bookmark_borderDance Your Way to Psychic Sex

Dance Your Way to Psychic Sex by Alice Turing

Every now and then I end up reading a book that takes me by surprise. It’s not always a huge surprise, sometimes that surprise sneaks up on me part way through the book with the realisation that I’m really enjoying it, and sometimes that surprise waits until the end to reveal itself as I realise I’m disappointed that the book has ended.

Dance Your Way to Psychic Sex is one of those books.

I’m lucky enough to know the author who very kindly sent me a copy of this, her second book. She’s had no joy in finding a publisher for it in the UK (it’s been published in Germany already) and has taken on the not inconsiderable task of self-publishing it. But enough of that, the question is, is it worth buying?

Well, that depends.

If you want a book that delights in simple narrative, which has a well paced story to keep you intrigued and turning the pages, a book that dabbles in drugs and sex and sexuality, and above all if you want a book that presumes you are able to follow along without signposts at every turn, then you should buy this book.

If you want a book that doles our the same descriptive prose and spells out each and every plot twist to make sure you are following along (you know, because you are an idiot), then you probably shouldn’t.

It is a book about magic and trickery, emotions and desires, and the kind of everyday people we all know. A single mother and her son, a failing magician and his frustrated wife, all of whom end up tangled together in a day to day existence which hints at whimsy from the off. The story taps into our basic human needs of connection and hope, and that an underlying need to have something to believe in, no matter what it, or how ridiculous, it is.

It’s loaded with sharp dialogue, some gorgeous imagery, and is punctuated with a down to earth wit which has you laughing and smiling, before yanking you back to the story which invariably manages to keep you guessing as the quirks of main characters are explored. It would be wrong to say that this is a lightweight book, as the plot cleverly weaves events together, each mirroring the last as you tumble to the conclusion.

I think it’s telling the story closes with two of the characters having books published, a bittersweet reminder that so many talented writers, such as Alice, remain unpublished, which is a shame because this is easily one of the more original stories I’ve read all year.

Enough from me though, go get your own copy:

bookmark_borderThe Brothers Grimm

Movie info from IMDB
Movie reviews from Metacritic

Terry Gilliam has a certain way with imagery, you either love it or can’t quite figure it out. For the most part I love it and this story, of the two young Grimm brothers and the supposed origin of their famous fairytales, is a perfect foil for Gilliam’s eye for the strange dark places that haunt your mind.

Heath Ledger and Matt Damon play the eponymous brothers, with Ledger turning in an excellent performance as the bookish reader of tales, alas Damon forgot to lose his Hollywood tan and looks ever so slightly out of place. In fact this lack of attention to detail is the downfall of the movie.

Set in French occupied Germany, the accents range through most of Europe and feature, amongst others, a small boy in a German village who speaks with a Yorkshire accent. I’m all for suspension of disbelief but I expect a movie to help me along that path, not jar me back to reality every three minutes with yet another odd moment to lose continuity.

The script is fine, the story amicable enough (it IS a fairytale after all) but the direction lacks sparkle and magic. Add to that some inconsistent performances (Ledger and Jonathan Pryce aside) and the movie left me some what bemused. Terry Gilliam and the Brothers Grimm seemed like a perfect match, alas neither side has come out very well.

Ohh and I’d better mention THAT scene between Monica Bellucci and Heath Ledger… ohh to have that woman breathing my ear….


Warning: this post will NOT induce a cheery happy persona.

So, Bush has made his address and assured people that “as Germany and Japan can attest, we are liberators”. Nice touch there.

Then you read that the U.S. is Planting WMDs in Iraq, and that gets you wondering.

Then you are sent a link, from an increduluous friend, to the Project for the New American Century which contains some cherry-picked articles offering the viewpoint that (and I may be paraphrasing here) President Bush is a demi-god and we are all very lucky he is here.

THEN you wonder why people keep asking you if you are planning to have children. Into THIS world? I think not.

(I was going to add a lot more to this, but it’s very much a list that, once started, would never really end… although that is maybe the point…)

bookmark_borderCapturing the moment

“You know the world is going crazy when the best rapper is a white guy, the best golfer is a black guy, the tallest guy in the NBA is Chinese, the Swiss hold the America’s Cup, France is accusing the U.S. of arrogance, Germany doesn’t want to go to war, and the three most powerful men in America are named ‘Bush’, ‘Dick’, and ‘Colon.’ Need I say more?”
Chris Rock

(via my sister – queen of forwarding)

How the mighty have fallen
From white suit jackets (with the sleeves pushed up to the elbows), slipons and a nifty day-glo pink t-shirt to smuggling money from Switzerland to Germany, well trying to anyway. Just what is
Don Johnson up to?

Pity it wasn’t all cash, would’ve been much more interesting, mind you what the hell is Don Johnson doing with $5 BILLION??

To market, to market…
An unexpected bonus today. We headed into Glasgow (to buy a couple of birthday cards which I’ve only just realised we forgot to do) and came across a ‘European’ market running in Sauciehall Street. Belgian, Spanish, French, Germany and English stalls were represented. I got some Merguez but I will abstain from waxing lyrically about childhood holidays to France as I’m on my Dad’s PC and, hey hang on, he’s got broadband, I can take as long as I like (but my coffee will get cold).

Tomorrow we will be motoring up and down Loch Lomond in my friends boat. If the weather is as glorious as today I’ll be a happy bunny.