This novella has been on my radar for such a long time that I can’t even remember why I wanted to read it in the first place. Suffice to say, when I saw this pretty little copy in the Oxfam bookshop last weekend, it didn’t take much to convince me to snap it up!
I have always been a fan of Horowitz. I discovered his Alex Rider series when I was a child and followed that fearless boy-spy all the way through my adolescence. [Through reading The Word is Murder, I actually discovered that Horowitz has since added to the Alex Rider series…you’re never too old, right?] I enjoyed Horowitz’s two Sherlock Holmes inspired novels: The House of Silk and Moriarty, and I think he’s an excellent screenwriter (he writes for Foyle’s War and Agatha Christie’s Poirot to name a few). The Word is Murder, then, was much anticipated and I have to say, it was an entertaining read.
Graphic novels are great. They convey a narrative with the help of images – a glorious middle ground between film and literature. In my opinion, graphic novels are an under rated medium. The stories that they tell can be poignant and devastating, or fun and silly, and contrary to popular belief, they are not just for children. The images that accompany the text add to the overall effect of the narrative: certain colours (or lack thereof) can induce specific moods, the illustration style can communicate emotion, and the mise en scène of each frame can emphasise a particular point the author is trying to make.
Here are my thoughts on three graphic novels I’ve read recently.
Lately, I seem to be a bit obsessed with robots. First it was Asimov and now it’s Philip K. Dick. Both authors have very different approaches to the topic, which is a bit surprising since they were writing at roughly the same time. Asimov’s robot stories were written between 1939 and 1977, and Dick’s classic was published in 1968, yet both authors have unique ways of imagining the future.
If there’s one book that you need to read before the end of the year, make it this one! This book gave me a profound insight into how people from different cultures feel about living in the UK, the racism and prejudice they’ve faced, and the things they’ve learnt about their own heritage.
Reading Orwell always makes me happy. I know that his novels are full of depressing themes, and there’s never a ‘feel good’ ending, but I am just filled with nerdy book joy when I read his work. Burmese Days wasn’t any different.