Over the past few weeks I’ve been learning about various fictionalised versions of Greenwich and have decided to try to read them all and discuss them one by one. I thought if I told you about them, you could read them too if you like and we could discuss them…
The first one I’m going to read is Nicholas Blake’s The Worm of Death. Never heard of Nicholas Blake? Try C. Day Lewis. He wrote mysteries under the pseudonym from the 30s until the 70s. When he moved to Crooms Hill, next to Greenwich Park, he moved his hero Nigel Strangeways, a crime-solving poet, no less, into his house too. The Worm of Death is, inexplicably, out of print, but can be found on various second hand sites. I got my copy for 37p.
While we’re about it, I’ll also be reading Joseph Conrad’s The Secret Agent, a foggy story of dark deeds around the secret tunnels in Greenwich Park and Blackheath based on a real incident of anarchist bombs and derring-do in the late 19th Century.
The Greenwich Chronicles are kiddies books by Val Tyler aimed at 8-10 year-olds so they should be just right for me. The Time Wreccas and The Time Apprentice get vastly mixed reviews; roughly half the people on Amazon love these stories about little folk who live in the secret tunnels of Greenwich Park guarding Time, the other half detest them. We’ll just have to see for ourselves…
I’m particularly looking forward to reading first-time novelist Camilla Way’s debut which has just come out. The Dead of Summer tells the story of three just-pre-teen youngsters who spend a summer investigating – guess what – the secret tunnels of Greenwich Park. She’s interviewed in The Guide (the only local paper/mag I have any real time for) this month and I like the look of her.
I think it’s Marilyn who’s told me about James Herbert’s The Rats. I’m not a huge horror fan, so that one will be, ahem, last on the list, but I will be reading it of course.
If you know of any other fiction set in Greenwich we should be reading, do let me know…
In the meanwhile I’ll get started on The Worm of Death (which deserves a medal just for the title.)
I won’t be posting tomorrow – so for now, Happy Easter. If you still haven’t got your Easter Eggs yet, La Salumeria’s selection is stunning.