I’m a fan of Quentin Tarantino, and (as you might have guessed) a fan of books, so when I heard that he was writing a book – a novelisation of Once Upon a Time In Hollywood – I was all kinds of intrigued. Once Upon a Time in Hollywood isn’t my favourite Tarantino film (that would be Django Unchained), but it’s one I like a lot, and I was looking forward to reading it when it came out. Of course, there’s always the risk that when a famous creative switches disciplines, it won’t be very good, and novelisations are notoriously known for being poor. But I’m happy to report that Once Upon a Time In Hollywood bucks the trend, and is a fine addition to Tarantino’s body of work.
Book Review: The Noble Warriors Trilogy (Seeker, Jango, Noman), by William Nicholson (2006-2007) (Teen Reads #1)
The Noble Warriors was William Nicholson’s second fantasy series. The Wind On Fire, comprised of The Wind Singer, Slaves of the Mastery, and Firesong, was his first, and it was successful enough that he wrote a second. The Noble Warriors was less popular, and unfortunately he’s yet to write another, but the two series stand as some of the most distinctive children’s fantasy of the 2000s. Having read them recently, I thought it made sense to review them as a whole.
Metal is a genre that’s always existed at my periphery. There’s a few bands I’ve been into at various points (Haste the Day, Deftones, Rage Against the Machine, and others), but it’s not something I listen to regularly. That’s not the case at all with Andrew O’Neill, as evidenced by their book, A History of Heavy Metal. O’Neill is an avowed metalhead, and the book shows the wide range of their taste, encompassing Black Sabbath, Iron Maiden, Slayer, and everything in between. It’s also very funny. O’Neill is a comedian first and foremost (the book originated as a show they’ve performed up and down the UK), and takes every opportunity they can to get a joke in there. The result is a musical history that’s passionate, comprehensive, and entertaining.
‘Everything the Communists told us about Communism was a lie. Unfortunately, everything they told us about capitalism was correct.’ – Russian joke from the 1990s
The country in which Victor Pelevin was born ceased to exist in 1991. For the best part of a century, the Soviet Union was a global superpower, but from 1988 it slid into a decline that culminated in its dissolution. At the time, Pelevin was 29, and it was only a year afterwards that his first novel, Omon Ra, was published. It was successful in the West as well as his home country, and was nominated for the Booker Prize.
Generation P – also known as Homo Zapiens or Babylon – was his third novel, published in 1999. It is about a graduate student named Babylen Tatarsky who decides to become an advertising executive after failing as a poet. His task is to create Russian versions of Western advertisements, adapting them for ‘the Russian mentality’. But once he begins, he senses that there is something more going on behind the scenes, and seeks to go deeper into the advertising industry to discover it.