Karen Swan’s writing very easy to read and despite it being a fairly long book, I found it very consuming and really warmed to the cast of characters within. I think my favourite thing about this novel is that you really don’t know how its all going to end up, there are clues throughout but nothing to spoil it for the reader, and I appreciated that.
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OF HUMAN BONDAGE ( W. Somerset Maugham)

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This is an amazing achievement and is rightly said to be Maugham’s masterpiece. So neatly written and with such scope. The book is an account of man’s hopeless entrapment in the human condition: our inextricable bond to our body, to carers and school, religion, society, lovers, and finally to our mortal end. [Read more…]

PANDORA: NEW TALES OF THE VAMPIRES (Anne Rice)

514pzxgeO3LThe story begins in a café in present day Paris. David Talbot, Lestat’s fledgling and chronicler of the Undead, requests Pandora’s history. Her story is about the survival of a highly educated, independent woman born in the time of Augustus Caesar. It is about how she is attracted to mysticism and finally vampirism. And how she must fight for her soul. [Read more…]

THEATRE OF DEATH (1967 Britain)

83ca1120c36579b4d702553bb81a26b8Now this is more my kind of thing. A modest budget, an interesting cast plus an off-beat story. The whole piece has an air of breeding and a psychologically surreal feel about it. It falls short of really satisfying the viewer but it is awfully pretty to watch. In some ways this is more interesting to watch than Christopher Lee’s usual Hammer horror efforts. [Read more…]

INTERVIEW WITH THE VAMPIRE (Anne Rice)

41fG5TgY0lLI had minimal experience with Anne Rice before reading this novel. My tastes have changed somewhat so I decided to reacquaint myself with Rice’s work. On the back cover of the paperback, there is a quote from the Boston Globe which reads “If you surrender and go with her, you have surrendered to enchantment, as in a voluptuous dream”. [Read more…]

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