Archive for July, 2019

Review: Slow Horses, by Mick Herron

Wednesday, July 31st, 2019

To be honest, I never heard of Mick Herron — but having just read a review of the sixth book in the series, I thought I’d give it a go. And I’m hooked. Herron has been compared to John Le Carr├ę, and the comparison is a fair one.

The books revolve around a bunch of misfits, all former employees of MI5, exiled to a place called Slough House somewhere near the Barbican in London, where they seem to be doing meaningless work. The book opens with one of the newcomers to Slough House sifting through the trash of a journalist.

But as the story progresses, the ‘slow horses’ as they care called (get it?) under the command of the overweight, flatulent and chain-smoking boss Jackson Lamb, get involved in a complex case involving British Nazis and corruption at the highest levels of the British intelligence services.

One of the unpleasant characters we meet (and they are mostly unpleasant characters in Herron’s world) is a rising right-wing politician with floppy hair and a quick wit, who has ambitions to someday be Prime Minister. I wonder who the author had in mind.

I have already begun the second book in the series. Highly recommended.

Review: Superman: Red Son, by Mark Millar

Wednesday, July 31st, 2019
Superman: Red Son.

I read this graphic novel with great hope as it was based on a great idea. Imagine if Kal-El, son of Krypton, had landed not in Smallville in the American midwest, but on a collective farm in the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic during the Stalin era.

Sadly, the book does not live up to the possibilities and quickly becomes just another superhero story. All the usual characters are there — Lois Lane, Lex Luthor, etc., as are real figures, such as Stalin himself.

But the authors, while steeped in Superman lore (they recreated the shrunken city of Kandor as Stalingrad), seem fairly ignorant about most (or all) things Soviet.

What a pity. This could have been so much better.

Surpriza malkovro en Texel

Saturday, July 6th, 2019

My first article in Esperanto – for the website uea.facila.org, which is aimed at people learning the language (hence the short texts in simple Esperanto). I’ll bet that most people who’ve never studied Esperanto will get the gist of this article, and of course Google Translate can help.

Click here to read the article (and listen to it read by someone).