Ricky Gervais, illustrated by Rob Steen
First published 2004
A short while ago I threw three and a half years worth of university notes into recycling. This may not seem like a big deal to most people but know this—those little ribbons sewn onto the inside of tops to hang them up with; I cut those off and keep them… just in case. That’s right. I’m a just-in-caser. I might use them one day, you don’t know.
The Sleeper and the Spindle
Neil Gaiman, illustrated by Chris Riddell
Bloomsbury Publishing, RRP $19.99
Once upon a time there was a princess who was cursed by a witch, or was it a bad fairy? Whatever she was, she was pretty pissed not to be invited to the princess’s birthing ceremony. And so when the princess turned eighteen she pricked her finger on a spindle and fell asleep forever and the curse was fulfilled.
About one hundred years later, a queen is preparing for her wedding or, as she sees it, the end of her life. The queen dares to think that becoming a royal breeding machine and most likely dying in childbirth isn’t really something she wants in her life right now. Quelle surprise. Luckily the queen finds out about a sleeping plague that seems to be spreading through the queendom. How to stop it? Find the sleeping princess at the centre of it and wake her up of course. So this sweet arse queen tells her fiancé – some prince she deigned to marry – to chill out until she returns and goes off to wake the princess and save her people.
But is everything as it seems in the mysterious castle full of sleeping beings? Well, it’s Neil Gaiman, so probably not. Continue reading
Anna of the Five Towns is the first of Arnold Bennet’s five novel series set in the Staffordshire potteries. It has the authentic ring of someone who really knows the town and its people, and this is true for Bennet who was writing about his own beginnings and the people … Continue reading