Tuesday, December 01, 2015

Forgotten Movies: Starting Out in the Evening

Starting Out in the Evening

This was a terrific movie that beautifully evoked the life of a writer. Great performance by Frank Langella, too. Lauren Abrose plays the graduate student who's interested in his work.
Nuanced, interesting, persuasive. I'd give it a A-.

But the movie raises a subject I think about a lot. Passion for a novel. It's been a long time since I have passionately loved a novel. Maybe it's a function of youth--to be able to throw yourself into a book that way. The books I have loved were all read in my teens and twenties--Revolutionary Road, Look Homeward Angel, the early novels of Anne Tyler. The novels of the Canadian Margaret Lawrence, The Great Gatsby and many more. The movie actually raises this issue: a young woman prefers the writer's early works which were about his characters; an older reader liked his later work, which was about issues.
Have you read a book recently you're passionate about? Has that sort of book disappeared or is it my youth that has? Do we reach an age when passion is harder to come by?

Monday, November 30, 2015

Monday Night Music: Max Richter

The Names Of Villains

Is it the villain the makes the name great or the name that makes the villain memorable: Hannibal Lector, Norman Bates, Nurse Ratched, Maleficent, Lex Luthor, Ebenezer Scrooge?

What are some of best names for villains?

Sunday, November 29, 2015

Friday, November 27, 2015

Friday's Forgotten Books

 QUEEN'S GAMBIT by Walter Tevis

I am not sure what drew me to this book. I know nothing about chess and the book was chock full of chess matches. I was unable to follow the moves and,
in fact, had never heard of terms like the "middle game" before.
Beth, an orphan, is taught chess by the janitor at the school/orphanage where she lives. She begs him to learn and at once excels. Once adopted, her adopted mother uses (in a benign way) her ability to support them. Both of them are in flight from any real world. 
We follow Beth from match to match across the years. She picks up some bad habits in terms of substance abuse along the way. An interesting book about a child prodigy and how she makes the jump to an adult champion. Highly recommended especially for those who play the game.

Sergio Angelini, MURDER WITHIN MURDER, Frances and Richard Lockridge
Yvette Banek, WARRANT FOR X, Philip Macdonald
Les Blatt, DEATH OF AN AIRMAN, Christopher St. John Sprigg
Brian Busby, BLONDES ARE MY TROUBLE, Douglas Sanderson
Bill Crider, THE VIOLENT ONES, Brant House, ed.
Scott Cupp, SOME OF YOUR BLOOD, Theodore Sturgeon
Martin Edwards, THE MAN WHO LOST HIS WIFE, Julian Symons
Ed Gorman, KILLER, Dave Zeltserman
Rick Horton,  Ace Doubles: Conan the Conqueror, by Robert E. Howard/The Sword of Rhiannon, by Leigh Brackett
Jerry House, DIAMONDS ARE FOREVER, Flint and Spoor
George Kelley, DEEP QUARRY, John. E. Stith
Margot Kinberg, BLANCHE ON THE LAM, Barbara Neely
B.V. Lawson, GOOD COP, BAD COP, Barbara D'Amato
Steve Lewis/David Vineyard, THE WOMAN WITH THE BLUE PENCIL, Gordon McAlpine
Todd Mason, CONJURE WIFE, Fritz Leiber
Matt Paust, THE CONSEQUENCES OF DESIRE, Dennis Hathaway
James Reasoner, TERROR STATION, James V. Swain
Kevin Tipple. A DANGEROUS THING, Bill Crider
TomCat, SCHEMERS, Bill Pronzini
TracyK, FUNERAL IN BERLIN, Len Deighton
Westlake Review, ENOUGH, Donald Westlake

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Your ten desert island books?

No collections count. Single volume books only. I have read only three of these so their reputation precedes them.

Anna Karenina, Leo Tolstoy
Lonesome Dove, Larry McMurtry
Selected Stories of Alice Munro
The Bible
Infinite Jest, David Foster Wallace
Middlemarch, George Elliott
The Moonstone, Wilkie Collins
Tales of Mystery and Imagination, Edgar Allen Poe
A Fine Balance, Rohinton Mistry
A Secret History, Donna Tartt