Tomorrow’s Technology Today no. 22 – Documentary

First broadcast December 18, 2012 on the Ubuntu UK Podcast [BED – DESTINATION; DOCUMENTARY THEME TUNE] FERGUS Hello. I’m the famous television historian Fergus Campbell Finlay Frazer McGregor McDonald, from the popular archaeology show, ‘Where did you Dig That Up?’ And this is an extract from my forthcoming documentary about the radio show, ‘Tomorrows Technology…

Review: Canada by Richard Ford

“First, I’ll tell you about the robbery our parents committed. Then about the murders, which happened later.” Now that’s a hook. That’s what made me want to read on. Sensational? Yes. Direct? Certainly. An Elmore Leonard crime novel? Definitely not. Canada is the story of 15-year-old Dell Parsons’s life in the aftermath of an ill-planned…

Review: The Woman in Black – Susan Hill

You may have been disappointed by the film, but Susan Hill’s riveting novella is a Christmas story to rival Dickens, and it’s as scary as they come. The Kipps family are celebrating Christmas by telling ghost stories around the fire, when their solicitor father, Arthur, plucks up courage to share an otherworldly encounter which he…

Review: The Weekend – Bernhard Schlink

Schlink is fascinated by criminal responsibility. The Weekend addresses the question at the heart of The Reader – can homicide ever be pardonable? Family and friends have gathered to celebrate the release of pardoned terrorist Jörg. Jörg killed innocent people in the name of the Red Army Faction terrorist group, and has served twenty-four years…

Review: The Crimson Petal and the White – Michel Faber

Less Upstairs, Downstairs than inside the family and out The 835 pages of The Crimson Petal and the White may look daunting, but embark on the first few chapters and you’ll find a gallery of original characters with compelling prose depicting life in and above Victorian London’s underworld. Faber’s protagonist is Sugar, a prostitute whose…

Review: Amsterdam – Ian McEwan

Most of us strive to be heroes, but when we’re vying to achieve ambition, it’s easy to wind up as villains. Amsterdam depicts three high profile characters desperate to create a worthy legacy, but who are sunk by immoral decisions they make on their journey to the top. Clive Linley, Vernon Halliday and Julian Garmony…

Review: Fifty Shades Freed – E.L. James

Never judge a book by its cover… I picked up ‘Fifty Shades Freed’ because it was in the best seller charts. The dark cover with the fettered key promised some sort of crime plot with (according to the blurb) a bit of romance thrown in. What I found was kinky sex scene after kinky sex…

Book Review: Williams’ Progress by Matt Rudd

Parenting? On second thoughts… William’s Progress revels in the common and not-so-common traumas of being a father. The eponymous hero and his tolerant wife, Isobel, have a new son, Jacob, who is more than enough stress in an already busy life. Think again. Amongst his new-found lack of parenting skills, William has to contend with…

Review: Alice Sebold – The Lovely Bones

Bones of Contention If you’re into crime fiction, The Lovely Bones isn’t the book for you. It may look like a whodunnit, but it’s about the emotional repercussions of crime. And unlike most murdered characters in crime stories, 14-year-old Susie Salmon has one advantage: she gets to show us what she’s really like. She’s unnervingly…