Paraphrasing Hornby

Which came first, the editing or the misery? Did I edit because I was miserable? Or was I miserable because I was editing?



Rereads: Sideways Trilogy

Sideways (2004) is one of those rarest of beasts: the film that is better than the book. Only by a smidge mind you, the leanest of victories. All the movie really did was smooth out a few rough edges, but sometimes that’s all you need to reach transcendence. Whatever it was, it worked. Somehow I’ve managed to read both the book and the screenplay, watched the movie and listened to the audiobook. Multiple offences on each count. If they were to make Sideways into an old-fashioned radio drama, I’d happily listen to that too. I may have issues, but I have no regrets.

However, as good as Sideways is, its sequel, Vertical, is so much better. Think The Empire Strikes Back, Star Trek II: The Wrath of Kahn, and Superman II. Vertical is chaos. Pinot-anarchy. No spoilers here, but Vertical pokes around some rather dark corners and gloriously so. It is a king-hell freak ride through Oregon wine county, and my favorite of the bunch.

Sideways 3 Chile is the newcomer to the party, far more serious and subtle than its siblings. It’s not so much dark as it is introspective. When penning a trilogy about a pair of alcoholics, the third act tends to be a bitch.

Every couple of years I find myself sitting down to reread the trilogy. I’m in the process of doing exactly that right now, having just finished Sideways for the umpteenth time. I’m actually giddy with anticipation over revisiting Vertical again. Giddy, I tell you.

In vino veritas.

The War of the Worlds

In hindsight, reading The War of the Worlds with the added context of all things 2020 bouncing about the old brain pan was not one of the wiser things I did this year.

“This isn’t a war,” said the artilleryman. “It never was a war, any more than there’s war between man and ants.”



Just finished reading One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest for – shamefully – the very first time.


I need a cigarette.



Legend has it that Johnny Driver rebuilt his first carburetor at the tender age of five. To suggest that Johnny knew his way around an automobile was to say that Stradivarius could craft you a mean fiddle. No shit, Sherlock. Johnny drove like the opening notes of Moonage Daydream. Like Mozart. Like Michelangelo. Motor vehicles spoke to him like lovers on hot summer nights.

Johnny could drive a car all right. Better than you. Better than anyone.

But tonight, he had competition.

Hellracer! (Seventies Series No. 1)

Available on Amazon