Be warned; while I love this series, it sometimes drives me to profanity.
Or else I just imagine the characters swearing because it’s funny.
A new day has dawned in the Australian bush. The sun is shining. Birds are tweeting. What I presume to be a kookaburra is sitting in what I presume is the old gumtree.
And James Freeman is fleeing for his life, with Timmins and some marines in –
-actually not so hot pursuit. Because Timmins, who I am pretty sure has gotten a stitch judging by the way he’s clasping his side (I feel your pain, buddy) halts his men once they come to a clearing. “We go any deeper, we die.” Instead he fires a rifle into the air, then gets two other marines to do the same, giving the illusion they were firing at James.
On the beach, as Marston’s body is brought on shore, Tommy and Elizabeth hear the shots and expect the worst.
Dad may not have been interested in vampires and monsters, but he loved more subtle types of horror. He recommended plots and stories that could feasibly happen, and were all the more creepy for it.
“There’s a book,” he told us once, “which starts with everyone on the planet staying up late to watch a meteor. Green. The brightest meteor shower anyone’s ever seen – and when all the people who saw it wake up the next morning, they’re blind.”
“All of them?”
“All except the few people who didn’t see the lights; there’s one man who didn’t see them because he’s in hospital with his eyes bandaged up. His nurse is describing the meteors to him the night before, and he’s hearing about it on the radio until he has to turn it off. But when he wakes up at the start of the book, everyone in the hospital is blind. Almost everyone else in the whole world is blind. And to make matters worse-”
“-before the meteor happened, people had been growing and farming huge plants called triffids. They have three legs that help them to walk, and a poisonous sting that can kill you. At one point, the main character’s talking to a friend who claims that the triffids can can talk to each other; he believes they can actually think. And now that nearly everyone is blind, the triffids start to break loose.”
(I sometimes wondered about suggesting just how much The Day of the Triffids is a forerunner of the zombie apocalypse genre. I like to think Dad would be dubious, but also find it funny as hell, especially if I’d sat him down to watch the opening scenes of 28 Days Later before allowing him to escape to the study.)
In honour of Shakespeare’s probable birthday – and date of death; yes, Shakespeare supposedly died on his birthday, that must have spoiled the party, ho ho, bet you never heard that joke before – I’ve decided to make up a list of my favorites when it comes to his works, both plays and films based on his plays.
However, before we get to that, I felt the need to briefly address a certain film I was recently reminded of:
Anonymous, a film released in 2011, directed by Roland Emerich and starring Rhys Ifans and Vanessa Redgrave, is based upon the
A mutilated body in Crawley. Another killer on the loose. The prime suspect is one Robert Weil; an associate of the twisted magician known as the Faceless Man? Or just a common or garden serial killer?
Before PC Peter Grant can get his head round the case a town planner going under a tube train and a stolen grimoire are adding to his case-load.
So far so London.
But then Peter gets word of something very odd happening in Elephant and Castle, on an housing estate designed by a nutter, built by charlatans and inhabited by the truly desperate.
Is there a connection?
And if there is, why oh why did it have to be South of the River?
Full of warmth, sly humour and a rich cornucopia of things you never knew about London, Aaronovitch’s series has swiftly added Grant’s magical London to Rebus’ Edinburgh and Morse’s Oxford as a destination of choice for those who love their crime with something a little extra.
London’s rivers are full of gods – or rather genius loci. There are Fair Folk living in the Underground System and ghosts haunting the streets who can definitely pack a punch. There are real cat girls – and worse things – in Soho, and vampires in Purley.
(Incidentally, that last section of blurb on the dust jacket of the first book was what inspired me to take it to the counter. I mean, vampires in my home suburb? HOT DAMN.)