Ramblings on books and films
As the Christmas break approaches I'm starting to feel un-work-like, so my mind is drifting towards other things. I realize it's been a while since I did any amateur NWR book or film reviews. So here goes.
First, three books. Ian McEwan's Atonement is a good story, well written. It's one of those books where the prose is so rich that you want it to last a long time, and feel sad as you draw towards the close. From the cover, which features Hollywood stars, I gather a movie has been made of this - haven't seen it, though.
Khaled Hosseini's The Kite Runner is a book of two havles. It starts brilliantly. You really get a feel for what it must have been like to grow up in Afghanistan. But then it gets a bit silly, and starts reading like a bad John Grisham novel, with the author allowing himself just too many coincidences, and the pace just getting far too rapid. This is another book that has spawned a film. Haven't seen it, though.
Finally, Zadie Smith's On Beauty, which is funny, quite perceptive and brilliantly observed. The writing here is fantastic. The subject matter is original. It's a really good read.
Next, some movies.
The Painted Veil is a beautiful period piece -with teeth - set in China in the 1930s. It's based on the Somerset Maugham, and as well as being visually stunning, there are some strong acting performances. A hit.
Mitchell and Webb are comic geniuses, and their debut film Magicians is very,very funny. Another hit.
Finally, Die Hard 4.0 is a fun film if you are in the mood for it. Bruce Willis is very old now, but still indestructable. Fortunately, he manages to save the world (well, the USA, but isn't that the same thing?) from baddies. I enjoyed this.