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About Minxminnie

  • Rank
  • Birthday 11/12/1965


  • Location
    West of Scotland
  • Interests
    travel, photography, reading (doh!), cinema, lying in on a Saturday.

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  1. After The Party tells the story of upper middle class English involvement in fascism through the eyes of one woman, Phyllis, who becomes involved as a way of feeling she belongs. Her sisters are involved: one organises summer camps and the other is socially part of Moseley's circle. Early in the novel, we know that Phyllis spent time in prison, but not why: the blurb hints at something but this is misleading, and in fact the latter part of the novel deals with her internment due to her involvement with the BUF. I found the first half of the novel a bit hard to get into: Phyllis's character is very wet and wimpy so the story seemed to drift. The second half was far more engaging as it was a side of WW2 about which I knew little, and the writing brought it to life. However. I have a huge problem with this novel, which is that it seems to be a justification of British fascism. According to this book (in my reading anyway), fascism was a peaceful movement, full of well brought up people who simply didn't want another war after the horrors of WW1. They go camping to keep young people occupied in the hols and have simply lovely parties. And the British government have the audacity to lock them up during the war; they don't even manage to lock up the right people, choosing clerks and wives, so it couldn't even have been all that important, darling. If Phyllis had been an unreliable narrator, you could see the writer creating some ironic distance from her creation, but I didn't get this. She was hapless and a bit boring, but there was no sense that we the readers were meant to find her views distasteful. In fact, it seemed to me that we were mean to feel they had been hard done by. Maybe the writer intended this or maybe her irony missed the mark. But this is being promoted in Waterstones: at this juncture in history, with the rise of the far right, it has left a sour taste in my mouth.
  2. What are you watching on TV?

    I was getting a bit fed up with Bodyguard but then I loved this week's episode - back to Mercurio at his best. I also loved all 3 series of Unforgotten. It refused the clich├ęs and had great storylines. People are still talking about Alex Jennings in S3.
  3. What films have you seen recently?

    Oh yes me too. I can never be accused of being slumped in front of the telly - except maybe on a Friday night.
  4. Eagerly anticpated

    I'm really looking forward to Chris Brookmyre's new outing as Ambrose Parry, a joint venture with his wife. I usually think that is an awful idea but I trust them! It is out in hardback just now and though I usually only buy paperbacks, I might be tempted. I'm also looking forward to Damian Barr's novel, You Will Be Safe Here, which isn't out yet. I have read his autobiography, Maggie and Me, about growing up round here. I taught him briefly and remember him fondly as a geeky pupil who always wanted to chat to the English teachers. I took his class for a few weeks and taught them creative writing, so do you think I can take credit for the novel? ;-) Certainly the first of my pupils to be a novelist anyway.
  5. What films have you seen recently?

    Me too, dp! That's why I like recording things but I often give up and lose interest. If I'm watching with someone else, I either annoy them ("Is that the same guy as she met in the pub? No? Who is he then? Which boss?") or they have to explain the plot to me later ("Oh, so that was the point of the poker match?")
  6. Snap

    Finished this. I liked it a lot, though I was unaware of any hype or deeper analysis. I liked the fact that the police were a bit incompetent, a bit unobservant. And I liked Marvel and Reynolds as characters, and would like them to return in other books. I don't agree that the crime was solved using evidence available at the time: it all hung on But I agree that, if you read this expecting a genre-busting crime story of great complexity and depth, you'll be disappointed. For me, it had something of Jess Kidd and something of Christopher Brookmyre.
  7. what is everyone doing?

    I live in Hamilton too ... we should have coffee, bedtime!! (Only joking - I am in Hamilton, Scotland.)
  8. Snap

    I've just started it and am quite enjoying it. There's a lighthearted, slightly whimsical tone which is interesting in a crime novel.
  9. Snap

    I just bought this and intend to start it soon. Only skimmed your review but I will read it later! I read an interview with her in the Guardian recently which got me interested.
  10. Currently Reading

    It's probably just me. I carried on after I posted that and the plot did move on suddenly, so I got interested again. It is good, though I am a bit weary of stories from the perspective of children just now. It's in third person though, which helps.
  11. Currently Reading

    Struggling just now with My Name Is Leon by Kit de Waal. I loved it at first, but it doesn't seem to be developing much, and I'm getting bored. I can't find a thread to see if others liked it (but I can never get our search facility to turn up what I want).
  12. What Writers/Books Will You Just Not Read!

    Me neither. I had to conceal my dislike when helping a pupil who had chosen it for an assignment. He was do keen and I didn't have the heart to tell him that I thought it was nonsense.
  13. This has been around for a while, and the author also wrote the TV show "Fargo". This is similar in the sense that it's a clever take on the thriller genre. The premise is that a private plane has gone down with the loss of a big-name TV executive and his family, a controversial big time banker and his family, and the crew. The only survivors are the 4 year old son of the media guy and a down on his luck artist who was invited onto the flight at the last minute and who rescues the boy. Before long, questions are being asked about Scott, the painter. Can he be trusted? Is it a coincidence that he paints disaster scenes? I thought this was a very clever take on the thriller. I won't say why as it would spoil the whole point. But there were times when it really punctured the whole macho culture of big money. I loved the part where Scott is refusing to play the media game. He's dealing with an impromptu press conference and a reporter demands that he says what the crash was like. He insists on answering the question: "you're looking for an analogy?" and he tells her "it was like nothing", but she has moved on. This was a recurring theme, the way that news asks questions but won't listen to the real answers, or asks questions which can only be answered through cliche, or not at all. I really liked it, even though the ending won't be to everyone's taste.
  14. Introduce Yourself

    Glad you got in at last!
  15. Introduce Yourself

    Oh I didn't see that. ETA Have seen it now.