The Casual Vacancy Review

The Casual Vacancy; JK Rowling’s first dip into writing for the adult audience. It blew charts away,  being bought by millions and obviously earning her a fortune due to its £20 price tag. I must admit it was an interesting read, not something I would usually delve into but interesting still the same.

The book tells the story of the inhabitants of a small town called Pagford. When I say the inhabitants, I mean all of them. Every single citizen of this town seems to be included in some way and the reader is not only expected to know them by name but the follow the many strands of interconnecting storylines which link them. This was my main issue with the book, the sheer amount of characters which I did not manage to understand until about halfway through the book, and it’s a very long book.

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But putting that aside I’ll continue to tell you what it’s about. At the beginning of the story a man has a heart attack and dies. His name is Barry Fairbrother and he is a member of Pagford’s Parish Council, a very prominent member in fact. So prominent in fact that the first two hundred pages of the book are given to recounting people’s reactions at his death.

The rest of the book sort-of recounts how 4 people apply to get old Barry’s seat on the council, hindered by somebody who’s been posting revealing messages about the candidates on the Parish website. Guess who’s doing it! Barry Fairbrother’s Ghost (actually just some teenagers wanting to get revenge on their parents for God knows what).

In my opinion; the book is ok, hindered only by the sheer amount of characters that I mentioned earlier. I actually began to enjoy watching events unfold, from the teenagers; rebellious and insert adjective here, to their parents, fighting for their reputation. I would recommend it to Rowling fans, it’s an interesting read. The rest of you; go and read Harry Potter first.

Man Down Episode 1 Review

Greg DaviesIt really says something about a new sitcom when an opinion can be formed, especially when that opinion boils down to ‘this is crap’.

Man Down is a new sitcom by comedy giant Greg Davies, the star of successful series such as the Inbetweeners and last year’s Cuckoo. But if the first episode is laying the ground for the rest, I hardly think this will be added to his list of success.

The series follows Dan (played by Davies), who’s a Middle Ages teacher who, at the start of the episode, breaks up from his girlfriend. In fairness I don’t blame her. If I were her I would have done exactly the same, if not only to get away from the world of the cliched characters, situations and jokes which I’m sure were deemed very funny when written.

Man DownThese include Dan’s dad attacking him dressed as a bear, Dan’s friend Jo spray painting over an office wall and a man shoving Davies out of shop with no trousers on. How hilarious.

If you haven’t yet seen the episode then, I envy you.

Newsjack Recording – Series 9 Episode 2

2013-09-25 21.01.02So it’s that time of year again. The nights are getting earlier, the house is getting colder and, oh yes; Newsjack is back!

For those of you who don’t know/care, Newsjack is a topical radio sketch show with an ‘Open Doors Policy’ which means that anybody can send in their sketches to be recorded.

What with all good radio comedy, the beeb needed some people to laugh in the background and so I got the chance to sit in a room, one half of the only two teenagers in a room of middleaged business men and women.

We saw the return of the main cast which features Justin Edwards from Skins, Lewis Macleod (a.k.a Postman Pat) and Margaret Cabourn-Smith who’s obviously got a good agent as she’s in everything.

tickets 001A great show we had, full of jokes about selfies, the iPhone 5s and the Pope. We were also treated for a fair bunch of spontaneous hilarity from the cast which included Edwards womanising a bit and Macleod getting annoyed with one of the audience after they told him to redo a line.

Got some autographs, got a script, had a talk with Carl Cooper about how to pursue a career in radio producing. Whoppe!

The current series of Newsjack is airing thursday nights at 11pm on BBC Radio .