George Harrison: Living in the Material World is a documentary by Martin Scorsese. The film is approximately four hours long, and since HBO doesn’t allow folks to pause for bathroom breaks, it was delivered in two parts, the evenings of October 5 and 6. It was billed, by Olivia Harrison, the ex-Beatle’s widow, as definitive. She admitted that it was filmed to get the adulatory public off her (and son Dhani’s) back as much as to tell any story. Continue reading George Harrison: Living in the Material World [review]
Today I decided to review JK Rowling’s second book in the Harry Potter series, Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets. Harry Potter faces all the school things a muggle-born boy might only, of course, Of course, Harry is anything but normal. As an infant, his head is scarred by Voldemort’s death curse, which nearly destroyed the Dark Lord. Now the boy is a twelve-year-0ld wizard in his second year at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry.
Lois McMaster Bujold is perennially a Hugo, Nebula, or Locus nominee, and I finally decided to see what all the fuss was about. So, I spent the latter half of 2010 locating, and reading, each novel of her Vorkosigan series. Many of the titles aren’t readily available, even in the larger chain bookstores, but are becoming rather ubiquitous as Omnibus sets–usually two or three of her novels, and perhaps a novella or short story, in a single binding. I must say, it’s a large chunk of book to haul around, if you read at lunch, or on breaks. LibraryThing.com records Miles in Love as nine inches tall, and weighing over two pounds (some “fan”atic took rather seriously the task of *weighing* Bujold’s novels). I sat on the sofa and read the three constituent stories over the weekend. Continue reading Miles in Love (Book Review)
I read Frank Herbert’s Dune perhaps twenty years ago during a long hot Sacramento summer. I worked at Toys -R- Us, a 3 mile walk from my grandmother’s house, where I was living, as I enjoyed the bargain of low (okay, nonexistent) rent, and a mediocre job in the retail industry. Despite the hundred degree days (and intolerably bad traffic), I walked to work every day. I didn’t savor being hit by a motorist careening through the Arden district. It took 45 minutes to an hour, and I often walked home, through East Sacramento, in the dark at 10 or 11 PM to return home. Whenever possible, I had a book in my hand: this was where I learned to walk and read. Peripheral vision is my only physical gift from the gods, and I’ve used passionately it ever since. I’ve finished dozens of novels walking to-and-from work, or to classes. Dune was my first walking-and-reading adventure. Continue reading Dune (Book Review)
When I think of scary circus stuff, clowns leap to the front of the list. Of course, there are fanged clowns in the Circus of the Damned. How could there not be? It’s the perfect milieu for Anita Blake, the heroine of Laurell K. Hamilton’s “Vampire Hunter” series. Anita is an animator: she raises the undead for a living, which goes to show you, by page one, she’s not a squeamish woman. More about this circus. There are demon acrobats, and fanged clowns, and sinuous snake charmers and giant snakes. And it’s all run by the vampires of St. Louis. Continue reading Circus of the Damned (Book review)
The Laughing Corpse is an urban fantasy/paranormal novel by Laurell K. Hamilton. Its protagonist, Anita Blake, is a young “animator”, or somebody who is able to raise the dead. As such, she has certain immunities to other paranormal creatures, such as vampires and lycanthropes (were-beasts). Continue reading The Laughing Corpse (Book Review)
Guilty Pleasures is a vampire novel in the urban fantasy genre, the first in the Anita Blake, Vampire Hunter series by Laurell K. Hamilton. The series is based in and around the city of St. Louis, where the heroine works as an animator, someone who raises the dead. To the vampire community, she is simply known as “The Executioner” because she has killed dozens of rogue vampires who need to be brought to justice.The novel is in the “hardboiled detective” genre, and Anita Blake bears much resemblance to Sue Grafton’s character Kinsey Millhone: a no-nonsense woman doing a no-nonsense job. She is tough, no nonsense, hates seeing her friends hurt by her own actions–the usual stuff for a genre like this. Continue reading Guilty Pleasures (Book Review)