How my favourite authors have influenced my writing

Favourite author Joseph Heller, inspired my writing.It struck me, as I was tossing from side to side struggling to sleep after eating an ill-advised spicy burrito, that my favourite authors have a lot to answer for in the way I’ve developed my writing style. Feverishly confused about why I wasn’t sleeping, I startled to rattle off single sentences that summarised exactly what I felt I’d got from reading the works of those marvellous writers. Not the specific points of English you could learn in style guides, but the special inspiration that only a successful demonstration can drive home. And, lo, here’s the result of that sleep-deprived thought process: Continue reading

Trudging through the Moscow underground: Metro 2033

Metro 2033 book coverMetro 2033 is an awkward book for me to criticise because I’m sympathetic to it for many reasons. For one, it gave me a lot of nostalgia for when I lived in Moscow. For another, I loved the computer game. For a┬áthird, it’s a novel twist on that most-loved post-apocalyptic genre. And for a fourth, it’s hard to be harsh on a text that’s been translated from its original language. But for all its charm (and I did essentially like the book) it is far from perfect. If you’re after a dark romp through a creepy apocalypse, you could do worse, but you could also do a lot better. Here’s why: Continue reading