back to article Nothing is True and Everything is Possible, Dead Girl Walking and Chasing the Scream

El Reg bookworm Mark Diston reviews the latest litery treats with a look at Russia's uneasy balance of state control and capitalism through the eyes of Peter Pomerantsev. Top-notch Scots crime writer Chris Brookmyre has another gripping investigative outing for Jack Parlabane and Johann Hari looks at the reality and practicality …

  1. This post has been deleted by its author

    1. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge

      Re: Hmmm...

      If you choose to lock yourself in a two-dimensional left/right view of the world modelled after the seating convention of parliament immediately after the French Revolution, you are have only yourself to blame for the shitty categorizations you end up with.

      1. This post has been deleted by its author

  2. Chris Miller

    A list of modern Scottish authors

    omitting Iain [M] Banks? There'll be letters!

    1. Zog_but_not_the_first

      Re: A list of modern Scottish authors

      Indeed. Bit of a slip-up there me'thinks.

  3. John Savard

    The Root Cause

    If addiction is a disease of loneliness, then the cure is presumably worse than the disease.

    Now that women have equal rights, they can take paying jobs and support themselves; not like ancient times, where every woman had to be married so her parents wouldn't have to be the ones to feed her.

    1. xperroni

      Re: The Root Cause

      Now that women have equal rights, they can take paying jobs and support themselves; not like ancient times, where every woman had to be married so her parents wouldn't have to be the ones to feed her.

      Yes, because women only care about money and power. It's only us men who miss the company of a kindred soul; woe to us, who cannot anymore just go out and buy a woman to our liking!

      Oh wait...

  4. fLaMePrOoF

    "The likes Irvine Welsh, Alan Warner and Laura Hird in literary fiction and crime writers such as Val McDermid, Chris Brookmyre and Ian Rankin seem to have developed a sub-genre of their own. All are very prolific and consistent at turning out high quality pared down writing with downbeat heroes and a grim sardonic underlying humour."

    Cannot believe you omitted the late Iain M Banks from this list :/

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    From your description, his book could apply equally to any of the major economies well into this side of the Volga. Also, the "no apparent agenda" bit is hardly obvious from your review.

    1. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge

      Re: Pomerantsev

      I hear the ECB has recently announced a terasteal of 1.5 trillion EUR, and this before the pyramiding through the banking system comes into effect. Does anyone have a problem with that? Apparently not.

  6. John Gamble

    A New Brookmyre!

    And it reaches the States in... May.

    Shakes fist at publishers in impotent fury.

  7. Trollslayer
    Thumb Up


    This is showing books I wouldn't have noticed otherwise, thank you.

  8. Franco

    Much as I love the work of Chris Brookmyre, Iain Rankin, Iain Banks and Irvine Welsh, amongst many others, the phrase "Tartan Noir" really sets my teeth on edge. It sounds to me like a kitsch brand of chocolate shortbread sold to tourists in Edinburgh.

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    The Russian Tradition

    Ironically, on the same subject, I came across a book a few years ago (Moscow Mission), written by an ex-US ambassador to the USSR in the late 1940s. He chose to illustrate each chapter with quotes from a journal by a British traveler to Russia, ah, about 1850 (no coincidence, no dobut), more about the state of mind than the state of the rods. The comments were spot on, 100 years later, in his dealings with the Russians. And as I read them, they seemed to match perfectly what I knew about the USSR in the 1970s and 1980s, and even more accurately to what I had experienced visiting Russia a good few times over the last 20 years.

    Arguably, you can always find quotes to fit your point, but I remember perfectly the poor ambassador did try to, or appeared to make a great effort, to comprehend the Russian psyche.

    And what is also ironic is that the Russians have such a huge complex of inferiority towards the West and harp on about how the West mistakes their (good) intentions, and how the West treats them with (unwarranted) contempt, etc. and every time they come up with something, like this "nekulturny" bully, they themselves reinforce the stereotypes. Well, are they stereotypes? Anyway, OT :)

  10. Graham Anderson

    incorrect book website link

    Your book link for 'Chasing The Scream' goes to the site for 'Nothing Is True...' - correct URL should be

  11. Ben Bonsall

    I know that it is considered bad form to divulge too much of the plot in tales of this nature, but I will say I found the rope descent wearing Louboutin heels unfeasible – though, not having tried this stunt myself, I can neither verify not deny its possibility.

    It wouldn't be the first on-the-edge-of-disbelief rope descent in a parlabane book... I'm thinking of Be My Enemy here

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