Sunshine

At some point in the past I read Sunshine. And I loved it. I don’t remember when I read it, I didn’t review it on the blog or if I did it got lost in one of my moves along the way. I think it was the first time I remember reading Robin McKinley1 . […]

The Lost City of Z [based on the book]

[imdb_movie_detail title=”The Lost City of Z” detail=”plot”] Sometimes when you describe a film or a book as “interesting” you really mean that you didn’t like it but don’t really want to say that. In this case that is not what I mean at all when I say that The Lost City of Z is a […]

Foxcatcher

Mark Schultz (Channing Tatum) won gold at the 1984 Olympics. As did his older brother David (Mark Ruffalo). Now they are in training for the Worlds, and then they’ll be focusing on the 1988 Olympics. David has a family, he has a possible job as a wrestling coach lined up. None of that seems to […]

What Doctor Gottlieb saw

the Little Red Reviewer posted her review of Bitter Seeds by Ian Tregillis today and in it mentioned this short story set in the same Milkweed universe. It is available to read on Tor.com and as I have read the first book1 the series I thought I’d read this one. Might prompt me to pick […]

This side of brightness

In the early 1900s New York’s subway was in the process of being excavated. Working as sandhog was decent enough money, but it was dangerous work. As this book begins four men are about to be blown out through the under-river tunnel and out into the Hudson. Three survive, the other’s body is never recovered. […]

The winter prince

The Winter Prince

Book one in The Lion Hunters Although this book doesn’t really have any fatastical elements, I am still counting it towards this year’s Once Upon a Time challenge because it is an Arthurian legend inspired book. Medraut is the eldest son of Artos, but he will not inherit the High King’s title, lands, or power. […]

The King’s Speech

The wireless changed a great many things. Before, all that was required of a monarch was that he look the part, and not fall off his horse. After the king would invade his people’s homes and have to court them with his speech. So King George V of Britain believes, and tells his son. “Bertie” may not be expected to take the throne, but as a member of the royal family he must do his part for duty and the country. And so he is given the job of delivering the closing speech of the Empire exhibit. His older brother, David[1] has performed admirably, as has the king. But Albert has a speech impediment, a stammer. Which of course leads to the feared “dead air”. He visits all sorts of doctors in an attempt to find someone who may be able to help, but it is only when his wife stumbles across Lionel Logue, an Australian actor that he begins to make some progress.

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Linknotes:

  1. the future Edward VIII

W.

This is an odd sort of a film. I mean, it clearly isn’t meant to be full of praise for George W. Bush. But at the same time it is almost gentle in its treatment of him. Presenting him as a somewhat simple-minded, but well-intentioned, fool. With Daddy Issues. The film cuts back and forward […]

Royal Escape

No ISBN ; Elsewhere

Set after the execution of Charles I, this book tells the story of Charles II after his forces lose the Battle of Worcester[1] and he is forced to try and escape the country and go into hiding in France. To be honest there isn’t much of a plot to this book. Okay, so we have the would-be king riding about the English countryside, or sometimes walking, trying to escape. But we all know that he does, escape that is, I mean we have all heard of the Restoration[2] right? So the book is more of a character study of Charles II

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The Giant, O’Brien

ISBN: 038525895X See also: Elsewhere ; RIP III

“Bring in the cows now. Time to shut up for the night”.
There came three cows, breathing in the near-dark: swishing with the tips of their tails, their bones showing through hide.

This book isn’t labelled as horror; I’m guessing you are more likely to find it in the fiction or literary fiction section of a bookshop rather than the horror or even historical fiction section. But it fits under both. If you ask me.

The Giant of the title is based on the real life story of Charles Byrne but this is never intended to follow his life story. The real Byrne merely provides the inspiration. Along with the real John Hunter, real-life surgeon and anatomist. What Mantel does is use their stories as a jumping off point, an examination of the characters and their times. So of course it makes no pretence at being a real story.

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The Remains of the Day

The remains of the day - Kazuo Ishiguro
ISBN: 0571154913

It seems increasingly likely that I really will undertake the expedition that has been occupying my imagination now for some days.

The Remains of the Day is about Stevens, a butler in a “grand old English house”. He spent his life trying to be a “great” butler in the service of Lord Darlington. With the death of Darlington he remains in Darlington Hall working for the new owner a rich American, Mr Farraday. It is at Mr. Farraday’s suggestion that Stevens, our narrator, first begins thinking about taking a short trip out into the English countryside, and to see Miss Kenton. Now Mrs. Benn she recently sent him a letter, hinting, Stevens thinks, at her unhappy marriage and her wish to return to service in Darlington Hall. On his journey Stevens reflects over his life and the changes he has seen.

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There Will Be Blood

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.