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review 2019-06-04 20:47
Review: Behold, Here's Poison by Georgette Heyer
Behold, Here's Poison - Georgette Heyer

Title: Behold, Here's Poison
Author: Georgette Heyer
Series: Hannasyde & Hemingway, 2
Format: ebook
Length: 598 pages (iPhone)
Rating: 3.5 stars

 

Synopsis:
It's no ordinary morning at the Poplars - the master is found dead in his bed and it turns out that his high blood pressure was not the cause of death. Heyer uses her attention to detail and brilliant characterizations to concoct a baffling crime for which every single member of the quarrelsome family has a motive, and none, of course, has an alibi. Heyer's sparkling dialogue is a master class in British wit, sarcasm and the intricacies of life above and below stairs.
Meet the Matthews - before the next one dies...
It's no ordinary morning at the Poplars - the master is found dead in his bed, and it seems his high blood pressure was not the cause. When an autopsy reveals a sinister poison, it's up to the quietly resourceful Inspector Hannasyde to catch the murderer in time to spare the next victim. But every single member of the quarrelsome Matthews family has a motive and none, of course, has an alibi.

 

Favourite character: Randall Matthews
Least favourite character: Zoë Matthews

 

Mini-review:
This isn't my favourite book of Georgette Heyer's that I've read. But I enjoyed it nonetheless. I didn't guess the culprit, which was a nice surprise. But I found it confusing at times, which might have been me because I don't normally read mysteries in ebook format.

I didn't really like the fact that after Stella and Randall get engaged, Stella's fiancé, Dr. Fielding, is never mentioned again? It felt, weird.

(spoiler show)

 

Fan Cast:

Superintendent Hannasyde - Toby Stephens
Sergeant Hemingway - Joe Armstrong
Giles Carrington - Matthew Goode
Stella Matthews - Saoirse Ronan
Guy Matthews - Anthony Boyle
Harriet Matthews - Janet McTeer
Gertrude Lupton - Emma Thompson
Zoë Matthews - Gillian Anderson
Henry Lupton - John Lynch
Janet Lupton - Sophie McShera
Randall Matthews - Tom Bateman
Dr. Deryk Fielding - Gwilym Lee
Edward Rumbold - Colin Firth
Dorothy Rumbold - Sarah Lancashire
Inspector Davis - Jason Merrells
Nigel Brooke - Jack Lowden
Agnes Crewe - Phoebe Waller-Bridge
Owen Crewe - Colin Morgan
Mary - Daisy Waterstone

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text 2019-06-02 05:02
Behold, Here's Poison by Georgette Heyer
Behold, Here's Poison - Georgette Heyer

Superintendent Hannasyde - Toby Stephens

Sergeant Hemingway - Joe Armstrong

Giles Carrington - Matthew Goode

Stella Matthews - Saoirse Ronan

Guy Matthews - Anthony Boyle

Harriet Matthews - Janet McTeer

Gertrude Lupton - Emma Thompson

Zoë Matthews - Gillian Anderson

Henry Lupton - John Lynch

Janet Lupton - Sophie McShera

Randall Matthews - Tom Bateman

Dr. Deryk Fielding - Gwilym Lee

Edward Rumbold - Colin Firth

Dorothy Rumbold - Sarah Lancashire

Inspector Davis - Jason Merrells

Nigel Brooke - Jack Lowden

Agnes Crewe - Phoebe Waller-Bridge

Owen Crewe - Colin Morgan

Mary - Daisy Waterstone

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review 2019-03-02 13:34
Timeless classic
For Whom The Bell Tolls - Ernest Hemingway

Although I despise the overall smartass macho behaviour of Hemingways male protagonist, For Whom the Bell Tolls deserves every bit of praise it got since its publication.
Yet I am still a bit torn about what to write here, because with every aspect I want to highlight as being amazing and extraordinary, comes a ‘but’.

 

First of all, the writing is outstanding. Hemingways prose not only draws you in plot-wise, but reaches a level of awesomeness, only few other writers ever achieved. On so many instances, I paused and wondered how someone can write like this? Some sentences seem to be so simple and short at first glance, yet they contain an overwhelming amount of meaning, wisdom and emotion. While it doesn’t get much better than that, I’d rather have had some of the dialogues cut out completely, because many of them were so repetitive without adding anything relevant to neither the story nor any of the characters involved that the thought to just skip ahead crossed my mind more than once. For example, the whole back and forth between Jordan and Pilar about her refusal to tell him what she saw while reading in the palm of his hand took up two very tedious and unsatisfactory pages at one point.

 

Secondly, the language. Of course, this ties in with the writing style and, as already mentioned, some parts are just wonderful and a pleasure to read. Hemingway uses a pretty realistic and forward  way of expression (I guess, he himself would prefer using the term ‘honest’ in this context), here and there he randomly mixes in some Spanish sentences or throws a puta madre into the conversation from time to time, which are small contributions to the setting, but they enhance the atmosphere a lot.
But speaking of setting and of mixing in some Spanish, I have to admit, that in my opinion this is also the cause for the novel’s greatest weakness. In order to give the reader a better feeling of a book written in the midst of a Spanish guerilla group, Hemingway resorts to the use of archaisms and some odd expressions which did not really work out so well, because they sometimes read like a google translate version of a real Spanish text. Also, it is quite cute and annoying at the same time, that in order for his characters not to curse, all the swearwords are replaced, for example simply by ‘obscenity’ (except they do it in Spanish, because this is obviously ok). This might be the result of censorship or some form of modesty in the 40’s (I really don’t know), but, could you imagine this fearnaught dynamiter Robert Jordan look you straight in the eye and tell you to ‘go muck yourself’? Well, neither can I.

 

So I guess the bottom line here is, that I really, really liked and enjoyed For Whom the Bell Tolls, I binge-read great portions of this novel (and I would do it again), but other parts (especially the repetitive dialogue parts) bore the obscenity out of me.

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text 2019-02-13 13:22
Reading progress update: I've read 232 out of 505 pages.
For Whom The Bell Tolls - Ernest Hemingway

So far I really love some parts of it, but others feel redundant and quite boring to be earnest (sorry, Hemingway)

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review 2018-12-22 19:04
Disney Magic: The Launching of a Dream by John Hemingway
Disney Magic: The Launching of a Dream - John Hemingway

The dreammakers of Disney have done it again! Disney Magiccelebrates the creation of a cruise ship different from all others. This keepsake volume reveals how the Disney Cruise Line creative team turned a dream, long held by Walt Disney, into reality. It documents the care, innovation and originality that led to the birth of a remarkable ship. Discover why the Walt Disney Company decided to enter the cruise industry, what prompted the decision to design a fanciful, modern classic, and how the ship's storyline sets it apart from all others in the water today. Richly illustrated with more than 180 never-before-seen images, Disney Magic includes preliminary exterior design sketches, photographs of the ship's bow being towed up the Adriatic Sea off the coast of Italy for the "Float Together" and a vintage shot of Walt Disney himself aboard the Italian luxury liner The Rex. The images provide a taste of the ship's evolution, examining what went into designing and building not only its body, but the highly distinctive interiors. Be dazzled by insights into little known details of the Disney Magic.

Goodreads.com

 

 

 

Published in 1998, this keepsake book focuses on the development of the Disney Cruise Line, with special focus on the ship Disney Magic. This ship's build began in 1997 in the port of Marghera, Italy. Disney CEO Michael Eisner was inspired to create a cruise line exclusive to the company after touring various popular cruise lines and noticing too much of what he saw as "glassed over floating hotels".

 

 

 

...most suffered from self-imposed industrial constraints, that they all appeared to be built around a framework that was, at best, utilitarian. There seemed little romance, "little sense of Hollywood in contemporary cruise ship design." Yes, they were stylistically fleet, even elegant at times, but structurally they had been driven by a simple formula of compressing the maximum number of cabins into a hull. Where was the fantasy?

 

Eisner wanted the Disney ships to have a more classic look, something that harkened back to the halcyon days of luxury sea travel. He also wanted to offer a more magical and cozy experience to families. Following an initial billion dollar investment, the dream gradually became a reality.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

"We are excessive," observes Michael Eisner. "I must have attended 5 meetings about every room on the ship. I went to see life-size mock-ups of the ship's staterooms in Italy before we committed to any design detail. We change everything 3 or 4 times at least."

 

"Creativity is an open process," concludes Judson Green, President of Walt Disney Attractions. "The technique that led to the perfection of the ship design is typical of Disney. I always say I'll never accept the first 'take' on anything --- no matter how brilliant. At Disney we have no shortage of ideas. Just turn on the spigots. We let ideas nurture. In the end, they always turn out better..."

 

Disney Magic, the flagship, was built with inspiration primarily being pulled from two sources: the Queen Mary and a general incorporation of Scandinavian ship design. This book gives readers not only text detailing the project but also a step-by-step visual of the ship (and thus the Disney Cruise Line itself) slowly coming to fruition. Looking at the pictures of the interior now, many will see the chosen fabrics seem pretty dated now (they read VERY 90s, lol) but still, there's something about the nostalgia it now brings forth. Along with the photos of the project itself, also incorporated around the text are vintage photographs of the days of sailing that inspired the vision for the Disney Cruise Line, sketches of the ship design (preliminary suggestions for styling, cabin set up, etc) as well as some rarely seen photographs of the man Walt Disney himself.

 

 

just partly built, already immense!

 

 

It's an interesting and easy read if you have interest in Disney history or shipbuilding techniques (or both!). The bonus of the photographs is extra fun! 

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