In the Blog of my Hand

17th July 2018

I’m going to review some things today because soon I’ll be cajoling folks into reviewing The Brine in Me, so I thought I’d have a go at doing some of that myself. Probably none of these reviews are for things that are very recent, although the film that I’m going to review I only saw two nights ago. I didn’t finish it. We’ll get to that.

Actually, let’s do that now. The film was called The Accountant. It’s about a man who sees spreadsheets. He can also break paper work down into a single speedy montage so the film can get to the showy offy bits where there’s some sort of administrative jujitsu action that our man is clearly a platinum business card holder of. There is a girl as well, but that doesn’t matter because the only rolling around in this film is between the fella and the fellas brother. Colour me disappointed. That said, the second act is keen with narrative details and extreme marker pen use, but I switched it off early and went to bed after the brotherly grappling remained shirted for over a minute. File under, ‘Would have been better with Jason Statham.’

Next a book, or a novel, or whatever Norm McDonald is or isn’t willing to call his mongrel memoir, Based on a True Story. Norm is one of my favourite comedians. He is my favourite because I don’t keep lists and I can’t think of anyone else right now. Anyway I love Norm’s work because he understands form as more than the parameters of what you’re working with, he knows it as that kernel of truth which can survive contradictory and peculiar circumstance. Norm uses the form/function balance like I like to throughout this meta memoir of his own years in almost showbiz. I highly recommend this to anyone who wants to be taken on a journey at the hands and disposition of someone else, someone good enough to give your precious time to. I came away thinking that Norm might have sold himself short given his writing ability, but I was happy about that too. Read this, be happy and the rest doesn’t have to make sense.

My eldest brother currently has a copy of Doug Stanhope’s comedy memoir, This is Not Fame, so when he’s done with it I’m going to tuck into that and maybe offer a contrast if I don’t forget and do something else instead. I’m turning some plays into a collection of short stories at the moment, as well as building the world of Vaudeville for the next novel, Border Vaudeville. I might never have time to read again.

Onwards with the reviews though, to the Skoda Yeti. I have recently spent some time in one of these and have to say that it is Baltically practical, with a superb stereo. However it is basically a van. Now that is fine, I like vans, but you really should know that going in. Otherwise fill your boots. It’s got a massive boot.

The World Cup, 2018. I don’t generally take to week-to-week football but as I do like a theatre of conflict this World Cup has been excellent. I like seeing the fouls as they happen and then again in punishing slow mo. I do not like the drama afterwards, when players get in each others faces and pretend that they will fight, or the general falling over for free kicks. But most of all though, I do not like the graphics. I’m going to say this about all sport coverage just so that I am clear; you do not improve anything with graphics! You do so through a careful selection of people capable of dignified observation while being filmed in a VIP lounge or the car park. Also perhaps think about changing the inevitable banging techno intro music with something a bit more melodic and jazzy. Perhaps even a bit of Booker T if it’s the snooker. I personally think a drum solo might be decent for the football, but anyway, if you don’t know the tone of what you’re after then there’s gonna be a whole lot of mess in the speakers.

But in review, the fouling at The World Cup has been top draw. Just tell the graphics department to tone it down when they cut back to the studio. Perhaps have decaf in the coffee urn? I’m not trying to be cruel, its just that having seen the state of graphics that has become Formula 1, I am running out of options.

To turn things around from the negative, I’m going to not review but otherwise make clear that the Allen Toussaint song, Last Train has been taking me to a special place during the writing of my short story series, The Indented. Thank you, sir.

Lastly I would like to review a recent shopping trip that I went on with my friend Arthur Wapkaplitt. It was to a well known supermarket, which is a bad start as I don’t supershop well with friends. My usual approach, to keep myself to myself and get out fast, goes out of the window in the company and general one-upmanship which finds its place. Arthur had a different idea though.

‘Let’s split up’ he said with a basket swinging from his hands. ‘We’ll meet up round the back of the checkouts.’

I agreed and we trundled away on our business. I find it hard to shepherd together the items that I’m after in a linear fashion so have to wander up and down the supermarket to round up the bean sprouts, steak and the like. Each time that I did, I kept seeing Arthur hanging around the pans. The first few times I just put it down to him having a free lick on some Teflon, but each time I passed he wasn’t leaving, or putting any of the shiny pans down.

‘I think I’d have made a good magpie’ he said and turned to leave for the checkouts. I went to a different one. I’m close to the finishing point by checkout time and don’t need my remaining attention falling to the whims of friendship. I want to get out so I just pick a queue. Arthur won’t queue though, so he slinked off to an unattended till and stood tall as toast with all his pans until someone gave in and came to serve him. I watched, then met up with him round the back of the tills. Queer thing though, when I met back up with Arthur all his pans were gone. I asked him about it but he just shrugged before heading out.

‘We might as well go down the industrial estate’ he said when we got into his car, and that would lead to a whole other story which I am not reviewing. The shopping experience gets a value of three stars, equal to a partial voucher for parking.

So there you go. If you would like advance treatment to review my novel The Brine in Me for your blog or most favourite forum, follow the links to get in touch. Or perhaps you haven’t reviewed The Meifod Caw yet, in which case do the same.

That’s not where I want to begin…
Much obliged.


If you enjoyed this blog, and you’re impatient for something else to read, feel free to bunch up close to a free sample chapter from JW Bowe’s debut novel, The Meifod Claw, which is available now at AmazoniTunes and on various other international eReaders.

You can also double up your sampling by following this link to the forthcoming fictional autobiography of The Meifod Claw’s wheelchair-in-chief, Derek Gainsborough. His life and apologies will be released this year under the sail of The Brine in Me.

JW Bowe can also be unearthed on YouTube and in various other ways through the Serious Biscuits homepage. Scroll down for further links, action and disclaimers.

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