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Monday 17 August 2020

Slow Reviews Introduction & contents

Our new series focuses on the cultural artefacts – books, movies, albums – that really made their mark

By Peter Hoskin

“Slow Reviews” rhymes with “slow news”.

That’s the thought that occurred to me one tired, locked-down day a couple of months ago. And then, unbidden, another thought: I must do something with that!

But what? The clue is partially in the name: Slow Reviews have taken their time to get here, so they must be reviews of older books, movies and albums. They are not rooted in the ferocious stream of new must-watch shows and new must-hate singles. They are about things that have, in some way or other, lasted.

But what else? Just reviewing old things isn’t enough; it’s too nebulous, too unbounded. So we decided to devote our Slow Reviews to the pop cultural artefacts that really brought about change. The records that changed the music industry. The books that changed our perspectives on free speech. The movies, shows, games, plays and paintings that didn’t just last – they conquered.

Throughout this week, we’ll publish four of these Slow Reviews each day. The series starts with Helen Lewis on Sherlock (it forever altered the screen grammar around mobile phones); Pete Paphides on Heatwave’s first two albums (without which, no Michael Jackson); James Oliver on Rashomon (which did a lot to introduce the West to Japanese culture); and Miranda Sawyer on Serial (the birth of modern podcasting).

I shan’t spoil the other Slow Reviews we’ve got coming up – you’ll be able to keep track of them below, with more being added to the list as we publish them.

But I shall reveal that this week won’t be the end. Afterwards, we’ll keep on publishing about one Slow Review a week, with the intention of building our own cultural history of the 20th and 21st Centuries. Y’know, nothing much.

These future Slow Reviews will be written by Tortoise’s staff and friends – and also, we hope, by our members. If you have an idea for a Slow Review, please email me at peter@tortoisemedia.com. The eventual review will be 500 words, but, in the first instance, just say which book, movie, game, whatever you’d like to write about and make a short case for its inclusion.

Then I’ll get back to you… …slowly.

Peter Hoskin, Editor  


Day One

Day Two

Day Three

Day four

Day five

  Credits Editor: Peter Hoskin Design: Jon Hill and Nick Stone Illustrations: Phillipa Warden Hill Special thanks: Tania Harrison  

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