All the Lonely People

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The author (Rupert Potter foreground) needs a sit down after two hours of ‘constructive criticism’.

The Traveler

Panopticon

The Panopticon is a type of institutional building designed by the English philosopher and social theorist Jeremy Bentham in the late 18th century.

Time and Time Again

Franz Ferdinand

The Bees

The Spy Who Came In From The Cold

A review from our very own Professor (not of literature) John Walsh.

I have eventually managed to wade through (apologies to Hon Chair) ‘The spy who came in from the cold. For me, my edition was 249 pages too long, a four page summary would have been more than enough. The first quarter-third of the book was interminable; more filler than Homebase! At this point it was on a score of 3. Early in the last third it could have rallied to a ‘foyve’, but ultimately it didn’t.

In the early stages of the book I was thinking cowboys and Indians (thought crime? ed), so was pleased to have this confirmed by Leamus in chapter 25 when he likened it all to cowboys and Indians. Parts of the plot couldn’t hold more water than a broken pisspot (apologies to Fred Trueman); more Clouseau than Intelligence Service. It did have a few more twists and turns than the straighter parts of the Fosse Way, but they didn’t go anywhere that was sufficient to merit reading.

I can’t believe how much critical acclaim the book is said to have had; since Graham Greene said it was the best spy story he ever read, we can only assume it was the only one he ever read! The seven (and a bit) pages of the ‘Fifty Years Later’ postscript in my edition was marginally more interesting than the book.

I give it 4.

John le Walshé

Heart of Darkness

The more one reads ‘Heart of Darkness’ the more one realises just what a brilliant interpretation ‘Apocalypse Now’ was.

If you are equally obsessed with some of the great lines from the film then you’ll love this site which contains most of the best ones here.

 

Company Commander

ITN’s Bill Neely reports on a Para patrol against the Taliban 2008.

The Peculiar Life of a Lonely Postman

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Denis Theriault’s inspiration?

How To Live Dangerously

A massive thank you to the author of ‘How to Live Dangerously’ – Warwick Cairns – who joined us live via Skype for a fascinating and spirited Q&A session.

Warwick Cairns

A little something to get us in the mood

How To Stay Sunny Side Up

This piece appeared in the Guardian on 2nd July 2016 in the wake of Brexit. Written by Psychologist Oliver Burkeman it picks up many of the themes that Warwick covered in his book about how our constant exposure to the new media affects our ability to interpret stories rationally. Find the article here.

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The Garden of Evening Mists

Much of the book takes place against the backdrop of the ‘Malayan Emergency’ – a Communist Insurgency that lasted from 1948 until 1960. It was called an Emergency rather than a War after pressure from the tin mining industry and rubber plantations. If it had been referred to as a war then any losses incurred by the mines or plantations would not have been covered by Lloyds Insurers! There is a good summary of the conflict here.

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An Orang Asli village in the Malayan highlands

 

 

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A Japanese Garden in Tokyo

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A tea plantation in the Cameron Highlands