Reviews

Review: Intimations by Zadie Smith Rating 77%

Review: Intimations by Zadie Smith

A thoroughly deep and soul-searching set of timely essays on the lockdown experience, Zadie Smith’s Intimations are precisely that, with an observational and astute tone to the work. From the critically acclaimed author of Feel Free, Swing Time, White Teeth, Intimations is a wonderfully short 82 pages that consider many aspects of lockdown, reaching far beyond the surface with these deliberations.

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Review: Crud 1 by Al White Rating 92%

Review: Crud 1 by Al White

Al White, aka DJ Crud, is part of Glasgow record label 12th Isle, renowned for the visionary aesthetic of White’s cover and flyer art as well as for the exploratory and diverse musical output of their roster, and the creative decor and staging of their club nights. I think it’s fair to say that White’s work as a designer has had a big impact, with his imaginative art and layouts clearly an influence on a lot of others in recent years, so when I heard that he’d self-published a book, I had to have a look!

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Review: My Life as a Cat by Carlie Sorosiak Rating 95%

Review: My Life as a Cat by Carlie Sorosiak

In her book Why You Should Read Children’s Books, Even Though You are So Old and Wise, Katherine Rundell says that “Children’s novels say: “look, this is what bravery looks like. This is what generosity looks like. They tell me, through the medium of wizard, lions and talking spiders, that this world we live in is a world of people who tell jokes and work and endure. Children’s books say the world is huge.” And this has never been truer when reading and discussing the writing of Carlie Sorosiak. Having read and loved her last 9-12 book I, Cosmo last year, I knew I was in for a treat when I got my hands on a copy of My Life as a Cat. Carlie Sorosiak really had the gift of distilling humanity and showing us the really important things in life: cheese sandwiches, spending time with your loved ones, enjoying a day by the sea. This is why upon finishing her new cat adventure, I have been recommending it to everyone both young and old.

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Review: The Harpy by Megan Hunter Rating 68%

Review: The Harpy by Megan Hunter

The Harpy is the second novel for Megan Hunter with her notable The End We Start From being a terrifying depiction of the future. With much contention in her debut there has been great anticipation for her second book, you can expect as uncomfortable a read as her first novel.

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Review: The Coolidge Effect Rating 80%

Review: The Coolidge Effect

The Coolidge Effect, created by Glasgow theatre company Wonderfools, was written in 2017 and toured all over the UK in theatres and community spaces alike. Its title is taken from the scientific theory ‘the Coolidge effect’, a study which proves that, specifically in males, variety in sexual life is key to continued arousal. Dealing with the effects of pornography on sexual and mental well-being, The Coolidge Effect was initially devised from interviews with porn addicts and advocates, as well as mental health professionals. Writers Jack Nurse and Robbie Gordon fuse these different perspectives into four interweaving narratives, all showing a different perspective on the issue of porn addiction. While I didn’t manage to catch the production itself, last week Wonderfools released The Coolidge Effect as an audio play, which, despite not being its original medium, adapted excellently to the format and created something unflinchingly honest and impactful.

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Review: Summerwater by Sarah Moss Rating 81%

Review: Summerwater by Sarah Moss

From the acclaimed writer of Bodies of Light and The Tidal Zone, Summerwater is a relative piece of work that resonates with anyone that has ever spent a Summer in Scotland. On the longest day of the summer, twelve people sit cooped up with their families in a faded Scottish cabin park. The endless rain leaves them with little to do but watch the other residents, and reflect on the situation with a sly humour that adds depth to the novel.

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Review: I LIKE TRAINS – KOMPROMAT Rating 85%

Review: I LIKE TRAINS – KOMPROMAT

I LIKE TRAINS have released a new album, KOMPROMAT, that discusses all the chaos the world has slipped into since their last release eight years ago. Dealing with themes of the corruption and shocking of the current political climate, the band return back to their root sound, comparable to artists such as Joy Division.

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Review: The Other’s Gold by Elizabeth Ames Rating 68%

Review: The Other’s Gold by Elizabeth Ames

Debut novel for Massachusetts-based author, Elizabeth Ames, The Other’s Gold is a journey for four women as they come of age, and develop their separate lives. An American novel with somewhat of a contemporary Little Women feel, there are more human and error-centred story threads at the core of this book. A fascinating debut with plenty of characterisation and substance, Elizabeth Ames’ work is a unpredictably resonating.

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Review: Song Sung – This Ascension Is Ours Rating 78%

Review: Song Sung – This Ascension Is Ours

Song Sung, New York-based twin sisters Georgina and Una McGeough, have released their debut album via Night Time Stories. An ambient ten-track LP, This Ascension Is Ours has no real feeling of movement in gradients, with a permanent high retained throughout all ten tracks. It seems that the ascension really is theirs.

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Review: Mt. Doubt – Doubtlands Rating 90%

Review: Mt. Doubt – Doubtlands

Mt. Doubt is the musical nom de plume of Edinburgh-based singer-songwriter and musician Leo Bargery. Doubtlands is Mt. Doubt’s third full-length album and the eager anticipation of its release has been fuelled by three well-received singles. Leo Bargery’s regular solo live streams during lockdown have also enabled stripped-back versions of many of the album’s songs to be introduced to fans.

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