Coming up to halfway through the year and my self-imposed challenge to record the music, book and film that have most excited me each month.
I started reading China Miélville’s October: The Story of The Russian Revolution, expecting great things. Miélville’s fiction is always hugely exciting and inventive, and I was anticipating he would bring a similar touch to historical non-fiction and the reviews were generally very positive. I found this a disappointing book though; essentially just a month-by-month list of what happened to who (and there are a lot of them) with no real analysis of underlying motives. I confess I ended-up flicking through the pages looking for events of interest with little enthusiasm and was disappointed the chapter on events after 1917 did not even feature the execution of the Imperial Royal Family.
My album of the month is Paul Simon’s Graceland, a record that still sounds as fresh as the day it was released. There’s nothing I can say about this album that’s not been said before. It is one of those rare albums that rewards taking the time to really listen from the The Boy in The Bubble through to All Around the World or the Myth of Fingerprints. Having read the reviews of Graceland - The Remixes, released this month, I think I will stick with the grace of the original version!
My film of the month is not Black Panther, it was an enjoyable romp but, like most MCU films, predictable and over-reliant on choreographed set pieces although the CGI in those scenes is now far more persuasive. My choice is Some Like It Hot, a classic film that stands repeated watching.