Goodreads Review of Martin Amis’ SUCCESS

SuccessSuccess by Martin Amis
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I absolutely love Martin Amis, been a fan since I read Lionel Asbo, the only Martin Amis book I didn’t like was Night Train, a couple of books later, it’s good to see he hasn’t disappointed.

Success is a hard one to review, such mixed feelings about it, but not in a good way. I think reading Ian McEwan’s First Love, Last Rites kinda inoculated me for the subject matter in this book. Incest, and yob-phobia + class pretentiousness are a bit hard to swallow, but Martin is a skilled writer. This book reads well, its narrative style, the juxtaposition between Terrence and Gregory’s POVs of similar/related experiences gives the novel quite some depth.

It’s not as awe-inspiring as say Rachel Papers or Money, but a good read nonetheless.

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Review of CAGES by Dave Mckean

CagesCages by Dave McKean
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

“I was thinking that, despite much evidence to the contrary how could anyone not realise that this is just the best of all possible worlds.”
These are the concluding words to Dave McKean’s wonderful graphic novel. It’s an impressive work of art, honest, a bit confusing and jumbled plotwise especially in the middle, but, Lo and behold does it finish with quite the bang.

Recommended for anyone looking for a multifaceted story that isnt in any way conventional, think Kabuki. Only Cages, deals with, well, cages… and how resonant its existential validations linger, how the question of God and our reduction of Him into some subjective figmented element is condensed into an understandable concept, or something like that… I don’t know, I’m rambling, existential ramblings require more mental effort than I can afford for reviews.

Read this, if not for everything I’ve written above, then for Dave’s insane artwork.

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Babishai Niwe Foundation (Uganda) Announces @BNPoetryAward 2015 Submissions

Parrésia Publishers

Our partners, the Kampala-based Babishai Niwe Poetry Foundation, chaired by Beverley Nambozo Nsengiyuvna, just released the Call for Submissions for the 2015 BN Poetry Award. It’s open to all African Poets of all genders with $1000 in the sweet pot. Kenya’s Tom Jalio won the 2014 Award. Parrésia COO, Richard Ali, is on the Board.

See details below.

Parrésia
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PRESS RELEASE-15 JANUARY 2015
2015 BN POETRY AWARD CALL FOR SUBMISSIONS

The BN Poetry Foundation is pleased to bring yet another exhilarating, stimulating platform for African poets world-wide. We strongly believe in rewarding great poetry where we can and so, we are filled with abundant enthusiasm as we send out our 2015 call. #BNPA2015

The submissions will be received from January 15 2015 to May 15 2015. By early July, we will send out a long-list and later a shortlist and the final winner will be announced during the 2015…

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I’m Trusting The Soup. #01

Woke up at 4 a.m. Today. Like finally, after many weeks of setting the alarm at that ghostly hour and never ever even finding my hand at the snooze button.
But waking up was just the first hurdle. Now sitting my ass down and writing, that’s the trouble. Been this way a couple of months, actually, mmaybe the whole year, come to think of it. Skipping days, not finishing what I start, finding content in writing waayy below my usual word quota, like I have the luxury to, that’s why I was setting the alarm at 4 a.m. Thinking I could at least put in two hours of penmonkeyship before the rigours of the real world consumed the rest of my day.

This negligible surrender of my dream of writing has put me in quite the predicament, my day job’s winding up in like a month, almost no savings I can talk of, and a stack of unfinished novel manuscripts. My horizons have contracted, so to speak. Without rushing into despair, and existential angst (which i’m quite sure I’m already in) I had to make a quick evaluation, had to listen to a ton of motivational tapes, not writing resources, but motivational tapes, because along the way, the passion for the dream kinda lost urgency… a bleak thing to say about the only thing that brings you any joy and defines your life, but yeah, that’s how deep down the rabbit hole I’d delved.

These motivational speakers, Les Brown, Anthony Robbins, Zig Zigler and Earl Nightingale have been a tremendous help, really. Enough is enough, I said to myself, I need to snap out of my rut and get writing. God knows the task ahead of my is Sisyphean, but I have belief and conviction and am acting as though it were impossible to fail, I’m doing the work. Everyday, all day, all night, 25/8.
I’m staying primitive, I’m trusting the soup, swinging for the seats(Inspiration Courtesy of Steven Pressfield’s DO THE WORK) and all that…

The problem is all this dread and sense of urgency has now put a lot of pressure on my writing to do quite impossible i.e. Miraculous feats… the process doesn’t matter now, nor intent, only results. This is my own personal declaration that nothing’a going to stop me now.

How to be a writer in the year 2014

How to be a writer in the year 2014

Chicago Literati

1. Write a lot of lists.

Lists are cool. Lists are in. Lists are super easy to digest, and take very little of a potential reader’s effort, thought, or time. Throw a few funny gifs in there, and ignore the sinking feeling in your stomach when you realize gifs will eventually replace even the measly word count you’ve been assigned.

 2. Be famous for something else.

So, you wanted to write a novel or, god forbid, a short story collection? Who do you think you are—James Franco? Because unless you are literally James Franco, no one cares about your short stories. You better start filming those reality TV audition tapes, or pray to whatever higher power you believe in that your arm is bitten off by a shark.

3. Build your network.

For your sake, I hope you have a famous godfather in the entertainment industry, because if not you will repeat…

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