Category Archives: Literature

Live Review: Katie Price

Katie Price cut the unlikely figure of leading lady at the 2014 Isle of Wight Literary Festival on Friday afternoon. Dom Kureen was there to witness the glamour model-cum-author’s one hour question and answer session, aimed to publicise the latest tome affiliated with brand Price, Make My Wish Come True.

Katie Price

Retrospectively the scheduling implied a tinge of anxiety from the event’s co-ordination collective – an oft salacious former Page Three model waxing lyrical about her latest contribution to the literary landscape, during a mid-afternoon sermon within the walls of St Mary’s church.

The unlikely setting, on the grounds of the awe-inspiring Northwood House in Cowes on the Isle of Wight, played host to a premeditated examination more pillow fight than hard hitting inquisition, with the artist formerly known as Jordan ‘premièring’ jet black locks to accompany a faux fur Gilet and knee-high boots. Not a follicle flicked out of place, an aesthetic triumph of unapologetically brimming lips and tangerine luminosity.

National paparazzi were in attendance and lapped it up, with their gaudy cameras and loose, overlapping physiques a rare treat for those south of the solent.

The Isle’s local media didn’t seem quite so enamoured with the arrival of a bona fide national celebrity; one journalist affiliated with a regional publication  stating to me their disillusionment at the decision to book this particular speaker, deciding instead to attend one of the many simultaneous events taking place.

Surprisingly diminutive in the flesh as she belatedly took her seat on the stage, Price looked every inch the star with her veneered teeth now gleaming under church light and her skin colour verging on radioactive as she sat cross legged across from her publicist for a cosy chin wag.

A section of the conversation poked at the contribution that warrants the tag ‘Katie Price’ adorning front covers, a process that sees her variously verbalising basic concepts into a Dictaphone and sharing vague outlines with professional writers, who then proceed to form a story (“I’m not very good at the writing part.”)

Forgiven, not forgotten: Katie Price's current beau, Kieran Hayler cheated on her earlier this year.
Forgiven, not forgotten: Katie Price’s current beau, Kieran Hayler cheated on her earlier this year.

Regular reference was made to Price’s slew of cosmetic surgeries, most notable among these mentions were a desire to continue augmenting her breasts into old age, and remarks centred around marriages and children – white noise to all but die hard fans. Happily, a brief narrative regarding her visually impaired son Harvey was refreshingly unrehearsed.

Jordan came across as affable and brutally honest about her claims to fame, suggesting that her emergence had been the result of a lot of luck accompanied by tireless endeavour and refusal to allow derisive journalists to derail her impressively lengthy tenure as a national A-lister.

The demi-stocked peanut gallery then received their opportunity to contribute to proceedings, with their inquiries possessing the collective venom of a meditating monk, although Ms Price did take an evasive tone when asked if she was a feminist and stated regret for getting those pesky veneers.

Katie Price 3

From there a book signing was abridged due to ferry scheduling, while shutterbugs were denied their money shot as Jordan refused to step out of her car to be snapped.

 Relatively likeable and aesthetically pristine, Katie Price doesn’t claim to be an author. There was nothing ground breaking here, a harmless and anticlimactic booking.

Written by Dom Kureen

As a young rapscallion stranded on an Island, my time is split between writing, performing spoken word, wrestling alligators and delivering uplifting pep talks to hairdressers before they prune me. I meditate and wash daily when possible.

Book Review: The Killing Season by Mason Cross

Literature aficionado, Charlotte Tobitt, gives her two cents on ‘The Killing Season,’ author Mason Cross’ first full length novel.

Killing Season: Mason Cross

American crime novels are widely regarded as the literary cliché of the decade: Gritty tone, reluctant hero who’s just outside the law, stuffy FBI agents ad nauseam, but that doesn’t mean that every single one should be tainted with that same stigma.

Mason Cross’ The Killing Season is a crime novel with a refreshing voice. It follows Carter Blake – not his real name, though that doesn’t seem very significant – who is a certain type of bounty hunter and has been drafted in by the FBI to help capture an escaped (or suspiciously released? Oooh…) death row prisoner, Caleb Wardell, aka. The Chicago Sniper.

Cross, a Glaswegian author who works in the voluntary sector, writes well. The prose is snappy but emotive; it follows conventions and, crucially, is mostly unpredictable.

A slow burner, once the killings begin and the puzzle of Wardell needs to be unravelled it is likely to unexpectedly hook the reader out of the blue – as any book with a decisive pace must.

Hong KongThe two leads, Blake and his most sympathetic FBI ally, single mother Elaine Banner, share a sizzling chemistry that never quite crosses the line into predictable formula; their relationship is not clear-cut and their ambivalent attitude towards a romantic liaison is one of the big differences from the usual thriller side-plot.

Banner’s maternal instincts make her particularly relatable and, unusually, even turn out to have a functioning purpose rather than acting merely as a sob story sub-plot.

It is fascinating to be able to see inside the killer’s mind. His toying with one particular journalist, the alternately random and methodical murders and his confident taunting of anyone he comes into contact with.

No one can resist a glimpse into the mind of a madman, even an imagined one, for a morbid look at the human condition – Wardell does not disappoint. He is an unforgiving, unforgivable person who likes to play God.

For his debut novel, Cross efficiently manages to subvert most stereotypes that plague this genre. Some turns of phrase and ideas could be developed further, but considering this is supposed to be the first in a Carter Blake series, it will certainly be interesting to see where he can go next, just as long as the market isn’t totally saturated by then.  

 

Written by Charlotte Tobitt

A recent music graduate, Charlotte is set to complete a Masters in Journalism this summer. She can usually be found either writing, playing the clarinet or waving a baton around. Check out her website to read more of her articles!