Saturday, 29 April 2017


This new book by Paul Cornell has one great soundtrack. It is not often I get to say that about a book. Yet it really does, it is one of the components which really helps this book beyond your average read about a supernatural revenge scenario set in your average eighties hellhole of a school.Paul Cornell has written some of the very best original fiction about Doctor Who it has been my pleasure to read.
Especially the adaption of his novel Love And War from the McCoy era of the show.A full on high church adaption by Big Finish that just about delivers on every level and which is one of the best Doctor Who stories in any medium.which technically I listened to that rather than read it, it being an audio drama but I did get to read it shortly after it was published in another century.Er, that is not as long ago as it sounds.
              I was under the impression, for some reason I cannot remember now, that I was about to read a fantasy novel that would have something in common or at the very least be atmospherically similar to the stories I remember from my own school age, particularly television series like Children Of The Stones, The Changes or one of Alan Garners mystical tales. it turned out, however, more James Herbert than Herbert g Wells. It has between its covers some terrifying scenarios that quite easily could have played out in some urban nightmare of a school disco, feral places that they were. school bullies really can be the stuff of nightmares, engendering memories that can haunt and last a lifetime.
I say this as someone who was dangled out a school window above a killer drop supported only by an untrustworthy grip on my skinny wee ankles. The only thing stopping me from a fast track to Valhalla, or Elysium or some other fictional waiting room before eternity.
              The school disco and the music referenced is just right on the money for the period ( a bit odd to remember any days of ones life as a "period." Remembrance of days past and all that.) i could not help but wonder if the young Paul Cornell kept lists of the British charts. Actually this book left me wondering about a whole lot of things.
                It is not a story for the fainthearted.
                Very few realistic school stories are.