Review – Fear and Loathing in America: The Brutal Odyssey of an Outlaw Journalist, 1968 – 1976 (Fear and Loathing Letters, Vol. 2)

Continuing from The Proud Highway: Saga of a Desperate Southern Gentleman 1955-1967 (Fear and Loathing Letters, Vol 1), Fear and Loathing in America is entertaining, interesting and at times, scathing. It showcases Thompson’s bizarre sense of humour, his desire to communicate ‘on a human level’ as he puts it, and his unfailing sense of civil liberty. It illustrates the personality already established in the public mind with letters ranging from missives fired off to sub-par clothing merchandisers, to back and forths in his complex relationship with Oscar Acosta, but it also feels like something is missing.

Continue reading “Review – Fear and Loathing in America: The Brutal Odyssey of an Outlaw Journalist, 1968 – 1976 (Fear and Loathing Letters, Vol. 2)”

Sense and Nonsense

I just read ‘Sense and Nonsense‘ (in Philosophy: Basic Readings ed. Nigel Warburton[1]) and it really resonated with me. I think it’ll resonate with anyone who’s been reading an overwrought essay – academic or otherwise – and found themselves grinding their teeth and growling ‘what is this person trying to say?’ under their breath. It’s also a nice little manifesto – ‘have something to say and say it as clearly as you can’ is a great aim for any writer.


  1. Also recommended, though I’m only about 30 pages in.

Mental Health Awareness Week

It’s Mental Health Awareness Week next week (13th May 2019 – 19th May 2019). According to the organizers, the Mental Health Foundation, “Mental Health Awareness Week is the UK’s national week to raise awareness of mental health and mental health problems and inspire action to promote the message of good mental health for all. “

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A Reason to Get Out of Bed

Normally I crawl out of bed at about six, six-thirty, sloughing grave dirt and groaning. I hate waking up. I hate getting out of bed. I hate rushing around the morning trying to get ready for work.

This morning I bounded out of bed at five o’clock. It’s been years since I’ve seen five o’clock when the sun is rising, not setting. Continue reading “A Reason to Get Out of Bed”

Digesting a Week of Writing

I loved my week at Ty Newydd. I’m struggling to pin down exactly what about it I loved. It might have been finally being able to spend a week devoted to something I love and nothing else, like meeting in person for a week after years of a long distance relationship, snatching smiles and kisses whenever you can. Maybe it was spending a week with kind, thoughtful peers whose enthusiasm was infectious, and among whom I have to hope there are new friends. Perhaps it was just the food, sunshine and beautiful surroundings. Perhaps a combination of all of them; I don’t think it would have been the same with any of it missing.

Continue reading “Digesting a Week of Writing”

A Week at Ty Newydd: Monday

I’m at the Emerging Writers course at the Ty Newydd Writer’s Centre in Gwynedd this week. Expect a write up (perhaps a little delayed) of each day, to let people know what it’s like.

Monday I drove to Ty Newydd, up through the valley, past the open cast mine in Merthyr, into the rolling roads of the Brecon Beacons—I stopped for lunch at the mountain centre—and in the blazing sun, on up to the Elan valley. As I hit the road sign for Gwynedd, I saw the country change, becoming more muscular as the rounded Beacons became mountainous in Snowdonia, and tickled the underbellies of the low, low clouds. Continue reading “A Week at Ty Newydd: Monday”

Sunday Blues, Atmospheric Photos and Space-flight Inspiration

I usually hate Sundays.  They’re glum end stops that mark a potentially monotonous metre; the passing of weeks, made all the more blue if you’re not in love with your daily nine to five.

This Sunday has been a good one, though. I’ve been writing a lot lately, necessitated by the assignment deadline that’s bearing down on me. I hammered out 2,000 words on the first draft of a 17th century tragedy with some fantasy stuff thrown in, which will also be what I’m submitting for my assignment, or at least part of it, anyway. Continue reading “Sunday Blues, Atmospheric Photos and Space-flight Inspiration”