About Eno Enefiok

Eno Enefiok was born in Nigeria but moved to England at the age of nine. She currently lives in Stoke-On-Trent where she is studying for her bachelor’s degree in Creative Writing and Journalism at Staffordshire University. Eno enjoys writing short fiction and hopes to one day become a published novelist. Besides writing, Eno enjoys listening to folk music and is a self-taught amateur guitarist. You can follow her on twitter @missbongobongo

ReadIt1st: Don’t Let the Movie Spoil the Book

ReadIt1st is a new project created by one half of the Vlogbrothers, Hank Green that urges people to read a book before they watch the movie. The project is his way of re-igniting a love for literature in Americans and the world.

He thought about creating the website after discovering that five of the top 10 movies of 2010 were based on books and that most of the people who watched those movies had never read the book that the movie was based on.

The concept of the website is simple; anyone can go onto the website: www.readit1st.com and sign up for the newsletter and every few months or so, they will receive a newsletter with a list of books to read in anticipation for the release of the movie.

This isn’t the first project that Green has created. In 2007, he and his brother young adult fiction novelist, John Green, created the Brotherhood 2.0 project. For an entire year, the brothers vowed to not communicate to the other by text; instead they made videos dedicated to the other and posted them on YouTube under the channel name; ‘Vlogbrothers’. After a while the videos began to build a fan base and four years later through their videos, the brothers have managed to build a community of dedicated followers who call themselves ‘nerdfighters’.

Over the years, the Vlogbrothers, along with their loyal ‘nerdfighters’ have endeavoured in many different projects from humanitarian projects to ‘nerdfighter’ gathering where other ‘nerdfigthers’ can meet, socialise and collaborate on projects. Their aim is to ‘cure world suck’.

Hank Green revealed in a YouTube video in which he posted a day after the launch readit1st.com that he had had the idea for the website the previous year.

He said about the website; “…it promotes something that I love, reading… through advertising it could potentially employ a writer and I would love to be responsible for a writer having a job…”

“…this isn’t something that I created for ‘nerdfighters’, I created it for the world. What I did was create it with ‘nerdfighters’…”

In this economy, many small publishers are rapidly closing down; big publishers don’t want to invest a lot of money in unknown writers anymore. Instead they produce some generic celebrity’s auto-biography that was clearly not written by the celebrity because it will sell. This makes it seem like being a writer is more a curse than a vocation. A website like this has the potential of influencing the direction of publishing in the future. If people read more literary novels, publishers will invest in writers that write that way.

Besides, it is no secret, regardless of the director, the actor or the quality of the script, very few films can be held close to the same esteem as the books they were based on. In a way, the books are prequels, the films are sequels and everyone knows that sequels are never as good as the original. Despite knowing this, people would still rather watch the films which are like an unabridged audio book than read the literature.

Most people will never read a novel again after leaving mandatory or higher education. For contemporary writers like myself, this statement is both alarming and heart-breaking for two reasons. Firstly, I write to be read by more than just myself, my friends and my family. Secondly, I believe a world where the names Hemmingway and Salinger and Bronte and Pound are forgotten is a sad world and I refuse to be a part of it. That is why today, I have pledged to readit1st because I too have watched the film and neglected to read the book and I want to change that.

Film Review: One For The Money

So Katherine Heigl has done it again! She has managed to star in yet another bad movie, when will she learn? Her latest attempt at entertaining an audience, One For The Money, based on the Janet Evanoich novel of the same name is a disgrace to cinema. The novel is the first in a series of books about bounty hunter Stephanie Plum, but after Heigl’s performance, it doesn’t look like this film is going to become a successful franchise like the novels.

Katherine Heigl in One For The Money

The narrative revolves around Plum’s (Heigl) first mission as a bounty hunter. She is assigned the ‘difficult’ task of capturing  fugitive dirty cop, Joe Morelli (Jason O’Mara) who is wanted for murder. It is revealed early on in the film that Morelli and Plum have a romantic history, he took her virginity from her years before. The entire film is essentially a like an elongated episode of Tom and Jerry, only not as entertaining, and rather than connecting with the main characters, you don’t care what happens to them.

In terms of genre, I am still trying to categorize this film. It fails as a comedy, an action flick, a thriller and a chick flick. In fact there is absolutely no on screen chemistry between Heigl and love interest O’Mara. There seems to more chemistry between Heigl and Daniel Sunjata who plays her mentor, Ricardo Carlos Manoso, which is just confusing and annoying.

Katherine Heigl and co-star Daniel Sunjata

Criticism aside, there are elements of the film that did work, scenes with actress Sherri Shepard who plays an extroverted hooker were humorous, I wish she had more screen time! Perhaps, that was the key to saving this film. Furthermore, casting Debbie Reynolds as Grandma Mazur was one of the only things this film got right, and I am sure that fans of the book will agree, no matter what character she plays, Reynolds has this amazing ability to communicate with the audience through the camera. She was brilliant as always in this one.

Debbie Reynolds at the New York film premiere of the movie

So on second thought, perhaps I was a little cruel earlier, this film isn’t just awful because of Katherine Heigl, this film is terrible because of the script, the direction, some of the acting, and Katherine Heigl. If these are the only movie roles that she can get, it’s no wonder that she is begging to get back on Grey’s Anatomy.

The film was released in UK cinemas on Friday 24 February and will be currently still showing in cinemas near you, so if you think I’m being a little bit cruel, go and check it out for yourself and let me know what you think of it in the comment section below.

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Video reproduced from YouTube / hollywoodstreams

Book Review: Detective Leonard Makes an Entrance

The story opens very directly and in-your-face as our first-person narrator Simone Seabolt introduces herself to the reader by telling us; “In the scheme of this story at least, I’m not very important.” From then on, Detective Leonard makes his entrance into the text before he is physically made present.

This short piece of detective-crime fiction follows Simone Seabolt as she enlists the help of her godfather, Private Detective and ex-policeman, Detective Leonard in order to solve the murder of a young woman who has been murdered with a cricket bat, and prove that her fianc̩ Рwho was caught fleeing the scene Рis innocent of the crime.

Much of the first chapter is a back-history of Detective Leonard through the eyes and memories of Simone. Author Eric Wood sets this up so well that when the reader finally meets the infamous Detective Leonard – who is deep in combat with an assailant – they already feel very much acquainted with him.

Eric Wood

Before meeting Detective Leonard, the reader already has a strong and concrete sense of his character. He is an eccentric, adventurous detective who has a somewhat unhealthy addiction to Twitter, but there is a hint and a sense that his character is far more complex and deeper and what lies on the surface.

The key relationship in the story – and the reason the storyline flows so naturally – is between Simone and Leonard. In fact the murder and crime solving almost becomes a sub-plot as the tale goes on, and the story becomes a character driven narrative led by Leonard, followed by Simone. But this by no means is a bad thing at all, in fact this makes a refreshing change and draws in the reader’s interest.

Set in the heart of Manchester where the author was born and raised, Detective Leonard Makes an Entrance is not only a worthwhile and enticing read, it is a brilliant introduction to the what I predict will be a bright and successful career for its author, Eric Wood.

Detective Leonard Makes an Entrance is available to buy on Amazon Kindle. Please click here to order your copy today.

I Read “Mummy Porn” Before It Was Cool

My first foray in the world of adult literature was at the young age of ten or eleven when my mother gave me a huge stack of Mills & Boons novels to read. At the time my reading and spelling abilities were below the average for my age and my mother assured me that reading filth would help.

Being young and slightly innocent, I had no knowledge of Mills & Boons but my older sister quickly informed me that they were basically pornographic fiction. Back then I knew what sex was, well the basics, but Mills & Boons open my eyes into a sub-culture of sex that I didn’t know existed.

The ever growing popularity of the international best seller 50 Shades of Grey has put filthy literature back on the map (and I use the term literature very loosely). Now this article is not another comical analysis of why 50 Shades of Grey sucks. In fact seeing as I haven’t nor do I have any immediate plans to read into the hype, I feel my critique on the new craze will be based on my bias and love of real literature and the classics.

Still I can’t help but read the humorous criticisms and laugh where appropriate. I have read some of the best/worst lines from the book and I have come to the conclusion that it is simply not my cup of tea but I can’t judge those millions who have drank from Mr Grey’s dirty cup.

As a budding writer, I hope to one day publish a novel that will receive great success and I owe my passion for this vocation to those filthy Mills & Boons novels that my mother made me read all those years ago. The first class honours degree in Creative Writing and Journalism that I recently received is proof that reading filth helped me one way or the other. No, it didn’t help me become a better writer but it stirred a fascination for the written word in me that has motivated me to write and read every single day.

When I think of Mills & Boons, literature is the last thing that comes to mind but those books educated me on the basics of language and filled me with the confidence to read more literary advance works by authors like Dickens, Wolfe, Plath and others and so for this I am eternally grateful that those filthy books exist.

It is for this reason that despite my distaste that society and mainstream media feels the need to a praise a piece of work that originated as fan fiction for a boring and poorly written novel, (I didn’t finish Twilight but seeing as I read some of it, I think it’s appropriate to comment), the eleven year old in me feels the need to somewhat defend it.

To me E.L. James and writers like her aren’t authors, they are entrepreneurs who saw a gap in the writing market and capitalised on it and for that they deserve much respect. As a writer, I still haven’t made £50 from my fiction yet James as made $50million to date. Now I do not envy James for this, I’m happy for her, after all the purpose of writing is to be read and she has certainly achieved this thing that many writers, who are probably far more talented than James have failed to do.

When I finally make a name for myself as a writer and people ask me about my literary history, for me it will start with Mills & Boons not Catcher in the rye or The Great Gatsby, it will be some filthy novel with a title that I cannot remember and I and fine with that.

Stephenie Meyer inspired James to make $50 million; I hope one day my fascination for literature which began with Mills & Boons will inspire me to also achieve some kind of greatness.

I guess what I am trying to say is that these ‘mummy porn’ novels as they have been dubbed by the media are gate-way books into literature. For an aspiring writer like myself, I couldn’t be more delighted that people have become fascinated with books again, even if their fascination begins with 50 Shades of Grey.

Letter to Mr YouTube

I’m sat in front of my computer, trying to figure out why everywhere I turn, there are multiple ads trying to sell me goods, or an idea that I do not want or need. I don’t have a problem with advertising as such; in fact some adverts are legendary (look at all the ads that aired during the super-bowl!)

I can deal with the ads that air at the cinema before the movie begins; in fact I look forward to them. I can deal with the ads on TV; I have grown accustomed to them. I can deal with the ads on Facebook, twitter and all the other social networking sites. I can deal with the ads on blogs and news publication websites. I can deal with advertising. Advertising offers me a service, as a consumer, I need advertising, but I do believe that there are boundaries, and I believe that YouTube has crossed them!

YouTube, you and I used to be friends, great friends. You saw me through some difficult times. When I was bored and lonely, you were there for me. You cheered me up with videos of fat people falling over, of people with strange talents, or cat videos, or dog videos, even videos of people squeezing their spots! YouTube, you and I used to have a good thing!

Then the advertising came along, well it became more in your face. I didn’t mind them then. I didn’t mind having to watch at least five whole seconds of an advert, before I could skip, and watch the video I wanted to watch. I didn’t mind the promotional featured videos on the sidebar, I didn’t even mind the tiny Google ads bannered across the bottom of the video. What I do mind however, Mr YouTube, and I have a feeling that I am not alone, are the ads with audio that play whilst I’m trying to watch a video!

When I’m watching a video of a woman giving birth to her baby in a moving car, or a video of a girl who can dance with her eyebrows, or of a man singing his takeaway order at a drive-thru, the last thing I want to hear, is an advert telling me about the great wonders of a cleaning product, or some new stupid expensive app, that will lose it appeal ten minutes after purchase.

Yes I can turn the audio of the advert off, but this action is then made redundant seconds later, when another advert begins to play further down the screen.

Now I love YouTube, I’ve loved it from the very beginning. I loved the fact that it gave people a platform to express themselves. It gave people an opportunity to make a living out of their creativity.

Without YouTube, there would be no SB.tv, or Justin Bieber (although I wish there wasn’t a Justin Bieber), or Rebecca Black (again not really a fan), or Karmin, or Shaytards, or Vlogbrothers and all the other talented individuals that started off making videos on YouTube.

Now like Facebook, twitter and other social networking sites that thrive on our human desire for attention, YouTube was created with a simple formula that worked! I mean, I wish I thought of it. I love YouTube so much that I bought the domain name called: youtubeisawesome.com (don’t log on though, there’s literally nothing on there).

YouTube, please I don’t want to break up, but you have to see things from my point of view. I understand capitalism. I’ve grown up in capitalism. I agree with capitalism, because as much as I would love this world to be a little more socialist, capitalism is the only system that seems to work.

Now I don’t know or understand what happens in the offices of YouTube. I don’t know what pressing agendas are brought up in cooperate meetings. What I do know is that those adverts are annoying, really annoying! What I also do know is that consumers like myself are fickle, once we get annoyed enough, we will find a replacement.

I know that it’s a competitive market out there, we all have to make a living, but can you please stop ruining this fantastic product with what I am now assuming is pure unadulterated greed?!

Images reproduced from learning.hubspot.com and geohot.us

Amy Winehouse – Now She’s Gone

I used to think that I was the biggest Amy Winehouse fan in the world. I can still remember the first time that I heard Stronger Than Me from her debut album Frank. I fell in love although then I denied it. My older sister used to play that album on full blast all the time and it used to annoy me and I used to plead with her to turn it down. It wasn’t until my sister left for university, taking the album with her that I realised just how much I loved Amy Winehouse so I went my local HMV and bought myself my own copy of Frank.

I listened to that album repeatedly for months each time discovering something new, lost in the echoes of her thunderous smooth vocals. I felt like I knew everything I was wanted to know about Amy Winehouse from her music and for me that was enough.

A few years later she released Rehab off of her album Back To Black and suddenly she was everywhere and I was happy for a while because she was a success and I believed that she deserved it.

Then at some point, it wasn’t about her music anymore, it was about everything else; her marriage, her drug addiction, her alcoholism, her deteriorating weight, even her hair. Suddenly Miss Winehouse was the intro, the middle and the punch line to every joke. People waited eagerly to watch her fall and she never disappointed.

Amy Winehouse - Before & After

Now that Miss Winehouse is dead and buried, making it into the infamous 27 Club joining the likes of Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin and Kurt Cobain to name a few, it seems that she’s been placed on this pedestal that we the public tend to put dead famous people who die young and tragically on. I myself was saddened by the news of her death, but I like many I was not surprised in fact truth be told, I was slightly relieved.

Almost 6 months after her awful demise, she’s still topping charts but now it’s not about her music anymore. Now it’s about obtaining a piece of her because she’s gone and she’s never coming back. The truth is it doesn’t matter how many of her records we buy because she’s taken her music with her.

When I listen to Stronger Than Me now, I don’t feel that thing I felt all those years ago when my sister used to play it. All I hear are words and although the words do move me and make me cry and laugh all at the same time, her music great as it is and was will never be the same again because she’s gone.

For me that is the saddest thing about Amy Winehouse and all the other dead musicians who died so young. The way they lived, their depression, their addiction, the way these aspects of their lives were portrayed by the media and everything else was sad but the saddest thing is that the greatest gift they shared with the world, their music, had to suffer because of all of the above.

Films of 2011: Fast-Forwarding to the Good Parts

January releases like The Dilemma starring Kevin James and Vince Vaughn and No Strings Attached starring Natalie Portman and Aston Kutcher set the year 2011 off to a less than exciting start. It is no secret that the standard of quality cinema being produced by the movie giants at Hollywood has been declining for quite a while now and that the true movie fanatics out there have lost respect for mainstream cinema. Despite the terrible movies releases this year, most of which starred Ryan Reynolds, there were a few films that made the trip to the cinema worth the expense.

Tomas Alfredson’s British espionage film Tinker Tailor Solider Spy based on the John le Carré novel starring Gary Oldman as George Smiley was released in September of this year to favourable reviews and is in my opinion a must see of 2011. Guardian film critic Peter Bradshaw said; “I found it more gripping and involving than any crash-bang action picture, and it is anchored by Gary Oldman’s tragic mandarin…What a treat this film is, and what an unexpected thrill.”

Woody Allen’s supernatural comedy Midnight in Paris starring the ever charming blonde haired and blue eyed Owen Wilson as a successful but unfocused screenwriter and wannabe novelist who falls in love with Paris and discovers himself in the beautiful city is arguably Allen’s best work in well over a decade. Allen who is famous for being the film maker who lost his mojo can now claim it back with Midnight in Paris which is now Allen’s most successful commercial film to date. The Huffington Post’s Rob Kirkpatrick called the feature “a surprising film that casts a spell over us and reminds us of the magical properties of cinema, and especially of Woody Allen’s cinema.”

Lars von Trier’s end-of-world drama Melancholia starring the magnificent Kirsten Dunst and the wonderfully simple Charlotte Gainsbourg as two sisters trying to cope with their impending doom is like most of von Trier’s work (with the exception Antichrist), it is art. The film explores the sci-fi genre but it is not a science-fiction movie. It is a drama perhaps even a psychological drama about life and existences. Visually, the film is exquisite and it is this particular device that fools you into watching the pain and the sorrow of the characters as they live out their last moments on earth. Not everyone is going to get the true message behind the film but it worth a watch, at least once in a lifetime. The Telegraph’s Sukhdev Sandhu said; “Melancholia, like everything von Trier does, is an event. More than that, it’s his finest film for nearly a decade. A crazily bold, visually enthralling, and emotionally seismic drama about the meaning of existence.”

Science fantasy/drama Another Earth directed by Mike Cahill who co-wrote the script with the film’s star Brit Marling is Cahill’s debut into feature film making. The respected and reputable documentary filmmaker does a commendable job in directing this film. May it not have been for Lars von Trier’s Melancholia, this film may probably have had greater success but it is difficult to compete with the mind and vision of Von Trier. Despite this, this low-budget indie flick is still a good piece of cinema. The film follows Rhoda Williams (Marling) and her quest to journey to Earth 2, the newly discovered mirrored planet of our earth in the hopes that her mirrored self has made different, less destructive life choices. The film has received mixed reviews. Chris Tookey of Mail Online wrote, “This is the kind of miserabilist film that routinely wins respectful reviews because it’s so un-Hollywood.” Little White Lies’ Matt Bochenski wrote, “Another Earth is original, intelligent and eccentric – a true American indie that deserves to be admired and supported. But part of that support is respectful criticism of its shortcomings.”

Lastly, who can forget wild, gritty and electrifying Drive directed by Danish film maker, Nicolas Winding Refn based on the novel by James Sallis. The sexy talented Ryan Gosling portrays our unnamed protagonist, the driver, who lives in a low rent apartment and is a mechanic and a stunt car driver by day and a getaway driver by night. The driver is a loner by nature who lives a complexly simple life that takes a gruesome violent twist after he befriends his neighbour and love interest Irene (Carey Mulligan). Yes there are some plot holes in the striking L.A noir flick but Gosling’s facial expressions and small nuances are what carry the movie right to the very brutal end. Refn successfully uses the Japanese movie device of minimalist and artistic shots to portray every thought in the protagonist’s head. The other thing that makes this film just bloody amazing was the soothing electro-pop soundtrack which was composed by Cliff Martinez. Director Refn had been a fan of Martinez since his work on the Sex, Lies and Videotape soundtrack. The opening song Nightcall by French electric musician Kavinsky set the tone of this noir piece of cinema. Peter Travers of Rolling Stone wrote, “Damn, it’s good. You can get buzzed just from the fumes coming off this wild thing.”

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