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review 2018-02-02 03:28
Crooked House
Crooked House - Rory Kinnear,Anna Maxwell,Phil Davis,Agatha Christie
Crooked House - Agatha Christie

I checked this BBC Adaptation of from my library because I was in a hurry and it said "unabridged", but it has to be abridged somehow.  It was only 1 hour and 45 minutes long?  It's a full cast dramatisation though, and perhaps that allowed it to tell the full story without all the descriptive text and 'he said' stuff.

 

Either way, it was an excellent production, although it's obviously meant to be seen as well as heard, so some of the sound effects didn't work as well as they could have (the 'love' scenes just sounded... damp).  I thoroughly enjoyed the production once I got used to the format.  But I will read this book in print at some point; I want to know if I've missed any subtleties that Christie is famous for. 

 

The story is one of my favorites so far - definitely darker than her usual, but not as bad as I feared at all.  I admit I guessed the murderer, but only because I suspect the actor played the part too well.  Something was said midway - I can't even remember what - and I thought, it's probably 'x'.  I was never sure, and Christie almost let me astray at one point, but the reveal wasn't the shocking twist it might have been.  It didn't diminish my enjoyment in the least.

 

I have one other of these dramatisations checked out for Murder on the Links and I'm going to go ahead and listen to it (I think golf is boring, so I need the drama), but after that I'll take the time to hunt down the full, true audiobooks of Christie's work; at least for the first read.

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review 2018-01-21 21:31
Revenger (John Shakespeare #2) by Rory Clements
Revenger: A Novel of Tudor Intrigue - Rory Clements

I fell asleep reading this last night. I woke up this morning determined to finish before the Vikings play. SKOL! 

 

I have seen so many different books toted as comparable to C.J. Sansom's Matthew Shardlake books. More often than not, I find myself disappointed. Truth be told, I have not yet found anything to be as dark, gritty, or politically charged as the Shardlake novels. Enter John Shakespeare. 

 

Shakespeare and Shardlake both have similar qualities. They are both slightly naive. They both tend to find themselves being used as pawns in someone's political schemes. The biggest different between the two men, Shakespeare is a more of a rogue. While Shardlake strives to use his brains to get himself out of trouble, Shakespeare is not afraid to fight. 

 

I will confess to liking Shardlake just a little more than Shakespeare. However, I am only two books in to Shakespeare. Things could change. If the second novel is any indication of how things will progress, that could very well be the case.

 

Much like the first, this book was dark. It was gritty. It was gruesome. It was thick with political schemes. If you are not familiar with Elizabeth's England post-Walsingham or the children of Lettice Knollys, I would highly recommend doing a little background research first. Otherwise, you may find yourself a little lost. 

 

Easily the most fascinating part of this book was the story of Roanoke. As a child, I was taught all about the mysterious colony of Roanoke. A colony of English settlers come to the New World to create a new life who suddenly vanish without a trace. What happened to little Virginia Dare and the other colonists? Did a mysterious illness overtake them? Did they run foul of the natives? Did they just leave and start a life somewhere else? This book presents an entirely different theory. It's actually quite fascinating. That's all I'm saying about it. 

 

I would love to start the third novel but the Vikings play today. I have Super Bowl on my mind. SKOL! 

 

 

 

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review 2018-01-19 14:34
Words fail me
A Clockwork Orange - Anthony Burgess

Alright, there is a lot going on in this little piece of poison dripping, mind-fuck of a story, and I don't know that I'm up to the task.

 

First of all, because it's the immediate, I call bullshit on that end (I'm talking of the 21th chapter that was cut-out of the USA version; if you've not read it, this paragraph will make little sense). I read the author's introduction and explanation, and I more or less agree that our empathy and sympathy tends to grow as we mature (and we are more or less savages as kids and teens), but having read the book, I don't believe this level of inner cruelty and utter disregard for other people, or the length it was self-indulged and brought out onto the world can be called "a folly of youth" and hand-waived like that. I do not believe that level of monstrosity is something that can be redeemed, worked out, grow bored out of, and the person just go on to be some well adjusted adult.

 

I also do not know what is to be done with such a person to be honest, even if my knee-jerk reaction if I was the victim would be to kill them. Brain-washing into effectively loosing their free will does not seem to be the answer though.

 

Next: There is a very strong undercurrent of the battle of the generations going on here. The way money is treated, those articles in the diary, and the mention of day hour and night ours, and whom the street belongs to, and even, who has the power in the first part vs. the second, and what it consist on.

 

Actually, the three parts are distillate poison on abuse of power: young hooligans for first, then the police and other punishing/correctional institutions for second, politicians in the third. Everyone screws everyone over, and in the end I hated the lot, little Alex, and his little followers, and the police, and the jailers, and the priests, and the doctors, and the politicians, and the social fighters, and even his victims.

 

Shit, I wouldn't recommend this one, even if I found it oddly compelling *shudder*. It is interesting, and effective, but a vicious way to provoke thought, maybe unnecessarily.

 

Done. Onto "I am Pusheen the Cat", ice-cream and a helping of crack fics for the soul.

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text 2018-01-19 09:59
Reading progress update: I've read 150 out of 213 pages.
A Clockwork Orange - Anthony Burgess

I'm still reading. Oh, my God, I'm still reading.

 

If the first part was trigger fest and violence slide-show (I almost wrote horror-show and then decided it was too twisted), and some bits (and not even the most violent, mind you) gave me real anxiety (it was how close to life some of the situations, initial set ups and general descriptions felt), this second part was the sickening counter-push, just as violent and disturbed, only in a different manner.

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text 2018-01-05 20:12
Reading progress update: I've read 5 out of 213 pages.
A Clockwork Orange - Anthony Burgess

I'm reading the version published outside USA, with it's extra chapter and, in this one, a very interesting introduction about the difference. It really puts it on it's head, doesn't it? What I'm left thinking on (and there is quite a bit touched upon in the author's words), is the bit where he calls the truncated version a fable, and the full one a novel, because I would point out that in there, besides the movie, resides the persistence of this book. After all, we have proof that we hold onto our fables and archetypes for millennia.

Page one: Ok, whut? Should I point out, yet again, that English is not my first language, or is this as heavy in slang that it's almost incomprehensible to everyone else too?

 

And yeah, I'm alternating this and "A Wrinkle in Time", with "Men explain things to me" around for non-fiction. Nice salad, huh?

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