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review 2017-06-09 07:05
Fun applying a bit of the Bellisario's Maxim
The Pelican Brief - John Grisham

There are a lot of movies based on Grisham books. I decided to check some out when I found about them. Never watched this movie but kept hearing about it, so I had it my tbr pile ready for the game square.

The idea is that in a country filled with lawyers to the gills (it's a factor that's gone over a lot through the pages), a shot in a million had a lot of chances of happening: some busy-body would stumble into the right theory. The bad luck comes in when the brief is picked up as a way to needle back in a quarrel between agencies. No one takes it seriously, but a lot of noise is made. And it just happens to be right. A lot of pettiness that results in a murder fest.

 

The good guys win. Or at least they get to the end of the book alive. Let's not think about the trial. I don't much like their chances of lasting up to it in a real life scenario. After all, the small fishes pay, the rest keep swimming. We know how long those types of cases takes, and how often the big weights actually go to jail: One patsy every age.

(spoiler show)


It's an entertaining thriller (and depressing if you have your brain-cells firing too much). I'm still likely to read The Firm at some point (the movie that first got me interested in these books)

 

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review 2017-05-23 20:46
The Better Story
Life of Pi - Yann Martel

Defiantly funny in the face of total devastation, but more than that, ever hopeful. I guess that last is the best part of strong faith. The important part. Inner piece and enduring hope.

 

Here's the deal: I'm an agnostic. We get roasted inside *grin*. I could go a long while about the difference between religion and spirituality, between faith in god and the faith in the future that makes you stubbornly plod forward. I wont. My mom says "there are no atheist in the trenches". I have no idea what an ordeal like this would do to me.

 

But here is the other side, the thing about being an agnostic: I can accept both stories. I can love and believe in the tiger, and I can forgive the killer boy. The tiger is the better story, but to me, disregarding the second feels like hiding from a horrible truth too hard to accept. Just as disregarding the tiger feels like the cruelty of denying absolution, or the company of hope.

 

Good book. The movie did it amazing justice, tight and beautiful and with lovely, memorable music, so I highly recommend it.

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text 2017-05-23 16:45
Reading progress update: I've read 237 out of 319 pages.
Life of Pi - Yann Martel

This is full of deliciously dark humor. And hope. Endlessly stubborn hope.

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review 2017-04-26 02:34
Some Family
The Godfather - Peter Bart,Robert Thompson,Mario Puzo

Do I even need to explain what this one is about? Epic spanning a whole Mafia family sprawled across a decade. Onto review:

 

Like I said in the first comment, the thing that pulls you in immediately is the perfect setting up of the magnetism, the why clans work. The comfort of belonging, the empowerment of feeling backed up by your people. And of course, the unsubstantiated but very present sense of menace when you skirt it's edges.

I don't know that those are very clear to someone born to privilege. I think it's possible for many to read this book and get horrified "in a straight manner", by the violence and the getting away with it. Personally, much of my horror while reading was the realization that I was doubtful about how far was too far.

To explain: law, while a laudable thing that one ought to strive to follow, is not the same as justice. It's supposed to strive to be, but then, it is forged by people with the power to forge it. Humans, supposed to be working for the good of the many, but always with personal views of what that is. And that's with the best possible setting. Government, law enforcement, all the political and economical structure, also follow the same path. Made by people for the people. Which people?.

So when you are part of the demographic that is not the controlling one, or live in a country with a government you distrust, the rounding-of-the-carts  family first, then friends, then we'll see thing seems the safe way to go. I started to have all this thoughts about how far I'd be willing to go, how much I'd flaut the law for my borther, or my best fried, or my child... Let me tell you, it is scary to realize while reading a book that your moral center is not a fixed thing. That's where the mind-screw tag gets deserved.

As for particulars, I have to toast the verisimilitude. No Sicilian's in my tree, but enough Italian blood to recognize many traits that resonated. The appearance of self-deprecating nature that is really pride, the cheerfulness that barely conceals the deep-well of potential violence, the strange to me (since I'm a couple generations removed) highly passionate, forever contentious marital relations, where the man rules, sometimes violently, often unfaithfully, but the woman might stick a knife in his groin. And they'd remain happily married for a couple more decades... yeah, actually, that comedy was my grandparents life. We can laugh about it with mom now, some days.

As for the vengefulness, that's an epic I have nothing in my life to make a parallel, because damn.

By the way, I started to read a bit about Sicily and wiki-walked to the Sicilian Opening stub. I'm so sure the man that named it was being facetious. I mean, really, a very agresive response that does not directly menace an opponent's piece?

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text 2017-04-26 01:25
Reading progress update: I've read 448 out of 448 pages.
The Godfather - Peter Bart,Robert Thompson,Mario Puzo

Well... It'll take me a bit to write the review for this. I have so many notes, lol.

 

Anyway, finished just in time for the roll, though I don't think I'll start reading till tomorrow, and something light at that. I have some book hangover.

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