Czasami przeceny i promocję pozwalają kupić książki, po które w normalnych warunkach pewnie bym nie sięgnął. I w taki właśnie sposób w moje ręce trafiła „Czarna księga szpiegów”, autorstwa Richarda C.S. Trahaira, wydana nakładem Wydawnictwa Sensacje XX wieku (Wołoszański).
Publikacja ta nie jest to typowa książka, jakie zwykle czytam, ale bardziej encyklopedią, w której zawarto bardzo dużo haseł (blisko 300) dotyczących szpiegostwa w czasach zimnej wojny oraz przed i w trakcie Drugiej Wojny Światowej.
Dzięki tej książce udało mi się poznać znaczenie wielu haseł i pojęć, które przewijały się w filmach czy dokumentach. Dowiedziałem się, czym było GRU, STASI itp. Jako osoba urodzona w 1982 (czyli w ostatnich latach zimnej wojny) te hasła gdzieś się przewijały dookoła, ale ich znaczenia były dla mnie nie do końca jasne.
Czarna księga szpiegów jest obszerną pozycją, liczącą ponad 650 stron. Całość podzielona jest na kilka części. Jedna z nich to spis szpiegów oraz ich akcji od A do Z, druga to kalendarium szpiegostwa z okresu, o którym pisałem powyżej oraz słownik najważniejszych pojęć.
Encyklopedię tę przeczytałem w trakcie jedenastu dni, w czasie dziewięciu posiedzeń, co daje średnią 73 stron na posiedzenie oraz 60 stron na dzień. Są to naprawdę niezłe wyniki (5 wynik wśród posiedzeń oraz 10 wynik wśród dni (od początku istnienia projektu Czytam na tronie)). Teraz książka pójdzie w ręce człowieka, którego pewnie bardziej zachwyci.
Ocena: bez oceny
I am going to have to see a more traditional version of this play before I will be able to give a true opinion of it. I went to see the Almedia Theatre version at my local movie theatre and I didn’t care for this staging of the play.
The setting was extremely spare. There was only one room and all of the actors were on set all of the time. No furniture, only a series of buckets, which puzzled me a first. No real costumes, either. All the actors were dressed in T-shirts and jeans or sweatpants. When not involved in a scene, the actors would stand by the wall of the one-room set.
The reason for the lack of costume became apparent as the buckets were brought into action. Containing water, soil, and stage blood, they were slung around with abandon and everyone ended up covered in something. Why bother with elaborate costumes when you’re just going to roll everyone in the mud and blood?
But what capped things off for me was the man in the role of Richard II. He had a nervous tic which distracted me beyond my ability to ignore it. Even while delivering emotional speeches, he was rubbing or scratching his butt. What I noticed (early in the play) I just couldn’t un-see and it made it next to impossible for me to concentrate on the dialog and plot.
So, nothing to do with the play itself or with Shakespeare’s writing, but I’m going to have to see another production in order to have an unbiased opinion of Richard II.
And then came along Volume 3 where Cutter and his best friend (and possibly lover if you read between the lines) Skywise (my favorite character) are on a quest to find the rest of their Elvin kinfolk and the home of the High Ones (if such a place exists). Their quest leads them to foreign lands where they are met by humans who view them as gods instead of enemies and who speak of others who look as they do with pointy ears (but much taller). When they finally locate those that call themselves the High Ones (and who ride on giant birds) they are not welcomed with open arms but with scorn, distrust, and outright hatred. The group's elder wishes for them to stay but his adviser (and the power behind the throne) has other plans in mind. Winnowill possess the opposite of Leetah's gifts (Leetah is Cutter's mate) which means she has the power to hurt and even to kill so her threats are anything but empty. #dangeraplenty
This series looks in depth at these characters and examines their relationships, philosophies, and general way of life. We learn that appearances are deceiving because these so-called warriors are at their core simply a resilient little family just trying to find their place in the world. Full of romance, bloodshed, redemption, and definitely suspense I was shocked at how quickly Elfquest worked its spell on me. 10/10 and can hardly wait for Volume 4.
On with the Quest!!
What's Up Next: Strange Magic: An Essex Witch Museum Mystery by Syd Moore
What I'm Currently Reading: The Thirteenth Tale by Diane Setterfield
Right off the bat, I was blown away by Wendy Pini who is an absolutely phenomenal artist. The entire thing is rich with color and a distinctive flair that I came to appreciate as Wendy's signature style. Another reviewer said that this series is born more of the heart than of the mind and I totally agree with them. [A/N: If you're looking for a cerebral sci-fi then you have made a wrong turn and need to look at your directions a little more closely.] Pini has created a true fantasy epic that is about the people just as much (maybe more so) than the journey they undertake.
Volume 2 introduces us to a new clan of elves by the name of the Sunfolk who live (predictably perhaps) in the oasis of a barren desert and who are very different from their Wolfrider kin. Not only are they brown skinned (The Wolfriders are quite pale as they dwelt among the canopies of trees and hunted by night.) but they are peaceful, spiritual, and live much longer lives. (Possibly due to the peacefulness of their people or something else? Yes, this is explored later.) They also possess different gifts from the Wolfriders and have among them a spiritual leader who resembles the mythologized High Ones. These two clans clash immediately and explosively as Cutter finds himself entranced by their leader's daughter who has a relationship with a male of her own clan. #drama
|Cutter in all his glory.|
|Did I mention they can communicate telepathically?|
|On the left is Skywise, Cutter, and Leetah holding a skull (with Wolfriders in the background)|