Month: March 2015

Here’s Looking at You: a conversation about Casablanca

Enthusing about Casablanca.

Vulpes Libris

CasablancaPoster-GoldOnce upon a time, entirely by accident and when they were discussing something completely different (like Father Ted), Bookfoxes Kirsty and Moira discovered that they had a shared love of the 1942 film classic, Casablanca. After chatting away for several minutes, it occurred to them that it would make a jolly good subject for a VL piece. So, a couple of days ago, they sat down and made a proper job of it … revealing, in the process, rather more about themselves and their several strange passions than they probably intended.

We join them as they settle down for a good natter, with As Time Goes By playing softly, somewhere in the background …

Kirsty Jane McCluskey (feeling rather intimidated by the scale of the thing): How shall we start?

Moira Briggs: Why don’t we start with how less is more? The first—and really major—thing that struck me about Casablanca

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The Nail, by Stephen Cottrell

My review of Stephen Cottrell’s The Nail, with some mention of Walking Backwards to Christmas, on VL today.

Vulpes Libris

imageI first became aware of Stephen Cottrell as a writer (rather than as the Anglican Bishop of Chelmsford) late last year, when I reviewed his Advent book, Walking Backwards to Christmas, for The Tablet. Walking Backwards is a stunning book: a collection of short, punchy narratives around the Nativity, from the prophetess Anna in the temple all the way back to Moses and the burning bush. It is always compelling, often disturbing and sometimes, intensely, distressing. (“For there is another child,” says Rachel, whose baby boy lies cradled in the hands of a murderous soldier. “And I have heard of this other child. He is danger and threat to my child. … A new king born in Bethlehem, just as the prophets had said. And Herod’s pride erupted. His anger kindled. And when he cries little children die in the streets.”)

The book troubled me to such an…

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