The Railway Children by E. Nesbit
This is a children’s classic. Three children and their mother go to a remote village after the father is jailed for espionage. They get involved with the railway and have adventures. This has a nice unhurried ambience.
Hobgoblin by John Coyne
This 1981 ‘horror’ is a hodge podge of rape culture, rampant sexism and sexual violence. It is dramatically inert with indigestible dialogue. It also has a ‘hero’ Scott who is obsessed with an RPG named Hobgoblin. He is a dumb, spoilt, scenery munching, sexist creeper who causes emotional trauma but it is his obsession with nerd culture that is apparently the problem. The stifling social conservatism and faux wood panelling of the era are both present but there is no potential horror. This was rancid with no sympathetic characters or coherent storytelling. Scott’s impatience with ordinary manners is infuriating.
The Bound by Tamar Cohen
Couples Hannah & Josh and Dan & Sasha are friends but things become emotionally fraught when Dan dumps Sasha for a younger model. Josh takes this as an ominous pointer to the state of his own marriage to the wildly selfish Hannah. As Dan expunges Sasha from his life, things become a clash zone. Is Sasha being exasperatingly over-dramatic or is someone really a threat to her? Josh and Hannah try not to take sides but are trapped in the maelstrom the disintegration of Dan and Sasha’s marriage. This was good though the twist wasn’t that unexpected.
“You do not get to throw us away like so much rubbish. You do not get to slot someone else into our place.”
“That took a position and refused to budge from it or countenance an alternative.”
“Cleaners who stole her underwear.”
“So content to confine their world to this house.”
“Married to a man who held strong views on garden trellising.”
“Who regarded psychological illness as something of a lifestyle choice.”
“A tone he didn’t altogether like,”
“She was perpetually disappointed in him.”
“She was in bed - well, wasn’t she always?”
“Might actually be about to take some responsibility for the chain of events he’d set in motion.”