Thursday, 18 October 2012

Tom Jones

My OH and I watched a small, intimate concert of Tom Jones on BBC4 a couple of weeks ago and really enjoyed the music. It was Tom in a refective mood. With maturity, his voice has taken on a deeper, velvety note entirely suited to the bluesy music he was singing. A couple of the songs were outstanding, namely 'Tower of Song' and 'Gotta be Me'. The outcome to our enjoyment was that we bought the CD. It's called 'Spirit in the Room' and it's fantastic. I would recommend this to anyone who likes the blues and/or Tom Jones. The two go well together.

Incidentally, I'm a longtime fan of Tom and have seen him in all sorts of venues.  Last time I saw him live was in the grounds of Chatsworth House a few years ago. If anything, I think he's more handsome now with grey hair and beard than he was then.

Thursday, 11 October 2012

J K Rowling's new novel

A couple of weeks ago, my OH came home with a present for me (he's like that!). It was J K Rowling's new novel, 'The Casual Vacancy'. For anyone who doesn't know, this is her first offering of an adult novel. Now that I've read it, what do I think of it?

Well, adult it certainly is, with mention of drug addiction, rape, domestic violence and self-harming among other themes. The swearing is frequent and explicit. Personally, I found the characters a pretty unsympathetic bunch though they do sort of redeem themselves somewhat towards the end. The only really sympathetic character dies in the first couple of pages, hence creating the Casual Vacancy on the local parish council, leading to much conflict in the town. Rowling's great strength is her portrayal of the teenagers in her novel. Perhaps she should consider a Young Adult novel next time?

Having said all that, it was an absorbing read and I enjoyed it. I love how she she builds up the story layer by layer - it was what I admired most about the Harry Potter novels. And yes, I read them all!