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I found out recently that the film director S Craig Zahler also writes books. He's written in a few genres but the one that sounded interesting to me was Mean Business on North Ganson Street. A crime thriller about a cop who screws up at work and gets sent to a nightmare precinct somewhere in Missouri - this place is a living hell. On his second day two cops are ambushed and killed and things get more violent and grisly were quickly. 


This is a very good read but bleak as hell and outrageously violent. The film of his it reminds me off mostly is Dragged Across Concrete - it has the same nihilism and claustrophobia on every page. I'll definitely read more of his books but I might need a little break after this. 

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I've just finished The first fifteen lives of Harry August by Catherine Webb after seeing a few people be positive about it on here and I absolutely adored it.  It's like an extreme version of Groundhog Day I guess, but it's extremely polished, super tightly written and has some fabulous world building, fantastic characters and page turning tension. I didn't buy the McGuffin for a second but it really didn't take anything away from my enjoyment of wonderful story.  

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  • 3 weeks later...

Over the weekend I read the new Christopher Brookmyre book The Cut. An elderly woman is released from prison after 25 years for killing her partner but she swears she's innocent. She teams up with a horror obsessed film-student who has his own dark past. Together they travel across Europe to try and solve the murder before some villains catch up with them.


This was pretty good but standard Brookmyre stuff. I find I really like the first 150 pages of his books then I quickly lose interest and by the end I just want the story wrapped up. The characters were well written and from the amount of horror film references I'd say CB is a proper horror buff. It's well paced and there are some laughs but there's a massive coincidence used as a plot point that was just ridiculous. 

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Done a lot of reading during y'know - The Event:


The Mirror and the Light (Hillary Mantel) - The Wolf Hall trilogy has become a comfortable friend, and Hillary Mantel one of my favorite authors. They're hard to recommend, I'm fully aware they're dense and dry, but I think they're very rewarding nonetheless.


Monkey - Journey to the West (Wu Cheng-en) - The Penguin abridged version is very readable. I guess I didn't realise how faithful Dragonball was, because it's very silly and all the daft power levels are er, straight from the text.


Once Upon a River (Diane Setterfield) - A genteel enough read with some excellent engrossing prose. Not normally my kind of thing, feels a bit tailor-made to be adapted into a BBC drama.


Piranesi (Susanna Clark) - Not really a fan, it's just a big SCP Expedition Log.


Steve Jobs (Walter Isaacson) - Only eight year late to this one, Walter Isaacsons' biography is so good I picked up his other ones, despite having little interest in the figures they're about, he's great at giving not just an impression of the person, but the swathe of time they existed in.


The Everything Store (Brad Stone) - A similar book about Amazon, that's unfortunately dated by being from 2014, right at the inflection point of their exponential curve, and featuring outdated stuff like suggesting Amazon will manufacture all it's goods using 3D printers (remember them!?) as a result.


A Distant Mirror (Barbara Tuchman) - I'm sure this is very well-researched and thorough book on history, but reading about the Black Death in the middle of the pandemic was not exactly cosy, and in fact everything about the Middle Ages was just so unrelentingly grim that I was kind of glad to be done with it.


Abandoned - Sir Gawain and the Green Night - Sorry J.R.R. Tolkein, 'm sure you worked hard on this Old English translation, but this is fucking unreadable.


I've got Masters of Doom on the go next.

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