The definition of grace is the ability to accept change.
I needed to start calculating my masculinity not by the amount of pussy I could grab,
or how many girls I could bang, but by how true I could be with one girl.
How infrequently I could lie. How often I could show up when I was needed.
How willing I was to love the life I had rather than covet the lives of others.
Far more than the fantastic pretty boy actor that he is regarded as, ever since his
fantastically tender performance in the late-80's movie Dead Poet's Society
(which is, incidentally, my favourite movie of all-time),
Ethan Hawke somehow manages to find time to write too amidst his busy stints in the movies.
In fact, this is his second novel after The Hottest State.
Being a massive fan of his acting, I was naturally intrigued to check out his writing,
and man, am I more than impressed.
Ash Wednesday is an extraordinary novel and focuses on young lovers Jimmy and Christy.
Cleverly, both central characters take it in turns to narrate their side of the story,
as they face their own personal demons whilst looking forward to their future
together with a baby on the way, all set against a mad road-trip across America.
See, these two are SO in love that the time they spend together is often blighted
by arguments, and even though they get married and profess to each other that
they'll love each other always, there are always bizarre doubts in each of
their minds that what they have done is in fact the right thing.
The point of marriage, Christy thought, must be something more than to stay
together forever, because we will be ultimately redivided.
Thankfully, Ash Wednesday is in NO WAY like any other love story that I've read.
This is a TRUE LOVE story, and the author in Hawke bravely explores some incredibly
deep and meaningful themes.
So many love stories rely on sex-based scenarios for kicks and come away with no
heart, but this novel maturely incorporates the characters' respective beliefs in
religion, life and death in a supremely intense and all-encompassing manner.
A horde of sex scenes are prominent (Jimmy was almost uncomfortably deep inside me),
but Ash Wednesday is brave enough to thoughtfully deal with the big issues that buoy
mature adult relationships too, proving that Ethan Hawke is clearly just as great
at writing and creating his own characters as he is when he's personally
acting in the shoes of characters that other writers have created for him.
Through the course of the novel, both Jimmy and Christy dredge up stories from
their childhood and all their hopes and fears spiritedly flood forth.
They are the type of characters that you can't help but care about, and the subtly
uplifting end is executed with tender panache.
Consequently, I truly cannot wait for Ethan's next novel and have already reserved my copy.
To know who you are and then to accept it - that is life's journey.
Reviews, Theatre - Up 'n' Under at Hull Truck Theatre By Nicholas Boldock
Once upon a time, there was a young boy called James Crossley. James liked to play sport and
did a lot of exercise. He bought himself some weights and trained hard until he became big and beefy.
When James grew up he grew his hair all silly so that he looked like a blond spaniel.
Then he became famous
Reviews, Events - Renegade Writers; A Review of Sorts By Alexander Porter
First off, this is not an objective review, having never been to a performance by this motley crew before I had expected a bunch of pretensions twenty something spouting angst, instead I got a pirate, an extremely pleasant surprise, second only to finding an entire packet of fags at three in the
Reviews, Theatre - Up 'n' Under with Talkback at Hull Truck Theatre By Elsie Creek
So, it's twenty years ago that John Godber showcased this, his first play for Spring Street Theatre,
for which he won the Laurence Olivier Comedy of the Year Award.
There has been a lot of water under the bridge since then, as we were reminded in
the post-show talkback with director and cast.
Both Hull TruckRead more...
Reviews, TV - Big Brother Exposed By Lee Cassanell
If Kittens revolution had been supported by the rest of the housemates this years
Big Brother could have been one of the greatest television shows of all time.
Unfortunately, due to the anaemic sailor persona and an amazing lack of charisma, the
bi-sexual Che Guevara never quite managed too inspire
Reviews, Opera - Gilbert & Sullivan The Mikado at Middleton Hall, Hull University By Nicholas Boldock
Dagger Lane Operatic Society are old hands when it comes to Gilbert & Sullivan. - in fact,
they've been performing their operettas for 20 years now. Way back in 1984 their inaugural
production was HMS Pinafore.
This year, for their twentieth anniversary show, it was the most celebrated Gilbert & SullivanRead more...
Reviews, Books - Lovely Green Eyes By Arnost Lustig By Steve Rudd
This is truly an extraordinary novel, written by a man who survived the horrors
of Auschwitz, and who lived in fact to tell his tale. Bizarrely though, this
isn't so much his tale as a girl's story.. a 15-year-old girl called Hanka who
lies about being a Jew to survive, and who becomes a prostitute in due course.
Columns - Something Hot in a Cold Country - Part 1 By Jane Foster
Well several hot spicy items have caught my attention these last few weeks.
First of all I hear that the great Imran Khan has divorced his wife Jemima.
Well let's face it, a name like Jemima is unforgivable at the best of times...to
me it will always be associated with a rather passive, second rate
Columns - Tales from the Lonely Tavern - Edition Three By King Rat - Professional Yorkshireman
Behold ye listeners of the righteous truth, for day has passed to night and yester folly has turned to moro's squander.
If rantin's of a non-commissioned exaggerator is what thou be wantin', then thou has arrived tat right place,
the lonely tavern.
Sanctuary, for all those of common purpose who refuse the outside
Columns - I'd Like To Teach The World to Shut The Fuck Up By The Silver Fox
What with Wimbledon, Euro 2004, Hell's Kitchen, Big Brother 5, and the recent healing of
the lesbian storyline on Emmerdale Farm, some of you may have noticed that
actual news has been a bit thin on the ground lately.
Oh, I'll admit that things have happened - it's not like the international movers and
Columns - Tales from the Lonely Tavern - Edition Two By King Rat - Professional Yorkshireman
Yet again tis what the government gave me, two score an eight hours of rest and unbridled caperings.
Thou find thee and company in the homely ambience of the lonely tavern.
Three men of little wit but a wisdom born of hard adventurin'.
Our chatterins aim not to preach but to teach.
Columns - Poor Little Reich Kids By Silver Fox
Much as it pains me to say it, this week has found me thinking that we may - as right-thinking
people (and if you're not a right-thinking person, what the hell are you doing hanging
around my information super-lay-by? Piss off over to www.you'vebeenstillborn.net where the
likes of you are better