‘The Eyes of Darkness’ is not about the Coronavirus and not a particularly good read

by Rashmee

Posted on October 16, 2020


  By curious coincidence, I finished Dean Koontz’s ‘The Eyes of Darkness’ on the day it was announced that vast swathes of south-eastern England would be placed under “high” alert for risk of Coronavirus infection, which means tough restrictions on moving around and socialising. The reason I mention the Koontz novel in the context of … Continue reading “‘The Eyes of Darkness’ is not about the Coronavirus and not a particularly good read”

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Why books and films about outbreaks are surging

by Rashmee

Posted on May 4, 2020 / The National


On April 28, Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Lawrence Wright’s first novel, The End of October, was published, dropping silently into my Kindle reader because it was on pre-order. There is every chance the novel, though not an especially good read, will sell well. For, it is seen as prescient in a world afflicted by Covid-19. Set … Continue reading “Why books and films about outbreaks are surging”

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Why cerebral political scientists read and write novels

by Rashmee

Posted on July 31, 2019


It was very interesting to read Joseph Nye explain what he learnt from novels. Not too long ago, Professor Nye, who teaches at Harvard and co-founded the international relations theory of neoliberalism, told Project Syndicate that he learnt a great deal from Tolstoy’s ‘War and Peace’. “Yes,” the professor replied, when asked, “are there novels that have taught … Continue reading “Why cerebral political scientists read and write novels”

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Stephen King predicted Hillary Clinton would be president, but in conterfactual fiction

by Rashmee

Posted on August 23, 2016


Look, I’m not saying the bestselling author was prescient. Or particularly wanted an HRC stint in the Oval Office back in 2011, when he wrote this book. Stephen King is a staunch Democrat, a great supporter of Barack Obama, and a confirmed liberal. That does not necessarily make him a fan of Hillary Clinton. Even so, it’s a … Continue reading “Stephen King predicted Hillary Clinton would be president, but in conterfactual fiction”

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Only fiction could’ve taken us so so deep into Melania Trump’s life with The Donald

by Rashmee

Posted on July 23, 2016


‘The Arrangements’, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s short story on the Trumps, centres on Melania (The Donald’s pouting, smoky-eyed, fearsomely sculpted and scripted third wife) and is a masterpiece of characterization. Melania’s character and motivation. And that of Candidate Trump, the man who would save America but can’t even protect his wife from feeling used, un-loved, undone … Continue reading “Only fiction could’ve taken us so so deep into Melania Trump’s life with The Donald”

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Freeman’s Arrival is about that electrifying moment we reach somewhere

by Rashmee

Posted on November 4, 2015


I just ordered a copy of Freeman’s Arrival, a new themed collection of stories that is said to be like a new kind of Granta. But not. My reason, I have to confess, was hearing Aleksander Hemon talk about the story he contributed to the anthology. Having recently read and thrilled to Mr Hemon’s ‘Islands’ (excerpt … Continue reading “Freeman’s Arrival is about that electrifying moment we reach somewhere”

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The picnicky settings, not the food, make Enid Blyton’s meals magical

by Rashmee

Posted on July 28, 2015


We’ve previously discussed the industrial gunk our parents and grandparents ate, with their aspic moulds and frankfurter casseroles. Click here for my blog on the subject.  Now, consider the sort of rubbish consumed by the family of fictional children produced by Enid Blyton: Potted meat sandwiches Tongue sandwiches Anchovy paste Tinned sardines in tomato sauce … Continue reading “The picnicky settings, not the food, make Enid Blyton’s meals magical”

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Rashmee has lived and worked in several countries in the past decade, including Afghanistan, India, Haiti, Tunisia, the UAE, US and UK