Book and Album reviews: Weeks 11 and 12

Yeah, running late again. So, at speed…

Book: The Chinatown Death Cloud Peril by Paul Malmont

Is that not the finest title for a book you’ve seen all year? I picked this up on whim in a Waterstone’s 3-for-2 sale. (Yeah, I know, it’s astonishing. Some kind of tactical error on their part, I assume – normally, there very careful to ensure that no matter what your tastes, there are only ever two books in the three-for-two that you’d want to read.)

Anyway: this is a meta-pulp. It follows the adventures of Walter Gibson and Lester Dent (the creators of respectively, The Shadow and Doc Savage) and various other pulp writers (like the young L Ron Hubbard and H P Lovecraft) as they get mixed up in, and attempt to avert, the titual threat. It’s a pulp about pulps. And cleverly, the parts of the adventure that involve each writer bear more than a little in common with the pulps they wrote. (The Lovecraftian stuff is my favourite, but perhaps that’s not surprising.) It helps, as well, that most of the pulp writers were pretty interesting eccentrics in thier own right…

If the title grabs you, or like me, you have a fondness for the old pulps, give it a look.

Album: Automatic: Remastered by The Jesus and Mary Chain

It’s Mary Chain. I like them, so I like this (although not perhaps as much as some of their other stuff). They’ve been around long enough that you’ll either have your own opinion, ot they’ll be irrelevant to you.

Book: Tales of Mirth and Woe by Alistair Coleman

The first of my brithday gifts to get a review. (Cheers Dave.) Another book-of-the-blog, this time from the Scaryduck blog. He is funny, to the point where I was actually creased over with laughter on the bus this morning. Neil Gaiman likes him, and wrote the intro – not terribly relevant, but some people are swayed by that sort of thing. I recommend this book.

Album: Sam’s Town by The Killers

And the second gift. (Ta, Andrew.) Well, their first album wasn’t so much an album as a collection of singles. This is definitely an album. And I like it, but I think I liked the first a bit more. This is just a bit too influenced by classic American rock for me. It’s still good, and I’ll be listening to it a lot, don’t get me wrong, but I prefered the influences of the first album.

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