Wednesday, March 29, 2006

I've been sick for the last three days with the worst cold I've had in a very, very long time. Didn't feel like doing much reading because my head hurt, but I did manage to finish Close Range. Overall, I really enjoyed the stories. Her descriptions of Wyoming are beautiful and yet stark, and she never lets you forget how unforgiving the country can be, death is an everyday part of the lives of all the characters, and many meet unpleasant ends. Her characters are harsh, hard-living, sometimes noble, but often not types. There was one story that was only a page and a half long, but with the best 'makes you laugh in a VERY uncomfortable way' punchline ending ever. As I mentioned, also included in this collection is the story, Brokeback Mountain, which was the main reason I picked this up. The story is very similar to the movie, and its not very long, but there are chunks of dialogue in the movie straight out of the story, and I now realize that the screenwriters of the movie did a really fantastic job of filling in the details after Annie's wonderfully stark prose supplies you with the initial ideas. Plus, Ang Lee totally captured exactly how Annie sees Wyoming. I think it was a beautiful translation, and I was so happy to see that some of my favourite moments in the movie did indeed come right out of the story. Brokeback Mountain comes out on DVD on Tuesday, and I am definitely going to pick it up so I can watch it and then reread the story.

Next on the reading list is Join Me, where Dan Wallace, one of the co-writers of Are You Dave Gorman? inadvertantly starts a cult. Sounds amusing :)

But I am taking a brief time out to reread Watchmen, as I reread V for Vendetta this past weekend in what was supposed to be a warm up to go see the movie. Which I didn't go see, because I was sick. But somehow, a really bad cold and political unrest/anarchy seemed to go well together.

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Gah, I've been so slow with reading things lately. Stems from two things: I'm able to get out more since I only have Jet part of the time (which has its bonuses and its disads), and I got a beautiful new TV at the beginning of the month and have found myself watching TV for simply the sake of watching my awesome new TV. I'm getting a handle on this though, and am slowly returning to my regular viewing habits of only watching the Amazing Race, Lost and some incarnation of Law & Order.

So, since I was last here though, I have indeed finished the Maltese Falcon. I think the ending of the movie is very different from the one in the novel. I seem to remember in the movie, Humphrey Bogart breaking open the Falcon and some ridiculously expensive jewel was inside it. Or am I making that up? Anyway, book was good, but because I seemed to have that ending fixed in my mind, I was quite surprised at the ending of the book and I'm not sure if I'm disappointed or not. Kinda like when I read Jaws finally and got to the end and said "That's it? Boring!" Say what you like about Speilberg these days, he definitely improved on the ending of Jaws.

Also finished Are You Dave Gorman. I got off to a slow start with it, but ended up loving it and laughing myself silly at parts of it. It really is a good thing the authors were able to parlay their silly bet into a book and a BBC series, I can only imagine how far in debt Dave Gorman was after travelling to places like NYC, Italy and Tel Aviv. Being of Norweigian decent myself, this was my very, very favourite passage in the book, said by Dan Wallace's Norweigian girlfriend:

"I am in charge on this trip," said Hanne sternly. "Nothing is going to go wrong. You two have been very sloppy so far. You need a Norweigian in charge. Or a woman. Or better still, a Norweigian woman."

And, as her boyfriend then states, there's not a lot you can say to that. LOL.

I also finished my rereading of the complete Chronicles of Narnia. And, as I'm trying to break out of a writer's block concerning the superhero game I run, I also re-read all the Warren Ellis written trades of StormWatch. Still not inspired though...

Last night, since I was so close to finishing Are You Dave Gorman, I picked up Close Range, the collection of short stories written by Annie Proulx that Brokeback Mountain is in. I've only read a couple of the stories so far, but I'm quite liking them. She's very Alice Munroesque by way of Wyoming. I'm looking forward to getting to the Brokeback story considering how much I adored the movie.