Friday, May 20, 2022

Comic Cuts — 20 May 2022

Again, pressure of work means this will be kept short. I'm battling a deadline on two books that were both longer than originally anticipated, so they have both involved a lot more work. The good news is that they're both now nearly done. I'm on the last pass of the second book and should be able to crack on with some writing next week. Then it's straight into the next book, which has already been started, and, two weeks after that, a fourth book, which (again) I've already started.

By this time next month I will have scanned and cleaned something like 660 pages in six weeks, and written five or six articles. Even for me that's pretty full on.

I'm relaxing by watching one of the best shows I've seen in ages, Slow Horses, based on the first of the Slough House novels by Mick Herron. It features a bunch of washed up British spies who, for various reasons, have been shunted into a dead end department run by the foul mouthed alcoholic Jackson Lamb (Gary Oldman, having a whale of a time).

I don't know why, but I found the story of this bunch of mostly unlikable misfits and their attempts to rescue a kidnapped teenager a breath of fresh air. Maybe I've been watching too much slick TV of late, with characters who know too much and do everything too well, but these felt like real people, trying to muddle through the shambolic fuck-ups that they've made of their lives. I'm one episode away from the end... please, please, Apple, do a second series. [[UPDATE: I can't tell you how happy I am. The final episode has a trailer for a second series, which has already been filmed and will hopefully be out later this year. Fantastic!]]

1 comment:

  1. If you enjoyed riding Slow Horses you should like being on stage with Bad Actors and although it meanders a bit, it is still almost as compelling a read as Slow Horses. Mind you, that’s not surprising: on Amazon, Mick Herron is described as “The John Le Carré of our generation” and it’s all to do with bad actors and slow horses. Who would have thought le Carré might be associated with "any generation"! In terms of acclaimed spy novels, Herron’s Slough House series has definitely made him Top Of The Pops in terms of anti-Bond writers. For Len Deighton devotees that ends a long and victorious reign at number one.

    Raw noir espionage of the Slough House quality is rare, whether or not with occasional splashes of sardonic hilarity. Gary Oldman’s performance in Slow Horses has given the Slough House series the leg up the charts it deserved. Will Jackson Lamb become the next Bond? It would be a rich paradox if he became an established anti-Bond brand ambassador. Maybe Lamb should change his name to Happy Jack or Pinball Wizard or even Harry Jack. After all, Harry worked for Palmer as might Edward Burlington for Bill Fairclough in another noir but factual spy series, The Burlington Files.

    Of course, espionage aficionados should know that both The Slough House and Burlington Files series were rejected by risk averse publishers who didn't think espionage existed unless it was fictional and created by Ian Fleming or David Cornwell. However, they probably didn’t know that Fairclough once drummed with Keith Moon in their generation in the seventies.



Click on the above pic to visit our sister site Bear Alley Books