All Consuming

is consuming 445 items, doing things , going places .

I'm currently reading 422 books, listening to 13 albums, watching 7 movies, eating and drinking 0 food items, and consuming 3 other things.

252 entries have been written about this.

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English Manners — 4 days ago


A perfectly observed comedy of manners. The subject is suburbia – a newfangled development and its liminal underpinnings.

Elegy for a force of nature — 2 weeks ago


A wonderful bookend to the Parker novels featuring relentless narrative and the usual scrambles and unyielding will to work until the right result arrives. It’s the kitchen sink approach, heists that somehow go bad even if brilliantly executed, revenge motifs etc. Call it an elegy for a force of nature, this time it’s personal.

Intensity, thy name is Parker — 2 weeks ago


MacGyver and Die Hard are mere pastiches of the original hardboiled master criminal, Parker. It doesn’t get any tenser or more harrowing. A force of will who will do anything to get out. Intensity, thy name is Parker

Wonderful — 3 weeks ago


One of the most entertaining historical novels of the past few decades. A wonderful ear for language and a compelling look at the underbelly of the opium wars. The wry observations about the doctrine of free trade and its uses and abuses

Effortless — 1 year ago


Pelecanos’s storytelling prowess has long been second to none and he continues his peerless writing with this tale observing a criminal force of nature, a remorseless spree killer out to make a name for himself and the men who join together to try to stop him. Every character is well developed, foibles and all, the dialog is Elmore Leonard sharp, the plot finely tuned. What can I say, he’s long been in the zone and, well, it seems that every word he writes should be read and re-read. Simply effortless.

Astute and playful — 1 year ago


An astute and playful take on travel writing in the shadow of Conrad. She’s especially good on Boyle and Boyd and the delicacy of their writing although she finds that even such skilled wordsmiths reproduced the colonial tropes. That I suppose is why she terms them weary sons. The issue is projection, the danger is the lurking Other and how to write novels on Africa (or rather set in Africa) in a way that avoids Kipling-esque tropes.

The best part is the chapter titled The Battered Boys of Rice Burroughs: Tarzan and Jane Goodall which delves into the motifs of apes. She even throws in King Kong.

All that glitters and all that — 1 year ago


It’s surprising that this novel isn’t so widely known or indeed celebrated for it is really one of the best that has come out of Nigeria in the past 20 years. It might well be the canonical dark immigrant drama; the comic twists and deep cynicism that gird the narrative serve to portray a kind of bleak and hardboiled corruption that is the lot of Nigeria.

It’s also a tale of two countries, the US (Oakland/Berkeley) as seen through the eyes of a new immigrant and Nigeria during the reign of locusts and the boom and bust of the money for nothing years of military dictatorship and plain looting. It is a very skillfully told tale and an unflinching look societies in decay. All that glitters and all that…

Best Left Unread — 1 year ago


It is hard for me to acknowledge that I could find a fiction novel by Martin Amis so unbearably bad as to place it in my Best Left Unread category. Perhaps it is because it is quite obviously autobiographical, but also I suppose, because I cared not one with for the characters and their goings-on. It is still hard to believe that one of my favourite authors could misfire so badly.

Ghana's Arthur Conan Doyle — 1 year ago


Apparently the path to the Ghanaian novel in this century leads through the crime, mystery, procedural genre. Like Nii Ayikwei Parkes, Kwei Quartey has been writing deep police stories the plumb the dark depths of Ghanaian life. This time it is literal, the subject is slums and street children. You can feel the dirt and the stench of Sodom and Gomorrah and the various other locales where a serial killer is doing his worst. Even when he is didactic, he has a heart; his protagonists have a warmth that makes you want to follow their story. I suppose he’s aiming to become Ghana’s Arthur Conan Doyle.

Sozaboy in Burma — 1 year ago


As wryly observed as can be, a wonderful book on war, childhood, innocence lost and Africans fighting for King George and country. It reminds me of Ken Saro-Wiwa’s Sozaboy and that is high praise.

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