By Neil McCormick, Adam Roche and Matt Carey
Well, you did not really think that A Best of 2009 would evade the pages of Electro-candy did you? The team have put their heads together and here is what we decided was the best of 2009. We also put on record what we are looking forward to in 2010.
Her Fearful Symmetry – Audrey Niffenegger
Haunting, dazzling and audacious, a worthy follow-up to The Time Traveler’s Wife by an author who is proving to be one of the most original minds in modern literature
‘Hitman’ – Bret Hart
I tend to read a lot of autobiographies these days. For some reason, fiction has bored me to the point of tears for a long time now. Anyway, I’m going through a phase of reading autobiographies from the wrestlers that knew the industry as it used to be, and as such, they make fascinating reading.
Legend of a Suicide – David Vann
I have chosen this book, purely and simply because the novella in the middle took me in my mind from my house all the way to the alaskan shore, I could taste the cold salty air. I could feel the narrator’s feeling of isolationism and feeling trapped. That is the power of a great writer.
Regina Spektor – Far
No other album this year has invaded my soul like this one. A joyous experience from start to finish, the quirky stories that Spektor compiles here are like the dreams you wish you could remember upon waking
Florence and the Machine – Lungs
kicking her way through the door opened by the likes of Lily Allen and Amy Winehouse comes Florence Welch’s first album, and what an album it is. Sounding like a mad combination of Annie Lennox and P J Harvey, Florence is and are the best and most exciting singer and band to come out of this country in a long long time. truly awe inspiring stuff.
The Cribs – Ignore the Ignorant
The band’s 4th album, but with Johnny Marr now on board, the band seem finally to be receiving the acclaim they deserve. Didnt know what to expect, proved to be the soundtrack to my autumn.
Rock Band: The BeatlesA deep, warm feeling always envelops when you join in on the action along to the greatest soundtrack of all time. Quite simply put, the most addictive, magnificent gaming experience of the year. Here’s hoping the DLC extends to the entire catalogue eventually.
Batman Arkham Asylum
There have been some great games this year, and games that better Batman AA in a few areas. However, the first caped crusader game of this generation is flawless, in every way.
I do not expect to see it appear on any other list any where else. I am making my choice on being the game I most enjoyed all year, it was the one game that totally surprised me. The game in one word – immersion! Best commentary in a game I have ever heard, and very fluid gameplay. If you have a spare weekend, rent it and prepare to be surprised.
Let The Right One In
Chilling, terrifying, yet heartbreaking and intimate. It showed the world that all good horror has a heart, and gave the moribund genre a kick where it deserved. Stark, jagged brilliance.
I’ve managed to see more films this year than I would normally, but I’m catching up on a lot of older releases that I missed over the past few years. However, I did manage to see J.J. Abrams reboot of the perenial sci-fi series, and thoroughly enjoyed it, largely in part to Zachary Quintos inspired casting as Spock.
I was a fan of Peter Jackson’s earlier films, Bad Taste, Braindead etc. This felt like a welcome return to that style of film. However I do have issues with the film, it seemed to change direction halfway through after the lead characters change to be a “Prawn”, it went too Hollywood”. But all in all one of the better films of 2009.
Best TV Drama
Law & Order UK
For me to select a British drama is literally shock of the decade. Normally, I despise it and am much happier watching American produced programmes. However, L&O:UK took all the brilliance of its Yank counter-part and created something fresh, new, and superbly written. There is nothing else like it on British TV, and thats why it gets the thumbs up from me.
In a post Wire world, it has been a tough time trying to find a replacement. Nothing out there at the moment is on the same footing. However of all the current crop of us drama, Hung is like an inviting oasis. Part comedy part drama, tells the tale of a struggling sports coach turning to becoming a male gigalo to make ends meet.
Here is what we are looking forward to in 2010.
The Saints Of Gotham City – RJ Ellory
If he can pull off the tension, inventiveness and epic grandeur of his previous work, this should be 2010’s biggest crime thriller.
Pure Dynamite – Tom Billington
Keeping with the ‘autobiography’ and ‘old wrestler’ themes of my reading material, this book, written in 1999, is top of my new year shopping list, as it tells the story of the influential Dynamite Kid
If it is Your Life – James Kelman
Several years ago, I went through a phase of reading what was regarded as “the new Scottish Fiction Writers”, Kelman of course was one of the authors with his fantastic novel “How late it Was, How Late” I am fascinated to see how this new book will turn out.
Sigur Ros’s as yet untitled album
The music of Sigur Ros is like a drug, and I always long for a hit. How any band can fit a lifetime of dreaming onto one disc is beyond me, this will be one to savour and sink to.
Im looking forward to seeing if Elbow can follow up Seldom Seen Kid’s success. I also look forward to ringing hmv etc on its release and asking for Arse’s album with the same title. When the guy says nothing on the computer, apologising profusely for not knowing my arse from my elbow. Works everytime!
For a game to have taken this long to arrive, there must be something dazzling waiting to happen. I look forward to devouring it’s dark pleasures one scare at a time.
Battlefield: Bad Company 2
There are a few next year piquing my interest, but considering it is not to far away, the one that sits top of the list at the moment is Bad Company 2
Bioshock was for me the highlight of 2007, one of the most complete games I have played to date. I cannot wait to see what 2K Games have up their sleeves with the follow up. I am intrigued to see how it will play, being a “Big Daddy”
The first of Harry Potter’s Deathly Hallows
I get impatient easily, and having loved the ,movies over the years, I just want to see how it finishes now. And no, I haven’t read the books.
Cormac McCarthy, sparse style of writing appeals to me. I recently read his entire catalogue of books. The Road offered a very depressing glimpse into our future, but at the same time was captivating. I cannot wait to see how it has transferred to the silver screen, Viggo Mortensen on paper seems the perfect actor for the part.
24 Season 8
Band of Brothers told the story of the 101st Airborne in Europe during the 2nd World War, and was one of my favourite dramas by HBO, so i am eagerly looking forward to see how they portray the pacific theatre of war. Based on memoirs of two soldiers, it will cover the key moments of the pacific campaign from Iwo Jima, Okinawa to Peleliu.