Here's one for Peter Quatrine. Peter, this link takes you to a short story I wrote a year ago, possibly more, to read at an event. I had it up here for a while. You and I were talking about pdfs, and different ways of posting stories, and while I'm not necessarily suggesting anything, I thought you might be interested to see it. I'll be watching to see what you do.
Some while ago, I bought a paperback book called Reamde, by a US author called Neal Stephenson. Fat paperback, by an author I didn't know. Fiction. I really have no idea why I bought it. But I did.
To revive a word I haven't seen in a while, I found it unputdownable. Thriller, with a tech angle: Reamde turns out to be a mistyping of "Read me", as in read-me file. There really is no connection between the two authors, nor the two books, but I feel the same way about Reamde as I do about Charles McCarry's Old Boys, which come to think of it I picked up and impulse-bought in a similar way, years ago. Strikes me now that the main protagonist of each book is a man, at a certain point in life, certain perspective ... maybe that's it. Not. I also liked Philip Roth's Everyman, neat black hardback, read it again recently, and I'm decades younger than that anonymous - what? Hero?
Now I've bought Seveneves by Neal Stephenson. Big fat hardback this time, just published, well reviewed in the Financial Times. I've developed a habit of living with significant books for a while, significant in the sense that I really want this one to be good, so I haven't started it yet. Instead, while waiting for the moment, I've been reading self-improving books about inner health - notably Gut by Giulia Enders, which has a first chapter titled "How does pooing work?" - so I've developed an understanding of, er, what happens after lunch.
But that's another story entirely. Also recently, out of curiosity: Andrew Vachss, Flood, on my Kindle. A book I read many years ago, almost certainly on a train. A city changed out of recognition; a crime that no longer happens that way, if it ever did; an old-style anti-hero and his old-style sidekicks. What remains is a book about a place and a mindset. But that Manhattan, and all it contained, is at one with Nineveh and Tyre. Lest we forget, right?
What happens here
This site is updated weekly, usually on a Friday although I might change that (again). I write it because (1) I like writing it and (2) I like having a deadline. More often than not, it works out as a commentary on the week just passed.
There are no ads, no pop-ups and no tricky business with cookies. I don't take money for my own opinions. I write this for myself, without a set agenda, on any subject that catches my attention. If you're interested enough, it's not hard to work out my interests.
No data is kept on this website overnight. Blog posts are shared to my Facebook author page. We can discuss them there if you feel so inclined.
You found me!
Welcome. Thank you for coming. But am I the right
William Essex? Click here
to meet some more.
Read My Shorts?
Here is yet another page of old blog posts and other writings. Sorry, but I need my metaphorical sock drawer for metaphorical socks. The link to the page is right at the end of the paragraph here.
Roads without end
Here is a passage from a review of the book The Road to Somewhere by David Goodhart. I haven't read the book (yet), but the collected reviews would make a worthwhile set of political arguments in their own right. More.
State of the Union
Several commentators today saying that they've lost confidence in the US. Making their point by talking up the glories of the past. After two weeks of this administration, they're not going back.
Were they wrong, and they've seen the light? Or has the US changed? I guess the latter is the intended meaning. But we should at least acknowledge the possibility... More.