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

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