Author Archive

When I die, please scatter my ashes in the Oxfam bookshop.

by

As it really is one of my favourite places in Aberdeen. Although, it seems likely I will then just be vacuumed up by a rather put-out staff member, who certainly didn’t volunteer with… Continue reading

Byronic vs Bionic

by

It’s Byron’s birthday! He’s 227! I’m quite fond of Byron, I used to live very near to his house at Newstead. I used to wander around the abbey a lot, looking at his… Continue reading

All the single (fictional Russian) ladies! Put your hands up! Oh, oh, oh…

by

More than once I’ve thought it very unfair, that I after sixteen years together I discovered I’d married a cheating dead-beat, and it all went down the toilet. And while my relationships since… Continue reading

Run! It’s the ghost of Anne Brontë!

by

As if one typo in a grave is bad enough, imagine five. FIVE! When Charlotte Brontë went to see her sister’s grave in St Mary’s churchyard, Scarborough, she ordered it to be refaced,… Continue reading

Zola. If anyone knew how to combine lust and public transport, it was him.

by

La Bête Humaine is a very readable classic. It has an actual plot and everything. Adultery and murder ahoy! It also has a lot to do with trains, their engineering, maintaining, driving, and… Continue reading

Who fancies a trip to hell? – Yes, of course we can stop for snacks.

by

At the beginning of Dante’s ‘Inferno’, Dante finds himself in a bleak wood, where he feels lost, alone, and he meets some quite frankly unhelpful animals. And we all know, animals in the… Continue reading

Faustian Tuition Fees

by

Before I start, I need to say this. Christopher Marlowe died after being stabbed in the head. If it were a knife through a cheek, or an eye socket, that would surely be… Continue reading

Reading Challenges Are Like Biscuits

by

Come on, I can’t have just one. That would be wrong. More than a week into 2015, the year I was going to embrace challenges to help me read outside my zone, and… Continue reading

Misery Loves Company

by

When it was published, reviewers said ‘Jeez, that’s one messed-up book’ (I’m paraphrasing there). It was the first adult classic I read. I was about twelve and didn’t understand large chunks of it,… Continue reading

All Church And No Prostitutes Would Have Made Robert A Dull Boy

by

Jekyll and Hyde is more Gothic than a black cat wearing a skull collar, sat on the turret of a crumbling castle, listening to The Cure on its iPod. Stevenson wrote it whilst… Continue reading