Consumed the week of 25 February, 2019

I am sitting here in my living room, at the end of a week that began with temperatures in the 20s and with people lounging around outside, in their shirt sleeves… and right now all I can hear is the rain lashing against our window and what sounds like a nascent hurricane slipping under the gap at the bottom of our front door.

And, yes, you’re correct if you thought these posts were getting more ‘writery’. I’m enjoying putting some proper sentences together, so thought I might as well make the most of it.

I haven’t read a whole lot this week. I am, God help me, reading the thriller novel I Am Pilgrim. I picked it up because it was recommended to me by two separate people in the space of a week (even though it was published a few years ago) and I trusted the serendipity.

It is, I can confidently say, one of the most poorly-written books I’ve ever read. I mean, it’s bad. Very bad. I want to give you some examples but it’s almost too painful. Also I don’t want to highlight them on my Kindle in case some rogue AI thinks I’m appreciating the awful sex/weapon metaphor.

I’m equally confident that I’ll finish it though. I’m not sure why. It’s entertainingly bad I guess. Plus, I have a rule that you can’t really criticise anything unti you’ve finished it.

I have watched quite a bit this week. As well as blitzing my way through the whole first series of Fleabag (ahead of series two starting this week), I also watched the clumsily titled doc Lost Soul: The Doomed Journey of Richard Stanley’s “Island of Dr. Moreau”, which is essentially a cross between Hearts of Darkness and Jodorowsky’s Dune, but on a Tesco Value budget. I really liked it.

Also watched this week: Steve McQueen’s Widows (good, but not up to the standard of McQueen’s previous films, and as a heist film it’s just not exciting or stylish enough); and Bohemian Rhapsody (very entertaining and a great performance by Rami Malek, but obviously riddled with historical liberties and inaccuracies and a little bit blunt with its message – so very like Green Book then).

By far my favourite watch of the past few days has been the third series of Documentary Now! which has featured Batsh*t Valley (i.e Netflix’s Wild Wild Country) and Original Cast Album: Co-Op (i.e. Original Cast Album: Company which I’d never heard of but I’m going to watch). They’re very funny, but also the care, attention, detail and downright love that’s evidently poured into each episode just really appeals to me (I put this and Inside No. 9 very much in the same bucket).

My favourite long read of the week was from Gizmodo (not sure I’ve ever said that before!). Ong’s Hat: The Early Internet Conspiracy Game That Got Too Real hits all of my buttons in a very satisfying way, plus I’d never even heard of it before. I love discovering stuff like this.

I also read My Restaurant Was the Greatest Show of Excess You’d Ever Seen, and It Almost Killed Me which is not nearly as macho as it might sound.

Music-wise this week, here’s the new one from the ever-dependable Kieran Hebden:

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