Monday, 9 May 2011

I Shot a Frenchman at agincourt

My bands debut single, availiable to buy from itunes and amazon

Saturday, 23 April 2011

Sunday, 6 February 2011

Afterburn

This is the second Harrison Book I have read.  The first was Havana Room which was an absolutely fantastic read and whilst Afterburn is an entertaining read, it doesn’t quite match that of the Havana room.

The main protagonist is Charlie Ravich. A former Vietnam vet who is now a successful and shrewd businessmen who crosses path with Christina Welles, who has recently come out of prison and there are several people who want to find her.

What Harrison does extremely well is the set-up, which is also style-wise evident in the Havana Room, which makes his books a good read. One interesting thing, was reading this after recently reading In The Lake of The Woods which also features a Vietnam Vet. Tim O’Brien the author, was writing about the Vietnam history of his character from experience, whilst Harrison is writing from well researched notes. The differences are subtle, but as a writer myself, I found it interesting to compare the two.

It’s a bit hard to write why I didn’t like Afterburn as much as the Havana Room as I would be giving away the ending. That is not to say the ending is a disappointment, just after being along for the ride in the set-up , I think the book lets you off a stop to early. I would still recomend reading it, but if you haven’t read the Havana Room, then read that one first. 

Sunday, 30 January 2011

Sharpes Triumph

I grew up watching the Sharpe television series and was a huge fan of it. The glory days when ITV could actually produce good television.

I have never read any of the books before, and this is chronologically the second book in the series of 24 that Bernard Shaw wrote with the Sharpe character.

I was expecting it to be full of men who swear at each other but salute their officers. Big battles, and busty women -  whom are always addressed as me lady. A devilish plot with some twisting and turning, and everyone coming home in time for tea as heroes.

I wasn’t disappointed. The book has all those things in it.

The main battle that the story is set against is the Battle of Assaye where Wellesely defeated an army of a 100’000 of the Maratha with just under 10’000 troops. Sharpe starts of the book at the rank of Sergent and through the events becomes part of Wellesely Staff.  Due to his actions and people he meets,he is raised to the rank of Ensign by the end of the book.

The battle takes up a big chunk of the book, and I’m sure there is enough detail in the ranks, battle orders to appease the historian as well as the reader. (wargamers as well it seems)

I don’t think its fair to call it two dimensional, as its a very honest work in the sense of the characters are well defined, the action a-plentiful and those elements, of which why I liked the Sharpe series are all there. This doesn't pretend at any stage to be anything which it is not - an action book with a historical setting.

I also think Bernard Cornwell has an excellent skill of mixing in the history with the fiction. But, there is not enough depth there that wants to be to rush out and buy the rest of the books. If I saw one of the books, in the left over holiday reading pile  I would however, likely pick it up. 




Sunday, 16 January 2011

megaloceros giganteus at Leeds City Museum

 January, and as I have done for the last three years, a trip to the Leeds City Museum to draw the Megaloceros Giganteus.

Annoyingly they have changed the lighting in the room, whilst it  certantly gives more detail to the neck, it adds some really unnatural horrible highlights and illuminates the eye socket very odd.  The underneath of the chin and under the skull is also illuminated very oddly and the detail on the chin has  been lost. Heres a picture of how it used to be lit


For some reason, my smokeback.com site is down at the moment. But you can see my sketch here on flickr

see you in 2012

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