Friday 31 August 2018

Cloudpine Header

Many people who know me except that I do not necessarily change for change sake, but when someone makes great art inspired by your blog then it is obvious that now is the time for change. For the first time since the blog's inception I've changed the image header and I have to say it looks quite beautiful. Cloudpine is an artist from the United Kingdom who publishes images of his art on his great blog Cloudpine 451. I've been checking out his art for years now and about two weeks ago I was surprised and honored to see that he had created the above image inspired by Excelsior. Cloudpine has given me permission to use the image, so thank you! Please check out his blog here: Cloudpine 451

Meanwhile my supposed hiatus from writing book reviews hasn't quite gone to plan, as I can't seem to help myself. However writing a quick paragraph, rather than a lengthy review, seems to be working out well in terms of fitting in with my life, so I think this approach will become the new norm. So that is the end of the so called hiatus and the belated beginning of this new version of Excelsior!

Sunday 19 August 2018

Augustown - Kei Miller (2016)

Rating: Admirable

Augustown is the first novel I've read written by a Jamaican, if you don't count Bob Marley's often brilliant lyrics (another contender for the Nobel Peace Prize in literature?). The novel's structure is one of interconnected vignettes that tell the story of how the history of slavery taints the generations that follow emancipation. The novel is quite engaging, with vivid island vernacular and enough character development to evoke a readers' sympathy. Miller explores the historical and mythical folk origins of Rastafarianism in the form of a healer called Alexander Bedward, who believed he could fly before unfortunately being incarcerated in an asylum in 1920. I mostly enjoyed the novel, however there was a part of me that just couldn't get interested enough to be totally absorbed by the narrative. Fortunately it turns out that Augustown is one of those novels that becomes more appreciated in hindsight, making it a much better novel than I first thought.