Tag: Huge

Alan Bennett – Talking Heads | Review

Title: Talking Heads

Author: Alan Bennett

Type: Fiction

Page Count: 272

Rating: 3.5/5

I was pretty excited when I spotted this going cheap in a charity shop because I’ve read and enjoyed quite a few Alan Bennett books and this is one of his most well-known. I also know that it’s a huge influence on fellow writer and BookTuber Charlie Heathcote, and indeed his Our Doris series is also a series of monologues.

But dare I say it? I think Charlie’s book is better. It certainly made me laugh more, and while the two obviously have a lot in common, I think Charlie leaned more towards writing a good book while Bennett leaned towards writing a good monologue for TV/radio. It’s a subtle distinction, but it just meant that for me, I felt as though I was missing something.

I think that this book is probably better suited to people who are already Talking Heads fans. That’s kind of what it feels like, a sort of spin-off from a TV show. It reminds me of the A Bit of Fry and Laurie book, which was basically just the scripts from the show. It was okay, but seeing them actually performed was better.

I am still glad I read this though, and Bennett as always raises some interesting points and discussion subjects. It just wasn’t quite on the same level as The Lady in the Van, The Uncommon Reader and some of his others. I felt like that about The History Boys too, so maybe it’s just a case of the books sometimes being overtaken by their hype.

Learn more about Talking Heads.

 


John Wyndham – The Day of the Triffids | Review

Title The Day of the Triffids

Author: John Wyndham

Type: Fiction

Page Count/Review Word Count: 272

Rating 3.75/5

 

 

The Day of the Triffids by John Wyndham is a sci-fi classic for a reason. The blurb calls it a tale of an ecological apocalypse, and that’s about right. In fact, as I was reading it, I could see how it had influenced basically every zombie survival movie ever made. The only difference is that the antagonists here are not the living dead but rather man-eating triffids, huge plants with venomous stings that have reduced society to just a husk of its former self.

I particularly liked the scenes towards the end which showed how the triffids learn. They’re like ants in that individually they show no intelligence but they have a sort of group intelligence which teaches them, for example, how to avoid some of the traps that the humans were setting to keep the perimeter of their settlement clear.

Then there are the very human stories that are told here, and the fact that everyone who observed a specific comet was turned blind. Our protagonist can see because he was in hospital at the time undergoing an operation, but sighted people become a vital resource for the survivors and it’s interesting to see how this affects the story line.

After all, like all good post-apocalyptic stories, the main threat is far from the only threat. There are other people to deal with, too. My only gripe was that it was occasionally slow, but I countered that by reading a bit at a time.

 

 

Click here to buy The Day of the Triffids.

 


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