[I thought I’d start a new venture to keep this place a little more alive. So, I’m going to actively keep a list of things read or watched to recommend each month. I may write the odd review or merely publish a list.]
First off, a fairy tale: Spindles. I always enjoy retellings and reworkings of fairy tales. This one has elements of Sleeping Beauty, as you’d guess from the title, and also Bluebeard. The “bad guys” get their come-uppances, but the ending is more interesting than that: the potential victims become something other, more complicated than sacrificial pawns. To say more would be to spoil the tale: go read it 😉
Best TV viewing of the month has been Næturvaktin (“The Night Shift”). Like The Office, but stranger and more uncomfortable. Jón Gnarr’s Georg is more of a monster, but also more credible, than Ricky Gervais’ David Brent. I note other folk have likened Georg to Basil Fawlty or the central character of The Brittas Empire. It’s a distinct archetype in TV comedy, the monster boss as central character. I never found The Brittas Empire particularly engaging or funny, but apart from his Petruchio in the BBC Shakespeares 0f the early 1980s, I’ve always thought Basil Fawlty was John Cleese’s finest performance. What Basil has in common with Georg is the feeling I get that, underlying the bullying and inadequacy, there’s deep suffering that, whilst it can’t ever make the characters likeable, can render them more human–monstrous but human.
I also read Rigging screws, size 1 3/8 inch, galvanised by AJHall. I generally only read the discussion of fanfiction rather than the stories themselves (meta fascinates me, and I gather I’m not the only one), but sometimes I do take a peek. This is a stonkingly-good story, well-written with drama, tension, humour–and the modern Sherlock.
Other short fiction: Inquisition by David L. Clements.
And my final recommendation is an animated history of the Framlingham Castle and its owners. Stylish, informative, and terrifically funny. The castle itself’s a great place too.