Thursday, 19 February 2015


This week we take a train from New York to Japan.

THE TAKING OF PELHAM 1 2 3: 3...2...1! Check me! Books that hold you hostage have never been so taught turning tense. This one from New Yorker Morton Freedgood, writing under the pen name pseudonym John Godey has been adapted into a movie three times. One T.V. one, an original Walter Matthau and Robert Shaw classic and a hugely popular modern movie from the late great Tony Scott, starring Denzel Washington and John Travolta. You can tell, too from this book just why this story has been such a novel idea for filmmaking. Written in seventies stagnating New York City grit and grime, this tunnel vision look of no light at the end of dark despair holds a ticket to die. Still with carriages of character, tracks of tension and railroads of action this book has it all. Still you might want to read this transit take over a subway sandwich instead of transport. A paranoid N.Y.C. system for years prohibited trains from leaving Pelham station at 1:23...and they still try and prevent it now to this day. Some things are just timeless. Get on board!

SOUTH OF THE BORDER, WEST OF THE SUN: Haruki Murakami of Japan is to the Western world of writing and reading what Studio Ghibli is to the filmaking and movie one. The 'Norwegian Wood' and 'Sputnik Sweetheart' wonderful writer offers us more beauty of love over his poetic prose of compelling chapters. Short, but sweet this is just a tactile, terrific taste of the menu of this mans bookworm serving, versatile volumes. Based on the title of a Nat King Cole song and surrounded by the seasons of our lives this story studies a man who has it all, the whole nine. A man living the high-life in Uptown Tokyo, only to face the shadows of his past when an old flame reappears threatening to torch everything he's worked so hard for and burn it all away. Temptation in this turner almost seems too much. Engrossingly evocative, albeit a little too explicit this raw and revealing look of love and life is a master of wisdom and woe at work. Bordering on a classic, its time for this books moment in the sun. Time to shed some light on a generational writer of Elmore Leonard and Cormac McCarthy styling's and standards. No matter how many of his matters of the heart that you read, there'll be nothing quite like your first love. TIM DAVID HARVEY

Wednesday, 4 February 2015


A week into the new month and two down, two to this rate could we beat 52 for 52?

FOXCATCHER: Catching Oscar buzz, this Fox could trap some serious Academy gold come months end. With the superb Steve Carell and the sublime Mark Ruffalo snaring Oscar nominations for Best Actor and supporting respectively. Still controversially, lead Channing Tatum hasn't received his just deserves from the Academy. The man he played, wrestling Hall of Famer Mark Schultz originally wasn't too pleased either, going on a Twitter tirade against Bennett Miller's movie as he felt it wrongly represented him. Only this week however the canvas master has retracted his statements and spoke volumes about the film. Still, big fans of our Oscars favourite ourselves it was time to get the real story behind the movie cameras...and its more intense than the compelling, choke hold film itself. Shocking and heartbreaking the tragedy of the Schultz family by the hand of the vile Du Pont is laid all out on the floor by the champion Mark Schultz in this moving, wonderfully wrote memoir that has you pinned from round one, page one! From glory to misery he details it all even going into vivid detail about the techniques of his trade that will even hold non sporting fans like that first practice scene in the film. Despite the dark clouds that loom over this prose, there's an inspiring, unconditional, never say die theme and message from Mark that will be left engraved on the psyche of your courage. This man no matter the means will never tap out. Time to tap in.

JACK REACHER-ONE SHOT: BANG! If the fuse running on Tom Cruise's 'Mission Impossible' franchise wasn't enough (he's chosen to accept another self destructing tape this July), Cruise now has another franchise on his hands thanks to 'Jack Reacher' and with writer Lee Child (the master of the American detective novel who hails from...Coventry) and his bookshelves and stores of doorstop volumes you can book yourself in for more sequels. This 'One Shot' was the chapters that inspired this Jack's first cinematic reach and its a great unraveling mystery, just clocking in at an evening choking, leaf under 500 pages. It all starts with an ex military guy going all American sniper on some Indiana workers clocking out from their mundane day to day work life, but what unfolds meets more than the crosshaired eye. Just like a James Patterson 'Alex Cross' detective or a Michael Connelly 'Lincoln Lawyer' table read, you'll burn through these daunting page loads quicker and more satisfied than they appear. This P.I. with no magnum is even close to 'Bourne', but like Jason this Jack isn't all that when compared to the British intelligence trade of a 'James Bond' or 'Sherlock Holmes'. Still with this one you've just got 'One Shot'. I suggest you take it. TIM DAVID HARVEY.