Monthly Archives: January 2015

Hansel & Gretel by Neil Gaiman

Hansel Gretel Neil Gaiman Lorenzo MattottiRating: 

Having liked The Sleeper and the Spindle, I assumed I’d enjoy another reworked fairy tale by him.

Be warned, Gaiman doesn’t really rework Hansel and Gretel like he did with Sleeping Beauty, he just enlarges on it, adding minor changes along the way. Oddly I enjoyed this story more than any other by Gaiman, which probably tells you more about how much I like, or dislike, his work than anything else.

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Bad Feminist by Roxane Gay

Bad Feminist Roxane GayRating: 

Bad Feminist is an anthology of witty and confessional essays mixing personal experience; opinions on race, politics, media, gender and sexuality; and reviews of books, TV and film – sometimes all in the same essay. Roxane Gay lays out what it is to be a feminist. That there’s no such thing as a ‘perfect’ one. Being human precludes us from perfection. We’re complex creatures. We can enjoy something even if we don’t agree with the ideas behind them. That’s the very definition of cognitive dissonance.

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The Tragedy of Hamlet, Prince of Denmark by William Shakespeare, and David Tennant on playing him

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Derek Jacobi Hamlet

Derek Jacobi looking rather old for a teenage Hamlet

I found Hamlet rather difficult to follow. Few stage directions meant I couldn’t tell what the characters were supposed to be doing physically and all nuance of emotion was lost. (Earnest words or sarcasm? Genuine cruelty or pushing someone away for their own good?) About halfway through I decided to watch the BBC’s 1980 adaptation starring Patrick Stewart and Derek Jacobi on YouTube while reading at the same time.

Continue reading The Tragedy of Hamlet, Prince of Denmark by William Shakespeare, and David Tennant on playing him

Project Shakespeare: The RSC William Shakespeare Complete Works


Click images to enlarge

For this project I figured I would need plenty of notes to understand the text from a reliable source. To keep costs down I looked at buying a complete works. Two editions were available: one produced by the Royal Shakespeare Company and The Norton Shakespeare. Since there were no previews for either edition, I went by popularity. The former won the battle for my cash.

Continue reading Project Shakespeare: The RSC William Shakespeare Complete Works

Le Duc de L’Omelette by Edgar Allan Poe

Le Duc de L'Omlette Edgar Allan PoeRating: 

Do you read French? No? Google Translate to the rescue! But even then this short story is confusing. I read it twice in hardcopy format and online. To fully understand what happens I had to resort to Google where I found the clearest explanation from the Examiner.

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The NHS – the real cost of good healthcare

I fervently believe all patients of the NHS should receive an itemized bill of all their medications, treatments, GP and specialist appointments, and hospital stays. Only then will the general public understand how much a well-run healthcare system costs so they can truly understand its value. As you may already know, the NHS is free at the point of service, which means it’s paid for by the state via taxation. Continue reading The NHS – the real cost of good healthcare

Memento Mori by Jonathan Nolan

Memento MoriRating:

Memento Mori is the free short story that inspired Nolan’s brother, Christopher Nolan (Inception, Interstellar) to make mind-bending film Memento starring Guy Pearce.

Earl is a permanent patient at a hospital since he was injured in the attack which saw Earl’s wife raped and killed. His injury has caused permanent brain damage meaning he’s unable to convert short-term into long-term memories. Earl remembers everything before the damage, but nothing after, so his memory is only ten minutes long.

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