Tag: fiction

Book Report: Fletch (Gregory Mcdonald, 1974)

Book Report: Fletch (Gregory Mcdonald, 1974)

Books
It's taken me a long time to finally delve into Gregory Mcdonald's Fletch book series, although I can't give you a good reason why. I have loved the first movie for a few decades, so you'd think I would want to consume all I can about the character right from the source. But inertia is a powerful force, and so it is that I've finally started my journey this week. So, the original Fletch from 1974. If you're reading this I'm guessing you've seen the movie but not read the book, and want to know how closely the former follows the latter. So let's go ahead and get the story differences out of the way now. Needless to say, spoiler alert. Book Fletch is a blonde, not dark-haired like Chevy Chase. The Geena Davis movie role (Larry) is named Clara Snow in the book, and Fletch has a rathe...
Pop Culture Capsule — November 14-20, 1993

Pop Culture Capsule — November 14-20, 1993

Capsules, History
While the nation should be celebrating another win by my Rutgers Scarlet Knights, apparently it's considered bigger news that Notre Dame is back at #1 for the first time in 19 years. In fact, almost exactly 19 years. Before this week, the Fighting Irish last held the top spot in college football in the poll released November 16, 1993. To put all of this into context, here's what was going on in the world of American pop culture the last time Notre Dame was at the top of the college football world. Top 10 Movies 1. Addams Family Values 2. The Three Musketeers 3. Carlito's Way 4. My Life 5. Mrs. Doubtfire 6. Man's Best Friend 7. Tim Burton's The Nightmare Before Christmas 8. The Remains of the Day 9. Cool Runnings 10. A Perfect World Will you look at that -- the top movie of...
Still scary after all these years – Stephen King’s It

Still scary after all these years – Stephen King’s It

Books
In celebration of It's 25th anniversary on September 15th, 2011 I'm reposting this review I wrote in April 2007. - Chris I am not what you could call a voracious reader. I can barely make it through an issue of Highlights for Children without getting distracted by something or other. So when I can make it through a 1,000+ page book, it's quite a feat. When I consciously choose to re-read the same 1,000+ page book, it's nothing short of a miracle. I recently finished reading Stephen King's It for the second time, and I think I enjoyed it even more than the first (which was probably about 15 years ago). I know a lot of literary snobs look down their large and bespectacled noses at King, but let's face it, the man delivers. I'd read about the Losers and Pennywise the Clown any day o...
Pop Culture Capsule — July 20-26, 1986

Pop Culture Capsule — July 20-26, 1986

Capsules, History
Here's a look at America's top movies, music, and books for the week of July 20-26, 1986. TV was in summer rerun mode, but it was pretty much all about The Cosby Show anyway. I remember most of these things (except the books), but I had no idea Patti LaBelle hit #1 over Janet Jackson and Peter Gabriel. Good for her! Top 10 Movies 1. Aliens 2. The Karate Kid Part II 3. Ruthless People 4. Top Gun 5. Back to School 6. About Last Night... 7. Ferris Bueller's Day Off 8. Legal Eagles 9. Running Scared 10. The Great Mouse Detective Top 10 Albums 1. Patti LaBelle, Winner in You 2. Janet Jackson, Control 3. Peter Gabriel, So 4. Top Gun soundtrack 5. Genesis, Invisible Touch 6. Billy Ocean, Love Zone 7. Whitney Houston, Whitney Houston 8. Bob Seger, Like a Rock 9. The Moody Blue...
Yadda yadda yadda…the end. (or, classics of human thought get the AutoSummarize treatment)

Yadda yadda yadda…the end. (or, classics of human thought get the AutoSummarize treatment)

Funny Stuff
Words.  Who has time for them, right?  I know I don't, and you probably don't either.  So, inspired by Jason Huff's AutoSummarize project of the 100 most-downloaded copyright-free books, I decided to gather a broader sampling of humanity's greatest achievements in the form of books, speeches, songs and other works, and run them through Microsoft Word's ever-handy AutoSummarize feature.  Prepare to expand your mind in 10-sentence fragments. Moby Dick by Herman Melville white whale, shirr! The White Whale, the White Whale!" "WHAT whale?" White Whale—no." Ship, old ship! The Dying Whale. The Whale Watch. Man, man! "The whale! "The whale, the whale! The Book of Genesis 19 In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread, till thou return unto the ground; for out of it
Book report: From Russia, With Love

Book report: From Russia, With Love

Books
I've been a James Bond fan since I was a kid, when I rented just about every Bond film available (actually my mom rented them, but whatever) and spent countless hours absorbing them.  But for some reason I never got around to tackling any of the source material - Ian Fleming's Bond short stories and novels.  I guess I never figured there was a reason to dig that deeply into 007, even though I've developed a taste for spy novels in my adulthood. But during a recent trip to a used book store I spotted some older editions of a few Bond novels and decided to take the plunge.  So I've finally finished my first Bond book, 1957's From Russia, With Love.  It's Fleming's fifth Bond novel and became, in 1963, the second in the film series.  I think I picked a good one to start with. (more&hel
Book report: The Witching Hour

Book report: The Witching Hour

Books
Having only read one other Anne Rice novel (you guessed it, Interview With the Vampire), I learned some interesting things about her from reading her beefy 1990 tome, The Witching Hour.  I learned that she can make a book interesting even if there are actually no vampires in it.  I learned that New Orleans, in addition to being a magical place indeed, has some really beautiful flowers.  And I learned that Anne Rice sure knows a lot of different ways to describe human genitalia. So yes, the book is interesting and even engrossing in parts and starts off with real promise. In the bar of a New York hotel a doctor remembers a most disturbing assignment - administering tranquilizing drugs to a young, catatonic woman named Deirdre.  But rather than living as a patient in a mental hospital, De
Book report: Single & Single

Book report: Single & Single

Books
Don't let the title fool you - Single & Single is in fact not the new name for Jon & Kate Plus 8.  It's actually a 1999 novel by John le Carré, who made a name for himself in 1963 with The Spy Who Came in From the Cold.  I picked it up a few years ago solely because le Carré is the author, which should tell you how much I liked The Spy Who Came in From the Cold. I don't know if I was aware that Single & Single isn't a spy novel when I bought it, but it doesn't really matter because it might as well be. All the familiar elements are here, but in the post-Cold War world we have to make do with cutthroat Russian mobsters rather than crafty KGB agents, and put-upon British bureaucrats who lack the zip of the agents of yesteryear.  Fighting crime just isn't as interesting as figh