Sunday, January 31, 2010

The Absurdity and the Friendships

Having spent the morning reading the Sunday Newspapers, I can cheerfully report that the world appears as bleak as ever.

One must remember that the reality that surrounds you and what we refer to as 'the World' is absurd.

This is a coping mechanism often credited as originating from the French school of existential writing from writers such as Voltaire, Camus, Sartre et. al. But many other writers such as J. G. Ballard had the same thoughts. Ballard was quoted as saying –

"The most prudent and effective method of dealing with the world around us is to assume that it is a complete fiction."

That’s why I read so voraciously.

So to close the weekend, I thought I’d leave you with an existential joke -

Jean-Paul Sartre, the French existentialist, is sitting in a cafe in Paris. “Can I get you something, Monsieur Sartre?” says the waitress.
“Coffee, please,” he says. “Sugar, but no cream.”
She leaves him to think, but returns a few moments later. “I’m sorry,” she says. “We have no cream. Should I make your coffee with no milk instead?”

Taken from the Sunday Times – read more here
Personally, the best coping mechanism in the grim and absurd reality that confronts us, is the shelter that our family and friends create. I am priviliged to have a wonderful family and some very dear friends - a few pictured above.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

“One day like this a year would see me right!”

I have someone close who is feeling pretty low currently.

No matter how I try and explain that we have to take solace in the ‘little victories’ in our day - to make ourselves happy. Life is totally relative and the way I cope with the ‘downs’ is to realize how I lucky I am, and that we should always use our good memories to make us remember the good times; rather than look at what’s currently ‘wrong’ in our line of sight.

Happiness is not a constant, but a ripple that vibrates along our journey that is our life, a life unique from everyone else.

I adore a couple of lines from Guy Garvey’s Elbow song ‘One Day Like This’ that seems to put this into persepective.

“So throw those curtains wide!
One day like this a year would see me right!”

There are many great times in my life that I re-visit in my memory when I feel low, and these moments or ‘days’ I re-explore, to make my world seem right.

This Video of Guy Garvey and Elbow singing with the BBC Concert Orchestra [and the Radio 3 choir of the year Chantage] celebrates how we have to smile when we feel low -

One Day Like This by Guy Garvey of Elbow

Drinking in the morning sun

Blinking in the morning sun
Shaking off the heavy one
Heavy like a loaded gun

What made me behave that way?
Using words I never say
I can only think it must be love
Oh, anyway, it's looking like a beautiful day

Someone tell me how I feel
It's silly wrong but vivid right
Oh, kiss me like the final meal
Yeah, kiss me like we die tonight

Cause holy cow, I love your eyes
And only now I see the light
Yeah, lying with me half-awake
Oh, anyway, it's looking like a beautiful day

When my face is chamois-creased
If you think I'll wink, I did
Laugh politely at repeats
Yeah, kiss me when my lips are thin

Cause holy cow, I love your eyes
And only now I see you like
Yeah, lying with me half-awake
Stumbling over what to say
Well, anyway, it's looking like a beautiful day

So throw those curtains wide!
One day like this a year would see me right!

Here’s Guy Garvey putting things into perspective so why not take a wider look at your life, and throw those curtains wide and celebrate what’s good, and when you have a good day, store it in your memory for when you might need to retreat from a difficult day.

I use Books, Films & Music to distract my mind from all that is wrong in my ‘line of sight’ – and to be perfectly fair, I could wallow in ‘sadness’ at what’s wrong.

I chose not to.

I look at what’s right and what’s good in my world; but at times, like my friend, it is very hard to smile – but if you don’t – there lies the path of madness.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Dennis Lehane on Robert B Parker

There are numerous celebrations of the life of Robert B Parker in newsprint and the web. Suffice it to say, he influenced many writers of crime fiction, specifically PI Fiction with his Spenser and Hawk series. I read many of his novels, including Poodle Springs, the Chandler work and have to state that Robert B Parker was a legend to many of us.

I will leave the last post to fellow Boston writer Dennis Lehane -
“He cast an enormous shadow over all of us, and that gets obscured because of how ridiculously successful he was, ” said Lehane in a WBUR interview on Tuesday. “He was the king of Boston. We were all kind of princes at best.”

Lehane followed in Parker’s footsteps with his own Boston-based crime fiction, including novels such as “Mystic River.” Lehane says the hero of Parker’s three dozen “Spenser” books, the uniquely tough private investigator, changed the way private eyes were featured in fiction. Parker created a character who was tough and fearless but also sensitive, well-read and devoted to his longtime girlfriend.

“There was private eye fiction before Parker and private eye fiction after Parker,” said Lehane. “And you can literally split it into those sort of epochs. It’s BP and AP.”
According to Lehane, Parker also revolutionized the genre by incorporating topical issues and humor.

“He was really, really funny, and that was huge,” said Lehane. “For me and my friends, who were 12, 13, 14, to pass those books around because they were so hard to find. It was all about that Boston sense of humor.”

Lehane says he used to haunt old bookstores to find Parker’s fiction, and met the late author at a book signing when Lehane was 19.

“I still have a vision of him crossing Cambridge St. towards the store,” said Lehane, “and being, ‘that’s Robert. B Parker.’”

Read and Listen to Dennis Lehane talking about Robert B Parker here from

Thursday, January 14, 2010

The Horror of Haiti

While surveying the catastrophe confronting the people of Haiti today, I can not but recall a line from Dr Hannibal Lecter, taken from Thomas Harris’s “Red Dragon”, when he talks to Detective Will Graham about the death of the sleazy journalist Freddy Lounds -

Photo Left (c) 2009 Ali Karim 'Better Days' at Bruce Springsteen in London's Hyde Park (Ali Karim, Nick Stone and Stav Sherez)

"Tell me, Will. Did you enjoy it? Your first murder? Of course you did. And why shouldn't it feel good? It does to God. Why only last week in Texas, he dropped a whole church roof on the heads of 34 of his worshippers, just as they were groveling for him. He wouldn't begrudge you one Journalist."

I’m not going to get all Richard Dawkins, despite having a great deal of respect for his work as a fellow scientist. But when a tragedy of the magnitude of the earthquake that struck one of the poorest countries in the World, Haiti; one does have to speculate about our existence and its meaning, if there is any?

I didn’t know anything about Haiti until I read Nick Stone’s blistering debut ‘Mr Clarinet’ several years ago. A friendship developed that lead me to discover more about this land, and what I found was not pleasant, in fact it made me realize how much dignity the people of this land have, considering how they are forced to live.

Nick Stone has taken down all the content on his website, and placed an international appeal to help the people who survived the earthquake, but who now are in dire need of help.

If you are human, and have any feelings I would urge you to do whatever you can HERE. I know money is tough all round, but in Haiti, it is sheer hell and anything, anything, anything you can do to will help.

I saw this picture at The Financial Times, and I am not ashamed to say I cried, looking at the childs face, I cried.

I donated here to UNICEF - it took 2 minutes online, and they emailed back -

"Your support will help to ensure that the rights of children in Haiti are not forgotton - including their right to be healthy.UNICEF has been present in Haiti since 1949.

We are working to provide clean water, shelter and medical help to children and families affected.

UNICEF relies entirely on voluntary contributions and receive no funding from the United Nations budget. "

Time is running out, I urge you to help in whatever way you can –
Nick Stone has links here

Thank you for reading – and if you have faith – Pray for the People of Haiti – if you don’t have faith – send money please.

As a Thank You – please find a short article set in Haiti by Nick Stone originally published in 2006 by Shots and in the US in Crimespree Magazine

I love Smith & Wesson by Nick Stone

The plot for my debut novel, Mr Clarinet didn’t come to me all at once. I got it in two installments. The first came to me in Haiti in December 1995, where I was visiting my family for the holidays. At the time, I hadn’t seen most of them nor set foot in the country for thirteen years.

I remember the moment lightning struck. It was midday – bright and baking. I was pacing around the courtyard with my late grandfather’s Model 10 Smith & Wesson revolver. I was having a nostalgic moment.

We went back, the gun, the courtyard and me. My first memory – age three - is of playing in the courtyard; my second is of the dog that approached me moments later. It was a stray black German Shepherd. It didn’t snarl or growl or even bark. It didn’t run up to me and pounce. It simply strolled into my life and – my third memory - clamped its jaws around my forearm and pulled me off my feet.

What happened next is a blank, although I’ve long since had the empty spaces filled in for me by people who weren’t there. My grandfather was sitting nearby in the shade, watching over me. This was something he liked to do while he still could. He was dying of cancer and knew he didn’t have long to go.

He shot the dog with the pistol he always kept at his side in case of thieves.
Two weeks later he died in his sleep.

My uncle Jean inherited the pistol. He mounted it in a glass case and used to pass it around at dinner parties, whenever the conversation went stale.
I found the gun quite by accident, still sitting in its display case, on top of a cupboard in the house I was staying in.

Jean told me the weapon’s history and then took it out of the case and handed it to me. It had a dull grey finish and a wooden grip which had turned almost black with time. It was heavier and sturdier than it looked.

The day I took the pistol for a walk in the courtyard – all the while mentally recreating the scene where my grandfather had saved my life - I noticed something about it I hadn’t initially seen, something only the intense sunlight revealed. On one side of the grip, close to the end, three thin straight lines, each about a centimetre long, had been crudely scored into the wood.

I guessed what they stood for.

I wondered how my grandfather had felt, being God three times over, for a split second each. I wondered how he’d lived with himself afterwards.

And that was how and when I got the first idea for my novel.
Simple, really:
I’d create a character who’d killed three people. I’d give him bad dreams and a mounting sense of remorse. I’d make him sorry.


Haiti, in case you don’t know, is a Caribbean island, situated roughly between Cuba and Jamaica. It shares a border with the Dominican Republic. You can’t miss it when you fly over it. It’s the colour of rust on rust. Its neighbours are all lush and green, healthy and abundant. Haiti looks like it doesn’t belong there, like it’s floated in from another, sorrier part of the world, a place where it barely rains and nothing ever grows or lasts.

Haiti is apart, unique and alone, as are its people. They’re also exceptionally funny: two hundred plus years of living with almost constant natural and man-made disasters means there’s gallows humour in the DNA.

I returned to live and work there in September 1996. I’d got a marketing job in a now defunct local bank, based in the capital, Port-Au-Prince. I stayed until December 1997.

The place was a disaster zone. Think of some war/famine/drought ravaged African landscape teeming with extreme poverty and disease and you’ll get a picture of what it was like.

You couldn’t – and still can’t - drink the tapwater in Haiti. It’s so filthy you’re urged to keep your mouth shut when you’re having a shower. The electricity supply is temperamental. Powercuts can last for days. Everyone who can afford one has a generator. Everyone else lives by candlelight or in complete darkness. There are precious few streetlights in Haiti. It’s not only the poorest country in the Western hemisphere, it’s also the darkest.

A little publicized consequence of the 1994 US military invasion of Haiti was the repatriation of most Haitian criminals from American prisons – hundreds of murderers, rapists, gang members, and drug dealers were flown back to the island and handed over to the country’s authorities. There was a slight problem with this – actually, make that a rather large problem: at that moment in time, Haiti was quite literally a lawless land. Not only was the country without a police force or army (both having been disbanded by order of the UN), all of its prisons had been emptied of convicts and turned into squats, the judiciary had been suspended and all laws annulled pending the drafting of a new constitution. The Haitian “authorities” who took possession of the homecoming convicts were actually nervous airport security staff. They escorted the criminals off the runway and released them. The criminals found their way to Port-Au-Prince and its neighbouring slum, a vast congealed cesspool and home to half a million people, called Cité Soleil. Within months they were running both.

The crime rate rocketed on the island: murders, home invasions, carjackings, rapes, drug trafficking and, very disturbingly, a whole new dark phenomenon - child kidnapping.

Children had always gone missing in Haiti. Most of them had disappeared for good, never to be seen nor heard from again. There were rumours of adoption rackets, black magic ceremonies, child labour and other things I won’t go into here, but kidnapping was a whole new ball game. And for once it wasn’t the poor who were suffering the worst, but the rich. After all, only they could afford to pay the ransoms.

When I heard about this I got the rest of the idea for my book. I’d send my triple murderer to Haiti to look for a missing child. I’d make him a private detective. He’d be haunted by his past - the life he’d lived, the lives he’d taken and the consequences he’d reaped. His name would be Max Mingus, after an old school friend who’d got me reading Kafka, and one of my heroes, the very great Charles Mingus: jazz bassist extraordinaire, band leader, composer, bully, brawler, genius and author of Under the Underdog – the quintessential jazz autobiography, written as lopsided noir.

Now you know.

© 2006 Nick Stone

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Dennis Lehane goes to War

Is there no media outlet left for the talent of Dennis Lehane to explore?

First we have his best-selling novels, film adaptations from Clint Eastwood’s Mystic River, Ben Affleck’s Gone Baby Gone and this year’s Shutter Island from Martin Scorcese as well as the Graphic Novel from Christian De Metter.

Now it seems, Dennis Lehane is grabbing a joy-stick and heading into computer game territory with Film Director Sam Raimi – according to Entertainment and Showbiz -

Meanwhile news comes to us that [Sam] Raimi is planning to kickstart another franchise: “The World of Warcraft” written by novelist Dennis Lehane, whose novels Mystic River and Shutter Island has already being transformed into celluloid screen.

So the change in crew means there will be no sequels to Spiderman 3 but now we are going for a prequel ride, hope the new movie comes up with the same magic and action, though fans will be sad for the departure of the old team who have taken the webslinger franchise to a new height and so is Columbia Pictures President Matt Tolmach as he said: “This is a bittersweet moment for us because while it is hard to imagine Spider-Man in anyone else’s hands, I know that this was a day that was inevitable.”

Read More here and from The Film Stage Here it seems that Sam Raimi has cancelled plans for Spiderman IV, and got to know Dennis Lehane following his purchase of the rights to The Given Day.

Photo © 2008 Roger Ellory with Dennis Lehane at Bouchercon Baltimore

Monday, January 11, 2010

Peter James Winter Competition

There are some thriller writers who I admire for their narrative ability, and there are those who not only tell a good story, but also provoke thought and insight into your own life. Their fiction sometimes can provide introspection – and Peter James is one of those writers.

James is also incredibly generous and full of information about the writing process, as well as ‘left-of-field’ trivia, something I enjoy tremendously.

I often bump into him during various events, and each time is a joy. Last December he generously took a smattering of reviewers and journalists for what has now become an annual tradition – The Peter James Lunch!

After the lunch, Peter James kindly signed 3 copies of his latest bestseller - DEAD TOMORROW for a competition at Shots Magazine, so you have a chance to explore the dark side of Brighton with Roy Grace, Peter’s Detective.Click Here to Enter And to learn about the dark world of Peter James thriller series featuring Roy Grace – Click HereThere are no geographical restrictions to the competition

The Existentialist Man Wishes you Good Luck!

Photo © 2008 Ali Karim : Jeff Pierce of The Rap Sheet, Peter James and Jason Goodwin

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Primer – An Extraordinary Science Fiction Film

“They took from their surroundings what they needed, and made of it something more.”

- PRIMER [2004]

A few years ago, I watched an extraordinary independent science fiction film called PRIMER written, directed and starring a young man called Shane Caruth. I got word of the film in 2005, when it was the talk of the Sundance Film Festival in 2004, winning the Grand Jury Prize.

When the DVD was released, I grabbed a US NTSC copy, which over the last 4 years, I must have viewed a dozen times, and with each viewing, I get another perspective of what I just viewed, and what it meant. What makes it even more interesting is that it allegedly cost $7,000 to make and Caruth refused to pander to the lowest common denominator – making it a truly complex and thought provoking viewing experience.

With its theme of ‘time travel’ underpinning the framework of two friends and their relationship that disintegrates when they start using their ‘machine’; Primer not only entertains, but also provokes very deep thought about our various reflections of the reality that confront us.

On New Year’s Eve, my son and brother-in-law watched it with me, and it certainly made them think. Of course the instant reaction was – “We need to watch this again” – and they remarked, “You love watching weird things” which made me proud.

I guarantee if you watch the first ten minutes of Primer; listening hard to the creepy and surreal narration that opens the film – you’ll be hooked. The weird thing is that Caruth’s main co-actor is David Sullivan who noticed my twittering about Primer and replied back, which freaked me out a little that night.

I also noticed that the whole movie is available to view or download at Google Video Here and the trailer is below -

I would however point out that repeated viewings are essential and ethically you should buy a copy here on DVD.

Trust me, PRIMER will alter the way you view what surrounds you; what we commonly label as ‘reality’ – you have been warned.

If you don’t trust my judgment, then read Roger Ebert’s analysis of Primer

"Primer" is a puzzle film that will leave you wondering about paradoxes, loopholes, loose ends, events without explanation, chronologies that don't seem to fit. Abe and Aaron wonder, too, and what seems at first like a perfectly straightforward method for using the machine turns out to be alarmingly complicated; various generations of themselves and their actions prove impossible to keep straight. Carruth handles the problems in an admirably understated way; when one of the characters begins to bleed a little from an ear, what does that mean? Will he be injured in a past he has not yet visited? In that case, is he the double? What happened to the being who arrived at this moment the old-fashioned way, before having traveled back?The movie delights me with its cocky confidence that the audience can keep up.

"Primer" is a film for nerds, geeks, brainiacs, Academic Decathlon winners, programmers, philosophers and the kinds of people who have made it this far into the review. It will surely be hated by those who "go to the movies to be entertained," and embraced and debated by others, who will find it entertains the parts the others do not reach. It is maddening, fascinating and completely successful

Note: Carruth wrote, directed and edited the movie, composed the score, and starred in it. The budget was reportedly around $7,000, but that was enough: The movie never looks cheap, because every shot looks as it must look. In a New York Times interview, Carruth said he filmed largely in his own garage, and at times he was no more sure what he was creating than his characters were. "Primer" won the award for best drama at Sundance 2004.

Read Ebert’s Full Analysis Here

Led Zeppelin go Postal

I was most jealous when Thriller Writer and Wall Street Journal’s Rock Music correspondent Jim Fusilli got to see Led Zeppelin’s reunion concert in London in 2007, in memory of the courtly, influential co-founder and head of Atlantic Records - Ahmet Ertegun –

Filling his father's shoes is asking a lot of Jason Bonham. Not only was John Bonham an inventive and powerful drummer, but his interplay with Mr. Page's guitar lines is as responsible for the band's singularity as its musical wanderlust and Mr. Plant's bluesy, helium-like vocals. That often-intense interaction gave Zeppelin's live shows the possibility of surpassing their recorded music.

Jason Bonham's, and the band's, battle plan Monday was immediately apparent.

They played old Led Zeppelin tunes with incredible raw power, allowing for invention within familiar structures -- and sometimes not-so-familiar ones: The band rarely resisted an opportunity to push the songs, bending arrangements with sheer force and volume. They reworked several numbers -- subtly, to accommodate and exploit Mr. Bonham's gifts -- and played one tune, "For Your Life" (from the album "Presence"), that they'd never performed in concert before. For a band that hasn't been on stage together in almost 20 years -- and almost a decade more than that for a full performance -- Led Zeppelin was as tight as a rock group could be. Its members mixed their brand of rock and metal with an authority that suggested they still might be the best rock band in the world.

Read Jim Fusilli’s full report here

To celebrate the release of Royal Mail’s new Rock n’ Roll postage stamps, Jimmy Page of Led Zeppelin has been doing the interview rounds. Page is open about the musical aspects of his time with Zeppelin and talk was that he wanted a reformation following the one-off gig in 2007.

The remarkable ‘Kashmir’ live

But when it comes to talk about the darker side of Led Zeppelin, Page is far more coy as reported in The Times -

If Page is ever irked by the speculation concerning this side of the Zep he surely can’t find it surprising. During the 1970s he famously became something of a scholar of the life and work of “wickedest man in the world”, Aleister Crowley, extending to Page owning an occultist book shop and buying the Great Beast’s manor, Boleskine House, on the shores of Loch Ness (he sold it in the early 1990s). Does he still have such an interest in, shall we say, magick? “Well, I’d prefer not to talk about it, really.” It’s hard to tell if the question affronts him, but it feels as though he half-expects it.

Crowley’s credos of self-liberation, not least via sex and drugs, fitted well with Page’s rock-star existence and the level of success the band experienced. Stories of the band’s groupie-tastic, coke-fuelled, booze-binging exploits on tour have captivated the imagination of rock fans ever since. If their excess wasn’t really anything their peers weren’t doing too, then Led Zeppelin’s imperious, untouchable manner, their private jet, the accompanying chaos set them apart, evoking to this day the ultimate rock-stars-on-the-road fantasy. Anecdotes concerning Page being served on a room-service trolley to a room of nubile young women sound like any lusty young man’s dream. But Page has never and won’t substantiate — or deny, it should be said — any of the wild tales.

“The tours took a lot ... well, did it take a lot out of me? I don’t know whether it did. It gave as much to me as it took out,” he says. “It was like being on a permanent adrenalin drip, d’you know what I mean?” Playing live, at least, was “to be right on the edge of the moment”.

Indeed, by 1973, on stage Page was a marvel to behold, whipping himself into rock-star poses as he improvised virtuoso solos with tireless, sweat-pouring intensity, even employing a violin bow drawn over his Gibson Les Paul guitar strings to create eerie, ear-bleeding effects. His costumes became more flamboyant, embroidered with glittery moon and stars, poppies and dragons. Today, they are very much part of rock iconography — I wonder if he still has the famous suits. “Yes I do. Oh, yeah! Carefully stored. The only thing is I’ll never get in ’em again! I think the waist on them is 26in. Absolutely ridiculous!”

What does he make of the rock biographies, such as Stephen Davis’s infamously salacious Hammer of the Gods or, most recently, Wall’s “definitive” tome? “I don’t actually read them, I just hear about them from other people. I did see Wall the other day at one of those award ceremonies and I just told him: ‘I wanted you to know I’m writing a book on Mick Wall . . .’ ”

As we linger on this stuff, though, his sense of humour starts to desert him. The mood darkens as I get on to the subject of the bad energy and harder drugs that crept into the Zeppelin picture in the late 1970s, when Page became near-skeletal in appearance and the Zep juggernaut was shaken by a chain of tragedies, including the death of Plant’s five-year-old son Karac from a viral infection.

Sidestepping any facts, Page offers instead an irritated broadside at biographers perpetuating a lurid fascination with the bad stuff: “Wall’s just writing a book designed to cash in on something he didn’t have anything to do with. He wasn’t a creative force in Led Zep. I’m at something of a disadvantage because I haven’t chosen to read that book, but I hear it’s totally distorted from people who do know about Led Zeppelin.”

But doesn’t he accept that people are interested in the darker side of the Zep legend? “In this day and age there is a sensation that people feed off — towards that aspect of things — with a voracious appetite. It’ll be interesting to see what’s more important at the end of the day — the salacious gossip or the music. I know what I went into it for in the first place. What’s important about Led Zeppelin is the music.”

By now I feel that my questions are starting to goad him — an inquiry into the possible direction the next Zep album might have taken had Bonham not died is met, quick as a flash, with a curt: “I don’t know because we didn’t do it.” He is far more voluble about that 2007 Zeppelin reunion gig, reserving special praise for Jason Bonham, who played in the drum stool vacated by his late father. “It’s great that we did it. I look back on that night with a great amount of fondness, but Jason was the hero. For me that gig was about him.”

I was pleased to see that Royal Mail has picked some other Existential Rock Albums such as Pink Floyd’s Division Bell and Mike Oldfield’s Tubular Bells among others to sit side-by-side with Led Zeppelin IV. Incidentally many people don’t realize it was thanks to the William Friedkin’s The Exorcist that Mike Oldfield’s Tubular Bells [which featured on the soundtrack] became a huge seller in the 1970’s and it was one of the first albums released under Richard Branson’s Virgin Label. In fact with [a little help from] The Exorcist; one could speculate that Branson’s business empire had a little help from the darkside too.

Read More from The Independent on which iconic British Rock albums have been turned into Royal Mail stamps.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Christian De Meter adapts Lehane's sHuTtEr iSLaNd

As a comic book fan and Thriller reader, I was blown-away by last years ‘THE HUNTER’ a graphic novel adaptation by Darwyn Cooke and the late Donald Westlake based on Richard Stark’s novel of the same name, and the one that introduced the iconic Parker.

Now Geoff Boucher at the LA Times provides a review for the long awaited graphic novel adaptation of Dennis Lehane’s incredible Shutter Island from Christian De Metter -

The graphic novel is religiously (and gruesomely) faithful to Lehane’s novel and with good reason — it would be hard to tamper with the circuitry of such a meticulously crafted mystery. The visual demands and page-count realities of the new medium required some tough choices, but De Metter has handled them deftly. The plot of the original novel was purposely confounding in certain dark corners and here those shadowy places are ambiguous in a different but still satisfying way. The climatic sequences of the book in its original form possessed a powerful and satisfying click as they fell into place and, under De Metter's watch, the dread and revelation remain intact.

The story, set in 1954, presents a U.S. marshal and widower named Teddy Daniels who, with his new partner, is dispatched to an island with one dominant landmark: Ashecliffe Hospital, a fortress-like mental institution that is missing one of its mass murderers. A hurricane hits and the entire island becomes a wind-lashed prison where the simple case of an escapee deepens into a surreal puzzle. Daniels, who arrived on Shutter Island with his own inner demons, soon wonders what is real and who can be trusted.

Like Darwyn Cooke’s retro-crime masterpiece “The Hunter,” which was the best graphic novel of 2009, “Shutter Island” finds that less is more when it comes to the color palette; crime and punishment, it seems, are best presented in shades of iodine yellow and drowning-victim blue. There are only a few slashes of bright colors in the 128-page “Shutter” graphic novel and they are carefully placed to deepen the dream-time quality of Lehane’s carefully constructed nightmare.

Read Geoff Boucher’s review at the L A Times Here

As a fan of Lehane’s gothic masterpiece I just ordered it from Amazon and been advised the sucker is en route to my door.

The LA Times also features Dennis Lehane speaking about his reaction to the newly released graphic novel version of sHuTtEr iSLaNd -

You can watch the Dennis Lehane video at the LA Times - Here

So with the Shutter Island Film coming shortly, and now this graphic novel – I am very excited as sHuTteR iSLaNd is one of my all time favourite novels – period! and it's a period peice to boot.

Read More here from Brand X and the L A Times [via Tokyo Pop] who premiered the Dennis Lehane video - Thanks Guys