Monthly Archives: October 2011

A Quick Note: Movember

Hello all,

Just a quick note to let you all know that I am taking part in Movember this year, in order to help raise money for the Prostate and Testicular Cancer Charities. I normally have a full beard, but for charity, I have just shaved it off and now over the course of November will be growing a moustache.

For a bit of fun I thought I would document the initial shaving phase which you can see below:

As you can see I look ridiculously young clean shaven and a bit like a member of the Village People with a tache. Anyway, it’s all for a good cause and if you would like to sponsor me this Movember and help raise money for a great cause then you can do so here.

Thanks all, and happy Movember!

Leave a comment

Filed under Other Stuff

Catch-22 – Joseph Heller

Set during the closing months of the Second World War, in an American air base of the coast of Italy, Catch-22 is the story of a frustrated and furious bombardier named Yossarian who can’t understand why thousands of people he doesn’t even know keep trying to kill him!

The number of missions he has to complete to go home keeps rising, he can’t figure out who is in charge the squadron and there is a dead man in his tent no one will acknowledge or get rid of!

Utterly horrific yet beautifully comic, totally insane yet gritty and real, Catch-22 takes the reader from one extreme to the other on every single page. Although set during one of the darkest times of human history I found myself literally bursting out laughing at some points.

What makes Catch-22 so barmy is the sheer insanity of the characters and their mental attempts to peruse Italian prostitutes, make money out of the war and of course try every stunt possible to get out of duty and be sent home.

The book throws a depressing yet hilarious light on the War and is truly a one off book, well deserving of its place on the 1001 Books to Read Before You Die List.

If you are not a fan of war novels please don’t be put off by the setting of the novel as it is so much more than a book about World War II, it is a great dark comedy, an insight into the complexities of the human mind and if nothing else an explanation behind the origin of the phrase Catch-22!

1 Comment

Filed under 1001 Books, Comedy, War

Notes From The Underground – Fyodor Dostoevsky

Notes From The Underground is a dark and demented narrative, scrawled by an anonymous writer who is clearly intelligent, profound and philosophical yet is draped in a sheath of bitter hatred against everyone and everything.

After an existential rant about mans hidden love of pain and anguish, the anonymous narrator goes on to tell us about a short period of his life during which he is faces great humiliation, a cringe worthy conflict with former school friends and the unwanted emotion that arises after sleeping with a prostitute.

Like much of Dostoevsky’s work, Notes From The Underground is not about the story but about understanding the human mind. The anonymous anti-hero is the epitome of all the deranged, ludicrous, hate filled thoughts and emotions the human mind is capable off.

As we follow the story teller, the reader is constantly swung between a Napoleon complex of higher intellect, bravery and one-upmanship to a state of pure depression, fear and utter hatred of oneself and the world.

This is by far Dostoyevsky’s darkest work, and although it is not as well known as the likes of The Idiot, Crime and Punishment and the Brothers Karamazov it is just as enjoyable and in fact can be seen as the catalyst for the main characters that appear in the later and more established novels.

During the first 20 pages or so, whilst the narrator is simply lost in a complex rant about man and mind, it is pretty hard going. However, once into full flow, it is surprisingly easy to read, despite the sometimes delirious tangents the narrator wanders down.

It may not be his most revered novel, but Notes From The Underground is a superb look into the human psyche and I believe would make a great introduction to for anyone looking to try out Dostoyevsky for the first time.

1 Comment

Filed under Russian Classics

We’ve moved!

You can now find us at The Book Reviewer

Leave a comment

Filed under Crime