See also: Grumpy Old Bookman ; Singling out the duplications ; Guardian Review ; Excessive Candour ; Sandstorm Reviews
Jack and Joe are identical twins. Medal winners in the 1936 Olympics in Berlin, their lives diverge down different paths. One joins the RAF and flies bombing runs during World War II, the other is a pacifist and a conscientious objector.
But it is hard to describe the plot of this novel with a brief paragraph; it is about the choices people make, about the different possibilities that are out there, and about how there is no such thing as being totally right or wrong in war. It is an alternate history, starting with the present-day investigations of historian Stuart Gratton, who lives in a world where Churchill and Hitler stepped down from power after a deal negotiated by Rudolph Hess, and saw the emergence of a far different world order.
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Ray and Ken are two Irish hit-men hiding out after a job. Hiding out in Bruges on orders from their boss, Harry. Ken is all set to relax and enjoy the medieval scenery and architecture. Visit the castles and churches. Harry says it is like fairy tale, coming in on the canal. Ray isn’t so sure of that, but when he comes upon a film shot he is much more interested.
It is hard to know how to describe this film. It is more of a character study than a story. Of course there is some plot, an oilman and his desire to suceed, but the story isn’t too important. What is important is the character of Daniel Plainview, as played by Oscar winning Daniel Day-Lewis.
The opening scenes show just how driven Daniel is. We watch him, working on his own, in a mine. No dialogue at all for around 15 minutes, just this man in a hole, digging, dynamiting up the earth, falling down the hole, injured and yet still having the drive to pull himself out of that hole and struggle back into town to get his bit of dirt evaluated.