Why I Love Japanese Literature

  Literature, just as porn, is a reflection of a nation’s identity. Whilst porn reflects a certain truthful stereotype – the harsh, blonde German woman, the sultry French girl, the busty, flashy American, big-assed Brazilian, etc – literature reflects a more profound way a nation sees the world. In France, the literature is philosophical, erotic…

Beauty and Madness (And a Handful of Poems)

Update: The first draft of Beauty and Madness is complete. The second novel in my Beauty series is now into the editing stage. The next novel in this series will be written in Lisbon this summer and until the time comes I will be writing a book of poems using the pen and the words…

A Review of The Unbearable Lightness of Being

This is a sexy book. There is no better adjective to describe it. The Unbearable Lightness of Being makes you want to do something kinky. In a sense, this is one of the most European novels you’re likely to read. Milan Kundera is a Czech novelist who’s been living in France for the last few…

My Kind of Vegetarian

   You should never read books by title alone. A book should not be judged by its title. I could truly appreciate the poignancy of those platitudes after reading The Vegetarian by Han Kang. I had heard a lot of good things about the book. It had won the 2016 Booker Prize and was quickly…

The Wayfaring Diaries – A Sample

“Here it is my friend, Argentina’s national drink, Fernet con Coca, 2 parts Fernet to 1 part Coke. Salud.” We drank the Fernets on the balcony and from the corner of my eye I kept my gaze pinned on the woman across the street. But she wasn’t looking at us anymore. She was watching television….

The Ghost in the Arena

  The Ghost in the Arena     Writing is a blood-sport. And in many blood-sports you tend to find the influence of religion. Think of the superstitions of bullfighters. Or the outspoken religiosity of Muhammad Ali and George Foreman. Or the Zen-like spirituality of karate. Faith brings these fighters, who frequently flirt with death…

This Sweet Land Chapter III

  III   The stars swam over the bay, hidden by the smoke that danced upwards from the busy beach. The long, red-sand bay of Ghadira was full of people on that wind-less, cloud-less May night. By the water’s edge the black sea turned luminous at the touch of so many gas lamps and crackling…

My Favourite Passages From The Shadows of Paradise

    I   Writing. A piece of fucking writing, Johnny mumbled to himself with awe-struck delight as he walked back to his seat. For a brief, intense time after that Johnny started telling the world, with the typically local graceless bravado, that he was going to be a writer! He suddenly spent hours reading,…

A Poetic Foundation

  The poetic foundation of a new novel…     I   That one embrace, Arms clasped Fingers entwined; That lasts lifetimes.   Mine’s and yours. If only I knew it then.   II   I would forsake the tides of history To guarantee your happiness: And I will. But quickly, before the clouds Veil…

Zorba The Perfect Novel

Originally posted on The Champagne Epicurean:
One of literary history’s most under-appreciated work of art, written by a Greek nomad who couldn’t get farther away from Greece if he had emigrated to Saturn. Nikos Kazantzakis was a Nietzschean, a Buddhist, an adventurer, writer of the beautifully profane The Last Temptation of Christ. In Zorba the…