Tilly the Terrier Review
Ben Simons' new children's book opens and closes with the line 'I am charming and delightful' and nothing could be more fitting.
Simons has done an incredible job both writing and illustrating this sweet little
book, detailing the random day-to-day thoughts of an adorable terrier. The real draw here (no pun intended) is the beautiful illustrations, and that compliment simply cannot do justice to the talent on show here. Every page features a gorgeous, detailed, and intricate portrait of Tilly, or of her surroundings, and they can be difficult to turn the page away from. My personal favourite is a cat - green eyed and ginger furred - that Tilly is desperate to play with.
The accompanying text is rhythmic and gives meaning to the pictures, creating a short book that can be quite emotional (especially if you're a dog owner, or lover). A bedtime read, really, for the warm and friendly feel of the book, but one I can recommend for anytime because it is so worth the read! Enjoy!
Congratulations to Ben Simons for an incredible debut. I can't wait for the next.
The Asylum Review
I read 'The Asylum' the way books of its kind should always be read. Night time, dark room, reading light, feet up, duvet over.
Zaman's novel is a short one that presents an effectively creepy story without ever being boring. There's no stunting the pace of the rapidly unfolding story, in which an asylum's newest employee begins to investigate his workplace's weird tendencies. Why is the ward shaped like a crucifix? Who is it that's 'almost here' and everyone keeps talking about? Why is 6 o clock always particularly violent?
The greatest strength of the book is the way Zaman uses his own experiences to force the reader to question what's real or not, autobiographical or fiction, delusion or fact. In this, Zaman creates fear in a way most author's cannot; by deliberately confusing the novel's intrigue with his own real story I was drawn in and felt more than a simple worry for make-believe characters. I was so compelled by the story he had to tell, as would be anyone, as would be you!
Chilling even after the final page, and gripping all the way through. If a scary book is what you're after, this one is worth a read.