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WELCOME TO THE BISCUIT REVIEWS

The latest episode will be on this front page and you can scroll down past episodes, alternatively you can use the menu to skip to BOOKS, PODCASTS, or TV shows and go to each individual review.

Here reviews are signed  off not with stars or marks out of 10, but instead a neat biscuit rating to give you more of a flavour of what it's like. 

Like: "This book gets a Jammy Dodger rating cos there's plenty to chew on and has a sweet filling."

GET IN TOUCH!

Do you have a fave book/podcast/TV Show that you think is a bit of an undiscovered gem? I'd love to hear about it. You can get in touch via the contact page for Humanish and submit anything in written form, or send a voice note to media@thehumanish.co.uk, or we could arrange to have a podcast chat:

LATEST

Episode 12:
Barry and Who Trolled Amber

12th April, 2024

15min 15secs

A trip to the less glamorous side of showbiz for the absurd and slightly caustic comedy TV show Barry, and the investigative podcast series Who Trolled Amber?

 

SNL alumni Bill Hader is the creator and star of Barry, in which he pays the titular hitman who wants to give it up his day job to become an actor.

Tortoise media have a cracking hit rate with their investigative series and this one delves into the murky world of online misinformation and manipulation through the prism of the Amber Heard v Johnny Depp court case online.

You can get both reviews by listening to the podcast, or read the review for each one by clicking the link below. 

 

Who Trolled Amber? https://www.tortoisemedia.com/listen/who-trolled-amber/

All music in the episode is by Ketsa.

freemusicarchive.org/music/Ketsa/

(Creative Commons License CC BY-NC-ND 4.0)

PREVIOUS

Episode 11:
Safe Hands by W A Kelly;
and Dead Man's Grave by Neil Lancaster

29th March, 2024

24min 35secs

A bumper episode as we have our second guest author on The Biscuit Reviews.

 

This episode looks at two novels that feature criminal families and historical grievances - one that is brand new, and one that is actually from a few years ago. Both introduce us to characters that will become a part of a series, and both are crime novels that bring something a little different to the crime/thriller genre table.

Neil Lancaster’s Dead Man’s Grave introduces us to detective Max Craigie and a mysterious murder that unveils a centuries old feud and leads to a sprawling chase from Glasgow to the Highlands. 

 

Whilst my guest this episode is W A Kelly, who joins me to chat about his debut novel Safe Hands - a gritty thriller set on the English coast as retired safe cracker Mickey Blake is called back for one last job.

Listen to the podcast  for both reviews and you can also read each written review by following the links below.

 

W A Kelly: https://www.waynekellywrites.com

 

Neil Lancaster: https://neillancastercrime.co.uk

All music in the episode is by Ketsa.

freemusicarchive.org/music/Ketsa/

(Creative Commons License CC BY-NC-ND 4.0)

Episode 10:
By Ash, Oak and Thorn; and Seven Deadly Psychologies

5th January, 2024

9min 53secs

Let's step into 2024 with two reviews that kind of sum up my 2023: nature and how we think.

 

I've been meaning to read the novel By Ash, Oak and Thorn by Melissa Harrison for ages and although the novel starts in spring,  starting it in the depths of winter proved ideal! We follow three of the ancient Hidden Folk - guardians of nature - as they set off and quest to solve a mystery that threatens their existence. It's a beautiful tale of wonder that will delight readers of all ages.

 

The seven deadly sins get a bad rap don't they? I mean, they're called "deadly" for a start which doesn't bode well. But what if they have their uses? And why do we have these emotions If they're so deadly anyway? Becky Ripley and Sophie Ward's podcast for BBC radio 4 brings together the science and the social aspects of each "sin" in an thoroughly entertaining series that will have you looking at your own emotions in a new light.

Listen to the podcast  for both reviews and you can also read each written review by following the links below.

 

Melissa Harrison: https://melissaharrison.co.uk

Seven Deadly Psychologies: https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/m001sm83

All music in the episode is by Ketsa.

freemusicarchive.org/music/Ketsa/

(Creative Commons License CC BY-NC-ND 4.0)

Episode 9:
Possible Worlds...and Children of Memory

21st October, 2023

16min 49secs

A sci-fi double bill that takes us to the far reaches of the universe and to the distant future and back again. 

 

Adrian Tchaikosvky concludes his astonishing Children of… trilogy with Children of Memory. Building on the combination of evolution, biology and tech in the previous instalments, this final chapter goes darker and deeper into what we even mean by “real”. It is also quite frighteningly current with some of the themes and like classic sci-fi, often acts as a warning. 

 

Dr Rachel Handley is a philosopher at Trinity College and a science fiction author and poet. She joins me to chat about her collection Possible Worlds and Other Stories. A hugely entertaining book that delivers thought provoking and vivid stories with a wry sharp sense of humour. Oh, and a world of crabs.

 

Adrian Tchaikovsky: https://adriantchaikovsky.com

Dr Rachel Handley links: https://linktr.ee/_rachelhandley

 

All music in the episode is by Ketsa.

freemusicarchive.org/music/Ketsa/ (Creative Commons License CC BY-NC-ND 4.0)

Episode 8:
The Peripheral and Silo

25th August, 2023

16min 49secs

A TV sci-fi double bill as we head to both the near and far future and two series both based on novels but two very different stories that deal with very familiar issues and have lead characters questioning what is real...

In The Peripheral (Based on William Gibson's book) on Prime Video, Chlöe Grace Moretz needs money to look after her sick mother so takes a virtual reality job testing an experimental gaming headset. When she wears it, she takes over a body and a James Bond like mission in 2099 London. A mission that feels a little too real and soon catches up with her in her 2032 reality.

Silo on Apple TV is set further into the future and after a catastrophe destroys the planet's atmosphere, a society survives in an underground silo, eking out a bare existence following strict societal rules. But more is hidden beneath the surface than just their homes.

Apple continues its pitch to be the place for grand and thoughtful sci-fi with this adaptation of Hugh Howey's book series.

Listen below or click the links to the written review for each one.

Episode 7:
Between Us and People Who Knew Me

5th August, 2023

13min 14secs

Secrets. Deception. Affairs. Both the book and podcast reviewed on this episode dive deep into the drama of the tangled webs we weave. And both feature needy mothers (to different degrees) and also involve LA.

Author Mhairi McFarlane is due a trip to LA herself as her books are becoming blockbuster events on the literary calendar and her latest release Between Us hits the ground running with high glamour, high drama, and high stakes. 

The BBC Podcast series People Who Knew Me might draw you in with its A-List cast of Rosamund Pike and Hugh Laurie but it will keep you hooked with the suspense of what Connie will do as her secret past life might need to be revealed.

Listen below or click the links to the written review for each one.

Episode 6:
Witch / Isabella & Blodwen

22nd July, 2023

16min 37secs

Be prepared to be drawn into a mesmerising tour through the centuries as journalist India Rakusen presents "Witch" - a quite stunning podcast series. Full of surprising revelations that take you from outrage and horror to joy and hope via watery graves and icy rivers.

Rachael Smith delivers a fun and chaotic story of a centuries old witch unleashed to help precious 16 year old Isabella as she struggle to fit in and make her mark at Oxford University.

You can read the individual written reviews for Witch and Isabella & Blodwen and find videos and links by clicking the buttons below.

Episode 5
Open Water / The Night She Disappeared

Thursday 20th April, 2023

13min 37secs

 

Another double header as I blitzed through these books so fast.

Caleb Azumah Nelsons debut novel Open Water is an astonishing achievement. Combining poetic prose and rhythms to match the heart wrenching tale of love and identity against the backdrop of a frenetic London and racial tensions.

Lisa Jewell has cemented her reputation as an elite thriller writer and The Night She Disappeared is an other hit of the genre - which might seem a long way from her debut novel in 1999 but there are similarities that make both compulsive reading.

You can read the individual written reviews for Witch and Isabella & Blodwen and find videos and links by clicking the buttons below.

Episode 4
Elizabeth is Missing / Cardinal

Thursday 6th April, 2023

13min 7secs

 

A double header this week. First up, I marvel at how in "Elizabeth is Missing", Emma Healey has crafted a tale about an old lady with dementia into a thrilling and moving mystery. That's followed as I reveal the themes that connect that novel to the  Scandi-noir-esque Canadian detective series "Cardinal".

The episode starts with the novel, but you can skip to 7minutes 20second if you just want Cardinal review.

 

Click the button below to go to full written version for Elizabeth is Missing and Cardinal and links to TikTok and YouTube versions.

Episode 3
The Power by Naomi Alderman

Saturday 28th January, 2023

8min 47secs

 

The Power by Naomi Alderman is a provocative near future science fiction novel that poses a “what if?” scenario and dares you to confront the world around you and your place in it. It is quite literally shocking, as well as a world-hopping thriller with graphic action and uncomfortable moral choices. Could it also be the smash hit TV show of 2023?

Click the button below to to go to full written version and links to TikTok and YouTube versions.

Episode 2
The Coming Storm

Saturday 21st January, 2023

7min 45secs

 

The Coming Storm is a BBC podcast by journalist Gabriel Gatehouse and producer Lucy Proctor that on the surface is about the background to the Capitol Insurrection in Washington DC on the January 2021. Whilst the repercussions of that day still reverberate in the news and the courts in the present, this series takes a deep dive into history. 
What makes this a must listen series and how is it like the best thriller films? 

Click the button below to to go to full written version and links to TikTok and YouTube versions.

Episode 1
Fairy Tale by Stephen King

Saturday 14th January, 2023

9min 30secs

 

Did Stephen King write a Young Adult novel? I also think I know the perfect director to make any film adaptation that might be tried of this vast imaginative novel.

In the first of my The Biscuit Reviews selections, I give myself a treat by starting with an author who I have re-embraced in the last decade after first leaping into IT and Needful Things when my older brothers got me into horror books as a kid. Let's dive into how the master storyteller gets to grip with one of the oldest story forms - the fairy tale.  

Click the button below to to go to full written version and links to TikTok and YouTube versions.

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