• Last night I introduced the fantastic Robert Goddard, who was giving the NAW lecture at the Birmingham Book Festival.  He's a speaker who can make a 500 seat auditorium seem like a living room, partly because he knows what he's talking about.  A crime writer, he says, has to get things right.  And to get things right, it helps to be the kind of person who protects detail like others feel for kittens.  If temperamenally you enjoy searching out errors in ancient train timetables (Bradshaw's (d.1961) for maximum satisfaction) , you could do worse than try your hand at a crime novel. Also, it's always reassuring when at a public event a professional storyteller turns out to be brilliant at telling stories.  The one

    Oct 23,
  • I've done a bad bad thing.  Reading the  Bible seems like a culturally rewarding thing to do, like going to Shakespeare plays and listening to Bach.  It doesn't happen that often and it's not always for fun, but I know I'm not going to come out the other side any more ignorant than I am already. The twitch state starts with Bible Commentaries.  Worse - New Testament bible commentaries.  There should be a warning against reading books about the books of the bible, because  New Testament Studies is not a field in which anyone can dabble.  You're either in or you're a non swimmer, and not even everybody who's in can swim. The gospels are constructed using devices familiar from postmodernism.  A 'frame' in Mark describes his

    Oct 03,