I have finally finished reading the Night Listener. I’ve always had a fragmented relationship with Armistead Maupin; I keep on getting half-way through a book, then stopping. I borrowed More Tales of the City from a friend, for example, and was half-way through reading it, when I found the copy I had bought 3 years before and then stopped. In that case, I had moved house in between and it got backed at the bottom. The Night Listener got caught by my move from Manchester. I’ve tried to start reading it again several times, but mostly while travelling; I think it’s been around the world at least twice. For some reason, I picked it up a few days ago, and read the second half in two days. My conclusions: it’s great, nicely paced, gentle and engrossing; the writer-writing-about-a-writer plot only annoys occasionally.

To celebrate my success in finishing it, I picked up Atonement, as I have stalled on this several times. Hmmm. Well, less good here. I still couldn’t care less about Bryony’s adolescent playwrite prentensions, nor understand why it needs so many chapters. Worse, I’ve read these chapters four times now. I should hire the film, but it’s got Keira Knightly in; an actor that you can see through both metaphorically and physically.

I’ve been looking forward to the second season of Northern Exposure for a while; unfortunately, the music has been replaced with elevator musack. Moreover, as well as the music being badly chosen, it’s been mixed poorly, at bad levels. It totally breaks the suspension of disbelief, making it’s very hard to get involved. Very poor performance, indeed.

Originally published on my old blog site.