Arts

All Quiet on the Western FrontAdapted from Erich Maria Remarque’s novel, All Quiet on the Western Front tracks the fortunes of a small company of German soldiers fighting in the trenches during the First World War. The conceit is interesting: cultural and historical material about both World wars is ubiquitous, but it is largely concerned with the British (or Allied) experience.

…Apparently. Well, my house that is, not yours.

We can go out, but we can’t come back in. Which means, since I didn’t stay there last night, I can’t go back. Even though I don’t have any clean clothes. Or anything to work on. My housemate was told upon attempting to return last night that he ‘would have to find somewhere else to sleep’, and when he protested that it was 2am on a Monday morning and thus somewhat ridiculous was met with ‘tough luck’.

Malcolm Gladwell’s new book is founded on the observation that social phenomena occur in much the same way as viral epidemics, not gradually but on sharp turning points. Rather than geometrical change occurring, as one might expect, change often seems to be exponential.

narniaTalking lion? Check. Scary-ass witch? You bet. Magical wardrobe? Yep. So why do the ‘Chronicles of Narnia’ on the big screen fail to capitalise on the magical and mystical promise of C.S.Lewis’ much loved children’s epic? Praise of the film centres on its faithfulness to the book, but is this really desirable if the resulting film completely lacks any kind of tension or excitement?

It’s fair to say this has been a great year for British fiction. A crop of vintage novels has been produced by both our most established authors and by a generation of younger writers emerging to take their place. Prizes such as the esteemed Booker variety are meant to show us ‘lesser-beings’ the way forward in literature, but with so much debate this year, which way should we turn? Here’s the definitive guide.