The man in the picture

The Man in the Picture by Susan Hill

The man in the picture by

Part of my RIP VIII reading. Oliver is visiting his old Oxford tutor when Theo begins to tell him a story. It is a cold January night, perfect for huddling round the fire and telling a ghostly atmospheric story. But Theo’s...

The black opera by Mary Gentle

The Black Opera by

Conrad Scalese’s latest opera was a great success. Unfortunately the theatre in which it was performed has just been stuck by lightening. And since the composer and many of the performers have fled Naples the church decides to blame him. As...

ghosts of vesuvius

Ghosts of Vesuvius by

It is hard to blurb this book. On the one hand it is about Vesuvius and volcanic explosions and disasters both natural and man-made. But it is also a book about the origins of the earth, of the universe, and about how precarious our existence is. How so much of what we are today is dependent on natural events a thousand years ago, or a millennia ago, or so long ago that it is almost pointless to count the time because it is so difficult to grasp those sort of numbers.

Spartacus : Gods of the arena

Spartacus : Gods of the arena dir. by

First things first, this is an awesome show. Awesome! Anyone who says different is just plain wrong!

When I first started watching Spartacus : Blood and Sand I have to say that I wasn’t overly impressed. Obviously influenced by the style and look of 300 it seemed to be a show that existed only to show glossy violence and sex. And boy did it ever show that. But after the first few episodes it developed into a very enjoyable, almost addictive, show. But then its star was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin lymphoma and so film making was delayed as he underwent treatment. And so instead of a second season we got a prequel. Spartacus : gods of the arena. Don’t be fooled by that name in the title, this has no Spartacus as all, instead it tells the story of how John Hannah’s Lentulus Batiatus comes to run the family ludus, and how Crixus becomes a gladiator.

Blameless

Blameless by

by Gail Carriger
If you haven’t yet read Soulless and Changeless then I am afraid that this review will contain spoilers for those two books. Always the way with reviewing books in a series.
I’ve just realised that I’ve never really mentioned the covers in my review of these books, but just take a second to take a proper look at them. Aren’t they wonderful! I’m not sure if that is exactly how I picture Alexia, she always seems, how would she put it, more substantial than the model on the cover, but the are so very appropriate. And just look at that othnithopter over Paris. Oops, spoilers, because yes, Alexia heads to France and then on to Italy. How exciting.

A thread of grace by Mary Doria Russell

A Thread of Grace by

ISBN: 9780552772884 This book I loved. Loved. But I should have guessed, I’ve loved most of Russell’s books. I wasn’t hugely fond of part of Children of God, as I recall, but I still intend to reread it at some point....

Rome 2.10 De Parte Vostro

Rome 2.10 De Parte Vostro dir. by

The final episode. I’m going to miss Lamb and Chicken, and even scheming Caesar/Octavian, not to mention bitch-Atia and all the others. And Beeb watchers, let me tell you, Heroeswhile entertaining, is not even half as good as Rome.

Rome 2.6 Philippi

Rome 2.6 Philippi dir. by

We start off this episode with Brutus and Cassius riding along with their army. Brutus is in good form, he has been chatting with the men, but Cassius is a tad on the grumpy side, all these mouths to feed. Brutus...

Rome 2.5 Heroes of the Republic

Rome 2.5 Heroes of the Republic dir. by

After the excitement of the last episode it seems that Timon has refound religion[1] as this episode begins with him and his brother praying at Temple. I do wonder will this last[2] But there isn’t too much time to think about...

Rome 2.4 Testudo et Lepus

Rome 2.4 Testudo et Lepus dir. by

When last we left Rome we all thought that evil slimy servant dude was going to succeed with Servilia’s plan to off Atia. He had, after all, found an opportunity when she wasn’t eating with Octavia, and so could be poisoned...