Sunday, 22 August 2010

Don't Ask Me, I'm a Hermaphrodite From Venus

First of all, this weekend's film viewing consisted of Toy Story 3 which was funny and clever and made me cry followed by the brilliant and dark Argentinian crime thriller El Secreto de Sus Ojos, which is about a policeman who is so haunted by an old case - the rape and murder of a beautiful young woman in the 1970s - that he decides to write a book about it many years later. Excellent stuff. It beat the marvellous French film Un Prophete (sorry, don't know how to do the accent on blogger!) to the best Foreign Language Film Oscar. I think I possibly slightly preferred Un Prophete, but it's a close call.

You can get news from the Scottish Publishing industry - including a nice round-up of book festivals - here from Publishing Scotland.

The lovely Declan Burke recently asked various writers for their favourite last line in a novel.

A Mysterious Writers interview with Bill Kirton. And a couple of interviews with Val McDermid who's appearing in Australia and New Zealand (I was going to say 'downunder' but that just didn't sound right).

Irvine Welsh on forcing addicts into rehab. And in a 'when worlds collide' moment, books and music meet again - I didn't know that Irvine Welsh and Vic Godard had collaborated on a musical. I remember going to see Vic Godard and the Subway Sect in Bristol in the early 1980s. They were great fun.

Iain Banks at the Edinburgh Book Festival.

Dogeared Snippets with a delightfully quirky look at Denise Mina's SLIP OF THE KNIFE and M C Beaton's DEATH OF A WITCH.

And, finally, is it unnatural for a woman to write an intellectual novel? Don't ask me, I'm a hermaphrodite from Venus.


  1. vic godard! i once went to a cocktail party where the music was vic's. we were supposed to get dressed up and be suave. all we achieved was a very pretensious drunk.

  2. I've been trying to see that Argentinian film this weekend but it is a bit of a challenge in Kingston. Maybe next week! It looks good. Toy Story 3 I seem to have missed.... wonder how that happened!

  3. Nigel - either way that sounds marvellous!

    Maxine - it was showing at my favourite cinema in Glasgow - an indie cinema called the GFT. And both showings were full. It's well worth seeing if you can!

  4. I've loved Subway Sect since Nobody's Scared in 1978 and I've seen them a few times- once with Edwyn Collins and Paul Cook in the band. I've written a couple of stories named after Vic songs.

    My long time mate Richard Sanderson is reforming his 1979 band Drop again to support Vic in October.

    here THEY are in 2002:

    I loved 'A Prophet'.

  5. Hard to beat the final line from O'Brien's At Swim-Two Birds: "He went home one evening and drank three cups of tea with three lumps of sugar in each, cut his jugular with a razor three times and scrawled with a dying hand on a picture of his wife, goodbye, goodbye, goodbye."

  6. Adored THE SECRET IN THEIR EYES. How many movies successfully combine crime and romance? Brilliant.

  7. Paul - excellent stuff, thank you! I particularly remember a very dramatic performance of a track that might have been called Eyes of Steel in Bristol's Colston Hall :o)

    MJ - oooooh that's an excellent one. To my shame, I've never read O'Brien, although on Mt TBR I have THE THIRD POLICEMAN. I can remember first lines, but not last ones. And I always think last lines gain in import because you've read the book, so a seemingly innocuous one taken on its own actually has real oomph when taken in context.

    Patti - the only thing I was worried about before seeing it was the romance element. Despite being a big softie, I generally hate romantic films (other than 1930s screwball comedy)but the romance element was bearable :o)