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How Not To Be A Boy - Robert Webb

"What are we saying to a boy when we tell him to 'man up' or 'act like a man'? More often we're effectively saying, 'Stop expressing those feelings.' And if the boy hears that often enough, it actually starts to sound uncannily like, 'Stop feeling those feelings.'"

Herein lies the main issue that surrounds Robert Webb's new book How Not To Be A Boy, the idea of how much damage that can be inflicted on to young boys when they are encouraged to behave in ways that supposedly befit their gender. But Webb interweaves this idea tenderly with an autobiographical tale of him growing up in 1970s Lincolnshire with a working class woodcutter for a father and a mother who was tragically taken from him when he was just seventeen. 

   Webb frankly admits how he never really felt like much of a 'boy', taking a dislike for sport, writing a diary, having sticky-out ribs and liking poetry. He is told how he is 'sensitive' and 'shy'…

Review | IT

I'm going to be honest and get this out of the way, I've never read a single Stephen King novel. E v e r. This is not to say horror isn't my thing, I just have never attempted to shift King up my reading list. Having said this, there is something ingrained with King's IT into popular culture, whether that be the mammoth size of the novel (a staggering 1,138 pages) or the more iconic image of Pennywise the clown, fabulously portrayed by Tim Curry in the 1990 mini series and this has always fascinated me. So, when I first saw the (record breaking) trailer for the Andy Muschetti-directed adaption, Warner Bros firmly held my attention and I couldn't wait to catch IT in cinemas. But does IT live up to the hype?

  For those who aren't familar with the novel or the mini series, IT follows a small group of kids living in Derry trying to uncover the mystery of why so many children are disappearing at an alarming rate. As time unfolds, the culprit points to a shape-shi…

Hag-Seed - Margaret Atwood

“You’re clear, Mr. Duke.” Grins from both of them. What could Felix possibly be suspected of smuggling, a harmless old thespian like him? It’s the words that should concern you, he thinks at them. That’s the real danger. Words don’t show up on scanners.” 
I picked up my copy of Hag-Seed many months ago after hearing a lots of praise heaped onto Margaret Atwood for her adaptation of Shakespeare's The Tempest. I naturally had my doubts, as I adore both William Shakespeare and Margaret Atwood, but Atwood successfully takes one of Shakespeare's most famous plays and transforms it into truly something remarkable. The writing is deliciously dark, sharp and extremely self-aware without ever veering into parody territory. It's also extremely funny and exuberant, which makes this re-telling of Shakespeare an utter joy to read.
   The plot follows similar strands from The Tempest, which will delight many Bard lovers as there is an eclectic range of nods and references to pick up on b…