Linton Kwesi Gigio
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Linton Kwesi Gigio

better a sober cannnibal than a drunken christian

Jan 1, 1960

Italy

Anobian since Mar 2, 2009

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Shuggie Bain
by Douglas Stuart
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A Brief History of Tea
by Roy Moxham
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Spoiler Alert
Wuthering (bloody) heights
Pt 1 YORSHIRE WANTS ME (chapters 1-3) Ch. 1 - The story is told by the 1st person narrator Eddie Dunford, a young journalist who moved North to work for the Evening Post and who gained some fame for his article on the infamous Rat Man. At a press conference at Millgarth Police Station, Leeds, Chief Superintendent George Oldman reveals that the young girl Clare Kemplay has disappeared. Eddie manages to find out that since 1969 this is the 3rd girl that has gone missing. The events intermix with the personal life of Eddie whose father has died and whose funeral takes place just after the Press Conference. On top of that, some sort of problematic relationship seems to have developed between him and his colleague Katherine. Another colleague of his is Jack Whitehead, who behaves sarcastically toward the young reporter. The only one at the newspaper who seems sincere and friendly to him is Barry Gannon Ch. 2 - Eddie goes to interview first Oldam then the parents of missing girl Susan who blame Oldman for the failed investigation. Whitehead and Oldman do not seem to like the fact that Eddie pokes his nose into the missing girls’ affair. Moreover, Eddie’s boss wants him to collaborate with Whitehead on the case. From his research, Eddie discovers that a white van has often been associated with the disappearence of the girls. Ch. 3 - Tipped by some anonymous call, Eddie drives towards the outskirt of Leeds, to the Hunslet and Beeston exit of the M1. There, he is witness of a (racist ?) attack against a gypsy camp. Men women and young kids are scared to death and beaten up, while their camp and vans are burnt down by policemen. Meanwhile the missing girl is found, dead, brutally murdered and with a pair of swan wings stiched to her back. Afterwards, Eddie goes to meet and interview the mum of Janette Garland, one of the 2 of the missing girls. Her mum, Paula, is also the sister of rugby’s promise John Kelly, who is nowhere to be found. He then visits Mrs Sheard, the neighbour of Goldthrope, the Rat Man as he has been assigned the task of writing more about this – once successful – story the readers seem to like. This new assignments is seen as a way to deter him from delving more into this missing girls story. Later he meets Barry Gannon who tells him dreadful stories about police Death Squads trained in Northern Ireland. Two unexpected events end the chapter: his lover Kathrine tells him that she is pregnant and Barry Gannon dies in a car accident. However, Eddie has doubts about the fact that his has been an accidental death. On the spot of the accident, he meets one policeman, Fraser, who seem to be different from the other corrupted and ambiguous officers. Pt 2 WHISPERING GRASS (ch. 4-9) Ch. 4 - Eddie goes to Dawson’s house Shangrila to meet him, but he doesn’t find anyone there. He then goes to the house of the Rat Man to have pictures taken for the article he has been asked to write. He is accompanied by the photographer from the newspaper Paul Kelly, the brother of Paula, who tells hm that her husband had shot himself. After searching the house, he is beaten up by 2 policemen. The mourning for colleague Barry Gannon is then held. Eddie cannot believe he really died in a car accident. He suspects someone wanted him dead for what he knew. And BJ, the male prostitute friend of Barry, wants to meet him. When meeting, BJ gives Eddie a carrier bag full of documents that he wanted Eddie to have in case of his (Barry’s) death. Ch. 5 - Since things are starting to get a bit worrying for him, Eddie decides to rent a room at the Redbeck Café and Motel. Here, he can go thorugh all the material Barry had left him. He then arranges a meeting with Sgt Fraser and manages to get the names of the 2 workers who discovered the body of Claire in the building construction site that belongs to Foster (the names are Terry Jones and James Ashworth), . Eddie first interviews one the them (Terry Jones), then he drives to Wakefield to the house of the medium Mystic Mandy who, according to her editor, has something to say about the missing girl. She seems to be upset by him and dismisses him saying that he smells of death and repeating the phrase “all the others under those beautiful new carpets”. Ch. 6 - Eddie plans to meet Arnold Fowler, Marjorie Dawson and James Ashworth. The first is the expert in birds who found the swans without wings. He meets the wife of John Dawson in the nursing home where she has been admitted to for mental problems. While he is there, 2 policemen get him, beat him up and break his hand. He is then taken to hospital and sent home to his worried mother. However, even if feeling painful, he drives to meet and interview James Ashworth, the second worker who found the dead girl. In Eddie’s mind, just as in Barry’s, things start somehow (even if inexplicably) to be all connected. Back to Paula’s, he is revealed that she told Donald Foster and his wife that Eddie had come to see her. And afterwards the 2 policemen had beaten him up. Foster is rich, likes Paula’s brother (Johnny the rugby talent) and “he’s a bastard if you cross him”. Paula is moved by the fact that Eddie cares for the case of her daughter. Eventually they make love. Unexpectedly, the arrest of the murderer of the girls in announced. He is John Myshkin, 22, of Polish origins, who owns a white van (and lives in the same street as James Ashworth). Ch. 7 - Details of the arrest are given. Bob Craven ad Bob Douglas are the 2 policemen who forced a white Ford transit van to stop. The man on the van was then taken to the Police station where he confessed the abduction and murder of Clare Kemplay. Later, Eddie attends the funeral of his colleague Barry. Here he sees Kathrine and meets some men who invite him to follow them to the Karachi Social Club. The 2 men, the Box brothers, tell him thatt they used to give Barry information about the “construction pie”. They also give him photographs of the brother of the Home Office Minister of State having sex with BJ. They want him to blackmail him? Or to make him become part of the game? After this, he drives to the house of Myshkin and breaks into it just to see a place of degradation. Then he tries to go and meet Foster but he is not in. Back to Paula’s, he calls Shaw to arrange a meeting and then quarrels with her. She would like to know more about his investigation on the case of her daugheter but he does not want to involve her in this mess. Ch. 8 – Eddie meets Shaw and learns that BJ did actually blackmail him. He is also told that Foster and Dawson are somehow involved in the murder of Barry Gannon and that the building sites they are working in mean big business. Then he goes to the Strafford Arms pub, in Wakefield, where he meets Derek Box. He tells derek that he was somehow told that Foster had Barry killed. Darek replies that must have been because Barry was getting too ambitious. He then says that he and Don Foster met in Kenya when they were fighting the Mau Maus who were rebelling against the colonial rule. Eddie understands that Derek wants to involve hm in some sort of revenge game for the murder of his brother. Back to the paper, an entraged Eddie is given a month off by his boss after an argument with Jack Whitehead on who the real killer of the women is (not Myshkin, maintains Eddie). At the Press Club, afterwards, Eddie tells Jack that th some police officers are guilty of burning down gyspy camps, beating up people to make them confess and otheer crmes, all this with the support of the “good old Yorkshire Post”. Jack replies that he’ll end up just like Barry. At the end of the day he goes to Paula’s. Lovemaking and nightmares alternate in his interior monologue. Ch. 9 - The following day a furious Paula throws at him a newspaper with an article about her and her feeling for the death of her family. Eddie, however, replies saying that he didn’t write the artiche, but she doesn’t believe him and throws him out of her house. Moreover, the dead body of Mandy Denizili, the medium, is found. Madder and madder for what seems to be happening to peole he knows and met, Eddie goes back to Room 27 and calls Fraser to arrange a meeting. When the two meets, Eddie tells Fraser that he thinks he is being set up by his collage Craven and Douglas. He then gives him all the material he has, because he is afraid something might happen to him. In Exchange, Fraser gives him the address where to find Paula’ s brother John Kelly. So, Eddie drives there and, in an animated conversation, he learns what happened to him: he was having an affair with Foster’s wife and one night, while driving home, they had an accident and hit a man. Then, he took her home and disappeared, afraid of her husband’s reaction. John also tells him that Dawson was (is) having sex with Paula. After the meeting with Kelly, Eddie, more and more infuriated, drives to Dawson’s House, Shangrila, where a Christimas Ball party has been organized. He is there to meet Paula, whom he can’t find. At the party, Eddie can see influential people from the world of the Law and the Press and the Finance. AFter shouting at Dawson, he is brutally thrown out of the house. Pt 3 WE ARE THE DEAD (ch. 10-12) Ch. 10 – Eddie is arrested for the death of Mandy the medium and of Paula Garland. He is made to confess, after being repeatedly tortured. He also sees (or images he sees) the corpse of Paula. Ch. 11 – Somehow set free, he wanders around town and eventually manages to get to Room 27, where he meets Fraser who managed to find Eddie’s den. Eddie tells him that he thinks Foster is the mastermind behind all these deaths, but Fraser cannot see the reason why he should have done it. He then goes to Foster’s. First he ses his wife, wild. The the corpse of her husband and, inside the house, Johm Kelly with the hammer he must have used to kill him. Eddie wants him say who had they bumped into the night of the accident. Eventually, Foster’s wife says it was the Gaffer, one of Foster’s men, George Marsh. Eddie, therefore, drives to his house only to find the fat wife giggling half crazy. After threatening her, by forse he manages to find out where the husband is. He is lying, dying, inside a mine tunnel under a shed behind their house. It is here – apparently - where he planned the murders of the girls and where pictures were taken and tapes recorded. Myshkin and James Ashworth might have somehow been involved too. Ch. 12 – Eddie goes to Shangrila and discovers the plans for a shopping mall, the Swan centre, in the same place where the gyspy camp had been. In the garage he finds the corpses of Mr and Mrs Dawson, dead, suffocated, with a freezer bag around their heads. Then he calls his mum to say goodbye. He then drives to the Stafford Pub where he confronts Derex Box and friends. First, he makes him confess that he killed Foster and Barry and Paula, then he kills him and his friend Paul and, before leaving, he wounds the policeman Douglas and hits with the gun Craven. Finally, he drives away towards the moor, facing death.....
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The Drowned World
by J. G. Ballard
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Spoiler Alert
Punk's (not?) dead
The book is divided into 5 parts, respectively titled BODIES (chapters 1-5), POLICE AND THIEVES (the ch. 6-10), GOD SAVE THE QUEEN (ch. 11-15), WHAT’S MY NAME? (ch.16-20) and THE DAMNED (21-25). The headings refer to the summer of 1977 (when “the two 7 clash”, as often reported in the book) during the Jubilee celebration and the explotion of Punk, and they have strong links with iconic punk songs/groups. BODIES is a 1977 song by The Sex Pistols about abortion; POLICE AND THIEVES a 1977 cover by the Clash comparing the ones (goodies) to the others (baddies) and stating that they are just the same; GOD SAVE THE QUEEN is the Sex Pistols song launched to celebrate the Queen’s 25 Jubilee; WHAT’S MY NAME? is a 1977 song by the Clash about domestic violence and finally THE DAMNED refers both to the name of the punk band and to their eponymous 1977 debut album. The compelling story is alternatively told by the (clean) Detective Sergeant Bob Fraser from Milligarth Police Station in Leeds and the famed Yorkshire Post journalist Jack Whitehouse (the one who first coined the expression Yorshire Ripper). Both narratives are insterspersed with fragments from their disastrous personal lives and haunting ghosts from a tumultuous past. Detailed PLOT BODIES CH. 1 (Fraser’s) - The dead body of prostitute Marie Watts is found in what seems to be another victim of the so-called Yorshire Ripper. The police arrest and torture a black man, Kenny D. who knew the victim and her pimp Stephen Barton, who has disappeared. Kenny D is acknowledged to be not guilty and is eventually set free, still shocked. Fraser, whose wife is nursing her dying father, visits his lover, 23-year-old prostitute Janice Ryan. CH.2 (Whitehouse’s) - Yorkshire Post journalist Jack Whitehouse goes to the Press conference at the Police station where George Oldman gives details about the (umpteenth) brutal murder. He admits there are similarities between this and 2 previous murders of prostitutes in 1975 and 1976. After the press conference, while, drunk, Jack is walking home from a pub, he is beaten up by a group of skinheads. The pain mixes with more tormenting wounds from the past concerning one Carole he was in love with. CH.3 (F) – Fraser and policemen Rudkin and Ellis drive to Preston to gather information about the other 2 prostitutes murdered. Afterwards, Fraser visits St Mary’s hostel, where one of these victims, Clare Strachan, used to live. Here he manages to interview her now blind friend Walter Kendall who reveals that Clare was afraid of being killed by the Police for something that she had seen. Fraser feels sorry for not being with his wife in these difficult moments for her and her dying father. CH.4 (W) – Jack has continuous nightmares about Carol. At the police station, Oldman shows him a list of women either assualted or killed in the past 3-4 years in North England by who seems to be the same person. Apparently, a man whose blood group is B. At night he has nightmares about jack the Ripper and, once up, he writes an article about the Yorkshire Ripper. CH.5 (F) - Stephen Barton, Marie Watts’ pimp, is arrested, beaten up, tortured and eventually released bacause not blood group B. After all the horrors he’s been throught, he is taken to a pub and made to drink to forget all about it. Fraser then goes to visit his lover Janice and has sex with her. Later on he visits his father in law at the hospital and then goes back home to his wife (daughter of a cop, close friend of Maurice Johnson) and son, Bobby. POLICE AND THIEVES CH.6 (W) – Jack visits 2 victims of the Ripper. One describes him as having a Mediterranean look. He then meets Father Laws, with whom he has an argument about Carol. A letter from the Ripper - signed Lewis - is sent to him and showed to the police. They all decide to keep it secret to the public. Once home, visions and nightmares haunt him as usual. CH.7 (F) – After learning that his lover, the prostitute Janice, has been raped by Vice Squad, Fraser gets mad and wants revenge. Meanwhile, another woman is assualted but manages to survise and gives details about the man who tried to kill her. CH.8 (W) – Jack covers thet Press Conference about the new assault of a woman in which a profile of the killer is given. However, he does not think it is correct. Therefore, he meets one of the victims of the Ripper to try and find out more. Vision of sex with Carol obsess him. CH.9 (F) – Furious with rage for what happened to Janice, Fraser goes to visit Joe Rose, brutally beats him up and discovers that inspector Eric Hall was pimping her. Infuriated, steals his new car and drives away only to reach room 27 at the Redbeck bar and Motel, the place that Eddie Dunford (from 1974) used as a safe retreat for his research into the mystery of the Yorkshire murders. CH.10 (W) – Jack goen on with his reasearch into the life of Clare Strachan. First he interviews the bartender of the pub near the place where she used to live and then he enters St Mary’s Hostel to look for someone who knew her. Just like Fraser in chapter 3, Jack interviews Walter Kendal who repeats what he had already told Fraser and the Police before him, that Clare was to meet a policeman just before she was killed. He then drives to Preston to talk to detective Alfred Hill who thinks that Clare was not murdered by the Ripper. Here, he also learns that Clare had been arrested twice before being murdered and shows him records of both convictions Jack continues his reasearch by interviewing another victim of the Ripper, the (Korean) prostitute Ka Su Peng, who hasn’t recovered from the trauma yet. He drives her to the place where she was assualted and has sex with the in the car. This somehow makes her get over the shock and from this moment on a relationship between the 2 seem to start. GOD SAVE THE QUEEN CH.11 (F) – Another victim, 16-year-old Rachel Louise Johnson, ir reported to have been murdered. The Police arrest one Don Fairclough on some evidence against him. After eyewitness identification, however, the man is not recognized as the offender and Fairclough is set free. CH.12 (W) – Another letter from the killer is received, and this time it is addressed to Jack. He attends another Press Conference in which the Police reveal that 5 women have quite certainly been murdered by the same man. Jack goes home tormented by his own demons, with whom he has to cope. CH.13 (F) – The tone of the narrative seem to change completely. For once. Fraser has been given a day off which he spends peacefully with his wife Louise and son Bobby. Just a normal day like a normal family. Breakfast and lunch at home, a visit to her father at the hospital, playtime together. In the evening, however, nightmares and obsessive thoughts keep on weighing on his mind. CH.14 (W) – Halfway through the book, Fraser and Whitehouse meets in Jack’s narrative. Afterwards, Jack is contacted by a man who claims has useful information on Clare Strachan. They actually meet and the man gives him a bag of porn magazines in which there are pictures of Clare. CH.15 (F) – Fraser drives to Wakefield to meet Maurice Johnson, his kind of protector who is a friend os his wife’s father. Here he reveals that Rudkin may have taken, and perhaps altered, the files concerning the Strachan case, the same files that Alf Hill had shown him in Preston. Meanwhile, we are told of a wave of robberies that is hitting the area. Some masked robbers, maybe black, violently attack Post Offices and, as a consequence, panic is spreading. WHAT’S MY NAME? CH.16 (F) – In this chapter, the narrative is still Fraser’s. In this key chapter, he is arrested, beaten up and interrogated about the death of his lover, the young prostitute Janice, whom he hadn’t seen for a few days and who seemed to have disappeared. His blood has been found on her clothes and his prints are all over her place. CH.17 (W) – Jack meets a cop in a pub and bribes him to learn what is going on at the Police station. There are rumours about policemen being sospended. Later, he catches a train to Manchester as he wants to delve into the publishing house that prints the porn magazine Spunk. Once at the MJM premises, he tempts a secretary into revealing some of the names of women who modeled for the magazine in exchange for 20£. He then rides back home and , while reading the list, he discovers that among the models there are some that have been victims of the Ripper. Among them, he read the name of his lover Ka Su Peng. As he gets to Leeds, he is informed that the Ripper has sent another letter in which he once more espresses his goal: clearing the city of all the moral dirt. CH.18 (F) – Fraser is met by his solicitor who informs him about the accuse. He is free, for the moment being, but has to report every morning to the Police Station. Meanwhile, he is suspended from work without pay. Later Fraser calls Jack and the 2 meet at the Redbeck. Here Jack shows him Clare’s pics from the porn magazine and through the Police files of her conviction they realise that she had been heard as a witness of Paula Garland’s death back in 1975. The mystery gets thicker. CH.19 (W) – Jack continues his personal investigation. First he follows Rudkin to a flat above a newsagent’s where something strange seems to be going on. The flat, he discovers, is owned by Craven’s former colleague Bob Douglas. Then he pays a visit to Eric hall and discovers that he is somehow involved in the porn traffic of women. He pretends he blackmails him just to get more information about it. Back to his office, he reaveals to Bill Hadden that Clare had been a witness in the Paula Garland murder. CH.20 (F) – Fraser’s interior monologue consists of a 3-page long soliloquy in the Molly’s Monologue style. He goes to his father-in-law’s deadbed only to find that he is no more there, having recently died, nor are his wife and son. Desperate, he returns home but the family is not there either. Ovewhelmed by guilt pain and cunfusion he wanders among his neighbour’s houses annoying them with his raving hallucinations. THE DAMNED CH.21 (W) – Jack breaks into the flat above the newsagents’s and discovers that is might be the setting of some (porn) photo sessions. Then he meets again Eric Hall and discovers that Janice wanted to meet him because she wanted money in exchange for infomation about some robberies So, he decides to arrange a meeting with Craven during which he hands him the magazines with the pictures of Clare (in the hope to make him do a false move?). Meanwhile, he keeps on calling his lover but she does not answer. Which worries him more and more. He would like to talk to her about the pictures in the porn magazine she had been taken. His fear mingles with memories of the tragic event of a man who killed his wife (Carol) during an exorcism performed by a local priest who would be arrested. More facts are revealed: Fraser’s family are in Rudkin’s custody while Fraser is hiding from the Police in room 27, in a state of utter confusion. CH.22 (F) – Fraser breaks into Rudkin’s house to bring his family back home with him. He has a violent fight with him, after which he is left unconscious. Not before overhearing that Bobby – in his wife’s words - is not his son. CH.23 (W) – Jack goes to Ka Su Peng’s house. She doesn’t seem to be in. Eventually, however, he discover’s her dead body in the bathtub. She killed herself by slashing her wrists as she couldn’t stand the shame for Jack discovering that she had modelled for Spunk. CH.24 (F) – Fraser drive sto the moors and, after writing a letter to his son, kills himself. CH.25 (W) – the last chapter in narrated by Whitehouse who seems to go through a trapanation of the skull perfomed by father Laws. While this is happening, his mind wanders though people events paranoia in a free association style that leads the story to a bleak (open?) end.
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Nineteen Seventy Seven
by David Peace
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