Killing Time

My vast number of empty hours spent travelling on the train (at weekends), waiting for food, drinking alone in the pub like the alcoholic-in-training I am, and travelling on the train (not at weekends) has left me with an entertainment vacuum.  As a natural-born-problem-solver (and problem-creator) I set about finding a solution to this vacuum.I intend to catalogue how I didn’t go mad here.

Anyway, since it all began I’ve read the following books

  • “Dawn of the Dumb” by Charlie Brooker
  • “An Utterly Impartial History of Britain: (or 2000 Years Of Upper Class Idiots In Charge)” by John O’Farrell
  • “Flashman’s Lady” by George MacDonald Fraser
  • “The Woman in Black” by Susan Hill
  • “Pies and Predjudice” by Stuart Maconie
  • “Royal Flash” by George MacDonald Fraser
  • “The Portait of Dorian Grey” by Oscar Wilde
  • “Practical Demonkeeping” by Christopher Moore
  • “The Vesuvius Club” by Mark Gatiss
  • “Flashman and the Mountain of Light” by George MacDonald Fraser
  • “Perfume” by Peter Süskind
  • “Coyote Blue” by Christopher Moore
  • “The Man Who Mistook His Wife For A Hat” by Oliver Sacks
  • “Flash for Freedom!” by George MacDonald Fraser
  • “What a Carve Up!” by Jonathon Coe
  • “Bloodsucking Fiends” by Christopher Moore
  • “Fingersmith” by Sarah Waters
  • “Flashman at the Charge” by George MacDonald Fraser
  • “Persepolis” by Marjane Satrapi
  • “The Island of the Sequined Love Nun” by Christopher Moore
  • “To Kill A Mockingbird” by Harper Lee
  • “Flashman and the Great Game” by George MacDonald Fraser
  • “The Alchemist” by Paulo Coelho
  • “Burma Chronicles” by Guy Delilse
  • “Love and Other Near Death Experiences” by Mil Millington
  • “The Lust Lizard of Melancholy Cove” by Christopher Moore
  • “One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest” by Ken Kesey
  • “Flashman and the Redskins” by George MacDonald Fraser
  • “Brave New World” by Aldous Huxley
  • “Mr Nice” by Howard Marks
  • “The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay” by Michael Chabon
  • “Lamb: The Gospel According to Biff, Christ’s Childhood Pal” by Christopher Moore
  • “Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep” by Philip K Dick
  • “Flashman and the Dragon” by George MacDonald Fraser
  • “Ten Sorry Tales” by Mick Johnson
  • “The Motorcycle Diaries” by  Ernesto ‘Che’ Guevara
  • “The Burnt Out Town of Miracles” by Roy Jacobsen
  • “Fluke, or, I Know Why the Winged Whale Sings” by Christopher Moore
  • “Blink” by Malcolm Gladwell
  • “Flashman and the Angel of the Lord” by George MacDonald Fraser
  • “Carter Beats The Devil” by Glen David Gold
  • “Tuesdays With Morrie” by Mitch Albom
  • “High Fidelity” by Nick Hornby
  • “A Dirty Job” by Christopher Moore
  • “The Demon Hunted World” by Carl Sagan
  • “Flashman and the Tiger” by George MacDonald Fraser
  • “Let There Be Lite” by Rupert Morgan
  • “The Road to Nab End” by William Woodruff
  • “1984” by George Orwell
  • “You Suck” by Christopher Moore
  • “Quirkology” by Prof. Richard Wiseman
  • “Flashman on the March” by George MacDonald Fraser
  • “Catch 22” by Joseph Heller
  • “An Unquiet Mind” by Kay Redfield-Jaimeson
  • “Can’t Remember”
  • “The Stupidest Angel : A Heartwarming Tale of Christmas Terror” by Christopher Moore
  • “Fooled by Randomness” by Nassim Nicholas Taleb
  • “The Devil in Amber” by Mark Gatiss
  • “Pandemonium” by Christopher Brookmyre
  • “War Reporting for Cowards” by Chris Ayres
  • “The Code of the Woosters” by PG Wodehouse
  • “Fool” by Christopher Moore
  • “The Tiger That Isn’t” by Michael Blastland and Andrew Dilnot
  • “Black Butterfly” by Mark Gatiss
  • “Unseen Academicals” by Terry Pratchett
  • “The Worst Journey in the World” by Apsley Cherry-Gerrard
  • “Catcher in the Rye” by J.D. Salinger
  • “The Eyre Affair” by Jasper Fforde
  • “Quantum Theory Cannot Hurt You” by Marcus Chown
  • “The Quiet Flame” by Philip Kirk
  • “A Clockwork Orange” by Anthony Burgess
  • “How I Escaped by Inevitable Fate” by Stewart Lee (accidentally thrown in a bin in Peckham)
  • “A Hundred Years of Solitude” by Gabriel Garcia Marquez
  • “Lost in a Good Book” by Jasper Fforde
  • “Well of Lost Plots”  by Jasper Fforde
  • “The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks”
  • “Field Grey” by Philip Kirk
  • “The Quiet American” by Graham Greene
  • “The Sound of Laughter” by Peter Kay
  • “The Curious Case of the Dog in the Night Time” by Mark Haddon
  • “Something Rotten”  by Jasper Fforde
  • “Fermat’s Last Theorem” by Simon Singh
  • “March Violets” by Philip Kirk
  • “Dracula” by Bram Stoker
  • “The Surgeon of Crowthorne” by Simon Winchester
  • “The Poisonwood Bible” by Barbara Kingsolver
  • “First Among Sequels”  by Jasper Fforde
  • “The Communist Horizon” by Jodi Dean
  • “The Pale Criminal” by Philip Kirk
  • “Ham on Rye” by Charles Bukowski
  • “In Patagonia” by Bruce Chatwin
  • “Jude the Obscure” by Thomas Hardy
  • “One of Our Thursday is Missing”  by Jasper Fforde
  • “A Brief History of Time” by Stephen Hawking
  • “A German Requiem” by Philip Kirk
  • “Lord of the Flies” by William Golding
  • “Quartered Safe Out Here” by George MacDonald Fraser
  • “Field Grey” by Philip Kirk
  • Having bought a new copy to replace the Northbound Bakerloo copy I had years ago, “Fat” by Rob Grant
  • “The Woman Who Died A Lot” by Jasper Fforde
  • “The Selfish Gene” by Richard Dawkins
  • “Prague Fatale” by Philip Kirk
  • “Trainspotting” by Irvine Welsh
  • “R2D2 Lives in Preston” by Shaun Keavney
  • “Atomised” by Michel Houellebecq
  • “The Big Over Easy” by Jasper Fforde

The brighter among you may have noticed a pattern.  This is entirely because George MacDonald Fraser has written 12 Flashman books and Christopher Moore has written 11 books of the aburdist fiction genre.  Which is a bloody good genre.  Rather than fall into the habit of only reading two authors works, I crow bar two interesting/found/other books from my list, trying my best to avoid two similar books in succession.

This last rule means I have a massive pile of books under my desk at work that probably pose a fire hazard.

As a child of the 90s, there is also a legacy that has proved most fruitful for my current plight as well.  The infamous Nintendo hand-held console.  My original color Gameboy has been lost to time itself, but the erstwhile Nintendo DS is still doing the rounds.  And whilst I’m reluctant to finish any game (I’m always sad to finish any Zelda game since it means no more Zelda game) I can still be entertained by them.

  • Pheonix Wright : Ace Attorney
  • Pheonix Wright : Justice for All
  • GTA : Chinatown Wars
  • Professor Layton and the Curious Village
  • Professor Layton and Pandora’s Box
  • The Legend of Zelda : Spirit Tracks

Alternatively you can just “piss about” as they say.  London is notoriously good for that, what with being the centre of the universe and everything*.  Alas, I can’t make everything since I pretty much jump on the first option I get these days rather than wait for a perhaps cooler option.  Mainly since that cool option won’t ever come if you do that…

  • “Ideas Bank 2009” in Slough
  • Plastic Culture” at the Harris Museum, with a superb piece by Machiko Edmondson.
  • “London Uke Festival 2009” at Devonshire Square
  • Canada Day” in Trafalgar Square
  • “Henley Royal Regatta and Cider Prison” in Henley-on-Thames
  • “Islington Arts Factory Summer Salon 2009” in Islington
  • Canuxploitation” at Leicester Square Theatre
  • “Greenwich Comedy Festival” in Greenwich (surprisingly)
  • “Super-Contemporary” at The Design Museum, London
  • “The Comedy Store Players” at The Comedy Store
  • “Tim Minchin : Ready For This” at the Hammersmith Apollo
  • “Dylan Moran : What It Is” at the Apollo Theatre (free press showing too, ooo)
  • “Moctezuma : Aztec Bloke” at the British Museum
  • “Sophie Calle : Talking to Strangers” at the Whitechapel Gallery
  • “Arturo Brachetti: Change” at The Garrick Theatre
  • “Star City: The Future Under Communism” at the Contemporary
  • “Céleste Boursier-Mougenot” at the Curve
  • Speed of Light” at the Bargehouse
  • “Sculpture Promenade 2010” at the Fitzwilliam Museum
  • “Wiff Waff” at the Barbican
  • “Abracadabra: German Humour Goes Global” at the Leicester Square Theatre
  • “Edinburgh Previews” at Falling Down With Laughter
  • “Skin” at the Wellcome Collection
  • “Elephant Parade” in, well, London
  • “Canada Day” in Trafalgar Square (again)
  • Interstellar” at 93 Feet East
  • “Comedy Improv” at the Phoenix
  • “Pacifico Blues” at the Scoop
  • Carmen Funebre” at the International Theatre Square Two
  • “Summer Barn and Garden Party” at the Water Poet
  • Chez Cocotte” at the International Theatre Square Two
  • “Carnaval Del Pueblo” at Burgess Park
  • “Hand Baked: Retro Games Arcade” at The Future Gallery
  • “The Surreal House” at the Barbican
  • “John Bock” at the Curve
  • “Danton’s Death” at the National Theatre
  • “Hell’s Half Acre” at the Old Vic Tunnels
  • “Avenue Q” at the Wyndham Theatre
  • “Yes Prime Minister” at the Gielgud Theatre
  • “The Blues Brothers: A Tribute” at the Arts Theatre
  • “Shun-Kin” at the Barbican
  • “Money” at the Shunt Bermondsey Warehouse
  • “When We Were Married” at the Garrick Theatre
  • “A Flea in Her Ear” at the Old Vic
  • “Much Ado About Nothing : A Doctor Who Extravaganza” at the Wyndham Theatre
  • “Great British Beer Festival” at Earls Court
  • “Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead” at the  Theatre Royal Haymarket
  • “I’ll Show You Mine” at the Lion & Unicorn Theatre
  • “Watch Me Move” at the Barbican
  • “Take Me To Your Scientists” at the Science Museum
  • “Mind” at the Old Vic Tunnels
  • “Deptford X” in Deptfrod
  • “It’s Always Right Now Until It’s Later” at the Lyttleton Theatre
  • “Le Petit Mort” at Petersham House
  • “Our Boys” at Duchess Theatre
  • “The Ladykillers” at the Vaudeville Theatre

*the actual centre of the universe is in fact Wigan.  At least, my Dad swears it is…


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