<insert 2021-specific intro. re. dreadful state of the world but tantalising possibilities ahead note: work on the tone griffin, you're *always* misjudging>
So with that said, let's get down to business. I'm writing two books. Two very different books. Three, actually, if you include a non-fiction project. But there's not much I can usefully say about any of them at the present moment so let's instead cast our eyes across the bin-fire of the now and see whether we might pick our way through the ashes in a pair of sturdy boots and find something good to get excited about. (I once melted the soles of a pair of boots real good by walking across the smouldering embers of a recently dead fire, btw.)
Watching: To the Lake - a terrific Russian pandemic drama that follows a dysfunctional group of survivors as they flee Moscow. There's a lot of drone shots following cars down the snowy arteries of Siberian roads. There are a lot of trees shot from disorientating angles. But best of all is the take on collective decision-making. Where Hollywood would have a lantern-jawed alpha male emerge to take charge, the Russian equivalent is to cast a lead actor that looks like Lee Mack then have everyone scream at each other, get drunk and try to storm off into thigh-deep snow, which is harder than it looks.
Reading: The Hunted - and it's been a super-enjoyable slice of muscular rural noir. It involves meat-headed outbackers who, furious at being outsmarted and betrayed, send a tooled-up posse to dole out their unique brand of local justice. And our protags get mixed up right in the middle of it. We spend most of the novel enjoying a series of thrilling sieges. There's a lot of gun-fire and sarcasm. Very cool.
Playing: Bullet Echo - fashionably late to the battle royale party, I'm spending too long each day hunched over an iphone and cack-handedly attempting to gun down tiny figures seen only from above while the circle of death closes inevitably in.
And that's about it, except to say the new Foo Fighters album is - despite this review - really very terrible and that I'm so sick of aimlessly walking the streets and attending Zoom meetings that
<insert suitably profound final sentence here think, man, think>