A Play Ian Likes: Under Milk Wood by Dylan Thomas

I acted in a production of this in 1987 for my Year 12 Drama class and, of all the plays I have acted in or read before or since, this one gets reread the most. It was written for radio, hence the subtitle “A Play For Voices” and is probably the best known of that … Continue reading A Play Ian Likes: Under Milk Wood by Dylan Thomas

A Film Ian Likes: The Tall Guy

We all think we know Richard Curtis, right? Huge British writer/ director who helped make modern British cinema what it is today? Reinventor of the romantic comedy before sinking it under the weight of his own clichés? Co-creator and co-author of Blackadder? Figure most responsible for the rise of Hugh Grant as an actor? Right. Well, this movie is where you … Continue reading A Film Ian Likes: The Tall Guy

A Book Ian Likes: The Daughter Of Time by Josephine Tey

A police detective is laid-up in hospital after capturing a villain and to wile away the time he devotes himself to solving one of the most famous mysteries in history: what happened to the princes in the tower? At first, Alan Grant (the detective and possibly Ms Tey's most famous character) finds himself following the … Continue reading A Book Ian Likes: The Daughter Of Time by Josephine Tey

A Film Adaptation Of A Book That Ian Likes: The Princess Bride

This is an almost perfectly structured film: it starts quietly, introducing characters and situations one by one and then building the stakes and tension until you can’t stop watching. It begins and ends with the framing device of a sick boy being read to by his grandfather and the story gradually takes over with only … Continue reading A Film Adaptation Of A Book That Ian Likes: The Princess Bride

A Book Ian Likes: Nation by Terry Pratchett

John Donne wrote that no man is an island. Following that line of thought, just how many people does it take to make a nation? What makes a culture? Terry Pratchett’s novel Nation asks these questions and even tries to answer them. It takes place in a parallel world, with some significant differences to our own (yet … Continue reading A Book Ian Likes: Nation by Terry Pratchett

A Book Ian Likes: Possession by A. S. Byatt

I’ve always loved an enigmatic layered title. My own writing has often been given titles that convey multiple meanings or make obscure puns, mostly for my own amusement. A. S. Byatt’s novel, Possession, is full of these layers, puns, levels and references to things past and current. And that’s just in the title. It’s the story … Continue reading A Book Ian Likes: Possession by A. S. Byatt

A Book Ian Likes: Les Miserables by Victor Hugo

Adaptations of art into different mediums most often fall without trace into the collective memory, occasionally dragged out by a teacher trying to show their class that what they taught had some cultural currency once, when they clearly just aren’t engaging their students properly. More often than not, the adaptation is soon forgotten while the … Continue reading A Book Ian Likes: Les Miserables by Victor Hugo

A Book Ian Likes: 2010: Odyssey Two by Arthur C. Clarke

For many years, Arthur C. Clarke held the belief that a sequel to 2001: A Space Odyssey was not only unnecessary but also impossible. So it was a surprise for many when 2010: Odyssey Two was published. Certainly it was an unneeded sequel, but it manages to extend and explain many of the events of the original film/ book … Continue reading A Book Ian Likes: 2010: Odyssey Two by Arthur C. Clarke

A Book Ian Likes: Dragonworld by Byron Preiss and J. Michael Reaves, with illustrations by Joseph Zucker.

Johan is a young boy living in one of the farming villages of the small country of Fandora. One day he steals a glider designed by his friend, the reclusive inventor Amsel. He is killed mysteriously, but his father Jondalrun believes the culprit to be Simbala, the wealthy country across the water, ruled by the … Continue reading A Book Ian Likes: Dragonworld by Byron Preiss and J. Michael Reaves, with illustrations by Joseph Zucker.