Wednesday 17 November 2010

"You must yourself be only worried of a thing"

Rosemary Goring in the Glasgow Herald on writing under a pen-name.

Critics At Large reviews Philip Kerr's FIELD GREY. The Ace and Hoser Blook enjoyed Val McDermid's FEVER OF THE BONE and Fresh Fiction looks at Peter May's BLOWBACK.

And a couple of reviews for Kate Atkinson. First of all, the Globe and Mail on STARTED EARLY, TOOK MY DOG, and one for ONE GOOD TURN.

The imprisoned writers' exhibition at the Writers' Museum in Edinburgh.

Trainspotting in Italy. Or, as we call it, Just Another Excuse For Donna To Use Babelfish. "When you holes you must yourself be only worried of a thing." Lovely.

And now, a wee story from my 'hood. I live in a traditional Glasgow tenement building (like this one only not as posh). The communal area of a tenement is called a close. Ours has a big heavy door at the bottom. If you want to stop drunks peeing up your close, it's best to make sure this shuts behind you. Now and again, polite little notes appear on the inside of the close door. 'Please make sure the door locks behind you', it says. Or 'Please don't let the door slam'. When my neighbours had a baby, things were a bit fraught. They obviously weren't getting much sleep. One morning I went downstairs to find a note written in red felt-tip pen, taped crookedly to the door 'Slam the f*****g door, why don't you. Wake the f******g baby.' (The asterisks, by the way, were not in the original. They're there to spare my Dad's blushes when he reads this post.)

Yesterday, this note appeared. 'Please shut the door behind you. Thanks', it says. Perfectly politely, perfectly nicely. But the lovely touch, typical Glasgow, is that it's written on a betting slip from the local bookie's. Whoever wrote the note apparently struggled to find a notebook. A betting slip, on the other hand...

And, finally, a wonderful article over at Mulholland Books by one of my favourite authors, the brilliant Joe Lansdale, on noir and humour in East Texas.


  1. Ahhhh Joe Lansdale. What a great article! Thank you Donna, I'd not have seen it without you. Now I really MUST go to my bookshelf and get Sanctified And Chicken Fried by Joe off the shelf and into my noir hands. :-) He's one of a kind, though of course we have a sort of similar place here, it is not as big as Texas. :-) And I do love the betting slip note on your door. :-)


  2. Joe Lansdale is the man! Thanks for that, Donna.

    How are you feeling these days?

  3. Bobbie - I've never read that one! I love everything he writes - even the horror stuff! You're right - he is one of a kind. And one of my greatest pleasures was to get to hear him read out one of his stories at Murder By The Book. A wonderful writer and a lovely man.

    Our Michael - I'm getting better thank you. Slowly but surely. And Joe Lansdale is, indeed, The Man. I'd love to see his Hap and Leonard series made into a TV series.