Monday, July 9, 2012

The Unbearable Lightness of Being: A Review of Sorts

The Unbearable Lightness of Being is a very special book.

I came to it not knowing what exactly to expect, I’d never read any of Kundera’s books before, and most of my friends -while confirming that it’s a great book - refused to tell me more, opting to tell me that I have to read it to know what’s so special about it. 

I thank them for doing so.
Upon picking up the book, and starting to read, I realized that Kundera has a very interesting way of approaching his story. He doesn’t go for the pure approach of simply listing events and characters, neither does he wax philosophical about motivations and motifs without purpose. He achieves an amazing balance between both, weaving events and thoughts together in a manner that had me hooked from the very first page.

Saturday, July 7, 2012

A Critical Juncture

The worst thing that can ever happen to an over-thinker is being faced with a situation that actually requires him to stop thinking and actually wait and act accordingly, because all he ends up doing is sitting there, thinking about all the ways things can go wrong, and thus he ends up caught in a nightmare that is not yet real, but is very likely to gain form through his own misgivings.

It is a sad, worrisome thing.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Let's Talk About: Abraham Lincoln, Vampire Hunter

Let's Talk About is - going to be, hopefully - a series aimed at discussing things that I've read, watched or listened to, and found necessitating further discussion later on. Stay tuned for fun stuff.

Note: This is mostly aimed as a rebuttal, after reading Shereen Gaber's review of the movie here.

All right. So, last week I've had the chance - or rather the misfortune- of watching the movie adaptation of Abraham Lincoln, Vampire Hunter, a novel by Seth Grahame-Smith which aims at sprucing up one of America's most famous presidents, by making him moonlight as a vampire hunter. 

I actually enjoyed the book a great deal; it was well-written, played its cards right, and even though the entire situation was completely ludicrous, my suspension of disbelief remained entirely untouched.

So, when I learned that the book was to be adapted into a movie, I rejoiced! It seemed like a perfect match, and they'd even managed to bring in Grahame-Smith to write the movie script. It was going to be great! Even better, Timur Bekmambetov, of Night Watch and Wanted fame, was going to direct it. Crazy, unrelenting action and set-pieces! Woo!

Then, I watched the movie.

Monday, July 2, 2012

Book Excerpt: ‘Impossible Dreams' by Tim Pratt

Here's an excerpt from the anthology Other Worlds Than These, a short story entitled Impossible Dreams, by Tim Pratt. It's really quite awesome.

(Visit the website here for more info about the anthology. All credit goes to Wired for sharing this.)

‘Impossible Dreams’ by Tim Pratt
Pete was walking home from the revival movie house, where he’d caught an evening showing of To Have and Have Not, when he first saw the video store.
He stopped on the sidewalk, head cocked, frowning at the narrow store squeezed between a kitschy gift shop and a bakery. He stepped toward the door, peered inside, and saw old movie posters on the walls, racks of DVDs and VHS tapes, and a big screen TV against one wall. The lettering on the door read “Impossible Dreams Video,” and the smudges on the glass suggested it had been in business for a while.
Except it hadn’t been. Pete knew every video store in the county, from the big chains to the tiny place staffed by film students up by the university to the little porno shop downtown that sometimes sold classic Italian horror flicks and bootleg Asian movies. He’d never even heard of this place, and he walked this way at least twice a week. Pete believed in movies like other people believed in God, and he couldn’t understand how he’d overlooked a store just three blocks from his own apartment. He pushed open the door, and a bell rang. The shop was small, just three aisles of DVDs and a wall of VHS tapes, fluorescent lights and ancient, blue industrial carpet, and there were no customers. The clerk said, “Let me know if you need any help,” and he nodded, barely noticing her beyond the fact that she was female, somewhere south of thirty, and had short pale hair that stuck up like the fluff on a baby chick.
Pete headed toward the classics section. He was a cinematic omnivore, but you could judge a video store by the quality of its classics shelf the same way you could judge a civilization by the state of its prisons. He looked along the row of familiar titles–and stopped at a DVD turned face-out, with a foil “New Release” sticker on the front.
Pete picked it up with trembling hands. The box purported to be the director’s cut of The Magnificent Ambersons by Orson Welles.
“Is this a joke?” he said, holding up the box, almost angry.