A Necessary End by Peter Robinson. Book three from the current 'crime series' I am pursuing. Written by a Canadian author, this series follows the crime solving endeavours of Inspector Alan Banks in the (not real) Yorkshire town of Eastvale. Like Midsomer county, Eastvale has a proportionately high crime rate for such a small section of England. And even though the body count is unrealistically high, this series is quite enjoyable for the rest of the reality that inhabits it. A detective, slightly, but not overly flawed, going about the business of detecting. As opposed to forensic pathologists, or anthropologists, or geophysicists, or amateur sleuths or vampire hunters or psychic nuclear anatomists or ancient Vatican scholars. Just police work, solving crime, having a beer.
Crooked Little Vein by Warren Ellis. A dimension away in detecting from the previous book. This comes over hard-boiled from page one. And silly. Commissioned by a high ranking Government official to find the true Constitution—a book passed from person to person, since it was written, and purportedly possessing supernatural powers that 'will make the world right again'—our private dick protagonist and his newly-met assistant/lover take to the cities of America chasing one depraved temporary owner after another. The novel treads a narrow barrier between comic characters brought to the written word and shock-for-shock's sake. I suppose, for me, he stayed balanced on the tightrope, because although it was silly, I stayed the course. More than stayed the course actually, I turned pages beyond reasonable bedtimes.
The Road by Cormac McCarthy. Dystopia, like zombies, is trendy right now. But this dysopian, post-apocalyptic novel is so incredibly different from all the others in this category. It is quiet and small but heavy, dragging your heart to your stomach. Names, grammar, everything is sparse and hungry. Hope is the grey ash that covers everything, unallowed, by the freezing rain and snow, to rise or float—or even disappear. If social media is truly an indicator, this book divides people between hate and love. I suppose dystopia is more exciting when you can fight against the authority and fall in love with two men and have a costume designer who makes dresses from fire. This dystopia is probably too much like what would happen if we really did destroy our world. This touched my soul.
The Wolf of Wall Street. A swing of the pendulum; the quiet power of The Road juxtaposes emphatically with the flamboyant superficiality of The Wolf of Wall Street. It's been described as indulgent porn, but I quite enjoyed this long movie. (Gold Class cinema was worth the money: a three hour long epic). It typified the eighties psyche. Leo Di Caprio is brilliant and can essentialise the spirit of the eighties in a wiggle. And the scene where he was off his face on vintage prescription medication (is there such a thing?) was hilarious, even though I felt bad laughing at a drug addict. Sure it had orgies, sure it had excessive drug use and obscene greed. And even despite a simple story, I was entertained for the full three hours. It may be excessive, but that is its subject matter so we can expect nothing less.
Who Wore It Better?
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