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A blog by Nikki Dudley about the gaps in everyday life...

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Sunday, 26 April 2015

Four British Mysteries e-book, including Ellipsis!

Four British Mysteries: crime, detective, thriller and (mild) horror set in Britain by British authors.

Lynnwood, by Thomas Brown, set in the New Forest, was listed for the 2014 People’s Book Prize;

A Taste for Blood, set in and around London, by the acclaimed Sherlock Holmes expert David Stuart Davies;

Ellipsis, set in London, a psychological thriller by Nikki Dudley;

Cold Remains, set in London and Wales, by crime writer and award-winning poet, Sally Spedding.

Four great reads, for those who like to wrap their minds round unusual plots.
 
 
 
Available on Amazon.co.uk (Kindle) for £12.66 
 
Available on the Barnes and Noble site (Nook book) for $10.99  
 
 
 

Sunday, 8 March 2015

Interview on Social Book Shelves website

Hi all,

I was interviewed by the talented poet Dane Cobain on his book review blog (Social Book Shelves). You can read (and hear!) the interview here: http://www.socialbookshelves.com/blog/interview-with-nikki-dudley-author-of-exits-origins/

We cover my degree at Roehampton, experimental writing, meeting the co-editor of streetcake, Trini, my poetry and fiction, streetcake subs and other experimental mags! Quite a lot, I think you'll agree. 

Enjoy!


Saturday, 24 January 2015

Review: Undivided by Neal Shusterman (Unwind Dystology)


Okay, I've been saving this book to read for a few months because I didn't want to finish this dystology at all! When I started reading, I was really nervous to find out what happened to all the characters as I wanted lots of them to survive but being the type of book it was, I was certain not everyone would make it! I don't want to put in any spoilers so I won't discuss who did and who didn't make it to the end. All I will say is there were a few moments when I wanted to stop reading! But I simply couldn't. I ended up finishing this book in about 1.5 days, which is a compliment to Neal Shusterman. I was very excited and anxious!

What I like about this dystology is the way it interlinks with real life events, such as 3-D printers, punishments in prisons, overpopulation, crime, corruption, profit etc... There are many parts of it that seem like things which could really happen, much like George Orwell's 1984. Perhaps not all of these things will come true but there are definite echoes of real life in there which make it even more relevant and intriguing to read.

I imagine some people will say this is Young Adult and perhaps that means it shouldn't be taken as seriously as adult fiction but I hope not many people will say that. This dystology is full of amazing ideas and heartfelt characters. Some of them I wanted to get killed off, some I desperately wanted to stop reading in case they died, some I grew to like over time; but pretty much all of them I had an emotional response to. Amongst all of that, there was a lot of technical stuff going on but Shusterman managed to keep it accessible and engaging.

In short, I really recommend this dystology for young and old. If you want to think, pick these books up. Young Adult isn't for the faint hearted and this dystology proves it.

Friday, 5 December 2014

Prison book ban ruled unlawful by High Court


I'm very happy to hear that prisoners will still be able to receive books in parcels.

Here is the BBC story: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-30344867

I think books have a real ability to teach and enlighten, not only entertain, and not allowing prisoners and their families to share this priviledge seemed ridiculous to me. As Philip Pullman said, "The ban on sending prisoners books seemed to me strikingly unjust and inhumane. Reading should be a right not a privilege to be withheld or allowed graciously by Her Majesty's government, or anyone else."

In Brazil, some inmates were even offered a "Redemption through Reading" programme which allowed inmates to cut four days off their sentence for every book they read. The maximum they could get off in a year was 48 days and they were required to write an essay on the books, which were judged by a panel. Interesting idea. Could reading programmes like this be used in other countries and certain prison settings or is that a step too far?

Tuesday, 14 October 2014

Big Green Bookshop (Wood Green) now stock Ellipsis and other books by small presses!


Hi everyone,

The lovely people over at Big Green Bookshop are now stocking books published by small presses. They are a lovely independent bookshop who are prolific on social networking and seem like a generally lovely bunch. They have started a new initiative to give small presses a bit more exposure so have opened up a whole shelf just for this purpose.

In other good news, one of those books they are now selling is Ellipsis! If you have a look in the below photo, you can see Ellipsis on the second to top shelf, looking all shiny and lovely.

So, if you like independent books and independent bookshops, I suggest you get yourself down there! And if you still haven't bought Ellipsis yet, all the more reason!

Seriously though, small presses have a hard time getting their books on the shelves at most bookshops so Big Green Bookshop are offering some great exposure and support for the little people. Please do the same if you can.

Thanks as always. Read well, my friends.

Latest poem - Stop the bus



Stop the bus

stopping the bus, don’t ask me
to lose you like the light in autumn, steadily and slowly
feeling each tone. Then. /a curtain/
The bus is going on and on and oh, don’t…
1947 will never be the same without you if you
swallow our love because nothing else sticks
in your throat.

“No, no,” you said. I laughed.

But the bus screeched at me when the phone rang rang / I ran
echoes of what we were, then, then and
the lies are coming to get us, a net that only one of us
escapes – “colours lie to me” – colours lie.

Don’t ask me to stop, the bus will run over
everything (did I love you hard? Don’t ask
Questions, question Answers, keep the ghosts
under love and key. Love me under
lonely keys [will keep them out].

Throw yourself out of my scene? Throw your shell out to
the fishes, to the fixes but/// the bug/// has wiped
Us clean, like polished nails, like polished nails we pierce
your skin. NO MORE.

The bus stopping but I
said no. I said keep your papery hand where I can see / keep your
papery heart where I can be. If my heart beats it beats me up, stop
the bus, stop the bus. Stop. The. Bus. Stop.

Doors open and chest caves. 

Tuesday, 9 September 2014

The Handmaid's Tale - Margaret Atwood


The Handmaid's Tale (Margaret Atwood) - 4/5


I was given this book as a birthday present in July. It's a book I've wanted to read for many years but every time I've picked it up in the bookshop, the first chapter didn't grab me. Upon opening it again after my birthday, I can't say it grabbed me again, which is why I'm glad it was a present and I had an obligation to keep reading! I would never refuse a birthday book!

I'm so glad I persevered. The Handmaid's Tale isn't an easy book. The world takes a while to make sense and even when you think you understand it, you're still left hanging in a strange limbo between what life is like now and how the future is portrayed in the book. The gap between then and now is so vast but at the same time, completely believable. In fact, this book scared me. It scared me that it wouldn't take much to bring down our society now and for something like this to happen.

The Handmaid's Tale (with some spoilers now so don't read this if you want to read the book later) focuses on a woman called Offred. The names comes from the person she is assigned to, a commander, therefore she is 'Of Fred'. Women in the book have assigned roles; some of them are wives with apparent power, some of them are basically maids or cooks, some of them (like Offred) are there for reproduction. What was interesting about Offred was that she remembered what life was like before the new system was put in place, she even had a husband and a child, and this part of her torments her. If she hadn't known any better, she would accept the system. The brainwashing she has been put through works on many levels but with her past, she can't leave it all behind that easily.

Offred does her job and acts as she should for a large portion of the book. There are disturbing parts where Atwood describes the reproduction ritual, basically the commander having sex with Offred while she lies on top of his wife, Serena Joy. It is kind of like a very unerotic threesome and it's not that nice to read or think about. But again, the whole concept isn't that far-fetched in some ways. The system is functional and geared towards creating a better future. Anyone who stands in it's way is hunted, tried publicly, and executed by various means.

What's interesting in this book too is the rebellion. It sneaks up on you in various characters, characters you wouldn't expect sometimes, and other times the most rebellious characters are somehow caged despite of it.

My favourite characters were Offred of course, but also Nick. He seemed to have some compassion which felt sincere, whereas I always thought that the commander was kind of patronising and fake, despite apparently wanting to educate Offred and offer her things she wouldn't usually be allowed. However, there is ambiguity at the end, including over Nick, and although I have my suspicions, I'm still not quite sure what to believe.

A quick note on the writing: I found Atwood's style sparser than I thought I would. The descriptions were good though and I liked how she dealt with the jumps in time and conversations from the past with key characters. 

One thing I do know is that this book deserves a read, even if it doesn't draw you in immediately. It's a scary and realistic novel, with a narrator who makes you feel sad and hopeful all at once. I just hope for all of our sakes that Atwood's vision never becomes a reality!


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