Daniel Mayhew - Life and How to Live it (White Horse Publications)
Reviewed By Nick Quantrill
Writing successful novels about music or bands is a notoriously difficult thing to do,
and something that rarely succeeds.
Step forward Daniel Mayhew to prove the exception to the rule with his debut,
which tells the tale of Serpico, the band formed by flatmates, Reilly and Jacob,
and the adventure that ensues when Reilly takes a week off work sick, and binging
on cheap alcohol, writes what could just turn out to be the best album of all time.
Giving the demo cassette of recordings to Jacob, the scene is set for a wild ride.
Reilly is an often angry, often hilarious, musical snob who wants no part in the music industry.
Modestly, Reilly wants to do nothing more than write the perfect record. Jacob is
more pragmatic and the flip side to Reilly, offering organisation and leadership
to the pervading madness, not least when trying to keep the increasingly erratic Reilly in line.
At its heart, this is book is a black comedy and a worthy examination of male friendship.
Mayhew certainly knows how to mix humour and angst as the band embark on their mission
to raise enough money to record the album properly and daydream about escaping the day
to day drudgery of their regular jobs.
Throw in Jacob's ex-girlfriend and a Liam Gallagher wannabe capable of pressing both
Reilly and Jacob's buttons, and you've got all the ingredients for a fast-paced read
that has you rooting for the good guys as their hour of reckoning approaches.
The highest praise that can be paid to Mayhew is that it would have been easy to
simply write a book that would only satisfy music fans with its myriad of cool
references, and while it will certainly resonate with anybody who's been in or
close to a band, the humour and the well drawn characters neatly help to side
step any suggestion of musical snobbery.
White Horse Publications is a new York-based enterprise and if this, their second
release, is anything to go by, we'll be hearing a lot more from both them and
Daniel Mayhew in the future. A triumphant start.
Due to the extreme cheapness of pirate DVDs it is often tempting to hand over a couple of sweaty coins to a council estate heavy at Walton Street market rather than pay six English pounds for a seat at your local cinema because that way you can smoke your lungs black, order a pizza, sit in your pants and not have to brave the uncomfortable chairs,
Reviews, Theatre - The Vagina Monologues by Eve Ensler at Hull New Theatre By Becky Martin
How The Vagina Monologues reflects wider anxieties and atrocities in modern society.
Thank God for Eve Ensler! Finally a strong female figure with the tenacity to stand up for and work to protect women and young girls all over the world, initiated by her wonderfully comic and complex tales of women's experiences of their own sexuality
Reviews, Games - Mr Smoozles Goes Nutso Reviewed by Daniel Chaplin
The game was very enjoyable and I think that the game was created for 6-12 year olds.
The playability of the game was extremely good but on the other hand I did not understand on how
to play the game because I could not find any instructions.
The game is about an alien attack that brain washes one of Mr. Smoozles' friends and kidnaps another.
Reviews, Books - Mark Frankland The Long and Winding Road to Istanbul (Glenmill Books) Reviewed By Nick Quantrill
It's 1977 and Liverpool FC are set to compete in their first European Cup final. For football crazy 13 year old Mickey McGuire it's the night of his life. Elder brother, Frank has different plans, as he
starts working his way up the criminal career ladder alongside local hard-man and minor criminal,
Eddie Tate. Volunteering his brother for a Tate job, Mickey is introduced to Eddie's sister
Reviews, Theatre - October 06 - The Northern Theatre Company - Thoroughly Modern Millie By Dirk Snatch
It was a Monday and after a cruel weekend of amphetamine abuse and barely legal sex, all I wanted to do was to slip into a Night Nurse induced coma and dream of Monica Bellucci's backside. However my rat bastard agent informed me that unless I
produced a theatre review within the next 24 hours, he was going to stop paying my liquor bills and feed me to the poor and so it was,
Reviews, Books - The Damned United By David Peace Reviewed By Nick Quantrill
This latest work from Yorkshire born Peace is another slice of his
distinctive style that combines fact with fiction to boil down the
story to its true essence. Previously tackling the Yorkshire Ripper
investigation in his Red Riding quartet, and the miners' strike in
GB84, this time Peace turns his attention to Brian Clough's turbulent
44 day reign of Leeds United
Reviews, Books - Perfume - The Story of a Murderer by Patrick Süskind Reviewed By Laura Kilvington
Perfume - The Story of a Murderer was recommended to me by a friend
who described it as, one of the books you just have to experience before you die.
Now, after reading it for myself, I have to agree.
Perfume is a bildungsroman (a novel of education), which tells
the story of Grenouille who is born into the slums of
Reviews, Books - The Night Gardener By George Pelecanos Reviewed By Nick Quantrill (Available 10th August)
The 14th novel from George Pelecanos, The Night Gardener sees him weave an ambitious story that aims to lift him up and beyond the conventions of the crime-fiction genre. Pelecanos has never flinched away from tackling difficult social issues, and his remit here is to take a broad look at how crime touches the lives of those outside of its direct consequences,
Reviews, Humber Mouth 2006 - Friday 30th June 2006 -
Galloway: A Language Of Dissent? A Personal View By Pablo Luis González
Having watched the rather impressive performance that George Galloway MP put at
Hull Truck Theatre on Friday 30th of June 2006 as part of the Humber Mouth Literature Festival,
where he spoke without notes or sitting down for nearly an hour, in spite of the rather fancy
white leatherette chair provided for him on stage.
I was enthralled not only for what he
Reviews, Theatre - Northern Broadsides Company at Stephen Joseph Theatre, Scarborough - Wars of The Roses by Patrick Henry
Battles depicted by semaphoric flag-wielding and huge rattling drums, vigorous balletics,
sack-barrows deployed as steeds or track-turning tanks; speeches characterised by robust Northern
or Midlands accents, and their inherent ironies and wiliness; intrigues concocted rapidly and
sadistically, mirroring statecraft strategy related to our day now.
Such are the best
Reviews, Humber Mouth 2006 - Saturday 1st July - Germaine Greer at Hull By Laura Kilvington
As a enthusiastic follower of feminist literature, I attended the talk by
Germaine Greer with the expectation of an intense, second wave feminism
discussion like the, all societies on the verge of death are masculine
(Greer:1984) type opinions which I associated with her.
Instead, the rubric of Greer's discussion was Anne Hathaway, the older
and greatly overlooked
Reviews, Humber Mouth 2006 - Friday 30th June - Galloway Trucking in Hull By Martin J Deane George Galloway Photographs by Ben Gurevitch
George Galloway, MP for Tower Hamlets in East London played Spring Street Theatre, Hull on Friday.
Despite introducing himself as having spent 6 hours in the back of a car suffering from food poisoning he delivered an entertaining, insightful and though-provoking show.
Here is a flavour of it! It's not verbatim but from notes so any errors are my own!
Reviews, Humber Mouth 2006 - John Pilger at the Ferens By Martin J Deane
Blair is the most right wing Prime Minister I have ever known. And that includes Thatcher!
In a wide ranging talk on Tuesday night, John Pilger shared his experiences of nearly 40 years of
investigative journalism giving a flavour of the man who, over 40 years, has made it an art.
In his opening remarks, John Pilger said how he used to cover northern England for
Reviews, Books - The Storm Watcher By Graham Joyce Reviewed by Steve Rudd
Simultaneously an unusual and extraordinary story set in France, a multitude of winning
elements ensure that The Storm Watcher is always an engrossing read, as sheer drama is
played up against some chilling thrills and spills.
The author in the award-winning Joyce grew up in Coventry, but over the years he has
lived in various places, such as on
Reviews, Books - Bowie : Loving The Alien By Christopher Sandford Reviewed by Steve Rudd
Rock writer Christopher Sandford sure doesn't beat around the bush when it comes
to writing highly detailed and thoroughly engrossing biographies of some of the
biggest names in rock music.
As well as having written this mini-masterpiece about Bowie, he's also dedicated
huge swathes of time and energy to documenting the fascinating lives and times of
Reviews, Books - Lunar Park By Bret Easton Ellis Reviewed by Steve Rudd
This has to have been one of the most extraordinary and surprising books published
in 2005, simply because it has been written by the hugely controversial author
of American Psycho - and because the form that Lunar Park
takes is so jaw-droppingly unexpected.
Bret Easton Ellis is one clever man, as revealed by the way in which this
Reviews, Books - Surfacing By Margaret Atwood Reviewed by Steve Rudd
Poetry and prose. Two separate entities, right? Wrong! Surfacing bears full-frontal,
gob-gawping witness to that as one of the most important novels of the 20th century
(according to the New York Times anyroad) in this bizarre beauty naturally glides
with sheer poetry within rasping prose.
Set in remote Quebec, this super slow-burning drama shadows a young
Reviews, Films - Welcome to Silent Hill By Margaret Ryan
A deliciously dark film of fear mongering, Silent Hill takes you on a terrifyingly absurd quest. Where to? That is a question this film doesn't answer, but enjoys twisting round you to find it. Of course playing the game helps understand this film.
I found the game itself to be relatively arbitrary and linear, rather like this film. However, the game is foreboding and visually
Reviews, Books - Magic Hoffman by Jakob Arjouni Reviewed by Steve Rudd
'We were young then, as if getting older were some kind of illness for which there was no cure.'
Magic Hoffman, the novel, is translated from the German original and follows
the captivating story of Fred and his best friends Nickel and Annette.
Following a botched bank heist, Fred serves 4 years' porridge and - as any friend would do - refrains from dobbing his mates in. Anyway,
Reviews, Films - An American Haunting (15) By Margaret Ryan
Possession? On rental, probably.
Call yourself a horror movie fan? Perhaps you'll get something from this.
Not particularly focused on horror movies? Then you may still enjoy it.
Imagine The Exorcist set in 1800s God-fearing America over the period of several weeks.
The premises for this film look awesome on paper.
Taking into account you've watched the trailer,
Reviews, Books - Stuart MacBride - Dying Light (HarperCollins) Published 2nd May 2006 Reviewed By Nick Quantrill
Dying Light is the eagerly anticipated second novel from new crime-fiction hotshot,
and follows sharply on the heels of last year's critically acclaimed debut, Cold Granite.
Once again following the story of Detective Sergeant Logan 'Lazarus' McRae, Dying Light opens
with him set to cement his position as the rising star of Aberdeen's CID.
Reviews, Films - The Dark (15) By Margaret Ryan
Clever psychological horror, perhaps too clever?
This clever psychological horror film perhaps lets itself down by being too clever? If you enjoy the blurred boundaries of the supernatural/subconscious, however, this is a well-paced, atmospheric film about a couple losing their daughter, only to believe they can bring her back from the dead.
There are criticisms, however, that
Reviews, Books - The Brooklyn Follies by Paul Auster Reviewed by Steve Rudd
One should never underestimate the power of books.
New York-obsessed Paul Auster is back, and he's clearly writing better than ever in light of this astounding novel of epic and forever-surprising proportions.
Paul was born back in 1947, and since 1974 he's rightfully become a widely acclaimed writer of novels, screenplays and poetry ... amongst other things.