The Man from the Diogenes Club
I haven’t time to develop a full review yet but I wanted to strike a note about some recent holiday reading: The Man from the Diogenes Club by British writer Kim Newman. The novel is an anthology of shorts about a 1970s stylish sleuth of the supernatural named Richard Jepherson, and is in general a terrifically effective and knowing pastiche of 70s British television heroes such as Jon Pertwee’s 3rd Doctor Who and Peter Wyngarde’s Jason King.
The most striking aspect of the work comes in “The Serial Murders”, a short story about a series of murders that mysteriously parallel the storylines of a popular television soapie. Drafted in to help solve the case is a lecturer in television studies. And so we have, for the first time that I can ever recall, a sympathetic characterization of a cultural studies academic in a popular culture text. Newman of course is no stranger to the world of academically oriented cultural criticism. But I still found it to be refreshing, all the same.