Leiden Book Club Book & Film 4 – The Taming of the Shrew


  The works of William Shakespeare occupy a special place in the literary world: the larger-than-life characters; the tragic and/or comedic tales of love, power and death; and the countless speeches (‘friends, Romans, countrymen…’, ‘what light through yonder window…’, ‘out damned spot…’ etcetera, etcetera); all these things and more have been pounded into the collective consciousness so thoroughly that damn near anyone can cite something from at least one of his works. And yet, despite the ubiquity, one of the most enduringly popular Shakespearian plays (as far as my limited research can attest) is one of the least quotable —… Continue Reading

Leiden Book Club Book & Film 3 – Watership Down


  I love kid’s stories, hell, we all do. Kid’s stories are the first stories, they lay the foundations for how we think about all stories afterwards and, more important still, they inform our approach to life itself; the stories we hear as children raise us just as much as our parents and our community do. The greatest kid’s stories resonate not just with the child but with the adult as well (…most of us, anyway), satisfying both our awe of the big wide world, and our terror of it. It is thus with great pleasure that I return to… Continue Reading

Leiden Book Club Book & Film 2 – Fight Club


  It’s a been a long time since I last read Chuck Palahniuk’s debut novel Fight Club. I was around fourteen–fifteen when I first picked it up, a result of having become enamoured with its much more famous film adaptation (more on that later). I remember, back then, being struck by the blunt beauty of the prose, wrapped around a tight and thrilling narrative. It wasn’t long after that I chronologically consumed the entirety of Palahniuk’s catalogue, which at that point ended with Haunted. Throughout this consumption I became more and more dissatisfied, seeing less insight, less poetry and more… Continue Reading