Hubert O'Hearn

Hubert O'Hearn

Hubert O'Hearn emigrated from Canada to the land of his ancestors Ireland and later to the UK at the end of 2012. He is the author of six books on everything from Human Rights to the care and psychology of Border Collies. He can be followed on Twitter @BTBReviews

Latest government budget is bad news for FE & the country’s future

Belfast Book Festival Report: Running with the Wolfpack

As I may have mentioned one or two hundred times before, Belfast and particularly its thriving arts scene is the best-kept secret in the UK. What I find remarkable about that statement, which I find as easy to state as the current weather conditions, is how often I have to...

Major Global Projects and Mission that Might Positively Change the Climate in 2019

The Green New Deal: The world may just save itself again

I am not going to assume that you have already seen the confrontation two weeks ago between Senator Dianne Feinstein and a group of schoolchildren over the (no pun intended, at least not by me) green paper proposals collectively titled the Green New Deal. As we live in a time...

The Moment of Kirsten Gillibrand

The Moment of Kirsten Gillibrand

The only moments in life that count for something are the exceptions. Mondays are Mondays just as Tuesdays blend into every other Tuesday except for the Wednesday that wasn’t a Wednesday because it was the day when, like the title of Joe Heller’s oft-neglected yet brilliant novel, Something Happened. For...

Book review: Ladder Climbing in High Heels

This may well come as a shock to your beliefs so reach out and hold close something you love dearly, but serve it straight and in a shot glass for the truth will brittle your bones into icicles. As my father said, in the only letter that one professional writer...

Photographer captures incredible shots of the world’s most luxurious high-rise apartments.

Dr Naomi Wolf: What is happening with the clouds?

Even Abraham Maslow missed the most important human point. When that renowned American psychologist, studied by virtually every social sciences student ever since he published his 1943 paper ‘A Theory of Human Motivation’, listed his pyramid of human needs he stated that at its base the edifice was founded upon...

Book Review: Just the Funny Parts

Book Review: Just the Funny Parts

A pithy observation to start: Everything you have ever found funny involved pain. Everything, no exceptions, from the cradle to the wise-cracking hospice nurse, involved pain. An infant in its cradle giggles at the huge face looming over it because the baby’s eyes are still learning to focus and after...

Latest government budget is bad news for FE & the country’s future

Book Review: The Flicker of Old Dreams

Let me tell you about something that no readers in Britain, Ireland or Western Europe can possibly relate to unless they are either from one of the vast countries of other continents, or perchance have driven hundreds or thousands of miles through Canada, the US or similar lands that bear...

Book Review: Agent in Place

I was just thinking that, you know, it has to have been at least twenty years since I last read five hundred pages of porn. Oh, so I’ve got your attention, do I? Well, don’t get your hopes up and your shutters drawn, we’re not talking about that kind of...

Jessica Jones: AKA The Novel Experience

Jessica Jones: AKA The Novel Experience

(NOTE: I am going to try and keep the Spoilers to a minimum, however as I am an imperfect man whose life is a sham verging on post-apocalyptic horror, Spoilers will occur. As someone should post in every polling booth, Consider yourself warned!) When the Marvel-Netflix production of Jessica Jones...

Book review: Closer Than You Know

Book review: Closer Than You Know

Say what one will about genre fiction, usually expressed with a long-nosed sniff of disdain while ice cubes clink against the side of a swirled glass, yet it remains true that thousands, even tens of thousands of readers will derive much more enjoyment from the latest ‘dead body staining the...

From the Notebook: Thoughts on a Possibly Improving Year

From the Notebook: Thoughts on a Possibly Improving Year

Well hi there, and how's tricks? My apologies, and they are reasonably sincere, for having been absent from these (web) pages for two months. Since summarizing 2017 as the year that was I've taken a well-needed break from iPhone journalism to do some generally tedious yet altogether better paying work....

Binge Watch: The Punisher

Binge Watch: The Punisher

There is something dark and malicious within the concept of duty for at its root, duty is a well-told lie. Lies themselves are always betrayals for in the liar’s mind you the receiver of a lie are either too ignorant, too weak or too untrustworthy to be trusted with the...

Book Review: Bloodroot

Book Review: Bloodroot

It is quite possible, and beyond that most satisfactory, to lose one’s thoughts in consideration of the idea that the turbulently shifting great moments of history produce or recognise precisely the artists required to frame those occasions for present and future generations to understand and appreciate. Without Homer, ancient Greece...

Book Review: Beckett’s Political Imagination

Book Review: Beckett’s Political Imagination

One of my very favourites in a long, long list of literary anecdotes is drawn from the late Dick Seaver's posthumous memoir The Tender Hour of Twilight. Seaver more or less discovered Samuel Beckett in Paris after World War Two, at least in terms of the larger world markets, and...

Binge Watch: You’re the Worst

Binge Watch: You’re the Worst

Where Can I See It?: Channel 5 (UK), FXX (US) Who's In It?:  Stars Chris Geere as Jimmy Shive-Overly; Aya Cash as Gretchen Cutler When Is It On?: Wednesday 9PM (US), current series TBA for C5 (UK) I suspect it was a very deliberate choice when Stephen Falk, the showrunner...

Binge Watch: The Good Place

Binge Watch: The Good Place

Where Can I Find It?: Netflix (UK), NBC (USA) When Is It On?: New episodes uploaded on Netflix weekly; Thursdays at 8:30PM (NBC) Who Stars?: Ted Danson, Kristen Bell Of all the sitcoms that have ever been presented on television, The Good Place has the biggest, juiciest, best of all plot swerves. This creates a...

Hilary Clinton Odds On Favourite To Become Next US President

Hillary Clinton: It Takes a Pillage

No, this is not a review of the former Secretary of State's new book What Happened. I rather doubt I shall ever get around to reading it, which actually is not that unusual, even by its purchasers. There was an interesting article by Walt Hickey on the political data site FiveThirtyEight.com...

Book Review: Hannibal

Book Review: Hannibal

For those of you who have come to this review expecting to read about the newest novel featuring The Silence of the Lambs' Dr Lecter, oh dear. So sorry to inform you but the book we're looking at doesn't have anything to do with cannibalism. (Thinking) Which is rather a...

Is social homogeneity ruining journalism?

Journalists: Why Does Everybody Hate Us?

There's a grand old romantic comedy, released on April Fool's Day in 1958 called Teacher's Pet. In one scene, Clark Gable playing a crusty newsman named Jim Gannon growls and sneers at Doris Day's journalism professor Erica Stone about the whole idea of journalism schools. 'The only way to learn...

The Defenders: More spoilers than River Song’s diary

The Defenders: More spoilers than River Song’s diary

Back in the early days of NASCAR that circuit of hard driving, pit row fighting, Richard Petty, Junior Johnson, pedal to the metal high speed oval track racing had two basic rules: try not to kill anyone, and the cars actually had to be street legal right down to working...

The Title: The Story of the First Division

The Title: The Story of the First Division

For once in my life I am going to write a book review like a proper football match report and put the final score in the lead paragraph. Scott Murray's history of the Football League's First Division, The Title is as fine a book on English sport as will be...

Trump Watch: There is no alt-right, just Nazis

Trump Watch: There is no alt-right, just Nazis

The late George Carlin, a man who knew well the subtle trickery of language, used to do a routine based on the shifting terms used to describe the same condition. The easily understandable shell shock gave way to the slightly vaguer battle fatigue, ending up with today's post-traumatic stress disorder....

Trump Watch: This is a story of racism in America

Trump Watch: This is a story of racism in America

There are these peak learning moments in all our lives that don't necessarily happen in classrooms, or from reading books, not even from sitting on your grandfather's knee while he teaches you the good rules of living. Certainly all those can all apply, yet sometimes true learning moments come out...

Putting up a fight in the age of misinformation

Nuclear Holocaust Watch: It’s not funny anymore

"Depend upon it, Sir, when a man knows he is to be hanged in a fortnight, it concentrates his mind wonderfully.” That was a quote from Samuel Johnson, a man who knew a thing or two about snappy aphorisms in times of crisis. And, as befits the reputation of a...

Trump Watch: Caesars, The Appresident and Dead Cats

Trump Watch: Vampires, Yusopov and The Zeitgeist

There is one great truth that ties all revolutions in common and that is they never burst out in surprise. History, or at least when current events have been aged in the cask long enough to be classified as history, always has shown that there were warning signs, hints, foreshadowing...

Trump Watch: Caesars, The Appresident and Dead Cats

Trump Watch Three: Sympathy for the Devil’s Daughter

So the latest since our last check-in is that the President has been having imaginary conversations with the head of the Boy Scouts of America and the President of Mexico. These were either bald-faced lies (most likely), possible signs of creeping dementia (not unlikely), or one of those flashbacks we...

Trump Watch: Caesars, The Appresident and Dead Cats

Trump Watch: Caesars, The Appresident and Dead Cats

When Hunter S. Thompson was writing the article series for Rolling Stone that became the book Fear and Loathing on the Campaign Trail '72, for my money still the best book ever written on US politics, he combined factual reporting, interviews and out-and-out hallucinatory fantasies to give both the facts...

Book Review: The Streak

Book Review: The Streak

Frankly I blame beer for it, this whole obsession over sporting records. If it wasn't for beer's foaming head giving the men who drink it equally foaming heads would we really care who scored how many goals or runs in however many games in the year of one's father's birth?...

The New Journalism is back: A Palestine preview

The New Journalism is back: A Palestine preview

A year and a half ago a book written by M.E. McMillan titled From the First World War to the Arab Spring: What's Really Going on in the Middle East? landed on my desk for review. The title neatly summarizes the content, so no further description is needed other than...

Book review: The Girl Behind the Lens

Book review: The Girl Behind the Lens

As much as I truly enjoy reading a good mystery novel – within the broad term of genre fiction mysteries are by far my favourite – they do present a positively infernal problem in writing about them. Most of the major touchstones used by a thoughtful reviewer in assessing a...

Butterflies of a Bad Summer

Butterflies of a Bad Summer

If you have not heard of the Irish writer Karl Parkinson before, well let me tell you two things. One, you really need to move in better and more alternative circles; and two, you're missing out on something special. Parkinson's first novel, The Blocks, like a great thoroughbred on its...

Book Review: Why? What Makes Us Curious

Book Review: Why? What Makes Us Curious

Being curious about curiosity truly does sound like something out of Alice in Wonderland, whose lead character was observed saying 'curiouser and curiouser' about Mad Hatters, talking playing cards and the like. Although you know, if the Queen of Hearts leaps out of the desk and starts crying 'Off with...

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