Other actors to have taken on the role include Douglas Fairbanks Senior, Richard Todd, Kevin Costner, Russel Crowe, Errol Flynn, Patrick Bergin, and many, many more. In all at least 69 films and TV series have featured Robin Hood either as the leading character or in a supporting role. His appeal is international and there has even been a Japanese Robin Hood. The number of books that feature him are almost as numerous. Here is yet another.
Saint imagines Robin Hood very much as the bad guy. He is an outlaw because he deserves to be an outlaw, as we find out as the story progresses. He’s not just a thief, but a kidnapper, rapist and murderer as well. A thoroughly bad lot, as some might say. He rules over Sherwood Forest like some third world dictator, taking what he wants from whoever he wants and the over stretched Sheriff of Nottingham seems to be powerless to stop him.
As well as Robin, most of the other well-known names from previous versions of the story are to be found in his band of not so merry men: Little John, Will Scarlet, Alan à Dale, Friar Tuck et al, though Saint has played around with the names a little. If they are merry at all it’s because they are fighting drunk and bent on mischief. If they rob from the rich to give to the poor it is to bribe the poor, the ones that can’t be intimidated, into keeping quiet about where they live. The Kray Twins operated on a similar principle.
The story moves forward at a good pace and the author provides a strong sense of period. I had to suspend disbelief a little, but no more than for many stories set in the past. After all, I’m so used to Robin being the hero that it was sometimes difficult to get my head around him now being the villain. I kept expecting the author to give him a moment of revelation where he sees the error of his ways, but he doesn’t. The author has kept to modern(ish) English, so there aren’t a lot of thee’s and thou’s to contend with and there isn’t a “ye” to be seen. The story works its way to a fitting climax, the outcome of which I didn’t see coming, so look out for the twist in the tail.
So, why only 4 stars? Well, I really only give 5 stars to the best book I read each month and, while this gets close, it didn’t quite make the cut. In another month it might well have done. There is also a touch too much rape involved in the story for my liking. Overall I did enjoy the book and do recommend it to lovers of historical fiction. If you can’t get your head around Robin Hood as a bad guy, however, you might want to give it a miss.
To find out more about “Outlaw click here
The OED definition is “A famous person, especially in entertainment or sport.” I don’t know about you, but I think that implies that the celebrity in question has some sort of talent to either entertain or to play their sport of choice.
By that definition, Paul MacCartney is a celebrity, Wayne Rooney is a celebrity, Dawn French is a celebrity, Michael MacIntyre is a celebrity and so is Idris Elba. They all strive to entertain in some way, be it singing, football, comedy or acting. I’ll even concede the celebrity status of singing foetuses such as Justin Bieber and Harry Styles. They may not be my cup of tea but they do something to entertain their fans.
So, what do these people do to entertain you? Charlotte Crosby, Joey Essex, Stephanie Pratt, Tyger Drew-Honey, Jack Jones, and Paisley.
Now, one name stands out in that list. Tyger Drew-Honey does have some talent as an actor. He was one of the annoying kids in the BBC sit-com “Outnumbered” and has appeared in other TV acting roles. The rest, however, are so lacking in any discernible talent I’m surprised that they can breath without someone standing beside them saying “in, out, in, out”.
Paisley is the “receptionist” in a supposed tattoo parlour that fixes badly drawn or ill advised tattoos. You know the sort of thing; the name of a girl/boy friend that left the day after the tattoo was done. The dove that looks like a chicken. The Chinese character that the recipient was
There are two blokes in that show who have some talent for making bad tattoos look a bit better, by turning them into something less embarrassing and better drawn, but she does nothing except laugh and/or gasp at the horrendous tattoos that people want fixing. Do they pick the talented guys who fix the tattoos to appear on this new show? No, they pick the embarrassingly annoying receptionist instead.
As for the rest, even they don’t know who they are, but according to E4 they are celebrities. The common denominator is that they have all been on TV before. Actually, no they haven’t. Jack Jones makes videos for YouTube. He is described as an internet sensation. On that basis then I, too, declare myself to be an internet sensation. Please now forward the money and my Celebrity Club membership card.
So, with the exception, perhaps, of the splendidly named Tyger Drew-Honey, They would collectively struggle to summon up an ounce of talent between them. So why are they celebrities?
So don’t bother learning to sing or play a musical instrument. Don’t spend years at drama school learning to act. Don’t waste your time on the training ground learning how to dribble, pass, tackle or shoot. Don’t even traipse around the comedy clubs year after year trying to make people laugh. Just get your face in front of a camera for a few minutes, say some words written by someone else and you, too, can be a celebrity just like these morons.
Except that it's a false dream that leaves lots of people saying "Do you want fries with that?"
When the digital TV revolution was started back in the late 90s we were promised “more choice”. I said at the time that more choice didn’t equal more quality. How right I was.
* TOWIE = The Only Way Is Essex. A “reality” TV show which purports to show the lives of some “real” people from Essex. These real people have orange skin, are totally self-obsessed and talk about trivial matters as though they are the most important things in the world. They have never knowingly had an original thought. The illusion is that the show follows the real lives and conversations of the people in it, but the shows are, in fact, scripted and the characters perform the lines, usually very badly. The people in the show aren’t actors, so the lines sound artificial which, of course, they are. It has many clones based in different parts of the UK. There are similar shows in many countries around the world.
Next week: astrology, truth or lie? The answer lies in the stars.