Book Review: Gaudy Night (Lord Peter Wimsey #12) by Dorothy L. Sayers
“He has been about as protective as a can opener.”
Excellent. Best story of the series. Engaging plot and exposition. Sayers’ voice sounds more authentic when the point-of-view character is Harriet Vane, a writer of murder mysteries. Lord Peter has added depth, including a real purpose, the secrecy about which is also explained. The setting, a fictional woman’s college at Oxford, is drawn with perception.
“… mentally turning the incidents of the last hour into a scene in a book (as is the novelist’s unpleasant habit).”
The Lord Peter stories can be read in any order. If you read no other, read this one. However, if you do you will spoil Continue reading
Book Review: The Nine Tailers (Lord Peter Whimsey #11) by Dorothy L. Sayers
“Probably I’m tryin’ to be too clever.”
I liked it but, by the time you’ve read a dozen books in a series, you’ve not only learned the modus operandi of the protagonist but that of the author as well. The surprises may still surprise, but the way they develop is not a surprise.
“’Nature has marvelous powers of recuperation.’ Which is the medical man’s way of saying that, short of miraculous intervention, you may as well order the coffin.”
A good story, lost in the minutiae of ringing peals (of church bells) in rural England. The church bells get into every aspect of the story, including the murder. Lord Peter at his best as Sherlock Holmes acting as if he’s Bertie Wooster.
“Take care of the knot and the noose will take care of itself.”
Book Review: Uncommon Type: Some Stories by Tom Hanks
“Tell just enough of the truth, but never lie.”
Is there anything Tom Hanks can’t do … and do well? Add writing fiction to the list. His prose is compelling, if pedestrian. Great stories, with a lot of heart.
“Every day in Gotham is a little like the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade and a little like Baggage Claim after a long, crowded flight.”
Somewhere in each story is a cameo (at least) by an old typewriter. Hanks collects them. Occasionally their presence is an intrusion, but mostly they fit right in. At least once it serves as the McGuffin. While some are contemporary stories, many are set mid-twentieth century.
“In a flash as well defined as that from a Speed Graphic camera ringside at a prize fight …”
Best story is “These are the Meditations of my Heart.”
“… as nutty as a can of Planters.”
Movie Review: The Man Who Invented Christmas, directed by Bharat Nalluri
“No one is useless in this world,”
Outstanding. A mashup of historical biography and fantasy. Nalluri, Coyne and Standiford take viewers into the soul of Charles Dickens as he almost doesn’t create A Christmas Carol in 1843. The pace and production values exactly match the theme. Dan Stevens is great; Christopher Plummer is incredible.
“We must not disturb the poet when the divine frenzy is upon him.”
Before seeing it, remind yourself of both the story and Dicken’s biography, otherwise nothing that follows will seem quite so wondrous. Before taking children to see this, adults should see it Continue reading
Book Review: Skullsworn (Chronicle of the Unhewn Throne 0.5) by Brian Staveley
“I couldn’t see inside their heads. I could barely make out what was going on inside my own.”
Don’t let the numerical designation fool you, this is a complete novel, not a short story. Despite expectations triggered by the title, a worthwhile novel about life.
“We are all dying, all the time. Being born is stepping from the cliff’s edge. The only question is what to do while falling.”
An action-adventure fantasy with all the blood and gore expected of the genre, but also an investigation into Continue reading
Book Review: Dauntless (Lost Fleet #1) by Jack Campbell
“For the first time, he wondered if missing the last century had actually been a blessing.”
Good space opera. Protagonist back from a hundred year sleep must save the day. Realistic naval idioms for ship movement, engagement and culture.
“You just didn’t ask whether or not marines would follow orders.”
The protagonist is the reader’s “everyman” in the advanced technology and changed culture of his future. Plenty of adversaries, both friendly and decidedly not, to give the story depth and provide fodder for this and half a dozen follow-on tales.
“If the AI isn’t smart enough to employ a weapon all by itself, you can’t trust it very much in battle. If that AI is smart enough … Continue reading
theater release poster
Movie Review: Justice League, directed by Zach Snyder
“Without reason, without love, [science] destroys itself.”
Like most DC and marvel offerings, it’s good, clean fun. Don’t expect too much, and you won’t be disappointed.
“To lead, you step into the light and say to people, this is worth your life.”
The plot was–dare I say it–comic book-ish; the acting was fair, and the special effects looked like special effects. It is what it is.
“I believe in truth, but I also a big fan of justice.”
Book Review: The Disappearance of Winter’s Daughter (Riyria Chronicles #4) by Michael J, Sullivan
“Are you two always like this?” “He is,” they both said in unison.
Perhaps the best Riyria book yet. Both Royce and Hadrian have more depth. Their relationship is more complex. The storytelling, especially the inner dialogue, is superb. Several distinct and distinctive female characters. Sullivan clearly signals changes in point-of-view character. Why not five stars? See my quibble.
“You just hate being happy.” “I have no idea. What’s it like?”
For those unfamiliar with Riyria (Royce and Hadrian) the fourth book of the second series seems the wrong place to try them out. Not so. Winter’s Daughter is a self-contained, rich Continue reading