Total Recall and YA Literature

I watched Total Recall on channel four, where it was interrupted midway through by an awkward newscast that lasted half an hour. Apart from reminding me of why I hate watching things on TV rather than streaming them, it gave me time to reflect. What I realised, as that man wittered away about the state of the world, about the rounding up of Ozie’s, about the arrival of the Watcher Clan, was that the reason I was enjoying Total Recall so strongly was for the same reasons I adore much of YA literature.

Read more "Total Recall and YA Literature"

Harry Potter, as read by Stephen Fry

The Harry Potter books are, of course, amazing. When I think about being a kid I think about devouring the tales of Hogwarts, about going to the cinema to see the latest film dressed as wizards, about being so effected by the book as a young child that I was utterly terrified of some poor performers dressed up in death eater costumes during a school visit to Warner Bros Studios. When I was fifteen.

Read more "Harry Potter, as read by Stephen Fry"

The Rest of Us Just Live Here

I always hear people say that teenagers feel things too strong. Maybe the phrasing of that’s unfair, perhaps they don’t mean it as any kind of insult. But I do get the impression teenagers are supposed to feel things more intensely than ‘grown-ups’, no matter how small or trivial that thing is. Patrick Ness is a writer whose books are often about teenagers, and I think he’d agree that things feel big when you’re young. What he captures better than anyone else, though, is the reality of those feelings, the truth of them.

Read more "The Rest of Us Just Live Here"

A Monster Calls

A Monster Calls drowns you in an ocean of tears. It forces you beneath the waves, ties weights to your feet, watches you struggle for air with perfect passivity. Then it gives you a raft. Just a small one, with barely enough room to move. But it’s still a raft.

Read more "A Monster Calls"