In Paris in 1911, it’s raining every day and the Mona Lisa has been stolen. We already know who did it, but suspicion falls on one Pablo Picasso, artist – or maybe it’s his pal, Guillaume Apollinaire, who has problems of his own when attacked by a one-legged corpse. More »
The Compendium of Degenerates
Shocking. He, his pale body, has made its appearance in a Compendium of Degenerates.
A quarter-smile on his lips,
Rather defensive against the cold of the studio,
Backed against the mid-grey curtain, but there on the page in black and white.
Of San Francisco in the early 1970s.
What should be done with the ideals of the 60s? The FBI, the SLA, Berkeley students, Hunter S Thompson and Ronald Reagan have differing ideas about how America should be going forward… More »
Set in Stockholm, the story of a woman with a disagreement with the world.
… The office soon returned to its routine. The door had been closed on Svensson, the old lecher. Filippa went home on the bus. It was a horrible dank evening and the rain was seeping into her undergarments.
Actually, about the truth serum, she had been lying her head off. She closed her front door behind her and made herself an omelette. More »
The Black Lagoon
Set in Jamaica in 1691:
There are pirates, sober pirates and unspeakable deckhands, plus interracial marryings of all kinds, mermaids, and Jamaica’s last monkey.
Roermond, or once-Amsterdam, one cannot not know one is in. As one goes about, the clues begin to reach. A certain size ensures.
If one needs to know, one can.
Ginevra has died – on her wedding day. But she is revived by Audrina, who just happens to be in the village cemetery that night.
A hunting-party of Ginevra’s widower and his friends set off to the big city in search of the recalcitrant women. Body-snatchers, Jules Verne and Sarah Bernhardt are also in attendance. More »
—His name is said to be Tappin, this the name given up to the Sheriff when first at the bar. He is a Welshman, from Denbighshire, and the town he allows to be Llangollen.
—Next minute however, he has told another gaol-keeper that his name is Hamilton.
—As for his aliases given, he pursues a course of great foolishness. More »
Friedrich, Son of Siegfried
In his reasonable cell at Nürnberg, Wiedemann observed to himself that much of this had come about because, for the first time in her history, essentially, Germany had chosen a leader from among the proletariat.
Hideous to reduce it so, perhaps, but so.
Not that Otto Wiedemann reflexively despised the common person. More »
A spy for various sides during the Second World War, a dealer, taxonomist and searcher for lost Mormon cities – and present at some of the key historical events of the 20th century, including the first nuclear tests in New Mexico, the 1968 Paris student protests and the fall of the Berlin Wall. More »
Non si sevizia un paperino – Lucio Fulci (1974). When several young boys are brutally murdered in a southern Italian village, the superstitious locals react with ignorance and violence. All misfits are immediately suspected of the crime.
A life in 24 sections – the horrors of the Grand Tour, the Wilde West, Bosie’s suicide, a green-eyed leopard, Mr Swinburne attacked by an American woman – and since this Oscar Wilde didn’t die in 1900, fun with Valentino in Hollywood.
Or, There Never was a Diamond like Scott. The life of the composer Scott Joplin.
If you could stop the clock — no music. So you make it a cakewalk and hasten on, sheets for the engraver, not bidding him ‘hurry, oh do, Barney’, because that’s impolite. Except, after a minute or so, you do let him know of it, your absolute need and hastening. More »
In the unclean hands of biographers
And their sneering contentions that von Stroheim would present himself at parties or restaurants costumed as one of the European generals he habitually played on film,
The border between reality and fantasy abolished,
These stories untrue, but part of the game, More »
That strange, transfigured, transmitted thing, an eikon.
Medusa with beauty to tear down the world, so much has she offered, so much has she captivated — for who is not hungry? Who is not prey to the eikon divine?