Book Review: Species of Space & Other Pieces by George Perec

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Perec, G. (Penguin Edition 1997 First published 1974) Species of Spaces and other Pieces
Penguin Classics ISBN 978 0 141 44224-2

Georges Perec was a remarkable, virtuoso writer. The author of the highly acclaimed Life: A User’s Manual Perec was a polymath, a novelist, filmmaker, documentalist and essayist. He was a member of the Oulipo group. Many of his works deal with absence, loss, and identity, often through word play.

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Book Review: Love Madness Fishing by Dexter Petley

Love Madness Fishing jacket

Petley, D. (2016) Love Madness Fishing Little Toller Books ISBN 978 1 908213 44 0

An Amazon reader’s pithy review explodes:

“…not so much an emotional roller-coaster as full-blown spleen off a hand-me-down bike. superbly powerful piece of writing. should be on the national curriculum (English teachers take note!)”

Dexter Petley has written something rather special.

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Book Review: Underlands by Ted Neild

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‘Expansive and enthusiastic, brimming with insights and extraordinary details, Underlands is a dispatch from the Deep Time of geology. In guiding you through the unseen world below us it delivers what the best books do: a transformation in perspective’
Gavin Francis

Nothing could be colder and more impersonal than a book on geology and nothing could be further from the truth here. We live among the remnants of coal, stone, oil, rock and clay extraction. Our mines are gone, our building stone is no longer local, yet spurred on by erasure – of history and industry – Ted Nield explores the land beneath our feet – our articulate, buried landscape – delving into the history and geology of Britain and into his ancestors’ connection to its rocks, exploring as he goes what the loss of kinship between past and present means for modern-day Britain.

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Book Review: Walking Inside Out ed. Tina Richardson

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“Psychogeography does not have to be complicated. Anyone can do it. You do not need a map, Gore-Tex, or a companion. All you need is a curious nature and a comfortable pair of shoes. There are no rules to doing psychogeography – this is its beauty. However, it is this that makes it hard to pin down in any formalised way. It is also this ‘unruly’ character (disruptive, unsystematic, random) that makes for much discussion about its meaning and purpose.” pg. 1 Tina Richardson on pg. 1 of the introduction to Walking Inside Out

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Walking Inside Out attempts to nail the psychogeographic jelly to the wall.

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Book Review: Black Apples of Gower by Iain Sinclair

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Sinclair, I. (2015) Black Apples of Gower Little Toller Monograph ISBN 978 1 908213 28 0

 

“My life’s journey was just beginning, even though I was close to its chronological finish. Nothing happened, nothing was real until I tapped out the first sentence. I would begin with the Horton swim. The deserted car park. The dunes. Anna hugging her knees, dozing off, and thinking her own thoughts. […] …dreams of Paviland stayed with me, unresolved. How was that to be managed?” p.130

Provoked by an enigmatic series of paintings made by Ceri Richards in the 1950s Iain Sinclair leaves his ‘London Project’ behind and, ‘carrying an envelope of black-and-white photographs and old postcards, along with fragments of memory…’, he walks the cliff top paths of his childhood in South Wales, rediscovering the Gower Peninsula.

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Children’s Book Review: Wave the Flag and Blow the Whistle

‘Wave the Flag…’ has been a favourite bedtime read for the Boys for the past few years, a rhythmic and heart-warming railway adventure, we still wheel it out every now and then and (all three of us) happily drift away into a simpler, wonderful world of steam trains, picnics and Summer days…

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Book Review: ‘Common Ground’ by Rob Cowen

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Cowen, R (2015) Common Ground Hutchinson, London ISBN978 0 091 95455 0

‘Sensitive, thoughtful and poetic. Rob Cowen rakes over a scrap of land with forensic care, leading us into a whole new way of looking at the world.’ Michael Palin

The Random House publisher’s synopsis for ‘Common Ground’ states:

“After moving from London to a new home in Yorkshire, Rob Cowen finds himself on unfamiliar territory, disoriented, hemmed in by winter and yearning for the nearest open space. So one night, he sets out to find it – a pylon-slung edge-land, a tangle of wood, meadow, field and river on the outskirts of town. Despite being in the shadow of thousands of houses, it feels unclaimed, forgotten, caught between worlds, and all the more magical for it.”

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