Category Archives: Review

Black Lives Matter: Billie Holiday’s song ‘Strange Fruit’

Billie Holiday’s “Strange Fruit” is now recognized as one of the greatest recordings of all time, being named to the Songs of the Century list by the National Endowment of the Arts. But this powerfully mournful song was almost never … Continue reading

Posted in History, Politics, Review | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Song Review: Blowin’ in the Wind (Dylan) 60th Anniversary (1962-2022)

Blowin’ in the wind is an iconic anthem of the 1960s, which has been covered by many artists. Purists shudder at the implications. They believe that only the 1962 Dylan recording is perfection. I too thought this way, until like … Continue reading

Posted in Review | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

A vicious review of a Bob Dylan concert: Scotland 1991

Dylan now resembles nothing so much as an alcoholic lumberjack on a Saturday night out in some Saskatchewan backwater, staggering around the stage here in a huge plaid jacket and odd little hat. The band, meanwhile, have all the charisma … Continue reading

Posted in Review | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Book Review: David Baldacci ~ A Gambling Man (2021)

I bought this solely because of a Facebook advert, which is the modern version of Waterstone’s seductive: ‘Buy one, get one half price’. It was 99p on Kindle and I wanted an undemanding read. What I got was a revelation. … Continue reading

Posted in Literature, Review | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Book Review: Viet Thanh Nguyen ~ The Sympathizer (2015)

This superb book won the USA’s Pulitzer Prize. Nguyen is brilliant and the real thing: a great author. Opening sentences are important, I am a spy, a sleeper, a spook, a man of two faces.1 The unnamed hero/anti-hero is a … Continue reading

Posted in History, Literature, Politics, Review, War | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

TV Review: Frasier ~ TV series (Channel4 catch-up) (Kelsey Grammer) (1993-2004)

Being bored I punted round the various catch-up sites, Netflix and so on and came across Frasier, which I’d watched nearly 30 years ago. I wondered, whether it would it be like visiting an elderly relative who’d declined into despair … Continue reading

Posted in Humour, quips, Review | Tagged , , | 2 Comments

Film Review: The Godfather (1972) (Marlon Brando and Al Pacino)

This is the 50th anniversary of the Godfather. Needless to relate I saw it in 1972 along with millions of others. I was thrilled at the announcement of its re-release. But my local multiplex only allocated three nights. And there … Continue reading

Posted in Film, Religion, Review | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Book Review: Zlatan Ibrahimovic ~ I am Zlatan Ibrahimovic (with David Lagercrantz) (Translator Ruth Urbom)

This book is a superior sports autobiography. Zlatan’s ghost writer is an author in his own right, and translator is excellent. They capture the intensity of his life and the voice of an immigrant living in poverty. As a sports … Continue reading

Posted in Literature, Review, Sport | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Book Review: Robbie Morrison ~ Edge of the grave (2021)

Glasgow’s brutal history was ‘created’ by endemic poverty and squalor which brutalised the population in the period 1900-32. The context of hard physical work and grinding poverty led to the infamous Glasgow ‘Razor’ gangs. The outbreak of the First World … Continue reading

Posted in History, Literature, Review | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Jay Rayner reviews an Italian restaurant in London

“The nearest thing to a mellow dish is the cappellacci di zuca, the pasta stuffed with a sweet squash puree and sprinkled with an amaretti crumb so it becomes a plateful hinged between savoury and dessert. Then there are the … Continue reading

Posted in Health, Humour, Review | Tagged , | Leave a comment