In my scribblings, there always seems to be a lot of death. And, as we all know, writing about death is never a pleasant experience. It’s notoriously difficult to write about it without stepping in to the comical, caricature death scene, or making it so dismal it’s easily forgotten. So, as inspiration for that tragic death scene, here are some of the best death scenes in fiction… Continue reading
Tag Archives: The Great Gatsby
Let’s talk about dialogue. That good old he-said-she-said back and forth. The daily vocalisation of thought, feeling, need and want. We are the only creatures to vocalise in the way that we do. Animals use their bodies and sounds to express their feelings – anger and love and fear and curiosity. But we are the only animals to have names for those things. Continue reading
Cold Comfort Farm by Stella Gibbons
Penguin Essentials: paperback published 2011: 233 pages
‘We are not like other folk, maybe, but there have always been Starkadders at Cold Comfort Farm…’
Sensible, sophisticated Flora Poste has been expensively educated to do everything but earn a living. When she is orphaned at twenty, she decides her only option is to descend on relatives – the doomed Starkadders at the aptly named Cold Comfort Farm.
There is Judith in a scarlet shawl, heaving with remorse for an unspoken wickedness; raving old Ada Doom, who once saw something nasty in the woodshed; lustful Seth and despairing Reuben, Judith’s two sons; and there is Amos, preaching fire and damnation to one and all.
As the sukebind flowers, Flora takes each of the family in hand and brings order to their chaos. Continue reading
Vintage Classics: paperback published 2010: 148 pages
Jay Gatsby is a self-made man famed for his decadent, champagne-drenched parties. Despite being surrounded by Long Island’s bright and beautiful, he longs only for Daisy Buchanan. In shimmering prose, Fitzgerald shows Gatsby pursue his dream it its tragic conclusion. Continue reading
The Gormenghast Trilogy by Mervyn Peake
Vintage Classics: paperback published 1999: 953 pages
Gormenghast is the vast, crumbling castle to which the seventy-seventh Earl, Titus Groan, is lord and heir. Titus is expected to rule this Gothic labyrinth of turrets and dungeons (and his eccentric and wayward subjects) according to strict age-old rituals, but things are changing in the castle. Titus must contend with treachery, manipulation and murder as well as his own longing for a life beyond the castle walls. Continue reading