Title: Bowie’s Books – The Hundred Literary Heroes Who Changed His Life

Author: John O’Connell

Pages: 320 Pages

Publisher: Bloomsbury

The Blurb

‘What is your idea of perfect happiness?’

‘Reading.’

‘What is the quality you most like in a man?’
‘The ability to return books.’

Three years before he died, David Bowie made a list of the one hundred books that had transformed his life – a list that formed something akin to an autobiography. From Madame Bovary to A Clockwork Orange, the Iliad to the Beano, these were the publications that had fuelled his creativity and shaped who he was.

In Bowie’s Books, John O’Connell explores this list in the form of one hundred short essays, each offering a perspective on the man, performer and creator that is Bowie, his work as an artist and the era that he lived in. Bowie’s Books is much more than a list of books you should read in your lifetime: it is a unique insight into one of the greatest minds of our times, and an indispensable part of the legacy that Bowie left behind.

The Review

Of all the deaths in 2016 (and let’s face it, there was a lot) it was David Bowie’s death that probably upset me the most. I loved Bowie. He was a musician who was way before my time but he was one that I sourced myself, without parental influence. So, it is of some comfort that even nearly three years after his death that fans can still learn new things about the man or feel his influence in a new different way.

With Bowie’s Books we get an insight into the literature that shaped the man he became. We are given access to his favourite books and in turn a stepping point if we enjoy the book then what you should read next. Along the way, we get stories of David Bowie’s life and it is littered with facts and anecdotes.

It really is just a joy to read.

Plus if David Bowie thought it was cool to read then who the heck are we to argue.

Bowie’s Books – The Hundred Literary Heroes Who Changed His Life by John O’Connell is available now.

For more information regarding Bloomsbury (@BloomsburyBooks) please visit www.bloomsbury.com.

Labyrinth 3Title: Labyrinth – Coronation #2

Author: Simon Spurrier, Daniel Bayliss and Fiona Staples

Pages: 25 Pages

Publisher: Archaia

The Blurb

The Goblin King’s mother enters the Labyrinth, discovering a strange and marvellous world unlike anything she could imagine and one much different than what Sarah will encounter years later.

The Review

In the second part of the epic adventure we see a story that reflects Sarah’s in the movie Labyrinth. It is filled with intrigue and mystery and we see some beloved characters as well as meeting new ones. It really is a great story that should have been explored long before now.

I cannot wait for the next in the series.

Labyrinth: Coronation #2 by Simon Spurrier is available now.

For more information regarding Simon Spurrier (@sispurrier) please visit www.simonspurrier.co.uk.

For more information regarding Daniel Bayliss (@danielbaylissb) please visit www.deathtotheillustraitor.blogspot.mx.

For more information regarding Fiona Staples (@fionastaples) please visit www.fionastaples.com.

For more information regarding Archaia (@Archaia) please visit www.archaia.com.

3 Stars

Labyrinth 2Author: Simon Spurrier, Daniel Bayliss and Fiona Staples

Pages: 23 Pages

Publisher: Archaia

The Blurb

Simon Spurrier (Godshaper, The Power of the Dark Crystal) and Daniel Bayliss (Jim Henson’s Storyteller: Dragons, Kennel Block Blues) present a magical look into the world of Jim Henson’s Labyrinth. Before Sarah braved the Labyrinth to save her brother, another young woman sought to save a young boy named Jareth from the clutches of the Goblins. Set in 18th-century Venice, Italy, Jim Henson’s Labyrinth is a striking look into the history of the Labyrinth itself, and what happens to the little boys who don’t get rescued. This is the untold history of the Goblin King.

The Review

I love Labyrinth. When I was a child I had it on a LP video tape along with three other 80s classic films. I watched the tape so much that it is had to be held together by Selatape.

Strangely though, I have never questioned Jareth’s story. Why was he the Goblin King? There are plenty of other questions such as why is he not a goblin and man how did David Bowie get so hot but we will save those questions for another time. These questions came to light when I started reading the graphic novel of Labyrinth. See it isn’t actually the story seen in the film that we all know and love. It is actually an origins story and it is a damn interesting one too.

The opening graphic novel shows us just how much societal pressure was on Jareth’s father and how Jareth came to rule a kingdom of goblins. The graphics are amazing and the story is engaging. I am perplexed as to where it is going to head to but I cannot wait to find out.

Labyrinth: Coronation #1 by Simon Spurrier is available now.

For more information regarding Simon Spurrier (@sispurrier) please visit www.simonspurrier.co.uk.

For more information regarding Daniel Bayliss (@danielbaylissb) please visit www.deathtotheillustraitor.blogspot.mx.

For more information regarding Fiona Staples (@fionastaples) please visit www.fionastaples.com.

For more information regarding Archaia (@Archaia) please visit www.archaia.com.

3 Stars

Modern LoveTitle: Modern Love

Author: Beau North

Pages: 132 Pages

Publisher: Beau North

The Blurb

“Love at first sight wasn’t meant for millennials,” thinks Alice Aberdeen: art student, recovering addict, David Bowie enthusiast. Alice is among the recently dumped and only wants to keep her nose to the grindstone until she finishes her degree. Her sister has other ideas and sets her up with new-in-town Will Murphy–tall, dark, and aloof.

To say it wasn’t an instant attraction is an understatement: He finds her abrasive, with her sharp tongue and don’t-screw-with-me attitude. She thinks he’s excessively reserved, too damn serious. But the more time Alice spends with Will, the more their slow burn begins to thaw her heart.

A man of two worlds, half-Irish, half-Indian, Will feels at home with Alice. He soon realizes her tough shell is hiding extensive scar tissue–from her addiction and recovery to her spectacularly bad ex-girlfriend to the loss of her mother. Modern Love isn’t a story about love at first sight but learning to love yourself before being able to see the one you love.

The Review

Sometimes you haven’t got time to read. Work is busy, life is getting in the way of essential reading time and you just haven’t managed to hit your yearly book quota. Sound familiar?

Well fear not because in Beau North’s novella Modern Love we have just the thing for you. At 132 pages you can read away whilst not feeling too guilty because you haven’t ironed your clothes for work or got your lunch for tomorrow ready. It is definitely the book for the gal (or guy) on the go.

Modern Love focuses on college student Alice Aberdeen – a free spirited art student who takes crap from no one; certainly not from the handsome but slightly-awkward-that-it-comes-off-as-arrogant Will Murphy. In this will they won’t they he said she said story you find yourself completely lost in the love, frustrated by knowing the characters should be together and warm and fuzzy along the way. As we all know, the course of love never does run smoothly so sit back, buckle up and enjoy the ride.

Oh and there is a whole David Bowie theme throughout which, if you are like me and love Bowie, is an added bonus.

Modern Love by Beau North is available now.

For more information regarding Beau North (@BeauNorth) please visit www.beaunorthwrites.com.

4 Stars

Synopsis

After having yet another argument with her stepmother over babysitting duties, Sarah appeals to the goblin king to take away her younger brother Toby. When this actually happens Sarah starts a quest to retrieve her younger sibling and she only has thirteen hours to make her way to the centre of the labyrinth to confront Jareth, the Goblin King.

Review

Ok, so if – like me – you are a child of the 80s then Labyrinth will have been a firm favourite of yours. It most definitely was one of my favourites (to the point where I have the soundtrack on CD and vinyl and the DVD and film posters and the T-Shirt and a weird crush on David Bowie) so when I saw that a book was going to be released of the story I will admit my inner geek went into overdrive. This occasionally happens, especially when I find random memorabilia from movies that I love.

I bought a copy of the book in a moment of proud madness – well technically I Pre-Ordered it from Amazon. I had just had a root canal after 30 years of avoiding the dentist and felt that I had been a brave little toaster and deserved a treat. And boy was this book a treat.

It was strange reading a story that I have loved for such a long time. The characters’ were exactly how they were in the movies but what is good about the book is that you get a vision of the unedited movie. Deleted scenes take place in the book that obviously didn’t make it to the actual movie. What I did find is that some of the descriptive narrative read like extra detailing in a script.

This isn’t necessarily a bad thing because if you have seen the movie you can see just how accurate that the movie makers got it.

Overall, this is a sumptuous book for the lovers of the film. Now, having finished the book I am off to watch the movie. Dance, Magic Dance….

Jim Henson’s Labyrinth by ACH Smith and Brian Froud is available now.