Cold Water Part Two

Cold Water Part Two: a walk in search of Manchester (and Salford) bars The Curiously Specific Book Club

Taking Gwendoline Riley’s exquisitely concise novel for a walk around Manchester, we’re drawn across Piccadilly Gardens, through the Arndale Centre, across to a Salford pub and then back and round to the Central Library and the canal. We marvel at how rapidly Manchester keeps changing – old buildings demolished, new ones thrown up in their place. We lament the passing of all of George Best’s many pubs and clubs. We celebrate our own memories of 90s Madchester and pay tribute to Riley’s acute snapshot of the Manchester of the next generation – dour, damp and semi-derelict, and yet resilient, wry and poetic.If you want to hear our episodes without ads, as soon as they’re available, subscribe to our Patreon page. Get early access to new episodes and bonus content Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.

Taking Gwendoline Riley’s exquisitely concise novel for a walk around Manchester, we’re drawn across Piccadilly Gardens, through the Arndale Centre, across to a Salford pub and then back and round to the Central Library and the canal. We marvel at how rapidly Manchester keeps changing – old buildings demolished, new ones thrown up in their place. We lament the passing of all of George Best’s many pubs and clubs. We celebrate our own memories of 90s Madchester and pay tribute to Riley’s acute snapshot of the Manchester of the next generation – dour, damp and semi-derelict, and yet resilient, wry and poetic.

If you want to hear our episodes without ads, as soon as they’re available, subscribe to our Patreon page.

Cold Water Part One

Cold Water Part One: a drive from Macclesfield to central Manchester The Curiously Specific Book Club

This small gem of novel is a great way to introduce yourself to the world of early-noughties Manchester. In Part One we journey from Ian Curtis’s Macclesfield memorial stone to a basement bar somewhere between Oxford Road and Manchester Piccadilly. For Lloyd this is a bit of a homecoming. For Tim it’s a chance to practise his John Copper Clark and Mark E Smith impressions. For both men, it’s a fantastic introduction to the writer Gwendoline Riley’s world of love and loss, clowns and bullies, drunks and troubadours. And endless rain.If you want to hear our episodes without ads, as soon as they’re available, subscribe to our Patreon page. Get early access to new episodes and bonus content Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.

This small gem of novel is a great way to introduce yourself to the world of early-noughties Manchester. In Part One we journey from Ian Curtis’s Macclesfield memorial stone to a basement bar somewhere between Oxford Road and Manchester Piccadilly. For Lloyd this is a bit of a homecoming. For Tim it’s a chance to practise his John Copper Clark and Mark E Smith impressions. For both men, it’s a fantastic introduction to the writer Gwendoline Riley’s world of love and loss, clowns and bullies, drunks and troubadours. And endless rain.

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The Rats Part Two

The Rats Part Two: Poplar and the Regent’s Canal The Curiously Specific Book Club

In part two of our adventure with James Herbert’s The Rats we discover how much the East End has changed, and how much it stays the same. The Regent’s Canal is a crumbling, abandoned ruin in Herbert’s book – today, it’s a polite playground for joggers and cyclists. But cheap tower blocks still loom over the pleasure seekers, and unchecked development has us asking: is this what Eastenders really want? And we find that rats have survived the changes. In fact, they are thriving. And their numbers are growing… If you want to hear our episodes without ads, as soon as they’re available, subscribe to our Patreon page. Get early access to new episodes and bonus content Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.

In part two of our adventure with James Herbert’s The Rats we discover how much the East End has changed, and how much it stays the same. The Regent’s Canal is a crumbling, abandoned ruin in Herbert’s book – today, it’s a polite playground for joggers and cyclists. But cheap tower blocks still loom over the pleasure seekers, and unchecked development has us asking: is this what Eastenders really want? And we find that rats have survived the changes. In fact, they are thriving. And their numbers are growing…

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The Rats Part One

The Rats Part One: Whitechapel to Stepney The Curiously Specific Book Club

Fancy a trip into the dark heart of London’s East End? A place of racist killings, crumbling housing, and striking schoolchildren? We’ve got an unexpected guide for you: James Herbert’s 1974 splatterpunk debut, The Rats. Don’t worry – we won’t be reading the really gory parts. But we will be using the book to navigate the 1970s East End – and it turns out that Herbert’s book has as much social history as horror excess. Even if Herbert was not always aware of it. If you want to hear our episodes without ads, as soon as they’re available, subscribe to our Patreon page. Get early access to new episodes and bonus content Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.

Fancy a trip into the dark heart of London’s East End? A place of racist killings, crumbling housing, and striking schoolchildren? We’ve got an unexpected guide for you: James Herbert’s 1974 splatterpunk debut, The Rats. Don’t worry – we won’t be reading the really gory parts. But we will be using the book to navigate the 1970s East End – and it turns out that Herbert’s book has as much social history as horror excess. Even if Herbert was not always aware of it.

If you want to hear our episodes without ads, as soon as they’re available, subscribe to our Patreon page.

Dracula Part Two

Dracula Part Two: Gunpowder, graves and insanity The Curiously Specific Book Club

This is the second part of our adventure with Bram Stoker’s epic chiller Dracula. Having travelled south from Whitby, we find ourselves in Purfleet, Stoker’s imaginative location for the estate of Carfax and Jack Seward’s asylum. We then head to Piccadilly to pick a virtual fight with the online Stoker cognoscenti over the location of Dracula’s London pad. We end in a graveyard in Hampstead, discussing sunsets and decapitations under the eyes of owls and bats.If you want to hear our episodes without ads, as soon as they’re available, subscribe to our Patreon page. Get early access to new episodes and bonus content Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.

This is the second part of our adventure with Bram Stoker’s epic chiller Dracula. Having travelled south from Whitby, we find ourselves in Purfleet, Stoker’s imaginative location for the estate of Carfax and Jack Seward’s asylum. We then head to Piccadilly to pick a virtual fight with the online Stoker cognoscenti over the location of Dracula’s London pad. We end in a graveyard in Hampstead, discussing sunsets and decapitations under the eyes of owls and bats.

If you want to hear our episodes without ads, as soon as they’re available, subscribe to our Patreon page.

Dracula Part One

Dracula Part One: Sea and ships, graves and benches The Curiously Specific Book Club

We’re taking on a book which is as much a myth as it is a novel: Bram Stoker’s 1897 chiller, Dracula. Like Stoker’s eponymous neck-botherer, we find ourselves washed up in Whitby, one of the most theatrical settings we’ve ever seen for a book. We hunt down the bench where the Count attacks poor Lucy Westenra, and stand on the beach where his ship crashes into the shore of England. We discuss goths and sleepwalking and wonder why it is, exactly, that anyone would ask where they could find Dracula’s grave?If you want to hear our episodes without ads, as soon as they’re available, subscribe to our Patreon page. Get early access to new episodes and bonus content Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.

We’re taking on a book which is as much a myth as it is a novel: Bram Stoker’s 1897 chiller, Dracula. Like Stoker’s eponymous neck-botherer, we find ourselves washed up in Whitby, one of the most theatrical settings we’ve ever seen for a book. We hunt down the bench where the Count attacks poor Lucy Westenra, and stand on the beach where his ship crashes into the shore of England. We discuss goths and sleepwalking and wonder why it is, exactly, that anyone would ask where they could find Dracula’s grave?

If you want to hear our episodes without ads, as soon as they’re available, subscribe to our Patreon page.

The Woman in Black Part Two

Woman in Black Part Two: The flat lands The Curiously Specific Book Club

This is the second part of our adventure with Susan Hill’s classic chiller The Woman in Black. In our ongoing hunt for places which could have inspired the fictional locations of Crythin Gifford and Eel Marsh House we find ourselves in Lincolnshire, where the land merges into the sea seemingly without interruption, where old rock stars haunt interesting market towns, and where Marconi dreamed of talking to the dead. Tim tries to get Lloyd to walk through an abandoned railway tunnel, without success, and we salute Hill’s masterful messing with her readers’ heads.If you want to hear our episodes without ads, as soon as they’re available, subscribe to our Patreon page. Get early access to new episodes and bonus content Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.

This is the second part of our adventure with Susan Hill’s classic chiller The Woman in Black. In our ongoing hunt for places which could have inspired the fictional locations of Crythin Gifford and Eel Marsh House we find ourselves in Lincolnshire, where the land merges into the sea seemingly without interruption, where old rock stars haunt interesting market towns, and where Marconi dreamed of talking to the dead. Tim tries to get Lloyd to walk through an abandoned railway tunnel, without success, and we salute Hill’s masterful messing with her readers’ heads.

If you want to hear our episodes without ads, as soon as they’re available, subscribe to our Patreon page.

The Woman in Black Part One

The Woman in Black Part One: Yorkshire hauntings The Curiously Specific Book Club

We’re taking Susan Hill’s classic chiller The Woman in Black out for an adventure. It isn’t easy, because the market town of Crythin Gifford and the scary old Eel Marsh House are not real places. But what if they were constructed from real memories, and reminiscent of real places? In part one of our latest episode we check out some likely spots in Yorkshire, and Tim tries to scare Lloyd with the tale of a Norman princess and the church she haunts. He is more successful than he planned for. If you want to hear our episodes without ads, as soon as they’re available, subscribe to our Patreon page. Get early access to new episodes and bonus content Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.

We’re taking Susan Hill’s classic chiller The Woman in Black out for an adventure. It isn’t easy, because the market town of Crythin Gifford and the scary old Eel Marsh House are not real places. But what if they were constructed from real memories, and reminiscent of real places? In part one of our latest episode we check out some likely spots in Yorkshire, and Tim tries to scare Lloyd with the tale of a Norman princess and the church she haunts. He is more successful than he planned for.

If you want to hear our episodes without ads, as soon as they’re available, subscribe to our Patreon page.

Day of the Triffids Part Two

Day of the Triffids Part Two: Escape to Sussex The Curiously Specific Book Club

In part 2 of our Day of the Triffids adventure, we follow Bill Masen as he leaves London and heads down into Sussex, on the trail of the woman he finds himself in love with. We discover John Wyndham’s house in the countryside, and travel the Wyndham Way, our name for the road which winds along below the South Downs, with Wyndham’s school and home at one end, and Bill Masen’s refuge at the other. On the way we speculate as to when the book is set, and discover the dark history of 20th century seed manipulation. If you want to hear our episodes without ads, as soon as they’re available, subscribe to our Patreon page. Get early access to new episodes and bonus content Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.

In part 2 of our Day of the Triffids adventure, we follow Bill Masen as he leaves London and heads down into Sussex, on the trail of the woman he finds himself in love with. We discover John Wyndham’s house in the countryside, and travel the Wyndham Way, our name for the road which winds along below the South Downs, with Wyndham’s school and home at one end, and Bill Masen’s refuge at the other. On the way we speculate as to when the book is set, and discover the dark history of 20th century seed manipulation.

If you want to hear our episodes without ads, as soon as they’re available, subscribe to our Patreon page.

Day of the Triffids Part One

Day of the Triffids Part One: Darkness falls on London! The Curiously Specific Book Club

We’re back in London, discovering the places and context for John Wyndham’s legendary dystopian tale The Day of the Triffids. Our hero, Bill Masen, has woken up in a London hospital to a world in which everything has changed – almost everyone has become blind overnight, and the plants which Bill helped to breed, the triffids, have begun to prey on the newly vulnerable humans. But where is the hospital Bill wakes up in? And where does he end up taking shelter in central London? And why do pubs play such an important role? If you want to hear our episodes without ads, as soon as they’re available, subscribe to our Patreon page. Get early access to new episodes and bonus content Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.

We’re back in London, discovering the places and context for John Wyndham’s legendary dystopian tale The Day of the Triffids. Our hero, Bill Masen, has woken up in a London hospital to a world in which everything has changed – almost everyone has become blind overnight, and the plants which Bill helped to breed, the triffids, have begun to prey on the newly vulnerable humans. But where is the hospital Bill wakes up in? And where does he end up taking shelter in central London? And why do pubs play such an important role? If you want to hear our episodes without ads, as soon as they’re available, subscribe to our Patreon page.