Slumming Angels.

During my short-lived time in southern California I had plenty of time for reading being virtually friendless and often poverty stricken. Naturally I turned my attention to Chandler and gained a deep appreciation for him. Which led naturally to the discovery of Ross MacDonald. Considered by many to be the successor to Chandler’s crown, he …

Little Lumpen Novelita

An author’s reputation generally rests on his more weighty books. Yet sometimes there are smaller and more fragile works that though not as worthy of critically adoration have the ability to move and demonstrate exactly why a writer is considered one of the immortals. Robert Bolano’s slight novella ‘Little Lumpen Novelita’ is a moody, nihilistic …

Shot in New York

What better way to tour New York then to tour in the footsteps of its most iconic photographer? Arthur Felig, better known as Weegee, roamed the new York streets capturing the aftermath of mob hits and car crashes, murders and general mayhem. Now ‘Weegee’s Guide to New York’ shows you exactly where many of his …

The Dream

It’s been said about ballet that is the most irrelevant of the high arts. Not on the evidence of the Royal Ballet’s rendition of Frederick Ashton Midsummers Night Dream I saw . I have no idea whether these dancers were better or worse than average. Or whether this particular version of ‘The Dream’ is better …

Max Richter

The reinvention of classic music has often been an embarrassing cultural void. Whether it was Emerson Lake and Palmer reimagining Mussorgsky’s Pictures in an Exhibition or Sky repurposing Bach. So the thought of someone recreating Vivaldi’s Four Season’s didn’t exactly fill my heart with joy. Until I heard it. What we get it turns out …

Severson Surf

Eighty year old John Severson, one of the founding fathers of modern surf culture, has a book out unimaginatively but appropriately called ‘John Severson’s Surf’. This is a man that introduced surf culture to none other than the surfin’ safari Beach Boys( who he accuses of appropriating surf culture) That’s how deep into the culture …

The Last Book

Tom Wolfe had a chapter in his classic ‘The Bonfire of the Vanities’ called ‘The Last of the Great Smokers’ featuring a man with a habit soon to be in serious retreat. Dutch photographer Reinier Gerritsen has captured another possibly vanishing habit – reading a paper book. He’s captured people on the subway reading, faces …