31/05/2020

Reading - May 2020

Q: 50 Years of Rock 'n' Roll: From Zeppelin to the Pistols ... Part Two: The '70s edited by Mark Blake (2004)
The next instalment of the Q special edition that I've had hanging around for nearly 16 years now is entertaining and interesting, but lacking in depth. The list of essential albums at the end is uneven and the whole thing suffers from the continuing delusion that punk was a major landmark rather than a minor diversion. Some articles focus on specific events while others are just generic, Sunday supplement fodder. Good pics though.
Attack Of The Unsinkable Rubber Ducks by Christopher Brookmyre (2007)
Read in a couple of sittings: just a great story and lots of black humour. Apparently Jack Parlabane has turned up in a later Chris Brookmyre book but I won't be bothering.
All Fun And Games Until Somebody Loses An Eye by Christopher Brookmyre (2005)
One of my favourites; I love the way Brookmyre makes the implausible seem possible and even reasonable. Comfort reading, of course, largely because I can't be bothered to make the effort to try something new.
Guitar Magazine (June 2020 / Issue 381)
They seem to have lost the definitive and now just go by Guitar Magazine. Interesting interview with Chris Martin IV, the current CEO of the Martin guitar company; amazing to learn that they have grown from a near-nadir of a couple of thousand instruments a year in the early 80s, to over a hundred thousand today.
Where's There's A Will by Matt Beaumont (2007)
I came across Matt Beaumont's very funny first novel e around the time of its publication, while I was working in Edinburgh and buying loads of books on what I had left of my per diem. Thus it was his name that caught my attention at work's book exchange. This is a more conventional comic novel, where farcical disaster after disaster falls upon our well-meaning but hapless hero, only for it to all work out in the end. Along the way we have scheming multi-millionaires (who get their come-uppance, of course) and dead-end council estate urchins with hearts of gold and surprising hidden talents. And so on. After a slow start I finished it in an afternoon because I wanted to know how it all worked out.
Interesting Times by Terry Pratchett (1994)
"May you live in interesting times" is, of course, not an actual Chinese curse, but then this book is not mocking the actual country itself, but rather Western stereotypes of China. Maybe this is what Pratchett had in mind all along when he created Twoflower (in The Colour of Magic). As always, very inventive and Rincewind isn't as annoying as usual.

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