logo
Wrong email address or username
Wrong email address or username
Incorrect verification code
back to top
Search tags: Scarlet
Load new posts () and activity
Like Reblog Comment
show activity (+)
text 2018-06-09 18:20
Summer of Spies - Tracking Post
The Scarlet Pimpernel - Stephen Crossly,Emmuska Orczy
N or M? - Samantha Bond,Agatha Christie
The Moneypenny Diaries: Guardian Angel - Kate Westbrook
Secret Asset - Stella Rimington
The Spy Who Came in from the Cold - John le Carré
The Looking Glass War - John le Carré,Michael Jayston
Smiley's People - John le Carré
The Cutout - Francine Mathews
Collection: The Tailor of Panama / Our Game / The Night Manager - John le Carré
Open Secret: The Autobiography of the Former Director-General of MI5 - Stella Rimington

Memorial Day Weekend -- Labor Day 2018

 

Finished, to Date:

Emmuska Orczy: The Scarlet Pimpernel (revisited on audio, narrated by Stephen Crossly) ****1/2

Agatha Christie: N or M? (revisited on audio, narrated by Samantha Bond) ***

Ian Fleming: Quantum of Solace (short story only; new / audio, narrated by David Rintoul) *1/2

Kate Westbrook: Guardian Angel (new / audio, narrated by Eleanor Bron) ***1/2

Stella Rimington: Secret Asset (new / audio, narrated by Rosalyn Landor) ****

Francine Mathews: The Cutout (new / audio, narrated by Trini Alvarado) **1/2

John le Carré: The Tailor of Panama (revisited on audio, narrated by the author) ****1/2

 

John Le Carré: George Smiley Cycle

The Spy Who Came in From the Cold (revisited on audio, narrated by the author) *****

The Looking Glass War (new / audio, narrated by Michael Jayston) ***1/2

Smiley's People (revisited on audio, narrated by Michael Jayston) *****


 

Currently Reading:

Stella Rimington: Open Secret: The Autobiography of the Former Director-General of MI5 (new / print edition)

Jane Thynne: Black Roses (new / audio, narrated by Julie Teal)


 

 

 

Like Reblog Comment
show activity (+)
review 2018-05-27 20:50
"They seek him here, they seek him there ..."
The Scarlet Pimpernel - Emmuska Orczy,Gary Hoppenstand
The Scarlet Pimpernel - Stephen Crossly,Emmuska Orczy

Oh, what a glorious prelude to the 2018 Summer of Spies.

 

Maybe not a "spy" novel in a narrower sense, but writing in 1902 and leagues ahead of her time, Orczy created the first book of what would become a series of perfect swashbucklers, starring a power couple in which the heroine is every bit her partner's equal and then some.

 

Indeed, cleverly Orczy even tells this book's story chiefly from Marguerite's point of view, which not only has the benefit of keeping the first-time reader (though ... is there such a creature, in this day and age, when it comes to this particular novel?) unaware of the Scarlet Pimpernel's identity as long as possible, but also gives Marguerite an added reason to hurtle all the way to France in Sir Percy's pursuit once she has cottoned onto (1) his alias, and (2) the fact that Chauvelin has unmasked him as well and is now hunting for him in turn.  After all, the narrative perspective would go to hell in a handbasket if Marguerite were to just stay at home and gnash her teeth, anxiously awaiting her husband's safe return -- whereas this way, Orczy is able to present her as a woman of action ... even if, for the most part, it looks like the much-touted "cleverest woman in Europe" is stumbling blindly after her husband and Chauvelin in their respective tracks and comes darned close to ruining Sir Percy's whole enterprise, not to mention imperiling the life of her beloved brother Armand, to whose assistance Sir Percy had rushed off to begin with (well, that and in order to finish the job of getting the de Tournay family safely across the Channel).

 

No wonder, in any event, that the reading public soon demanded a sequel -- and Marguerite  and Sir Percy would soon also find their way onto the silver screen.  The rest, as they've never said more truly than here, is history ...

 

 

My "Summer of Spies meets Women Writers Project" reading list:

Women of Intelligence

(http://booklikes.com/apps/reading-lists/897/women-of-intelligence)

 

Like Reblog Comment
review 2018-05-24 00:00
A Study in Scarlet
A Study in Scarlet - Arthur Conan Doyle

Read on Wordpress- The Bookworm Daydreamer- A Study in Scarlet Book Review

 

Title: A Study in Scarlet
Series: Sherlock Holmes
Author: Arthur Conan Doyle
Rating: 4/5 stars

 

 

Prior to this one, the only Sherlock Holmes story I've read was A Scandal in Bohemia. I haven't watched any Sherlock Holmes related tv series or movies either. I was aware of them, but I didn't watch them. I like plots with mysteries but I'm not particularly well-versed in the genre itself. Still, I told myself to give it a try, especially because my favorite subject happens to be Introduction to Criminal Law and I tend to find criminal cases engrossing.

A Study in Scarlet was a great introduction to the genre. It had twists, a criminal that wasn't who I expected but nevertheless had a strong motive, and a great detective in Sherlock Holmes. The first part was thrilling and it establishes the characters of Dr. Watson and Sherlock very well. I liked how it also introduced Sherlock Holmes' brand of reasoning. The science of deduction seems very interesting if a bit confusing.

The second part is very very different from the first one. It becomes a drama which tells us the accused's history and gives a background as to his motive. I don't want to speak about the religious aspect as two of my closest friends belong to that religion and I have no opinion to offer on that front.

Still, I liked A Study in Scarlet for what it was and I'm definitely going to be reading more of the Sherlock Holmes novels and stories.

Like Reblog Comment
show activity (+)
review 2018-05-11 17:08
Prequels are better to be honest.
Legend of the Scarlet Blades - Saverio Tenuta

I liked the prequels to this series much better. The disabled hero is great, and the artwork is wonderful. There is something about the story that doesn't grab me.

Like Reblog Comment
show activity (+)
review 2018-05-08 01:32
I wanted to love this more
Avengers: Absolute Vision Book 1 - John Romita,Jackson Guice,Bill Mantlo,Roger Stern,Ann Nocenti,Dan Green,Al Milgrom,John Byrne

I mean, Absolute Vision?   And I'd heard not to expect everything to be Vision.   But there were completely unrelated stories that meant Vision didn't show up until about a hundred pages in, then went away, then was all but gone for a while.   (He was on page, but not functioning.)   I understand why this is Absolute Vision Book 1; it's essential to setting up the second one.   I know this because I've read notes in other Avengers comics that let me know what happened, and a couple other books blatantly referenced this book and volume two. 

 

I know what's happening here.   I know what's going to happen.   But I still want to finish this badly.   (Both volumes, I mean. I'm a little into the second, and I'm loving it!)  I wanted more Vision.  I wanted much more Vision. I do love what they're setting up, although maybe I love it because I know what's coming up soon.   Reading old comics when you've read newer comics can be odd; you know what's happened, but not the details.  You know whether or not the characters are alive, or active, or dead and then resurrected.   You can see how this storyline affected them years, even decades, down the line. 

 

And this is a fun comic.   It's old-fashioned as far as both art and dialogue - and any of the writing go.  I've got to admit I am fond of the newer stuff; it's slicker looking and there's not so much exposition in general.   As the world gets more left-leaning in ways, I've found that comics are really trying hard to be more representative, and part of that is a left-leaning quality.   (I'm liberal, and progressive, but also a Zionist, so I step off the beaten path on that.  I'm also struggling with this as I feel abandoned by both the left and the right, and it's influencing a lot of how I view comics, especially those that are political.)  But the point is that I'm a fan of a lot of the politics in newer comics, especially as comics have had a problem with racism and sexism in the past.   They were products of their times, but I don't see this as a reason not to criticism them.  I think that a discussion about why the times were this way is appropriate, and even condemnation of that time thinking these things were okay, is appropriate.   'A product of its time' is normally a pass, much like 'boys will be boys', but a product of it's time doesn't have to be.   It can be used as 'yes it, is, but let's look at why, why it was wrong, and try to make it better.'   

 

Anyway, older comics can get weird for me for a whole host of reasons.   This didn't as much as many: they didn't deal with Jan's history with Hank Pym that much, but I felt both held their own.   Even though Jan apologized first, she was leading the project, and Hank didn't hold it against her, but instead admitted to his own faults and complimented her.   (And look, it's an old-timey comic.   Jan apologizing first had me cringing a little, wondering if she'd be passively-aggressively held to account for all the weirdness.   She was not.)   Jan was just as flirty as Star-Fox, and neither were held to account.   In fact, there was snark about them being equally flirty but in a way that seemed to be equally snarky at them both.   Neither one was shamed for it in any real way.   When people goggled at She-Hulk, she cheerfully said she was taking it as a reason to goggle right back at them.   (It was her skin color - green, of course - and not her boobs that had them doing double takes.)   Scarlet Witch and Vision's relationship was just done beautifully: they both care a great deal for each other, and while she spends a lot of time at his bedside, it's because he's unwell for a while.   (And while I believe it's to an unhealthy degree, as in she doesn't even eat, I understand why after her hellish, worried life.   She clings to him.   It's not a scenario where she gives up everything and he just takes and takes either.   It's later, in West Coast Avengers, that you find that he doesn't need to sleep, but stays beside her all night because it brings her peace when she hasn't had much in her life.  In other words: I think it would be problematic for a character to give up everything in this unhealthy way, particularly if their parter weren't giving back.   They give up, and in a way that feels fairly equal, so it didn't feel super creepy to me.)

 

In other words: I just didn't see any of the cringe-worthy sexism.   Yes, Jan strips down to a bikini on a boat to work on her tan.   But to be fair, when she mentions it's for the tan, Star-Fox starts stripping down, too.   And she's not posed in a stick out her boobs way, but rather more naturally. 

 

Anyway, one star knocked off for the obsession with the weird mouths and poses that have you looking up people's noses.   Two stars knocked off, because why did Absolute Vision Book 1 have so little Vision?   Seriously, a lot could have been taken out without messing up the setup.   Still, it's a good read and I'll probably reread at least the Vision parts. 

More posts
Your Dashboard view:
Need help?