Category

Literature

Les Miserables is coming to the BBC

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Les Miserables by Victor Hugo is getting the BBC dramatisation make over.

The six-part drama is taking us back to Victor Hugo’s original novel and exploring the themes of revolution, love, and survival. Filming for the cast and crew began in Belgium and Northern France earlier this year. Casting looks particularly exciting with Dominic West as Jean Valjean, and David Oyelowo the villainous policeman Javert. Lily Collins will play Fantine, the orphaned single mother, with Ellie Bamber as daughter Cosette. Olivia Colman and Adeel Akhtar are set to star as Madame Thénardier and Monsieur Thénardier along with Josh O’Connor and Erin Kellyman as Marius and Éponine respectively.

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When autobiographies go bad: reality stars and book deals.

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Autobiographies are supposed to be books about someone’s life written by that same someone… In other cases it is written by another person and is then called a ‘biography’. Pretty simple right?

It seems there are different rules when it comes to ‘reality TV stars’.

A fantastic interview from a UK publication Now Magazine was printed recently where they interviewed ‘celebrity’ Gemma Collins from television series The Only Way Is Essex (or: TOWIE).

It came to light that Gemma ‘I’m a big fan of the dictionary‘ Collins (yes she really said that in an interview once) is likely to have never read her own book -let alone written it. In a car-crash interview, printed in full by Now Magazine, the celeb and the journalist created what could be the worst interview about a book ever.

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Watch Shakespeare’s Juliet Capulet as a bisexual vampire

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Have you ever wondered if Juliet Capulet would make a good vampire? Or whether she was absolutely heterosexual? Yeah… Me neither… But it seems those questions will be answered anyway.

With a Kiss I Die is a new film directed by Ronnie Khalil. The Shakespearean classic has been reimagined as a vampiric romp, answering that age-old question of ‘what if Juliet Capulet was turned into a vampire and discovers her bisexuality?’

It is set 800 years after the death of Romeo and the death of Juliet as a mortal… Juliet (played by Ella Kweku), meets Farryn (Paige Emerson) who captures her heart much like Romeo had all those centuries ago.  Once again it seems the lovers are star-crossed as the ruthless head of Juliet’s vampire family does not approve of the lesbionics. Juliet finds she must choose between her love and her family, and is understandably nervous that she will be repeating her past and inviting tragedy once more.

With a Kiss I Die is released on August the 28th 2018 and you can preorder the film on iTunes.

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Prison bans George R.R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire Books

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Books are one of the few luxuries inmates in prisons do have access to and they can be essential when it comes to keeping the minds of the incarcerated stimulated. Generally speaking, most books are okay for prisoners to read, provided they’re first checked for hidden contraband, but it seems George R.R. Martin’s fantasy series A Song of Ice and Fire has fallen foul of the law.

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British rapper Stormzy launches Merky Books publishing imprint

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Stormzy was born Michael Omari in July 1993 in London. He rose to fame as a grime artist and rapper, and won ‘Best Grime Act’ at the 2014 and 2015 MOBO Awards. His debut album, Gang Signs & Prayer, was released in 2017 and was the first ever grime album to reach number one on the UK Albums Chart.

Ever the supporter of new artists and ambitious, young people, Stormzy has teamed up with Penguin Random House to create his own imprint #Merky Books. This will be added to his other projects: his record label, #Merky Records, and his own music festival in Ibiza, #Merky Festival.

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Property developers name their new community ‘Gilead’.

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Gilead‘ is known to many literature fans, and television watchers, as the theocratic, authoritarian republic run by an ultra-religious US government created by Margaret Atwood. In Gilead women have no rights, and those unfortunate enough to be able to bear children are forced into sexual slavery. Free speech doesn’t exist and any hint of backlash from the women results in drastic action from those in charge.

Bearing all that in mind: would you name your new community development Gilead?! A group in New South Wales, Australia, has done just that.

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How Tolkien’s love for hearty food influenced his writing

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Tolkien is best known for his Lord of the Rings trilogy and the classic novel The Hobbit, but how much do you know about his passion for wholesome food and how it shows through his writing?

BBC Radio 4’s The Kitchen Cabinet programme (download the weekly podcast) this week was held in Bournemouth where J.R.R. Tolkien would frequently holiday with his family. Dr Una McCormack, Tolkien expert and food lover, spoke with the hosts, Jay Rayner and Sophie Wright, about the author and discussed favourite foodie scenes from The Hobbit.

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‘So You Want To Talk About Race’? Then buy this book…

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So, you want to talk about race?

If you are one of those folk who tell others not to talk about politics, or that racism no longer exists, then you probably won’t want to read this article… Despite the fact you are the very type of person who should. 

In both the USA and the UK, and much of the world if we are absolutely honest, there is still an on-going issue with race. People of colour are disproportionately affected by the power imbalance created by centuries of systemic oppression. We have yet to evolve, learn, and grow, especially when many white folk bury their heads in the sand and do their best to ignore the obvious racial prejudice that permeates their own culture.

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Vanity Fair is coming to ITV and Amazon

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ITV are pulling no punches with their latest televisual spectacle: Vanity Fair.

Vanity Fair has been adapted for screen by Gwyneth Hughes (Dark Angel) and directed by James Strong (Broadchurch). The classic novel by William Makepeace Thackeray for a seven-part series on ITV and Amazon will be brought to life by an all-star cast of great British actors. Joining Olivia Cooke as Becky Sharpe are Michael Palin, Suranne Jones, Francis Delatour, Martin Clunes, Johnny Flynn, and Tom Bateman.

Filming commenced last year and has no ended- a release date has yet to be confirmed but it will definitely be on our screens before 2018 is over.

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Casting has begun for Netflix’s ‘The Witcher’ Series

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The Witcher is a fantasy series written by Polish writer Andrzej Sapkowski which follows a monster slayer named Geralt of Rivia as he travels the lands in search of work, whilst often becoming embroiled in political intrigue, daring adventures, and all out war. Like George R.R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire series, The Witcher includes elements of fantasy, but is very much steeped in a gritty realism where the characters aren’t black and white, the monsters aren’t necessarily evil, and good doesn’t always win.

Though well received in Poland, Sapkowski’s books didn’t receive world wide recognition until a game developer called CD Projekt RED adapted his fantasy world into a series of video games which were met with critical acclaim. This fame saw many overseas fans checking out the original books, which have now been translated into English. Read More