Max Hastings 15 December 2018 9:00 AM 15 December 2018 9:00 AM Share Twitter Facebook LinkedIn Email Whatsapp A decade ago, a publisher produced a set of short biographies of Britain’s 20th-century prime ministers, which I reviewed unenthusiastically. My wife reproved me: ‘What did you do that for? For a fee of a few hundred pounds you have made a dozen entirely gratuitous new enemies. If you don’t have something good to say about books, don’t write about them.’ Honest reviewing would grind to a halt if all its practitioners deferred to her advice. It is nonetheless true that victims of an unfavourable notice seldom forget or forgive. As authors, we commit our souls as well as our bodies. Memories of the most flattering reviews of my own books fade within hours. Yet wounds from the stinkers fester for years. American academics are especially generous heapers of camel-dung upon titles that fail to satisfy them. In reflective … [Read more...] about Critical injuries: the perils of book reviews
The jungle book reviews
Dir: Andy Serkis; Starring: Christian Bale, Cate Blanchett, Benedict Cumberbatch, Naomie Harris, Andy Serkis, Peter Mullan and Rohan Chand. Cert 12A, 104mins What a strange creature Mowgli: Legend of the Jungle is. And what strange creatures inhabit it. The film’s journey has been as serpentine as its Cate Blanchett-voiced python, Kaa. After it was first mooted by Warner Bros. in 2012, various directors rose and fell – Ron Howard, Alejandro González Iñárritu, Steve Kloves – before Andy Serkis came on board. As the undisputed motion capture king, Serkis seemed perfectly equipped. Surely he could steer to glory the latest adaptation of Rudyard Kipling’s Jungle Book, the tale of a human “man cub” brought up in the Indian jungle by a pack of wolves. Then in 2016, just as the film was gearing towards release, along came Disney’s own remake – also a live-action / CGI combination. To avoid competing with the big-budget … [Read more...] about Mowgli: Legend of the Jungle review – A relentlessly bleak film that aims high but falls flat
0 Have your say Georgina Harding writes about questions of time-tattered identity and the fractured awareness of reality the experience of war inflicts on survivors. Her new novel is a variation on this theme. There’s much to be said for novelists who map out their territory, exploring it from different angles and often at greater depth in a succession of novels. Anita Brookner was a good example of such a writer, Simenon also of course. Charlie has survived, having endured horrors in the war against Japan and months spent lost in the rain-drenched jungle of north-east India and the border with Burma, where his life was saved by the little-known Nagas – head-hunters protected roughly by the imperial power and indifferent at best to either the Japanese or (after Indian Independence) to the new Indian state. Returned to England, married to Claire to whom he had become engaged before going to war, and having inherited a farm in Norfolk from his Uncle … [Read more...] about Book review: Land of the Living, by Georgina Harding
While it was once more difficult to get your hands on some of Disney’s most sought-after merchandise without a visit to the theme parks, the brand’s online retail platform shopDisney now allows you to browse all the Disney collaborations in an easy one-stop shop. From its first collaboration in 2008, to the present day, Disney has loaned its most iconic characters to a carefully curated selection of products, bringing its magic to a host of clothing, homeware and accessories. From Cath Kidston, Garmin and Hype, to LEGO, Kipling and Le Creuset, everyday items from everyday brands have been embellished with fun details that Disney fans of all ages have not been able to resist. Set to bring out the child in all of us, check out our favourite collaborations, exclusive items and limited edition products that bring the Disney characters to life. LEGO Walt Disney World Castle Bring the magic of Disney to your home with this LEGO set that is a replica of Cinderella’s iconic … [Read more...] about The best Disney collaborations you’ve never seen before
Fyodor Khitruk/ Soyuzmultfilm; A. Milne/Walt Disney Despite being based, in some cases, on the same literary source, Soviet and American cartoons were worlds apart from each other. Why was there such a big difference? The two Winnies Even in the West the Soviet Winnie has enjoyed better press than his American counterpart Fyodor Khitruk/Soyuzmultfilm “The Soviet Winnie the Pooh enthused the Americans”; “Brown, plumpy, and kind: The Americans are delighted with the Soviet Winnie the Pooh”; “The Soviet Winnie the Pooh charmed an American observer” – these titles in Russian online media were a reaction to Natalia Winkelman’s piece in The Daily Beast. She compared the two cartoon Winnies (the one from the Soviet Union and Disney’s), and came to the flattering (for Russians) conclusion that the “Communist” teddy bear is “simpler, stranger, funnier." The conclusion was met with … [Read more...] about How do the Soviet Winnie the Pooh and Mowgli compare to their American counterparts?