Monthly Archives: January 2012

Loudmouth

I thought this to be no better time to recommend a website called Loudmouth, which will soon be up and running. Currently, you can view its blog which will keep you up to date on all its actions before the big launch.

Loudmouth is a new institution which shall publish and publicize young people’s work on the web. It is sure to host many talented writers, photographers and, somewhere down the bottom, me. I’m sure it has got the potential to gain a great following, and it’s sure to have an array of extremely interesting pieces, ranging the whole spectrum of fashion, culture, politics, opinion, photos, creative and literature. Here’s hoping it will be  a success!

Here’s the blog: http://loudmouthofficialblog.blogspot.com/

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The Cone Gatherers by Robin Jenkins

Sorry for the lateness, everyone. A few things have cropped over the last few weeks, so I have been delayed in updating the blog, so oh well.

Anyway, as of late I have been reading The Cone Gatherers by Robin Jenkins and, having finished it a while ago, I must sing my heartfelt if late praises.

It is quite simply a wonderful book which portrays a very simple fable on grand scene. Set in a forest, it is about two brothers whose job is to collect cones, hence they are cone-gatherers. One of them, however, has a physical disability, yet is still amazing at climbing the trees and collecting the cones at great heights.

The grounds-keeper, however, has a vicious hatred for this man, the likes of which are the most passionate which I have ever read. He plots constantly to get rid of him, and tragedy is inevitable.

In his book, Jenkins explores great themes of innocence, deformations, morals and hatred, putting them down for trail in the simplest and most eloquent of manners. I shan’t write too much of the contents of the book in case of spoiling it, but you can take my word in saying that is a truly beautiful book.

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The Cone Gatherers Preview

I’m just about to begin reading The Cone Gatherers by Robin Jenkins, a book in which I meant to read a while ago but lost. Having now bought a new copy, with a quote from Andrew Marr stating it as the “best-kept secret in modern British literature”, I hope to start soon and post a review to go along with it.

For those who have ot read it, here’s the blurb: Calum and Neil are the cone-gatherers — two brothers at work in the forest of a large Scottish estate. But the harmony of their life together is shadowed by the obsessive hatred of Duror, the gamekeeper.

Set during the Second World War, Robin Jenkins’ greatest novel is an immensely powerful examination of good and evil, and mankind’s prosperity for both. Removed from the destruction and bloodshed of the war, the brothers’ oblivious happiness becomes increasingly fragile as darker forces close in around them.

Suspenseful, dark and unforgettable, The Cone Gatherers is a towering work of fiction, a masterpiece of modern Scottish literature.

According to all of that have read it (or at least of those in which I know), it’s a moving story filled with melancholy, and one which I hope to read and review promptly.

The Beach – Alex Garland

Cover of "Beach"

Cover of The Beach Movie

I had the pleasure of being recommended “The Beach” by a friend, but that pleasure pales to the actual activity of reading it. Not only does it bring up some major questioning themes (from isolation to insanity), but also some real, page–turning excitement, drawing the reader into a plot of a primal paradise, infused with the stoned inhabitants.

Richard, a bag-packer from Britain, is the narrator, telling us of a story in which a suicide occurs in the hotel room next to him (a thing which will effect the rest of his story), the meeting of a young French couple and the vague but sincere attempt to find paradise, armed only with a sketchy map.

Now, it may sound like a tired plot-line (”Look, a map! Let’s go see where it goes…), and it is has been compared to some of the classics, including Conrad’s “Heart of Darkness” and William Golding’s “Lord of the Flies”, but in its explorations of the rise and fall of paradise he bring whole new dimensions to the story, the likes of which I shall not spoil for you if you decide to read it but I shall say that its climax strips away a human’s personality to its most bare and primal level, an experience in which I think of as the same category as both Conrad and Golding.
Garland in his book “The Beach” has produced a riveting adventure, but so much more than that, and its voyage of self–discovery is unmissable.
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