Sunday, 7 February 2010

A brief hiatus

I'll be taking a break from posting for a couple of weeks while I move house, but I'll be back with much, much more. In the meantime, be sure to listen to Lost Steps on Resonance. And by way of a change, here's a film recommendation: Anold Miller's fantastic 1965 Mondo doc Primitive London (reissued last year by the BFI's increasingly promising-looking Flipside series in a great-looking print). Truly a memento of Lost London - and with its weird mix of staged scenes, apparently 'real' interviews with 'beatniks', oddly disconcerting diversions (including a very short piece on bowling followed by a vet giving an injection to a goldfish), and, of course, plenty of necessary-to-the-plot footage of strippers, exotic dancers etc - a disarmingly surreal one. Oh, and a wonderful soundtrack - including much of the (presumably non-diegetic) strip club music - by Basil Kirchin, reminiscent of his Abstractions Of The Industrial North.

Wednesday, 3 February 2010

'The best London novel'

Over at the very excellent Londonist they've just run a poll on what's the best London novel. Annoyingly, I saw this just too late to make my vote count (let alone to direct any passing traffic from this site). So, anyway… it was won by something called The Borribles, of which I'd never heard (not that I'm making a virtue of ignorance - it may genuinely be very good. Even if it is a fantasy book for kids.). Apparently this was the result of an especially zealous Twitter campaign - which perhaps is revealing in itself. However, it's good to see two Patrick Hamilton books (Hangover Square and 20,000 Streets…) among the top five.

Looking at the total votes cast though, it's interesting how little consensus there is, with only six books gaining more than 10 votes, and the vast majority with just one. And NONE of the books I've discussed on this blog so far received a single vote – something I find not totally displeasing. But I'd like to think a year or two down the line at least a few people might have been inspired to read, and would even be moved to vote for, one of these unjustly neglected works…