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A father's desperate search for a missing daughter with the aide of Anya - the girl who can read objects...
 
 

 
 

Reviews

BOOKS & FILM

See also
Film Talk

Ghost in the Shell
Ghost in the Shell

Director: Rupert Sanders
Stars: Scarlett Johansson, Pilou Asbæk, Takeshi Kitano
George Wolstenholme review

Scarlett Johansen stars in the 2017 live-action adaptation of the 1995 anime film ‘Ghost in the Shell’.
Beauty & the Beast
starring Emma Watson, Dan Stevens & Luke Evans
Helen Reynolds review

Emma Watson is resourceful, fearless, emotional and ultimately very likeable for a new generation of girls to look up to.
Logan
Helen Reynolds review

Directed by James Mangold
What if Superman turned super-old? That’s the kind of question Logan makes you wonder ...
LA LA LAND
starring Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone
Director Damien Chazelle (Winner 6 Oscars)
Helen Reynolds review

Hollywood has fallen in love again. Five years on from The Artist, a beautiful nostalgic nod to cinema history, here we are again in the land of bygone times.
The Great Wall
starring Matt Damon & Tian Jing
Director Zhang Yimou
Helen Reynolds review

For a movie that has a monster acting as a metaphor for greed, it’s surprising just how engaging it is to watch ...
Lion
Directed by Garth Davis
with Dev Patel, Rooney Mara & Nicole Kidman
Helen Reynolds Review

Lion is transnational cinema at its rawest. It would be easy to write the movie off as overly sentimental, but there's a complicated narrative at its heart.
SLOW WEST review
Director: John Maclean
Stars: Kodi Smit-McPhee, Michael Fassbender, Ben Mendelsohn
Charlotte March review

Somehow found myself charmed by Michael Fassbender in a stetson the other day in Slow West: easily the best film I’ve seen all year ...
Dr Strange
Directed by Scott Derrickson, starring Benedict Cumberbatch
Dr Strange a witty super-hero movie that is a definite cut above the rest.
Everybody Wants Some!!
Director and Writer: Richard Linklater
Starring Blake Jenner, Juston Street, Wyatt Russell, Zoey Deutch, Glen Powell ...
Sam Hawksmoor review
A belated companion piece to Dazed & Confused by Richard Linklater - we are now in 1980 in the first days before College classes begin at a Texas University.
Thirteen Ways of Looking at the Rolling Stones
James Campion
In Praise of The Sun and the Moon and The Rolling Stones & A Candid Discussion with Author, Rich Cohen
There must be hundreds of books written about the Rolling Stones... Rich Cohen has managed to write a spectacular one.
Bruno
Dan Schneider

Watching Sacha Baron Cohen’s 2009 comedy, Bruno, released after his breakthrough 2006 hit, Borat, is a little bit anticlimactic. Bruno is funny, but, in almost every way, and despite featuring a different character, it is an inferior film.
Chappie
Director: Neill Blomkamp (District 9)

Stars: Sharlto Copley, Dev Patel, Hugh Jackman
Simply put it’s 'Five Alive' meets 'Robocop' meets Gangster Hip-Hop all set in a bleak future JoBurg - which makes a nice change from the streets of LA.
The Kingsman: The Secret Service
Directed by Mathew Vaughn

Like a throwback to the days of Roger Moore as James Bond, The Kingsman is a entertaining diversion with some flair.
Mise En Dread
James Campion

In Praise of 'Cabaret' - wonderfully conflated hyper-sense of mystery and dread.
The Hunger Games:
Mockingjay Part One

Directed by Francis Lawrence

Sam North review

Dark, oppressive, moody – Mockingjay Part One reflects our times in more ways than one.
Ten Tiny Love Stories
Dan Schneider review

a film that should be seen, and in its best scenarios, embraced
Edge of Tomorrow
Sam North review

Fast paced - adrenaline packed sci-fi with best performance
from Tom Cruise in years
Divergent
Director: Neil Burger

Divergent is actually better than the book. It takes its time to develop the characters and its all the better for that.
How I Accidentally Started The Sixties
by Howard Bloom
Dan Schneider review

If one has ever read the poetry of Eugene O’Neill or Tennessee Williams then one is familiar with writers who are good in one form of writing, but mediocre, bad in another
Kiss Me Deadly
Dean Borok review

It’s always more agreeable to see a private dick getting his brains stomped out by a gang of fashionably accessorized thugs sporting boxy, wide-shouldered suits, ties, fedora hats
Catching Fire:
Hunger Games -Part Two

Starring Jennifer Lawrence, Donald Sutherland,
Sam North review
The second one is always a hard task.  Do you remind everyone about what happened in the first or just get into it?  If you didn’t see part one – well why the hell not?
Elysium
Director & Writer: Neill Blomkamp
Sam Hawksmoor review

Being a big fan of District 9 I approached Elysium with enthusiasm and certainly the look and feel of the movie is ambitious. LA in 2154 is every bit as depressing as one would suspect it will be
56 Up

Dan Schneider

Watching Michael Apted’s latest installment in the great The Up Series- whose films he’s all directed, save the first, helmed by Paul Almond, 56 Up, sees a film that is an exercise in expectation and disappointment
Osaka Elegy - Directed by Kenji Mizoguchi
Dan Schneider

Osaka Elegy (Naniwa Erejii) is an early black and white film from the canon of Kenji Mizoguchi, one of the Big Three Film Masters from Japan, along with Yasujiro Ozu and Akira Kurosawa
In The Mood For Love
Dan Schneider

Watching Wong Kar Wai's In the Mood for Love, was an interesting experience: the 99 minute long film is clearly a superior work of art and cinema
Dynarama:RIP Ray Harryhausen

John M. Edwards

Jason and the Argonauts is the greatest movie ever made!
Oblivion
Director: Joseph Kosinski
Sam Hawksmoor

a thinking persons sci-fi movie, stylish, beautiful to look at channeling Tarkovski
Being There DVD review
Directed by Hal Ashby
Dan Schneider review

Hal Ashby made a series of quirky films in the 1970s that were highly regarded, then succumbed to a drug addiction and died before the 1980s were through. The most famous of these were Harold And Maude, Shampoo, Coming Home, and Being There.
The Blackboard Jungle
Dan Schneider review

Any film that stars Sidney Poitier is going to rise and fall on the basis of his presence. He is one of those classic actors, like a Jimmy Cagney, Spencer Tracy, or John Wayne, that simply captures the attention of an audience, for good or ill
Rise of the Guardians

Holly Trinder review

Directed by: Peter Ramsey
Starring: Chris Pine, Alec Baldwin, Jude Law, Isla Fisher
A dark shadow is consuming the globe, turning dreams to nightmares, and belief to fear
Wreck-it Ralph
Directed by: Rich Moor
Holly Trinder review
So we're entering the digital matrix that is the world inside the arcade. How many of us (us older kids anyway) spent our money senselessly but deservedly at the American style arcades playing the old classics?

Lincoln
Directed by Steven Spielberg
Screenplay Tony Kushner
Marcel D'Agneau review

About a quarter way in in this bio-pic of President Lincoln’s last few weeks of life I kept wishing I was watching John Adams ...
Southern Comfort Interrupted
James Campion

In Praise of a New Revival of Cat on a Hot Tin Roof starring Scarlett Johannson
Gangster Squad

Director: Ruben Fleischer
Sam North review

Gangster Squad a movie for people who care nothing for good cinema or history.
Looper
Directed by Rian Johnson
Starring Joe Gordon Levitt and Bruce Willis
Terrific scifi thriller that delivers one hell of a punch
On Speculative Fiction
Sam Hawksmoor

Why is it so hard to get the future right?
I grew up on Philip K Dick and his fantasies about global nuclear war, robots that were indistinguishable from people and a world engulfed by consumerism.
The Reluctant Communist by Charles Robert Jenkins
Leroy B. Vaughn review

Charles Jenkins was an old worn out man in his late sixties, living on an island off the coast of Japan at the time this book was written.
The Quest - Energy, Security, and the Remaking of the Modern World
by Daniel Yergin

Steve Wheeler review
A Little Light at the End of the Tunnel
Longtitude by Dava Sobel
John M. Edwards review

Throughout the ages, explorers from Vasco de Gama to Balboa struggled with the “longitude problem.” Without an accurate method of calculating the longitude, navigators were literally lost at sea.
Review of eFiction Magazine - India
Michelle D'costa

Most of us need a reason to do something, a muse. For writers it has been eFiction India. Before this multi-faceted journal came into their lives their voice had been stifled.
Indian Ink by Tom Stoppard
Directed by Carey Perloff
The Laura Pels Theater NY
Dean Borok review

Of all the fascinating cultures of the world, I give the edge to India. They know how to live, especially the ones with money.
_______
____________________________________

Review Archive 2009-2012


Older Review Pages 2000-2008

Disclaimer:
Opinions expressed herein are wholly reflective of the writers and contributors to hackwriters. All work is copyright of the writers & hackwriters.com.

Hackwriters is a non-profit , non-paying journal but welcomes contributions
from writers. We reserve the right to publish and edit material in accordance
with our editorial policy- see submissions

The Bickford Fuse by Andrey Kurkov
Maclehose Press, London, 2016, 350 pp.
Charlie Dickinson book review
The latest work by Andrey Kurkov to be translated into English, The Bickford Fuse, just might be his magnum opus.
Dark Money:
The Hidden History of the Billionaires Behind The Rise of the Radical Right by Jane Mayer

It is scary and hard to believe the measures which the Koch brothers take in order to gain political power in an attempt to avoid regulation and taxation
The Fourth Political Theory
by Alexander Dugin
Steve Nolten

A book that presents itself as a road map of where the world might go after the defeat of the current liberal globalist world order ...
Crime Fiction
Sam Hawksmoor

We read crime for the insights into the human condition, taut pithy descriptions of characters as they investigate each one, follow up hopeless leads, the frailty of a detective’s life
Why? A Book of Thoughts by Khaled H. Nusseibeh
Marwan Asmar review

Poetry can be the greatest form of expression bounding on the aesthetic and the beautiful, rich, heartfelt, melancholic and the exhilaration of nuances, powerful expressions and the sense of beyond-earthily universalism.
We Wanted Workers: Unraveling the Immigration Narrative by George J. Borjas
Charlie Dickinson Review
Immigration is certainly the contentious political issue of our time. The electorate of country after country takes the polarity of immigration to the ballot box with disruptive results.
In Praise of The Daily Show (The Book)
by Chris Smith
James Campion review

An Oral History of the Golden Age of 21st Century American Satire
Call it a difficult night by Mishka Hoosen
Published October 2015 by Deep South
Abigail George review

Mishka Hoosen is young. She is also intelligent. She is brave and she is brilliant. She is also very clever, funny and wise beyond her years...

The Crooked Kingdom by Leigh Bardugo
Orion Children's Books 27.09.16
Six of Crows sequel
Sam Hawksmoor review

Crooked Kindgom is hugely rewarding and an urgent read. Highly recommended. Bardugo grows in stature as a writer...
And The Weak Suffer What They Must?
Europe's Crisis and America's Economic Future
by Yanis Varoufakis,
Charlie Dickenson

Vanoufakis deftly argues, the European Union's euro is economically irrational. The common euro currency is a brutal zero-sum arrangement ...
The Girl in a Spider's Web
by David Lagercrantz, Stieg Larsson (Creator), George Goulding.
A misfire for the Lisbeth Salander revival?
ICARUS by Deon Meyer
A moving portrait of an alcoholic cop in a downward spiral of self-destruction in Cape Town.
The Brain’s Way of Healing by Norman Doidge
Publisher Penguin Books Ltd
Stevellie Wheeler review

in this book Dr Doidge recounts the results of treatments by the second generation of practitioners which he calls, “neuroplasticians”
The Moral Complexities of Eating Meat (Nyama Choma)
by Ben Bramble and Bob Fischer (eds.) 2016
Ronald Elly Wanda

If certain arguments generate the conclusion that it is wrong to eat farmed animals, do they also generate the conclusion that it is wrong to eat animals’ period?
Heyday: Britain and the Birth of the Modern World
Ben Wilson
Sam North review

Brilliant accessible insight into a pivotal decade in world history
Concho by Denzel Holmes
Dan Schneider

A Texas Western review
The Carbon Bubble: What Happens to Us When It Bursts by Jeff Rubin
Random House Canada 2015
Steve Wheeler review

Oil is history in Canada's future
zoo city
Zoo City by Lauren Beukes
Sam Hawksmoor review

Pacy, crazy, messy, morally bankrupt and insanely exciting
Shout It Out Loud - The Story of KISS’s DESTROYER and the Making of an American Icon by James Campion
Backbeat Books Oct 13th 2015
Sam Hawksmoor Review

A brilliant forensic insight into the making of KISS and Destroyer
Unravelling the Mystery of Two Millennia
James Campion

I absolutely love The Christos Mosaic, a page-turning masterpiece of a thriller with more than an undertone of controversial reimagining of Biblical history.
After Dark by Haruki Murakami
Paperback, First Vintage International Edition, 244 pages
Sam North review
Ever read a book and realised a few paragraphs in that you have already read it? Sneaky publishers are always changing covers these days...
Interactive Democracy: The Social Roots of Global Justice by Carol C. Gould
Review by Ronald Elly Wanda

When we think of ethical problems involving the nature of democracy in Africa, probably none is more paradigmatic than the issue of social justice.
The Writer’s Guide To Weapons
By Benjamin Sobieck
A Practical Reference for Using Firearms and Knives in Fiction -
Foreword by David Morrell
Review by Leroy B. Vaughn

a fact filled book designed to help writers of crime fiction select the proper weapon for their character
The Water Knife by Paulo Bacigalupi
Orbit Books
Sam Hawksmoor review

Brilliant, frighteningly real scenario for the doomed 'Sunshine' States. A Chinatown for this generation.
Here is the Desert by Dom Gabrielli
L’aile editions, 2014
Imene Bennani review
'This secret breathing': The Poetry of Dom Gabrielli
Wastelands 2: More stories of The Apocalypse - Edited by John J Adams
Sam Hawksmoor review

Brilliant bleak, often witty collection of doom
What Lies in the Dark by CM Thompson
Sam Hawksmoor review

A stylish debut crime novel written with supreme confidence as the tension rises with each new horrific murder.
The Magician's Land by Lev Grossman
Sam North review

Satisfying and spirited conclusion to the Magician's trilogy
A Modern Masterpiece:
The Good Soldier by Ford Madox Ford -
Mike Peters review

The Doubt Factory
Paulo Bacigalupi

Sam Hawksmoor review
a modern take on the Patti Hearst story with a really hard message about the drugs you swallow
Killing Patton
By Bill O’Reilly and Martin Dugard
The Strange Death of World War 11’s Most Audacious General.
Leroy Vaughn review
When Google Met WikiLeaks:
Julian Assange & The Making Of A Live-Long Pattern
Alex Sheremet

openness and transparency are wonderful things, people forget that these ideas cut in the other direction, as well
Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki
by Haruki Murakami

Murakami has written an uncomfortable book about a simple man trying to make sense of his life
Sam North review
Life As Art - Ai WeiWei
Walli F. Leff
at Brooklyn Museum
Art-loving tourists from all over the world fan out through the Upper East Side, Chelsea, and Soho to visit Manhattan’s famed museums and galleries...
Salt Sugar Fat - How the Food Giants Hooked Us By Michael Moss
Steve Wheeler review

Philip Morris and RJ Reynolds, the cigarette manufacturers, are now running a large part of the food business, it’s almost too much to believe...
The Ghosts of Heaven
by Marcus Sedgwick

Sam Hawksmoor review
... fascinating, tragic, and utterly compelling.
Shimmer by Paula Weston

Sam Hawksmoor review
Leading on from Shadows and Haze, we have the third book by Paula Weston in what looks to be a saga of angels and demons.
A Visit to the Sphinx
Walli F. Leff

There’s nothing subtle about the redoubtable Kara Walker’s latest art exhibit, a staggering achievement and one of the most provocative shows in New York City this season.
Shadow & Bone + Siege and Storm

Leigh Bardugo

Two books, what a brilliant fantasy duo – that draws on Tolkien, Catherine Fisher, Tolstoy, Russian folktales, but makes it all her own and completely original. This is compulsive reading.
Ruin & Rising by Leigh Bardugo
The stunning final book in The Grisha Trilogy
The Reset Button by Jeff Hunt
An America plunged into darkness and illiteracy in a post-apocalypic world by a teenage despot - A Kindle book.
Voodoo, Slaves & White Man's Graves by Tom Coote
Sam North review

If you ever fantasised about flying to West Africa and exploring all its charms - read Voodoo, Slaves and White's Man Graves first. You may well alter your plans.
Dog Days by Andrew Thompson
Tales From an American Road Trip

Truth be told, anyone even thinking about taking a trip around American on a Discovery Pass should read this and hire a car immediately.
Tatiana by Martin Cruz Smith
Sam Hawksmoor

Tatiana is the latest in a long line of Renko novels - the cop that has been beaten up so many times, exposed to radiation and all manner of shootings it's practically a crime he's still alive ...
The New American Road Trip Mixtape by Brendan Leonard
John M. Edwards review

Brendan Leonard lives in a van. Even though Brendan has never left the United States, the brave native Iowan has climbed most of the big peaks in the Western United States
The Gardener From Ochakov
by Andrey Kurkov, translation by Amanda L Darragh- Charlie Dickinson review
Given my satisfaction with his earlier work, I pre-ordered Ukrainian novelist Andrey Kurkov's latest in English translation. I was not disappointed.
Alice Munro’s 'Face'
Michelle D'costa review

It is a story from which you cannot even take your eyes off for a second
The Station: Athos: Treasure and Men
John M. Edwards

Robert Byron’s “The Road to Oxiana” was a smashing success, but was his other great book on The Great Game, the severely neglected “lost” classic “The Station,” in some ways even better?
The Invisible Woman: The story of Nelly Ternan and Charles Dickens by Claire Tomalin Penguin Books, 1991 (new edition 2012)- Chris Mills
For many years Nelly Ternan only existed in the shadows, if at all; Claire Tomalin’s research has remedied that situation.
Rules of Engagement
Sam Hawksmoor
on Comparing Adult & Teen Fiction
Wastelands
: Stories of the Apocalypse
Edited by John Joseph Adams

Welcome to the Apocalypse - Roll up to all the doom and gloom you could possibly want
Plan D by Simon Urban
Sam North review

If you are a compulsive reader of Martin Cruz Smith ‘Arcady Renko’ Moscow Detective series Wolves Eat Dogs,  Polar Star etc you are well primed to tackle Simon Urban’s  Detective Martin Wegener, disillusioned East German cop in a ‘Socialist Paradise’ circa 2011.
Chilled to the Bone by Quentin Bates
CR Crime April 2013
Sam Hawksmoor review

This is the third Sergeant Gunnhildur Gisladottir mystery and it begins at a cracking pace and never lets up. 
Bowline (at last).
Quentin Bates

It has been a labour of love, a 25-year labour of love. Many years ago I sat on the schoolbench at navigation college in Iceland, along with a bunch of other aspiring ship’s officers.
The Hunting
by Sam Hawksmoor
Evie Seo review
... fast-paced, thrilling, ambitious and thought-provoking, you'll definitely love this one
Toyko Vice by Jake Adelstein
Leroy B Vaughn Review

Eighty hours a week - there is no such thing as a vacation for reporters and no private life, while working the crime desk.
Do Travel Writers Go To Hell?
By Thomas Kohnstamm

Three Rivers Press (2008), 272 pps
John M. Edwards review
Thomas Kohnstamm’s sadly neglected criminally negligent book “Do Travel Writers Go to Hell?” does not at all answer the medium-rare question it pretends to propose.
The Return of the Late Bruce Chatwin
John M. Edwards

For the late great Bruce Chatwin life was a journey to be taken on two legs. Obsessed with nomads, he periodically became one himself, ditching two successful careers
The Repercussions of Tomas D Q & A
An interview with Sam Hawksmoor on the launch of his new YA novel set during the Blitz.
Hawksmoor is a vivid writer of compelling details and action. CD
The Longest Way Home : One Man’s Quest for the Courage to Settle Down by Andrew McCarthy
John M Edwards review
"Often, the farther afield I go, the more at home I feel.”
The Obsidian Mirror by Catherine Fisher
Sam Hawksmoor
Catherine Fisher specialises in complex dark, crowded stories with many twists, turns and betrayals. 
Dominion by C J Sansom
Mantle Hardback Oct 2012
Vs The Afrika Reich  - Guy Saville
In 1952 Germany rules all.
Which side would you be on?
Rebel Heart
by Moira Young
Scholastic
Sam Hawksmoor review
This is the sequel to Blood Red Road and it was always going to be a hard act to follow. Saba is haunted by all those she has killed...
The Almond Tree by Michelle Cohen Corasanti
Garnet Publishing
Published: September 2012
Sam North Review
Reading Michelle Cohen Corasanti’s first novel one is immediately conscious that this is must surely be non-fiction.  The details are so personal, so harrowing, yet so full of hope and triumph over evil, you desperately want it to be real.
50 Shades of Grey
James Morford Review
As I read E.L. James’ novel it seemed vaguely familiar. It wasn’t the genre, erotica. Nothing vague about that. Just about everyone has read erotica one time or the other.
A Land Without Jasmine by Wajdi Al-Ahdal
Published by Garnet
Sam Hawksmoor review
I have hesitated to write a review of 'A land without Jasmine', not because I didn’t enjoy this beautifully written novella but because it has a lasting haunting effect that is hard to shake off
Tearing Up the Silk Road by Tom Coote
Publisher: Garnet Publishing
Sam North review
Tom Coote set himself a target of going the whole distance of the ancient Silk Road by public transport in just nine weeks... one needs determination and fortitude and a very strong stomach - and that's just for the many scary toilets experienced on the way.




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