Serotonin

BY ANDREW MOODY French enfant terrible Michel Houellebecq’s seventh novel Serotonin follows similar themes to his other bestsellers. Narrator Florent is an unattractive, nihilistic, middle aged white man who decides one day to leave his younger Japanese girlfriend and opt out of the pressures of Parisian life, spurred on by a TV show about people leaving their past lives and the bestiality videos his girlfriend … Continue reading Serotonin

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Look Who’s Back

BY ANDREW MOODY Like Sleeping Beauty, Adolf Hitler wakes one morning in wasteland that used to house the Fuhrerbunker, smelling of petrol and with a splitting headache. He is impeccably dressed in his army uniform, and can’t quite understand why his final orders (total military harakiri) weren’t carried out. Soon he finds out it’s 2011 in Berlin, and, with the skill and courage only a … Continue reading Look Who’s Back

Hill House

BY ANDREW MOODY Shirley Jackson had the inspiration to write a ghost story from two sources: firstly a book she was reading on Victorian psychic researchers (see John Gray’s The Immortalization Commission for a detailed critique on this dubious art) and secondly a horrifying-looking house on 125 street New York that she had nightmares about for months afterwards. Stephen King wrote in his classic assessment … Continue reading Hill House

Thompson

BY ANDREW MOODY Dr Hunter S Thompson (the doctorate was ordered by airmail in the 60s) was one of the most original, wild and innovative political writers of the twentieth century. A born rebel, he never graduated from high school after a delinquency rap saw him do thirty days in a juvenile prison. He joined the air force straight after, with the secret intention of … Continue reading Thompson

Lamenting Daytime TV

BY ANDREW MOODY In the age of Amazon Prime and Netflix and the thousand channels of Sky TV, and even more importantly, the age of imposed lockdown, is it just me or has TV gotten worse? Ever since 2015’s Straight Outta Compton, the last great movie made within the Hollywood system before Trump’s contentious election, and Harvey Weinstein’s ignominious demise in Rikers Island, movies have … Continue reading Lamenting Daytime TV

Donnie Darko

BY ANDREW MOODY A cult sleeper hit at the turn of the century, shortly after Columbine and shortly before 9/11, Donnie Darko is a curious, beautiful and ultimately tragic romance that ranks with the best movies of the past twenty years. Written and directed by Richard Kelly, his bravery in making a film this lyrical about what is either directly or subtextually about mental illness … Continue reading Donnie Darko

The Collector

BY ANDREW MOODY I think we are just insects, we live a bit and then die and that’s the lot. There’s no mercy in things. There’s not even a Great Beyond. There’s nothing. Frederick, an unloved, sexually awkward clerk whose hobby is butterfly collecting (with much in common with Norman Bates), falls in love with the sight of art student Miranda. After a massive win … Continue reading The Collector

Bonjour Tristesse

BY ANDREW MOODY In 1954, 18-year-old Francoise Sagan stunned the Parisian literary scene with Bonjour Tristesse, a scandalous tale of decadence and teenage sexuality on the French Riviera. That she had recently failed the Sorbonnes (the French equivalent of the A Levels) made its maturity, sensuality, sin and deceptively sophisticated dialogue see it become an instant bestseller and Sagan hailed as an enfant terrible and … Continue reading Bonjour Tristesse

Crowley Demystified

BY ANDREW MOODY Aleister Crowley, the Great Beast, dictated nearly forty years after preparatory school at the Plymouth Brethren: “I had been the butt of every bully in school. My whole life seemed at times to be one slimy subterfuge to cozen death.” While perusing the National Portrait Gallery some years back, I noted Crowley’s magical portrait (it did not represent his image but worked … Continue reading Crowley Demystified

Mean Streets

BY ANDREW MOODY When a 47 year old, heavily bearded Eminem played his “surprise” performance at the 2020 Academy  awards of his 2003 Oscar winner Lose Yourself (because he bottled it the first time and spent the Oscars in bed addicted to Percodan) it made the famous phrase “you only get one shot” a tad redundant, a thought I’m sure was crossing Martin Scorsese when … Continue reading Mean Streets

The Moon is Down

BY ANDREW MOODY In 1940, one year after the publication of John Steinbeck’s The Grapes of Wrath, the Nazis had overrun most of Europe. Steinbeck was a clear-eyed, moralistic and political realist who knew that US involvement in the war was an inevitability. He joined several government intelligence agencies voluntarily that were created between 1940 and 1942. Two of the organisations were forerunners for the … Continue reading The Moon is Down