outsider by Brian Sewell

Outsider By Brian Sewell

Artistic Tantrums In the first chapter of this memoir (2011) Brian Sewell reveals that, seeing Aladdin as a teenager gave him ‘an undying ambition, never fulfilled, to play the Widow Twanky.’ With his highly affected speech Brian’s Twanky would surely have sounded like Edith Evans’s Lady Bracknell. When you read Alan Bennett’s diaries it’s easy to hear his Yorkshire vowels in your head. Mr Sewell similarly writes … Continue reading Outsider By Brian Sewell

the first - and still the best - modern gay novel

The First – And Still The Best – Modern Gay Novel

Gore Vidal: THE CITY AND THE PILLAR   I’ve just re-read this novel from 1948, which I think is the very first ‘home-grown’ gay novel in the US. Vidal rewrote the book in 1965 with major changes and a revised ending, less melodramatic than the original (murder) although the hero’s “hell-hath-no-fury-like-a-wronged-faggot” action seems equally out-of-character. The City and the Pillar, like many early novels from … Continue reading The First – And Still The Best – Modern Gay Novel

night train to lisbon - the movie is better than the book

Night Train To Lisbon – The Movie Is Better Than The Book

A couple of weeks ago I read (belatedly) Pascal Mercier’s novel Night Train to Lisbon, which was loved and praised by millions – but not by me. Now I’ve caught up with the 2013 movie version and become an admirer. Film adaptions of ‘serious’ novels often fall terribly flat: The Magus, The House of the Spirits and Captain Corelli’s Mandolin are three examples that spring … Continue reading Night Train To Lisbon – The Movie Is Better Than The Book

Lillian and the Italians

Lillian And The Italians

Lillian, a 50-year-old widow from Sussex, has arrived in Italy to find her ‘rolling stone’ son Andrew, who left England four years ago. On the island of Burano, she has met Carlo, Andrew’s business partner. He takes her to dine at the famous Cipriani restaurant on Torcello. The year is 1966. Read and enjoy this gently unwinding mystery in the evocative surroundings of Venice. Continue reading Lillian And The Italians

Wendy Swings

Wendy Swings

Wendy had read about swingers in books and magazines. A boy she’d dated in high school had showed her a movie – a mainstream movie, not porno – about wife-swapping. She wondered what it would be like to be a swinger, but married to a devout Jehovah’s Witness there wasn’t much likelihood of it happening; Mike wouldn’t want to swap her for anything except maybe a snazzier Harley Davison. Continue reading Wendy Swings