Archive for March, 2013

52 Book Pick up: March update!

Posted in Books, Film on March 31, 2013 by thebigsmoke

Strangely, these book updates get quite a bit of attention from people who don’t usually check out my blog.  I’m not sure why.  Maybe people just love books.

Only five books this month, but I’m still going strong.

13. Firebreak by Richard Stark


If you have read any of my other updates, you’re probably tired of reading about Richard Stark by now.  I actually started Kim by Rudyard Kipling, but found it a bit tiring, so I turned to this instead.  Very entertaining it was too.

14. Killing Floor by Lee Child


I didn’t like Die Trying, but thought I’d give Lee Child another go.  I already had this on my shelves, so what the heck, right?  Not quite as ludicrous as Die Trying, but still too silly for me to enjoy very much.  Sorry, Jack Reacher fans, but I just can’t get into these books and it’s not for lack of effort on my part.

15. Cotton Comes To Harlem by Chester Himes


Violent, sordid, full of racial tension.  Probably the book I enjoyed reading most this month.  This is the first book I’ve read by Chester Himes and I already have his A Rage In Harlem lined up for reading shortly.

16. The Wind In The Willows by Kenneth Grahame


I had read most of The Wind In The Willows already, when I was young, but felt like giving it proper attention.  I’m glad I did.  I really enjoyed the read.  Now I want to watch that movie version which they made using stop motion puppets.

17. The Ipcress File by Len Deighton


The new editions of Len Deighton’s work have amazing covers, which makes me want to collect the whole set.  However, after enjoying the film version with Michael Caine, this book was disappointing.  In the introduction, Deighton admits he was a naive writer when he wrote The Ipcress File and it was pretty obvious to me as I was reading.


Recent vinyl purchases, Monday 25 March 2013

Posted in Music on March 25, 2013 by thebigsmoke

Ebony Dubsters: Ra (Original Mix)

I have wanted this for a while. Not particularly rare, but never got around to buying a copy until now.

Cool stuff I want, Part 100,000,013-14 : Marvel’s Man-Thing Omnibus & Michelinie/McFarlane’s Amazing Spider-Man Omnibus

Posted in Comics on March 11, 2013 by thebigsmoke

It isn’t too commonly known, but I’m a huge fan of monster comics and swamp monster stuff in particular. I adore the comics from the seventies, especially Len Wein and Bernie Wrightson on Swamp Thing and Steve Gerber and Mike Ploog on Man-Thing.  I already own a few classic issues from these runs, but wow, this omnibus looks incredible.

I also have a real soft spot for Todd McFarlane’s Spider-Man work.  I know he’s not quite as fashionable as he once was, but his run takes me back to my teenage years and the excitement I used to feel collecting these comics.  The omnibus of his Amazing Spider-Man work looks incredible.  I can’t decide whether I like the cover with the classic red and blue costume or the symbiote costume variant better.

Note, all of these covers include titles in their final versions, but I thought I’d post the untouched art because it’s so pretty.  There’s actually another Man-Thing cover, but the Olivetti one above is my personal favourite.

Unfortunately, these volumes are pretty pricey.  Fuuuck.

52 Book Pick up: February update!

Posted in Books on March 3, 2013 by thebigsmoke

I don’t think my reads for February are as interesting as the January ones.  I’ve been reading a lot of crime fiction, which I enjoyed immensely, but it’s not such a varied selection as last month.

Here’s where I’m up to:

7. The Girl With The Long Green Heart by Lawrence Block


I’ve been trying to get into Lawrence Block, but have yet to really read anything that has completely blown me away.  This was a very good book, though.  Perhaps the best grifter tale I’ve read.

8. The Dame by Richard Stark


My primary reason for trying to get into Lawrence Block’s writing is that I’m running out of Donald Westlake stuff to read.  This book, written under his Richard Stark pseudonym, is one of the Grofield novels.  It’s a kind of murder mystery and very entertaining.

9. Flashfire by Richard Stark


The Grofield books are a spin-off from the Parker books, including Flashfire.  This particular one is apparently the basis of the new film Parker, starring Jason Statham.  Whatever the merits of that film,I don’t think I’ve ever read anything with a faster pace as this book.  It really rattles along.

10. Drive by James Sallis


I’m a huge fan of the Nicolas WInding Refn film adaptation  of Drive, so thought I’d dip into Sallis’ work and read this novella.  Novella is the best way to describe the book as it’s incredibly short.  So what do you get in the book?  Well, much more of Driver’s background, which felt unnecessary and was unwanted.  There’s some post-modern plotting and flowery prose.  It’s actually flowery enough that it felt a million miles away from the cool, hard-boiled stylings of Block and Westlake.  Not really my cup of tea.

11. Swag by Elmore Leonard


In the past, Leonard’s writing has left me a little cold.  I can’t put my finger on why that is exactly, because the subject matter of his books generally appeals.  I had read his novel Stick, which I liked, but didn’t realise it was a follow-up to Swag.  The premise of Swag is great and this is the best Leonard book I have read to date.

12. Blood On The Mink by Robert Silverberg


Silverberg is best known for his science fiction.  This forray into crime is interesting and entertaining, however.  Published by Hard Case Crime with an afterword by the author and a couple of short back-ups.

Cool stuff I want, Part 100,000,012: Cthulhu Idol

Posted in Books, Stuff on March 2, 2013 by thebigsmoke

I have started a disturbing trend of just buying the “cool stuff I want” which I post up on here, and this entry is sadly no exception.

As an ardent Lovecraft fan, I had been looking for a nice-looking Cthulhu idol for a little while when I stumbled on David Kirkby’s site.  He casts them to order in a range of finishes.




Cthulhu fhtagn!

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