Recently Read: Strangers

The story of a recently divorced, somewhat apathetic (what is it with Japanese authors and apathy?) man who believes his dead parents are still living out their lives as happy ghosts in his hometown, Strangers is a touching story that gets slightly confused toward the end when Taichi Yamada decides to throw in more bog standard ghoulish ghost action and it all comes off a bit like Dark Water. Despite this, the book manages to leave a lasting impression of loss and loneliness and their affects on the mind. Fortunately I rather enjoy being alone, so the prospect of a man living entirely isolated in an empty apartment with nobody to bother him seemed a rather beautiful idea, as opposed to the intended crushingly sad one.


Recently Read: Pattern Recognition

A book by William Gibson, Pattern Recognition tells the story of Cayce Pollard, a “cool hunter” on location in London. Cayce experiences intense allergic reactions to branding, making her a living litmus test for corporations as to whether a product will take off or crash. The main thrust of the story though revolves around a mysterious internet film, and Cayce’s search for its maker. Gibson constantly hints at the beauty of this mysterious film and its impact on viewers, but never quite lets the idea flourish into anything of note. Instead, we follow Cayce through a series of mostly innocuous chapters in which she makes tea, goes to sleep, and does Pilates, without any real payoff. Still, his stripped back style means the book skips along at a swift pace with the odd dab of cyberpunk, and the ending is rather lovely.


This is a space dedicated purely to the two passions in my life, poetry and short fiction. I’ve formerly kept a blog under the banner of blue horse, and ended up cluttering it with forays into video game journalism, rants about B-Movies of the 50s, and other odds and ends not primarily concerned with creative writing. And so, this site will be a distillation of writing, where you can read samples of my work and be kept up to date with recent publications. Please feel free to look around. Read, enjoy, and get in touch!

Matt Haigh