Monday, November 29, 2010

Sunset Park

I have been reading Paul Auster's latest novel, Sunset Park. I have read various other Auster novels, including his New York Trilogy, and have always been in two minds about his artistic achievement. Not any more. If I'm any judge, Sunset Park is a modern masterpiece.

Monday, November 22, 2010

And it comes as no surprise...

...that the Writers' Guild UK award for best radio play goes to Jeremy Myerson's Number 10 which, whatever its merits, is not a play but a recurring open-ended series.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

William Boyd on adaptation

Boyd, interviewed in The Independent, today's date:

"All adaptations lose probably 40 to 60 per cent of the book. Sometimes these decisions make the drama better. The way a novel can meander and pause and digress doesn't work in film. [...] As soon as you get into film you just run up against parameters, constaints and compromises."

Wednesday, November 10, 2010


Dubya Bush has published 'his' memoires. Matthew Norman has reviewed them for The Independent and the innovative 20p version i. His review (today's date) includes this gem.

"It takes minimal intelligence for the truly dim to have a notion of their dimness, but this is denied him. Where Mr Tony Blair emerges from his memoir as colossally clever, W has the self-awareness of a bison. There seems even less to him than met the eye - and that was precious little. Astoundingly, we misoverestimated him."

Writing of the highest quality.

Cutting edge Beeb

Two days after the BBC Trust's verdict that BBC1 should be more adventurous, BBC1 announces a homage to Mad Men called The Hour. Now, this may turn out to be a winner but it is surely the antithesis of adventurous. The cast includes Tim Piggott-Smith, Anna Chancellor and the gifted but profoundly uncharismatic Ben Whishaw. Dominic ("I was in The Wire!") West plays Don Draper ... presumably because David Morrisey was busy.

Monday, November 08, 2010


The New York Times reports that NBC has cancelled Undercovers, the supposedly hot new series from J J Abrams, partway through its initial run. This is because it's Mr and Mrs Smith, which also tanked.