Monday, November 30, 2015

Monday Night Music: Max Richter

The Names Of Villains

Is it the villain the makes the name great or the name that makes the villain memorable: Hannibal Lector, Norman Bates, Nurse Ratched, Maleficent, Lex Luthor, Ebenezer Scrooge?

What are some of best names for villains?

Sunday, November 29, 2015

Friday, November 27, 2015

Friday's Forgotten Books

 QUEEN'S GAMBIT by Walter Tevis

I am not sure what drew me to this book. I know nothing about chess and the book was chock full of chess matches. I was unable to follow the moves and,
in fact, had never heard of terms like the "middle game" before.
Beth, an orphan, is taught chess by the janitor at the school/orphanage where she lives. She begs him to learn and at once excels. Once adopted, her adopted mother uses (in a benign way) her ability to support them. Both of them are in flight from any real world. 
We follow Beth from match to match across the years. She picks up some bad habits in terms of substance abuse along the way. An interesting book about a child prodigy and how she makes the jump to an adult champion. Highly recommended especially for those who play the game.

Sergio Angelini, MURDER WITHIN MURDER, Frances and Richard Lockridge
Yvette Banek, WARRANT FOR X, Philip Macdonald
Les Blatt, DEATH OF AN AIRMAN, Christopher St. John Sprigg
Brian Busby, BLONDES ARE MY TROUBLE, Douglas Sanderson
Bill Crider, THE VIOLENT ONES, Brant House, ed.
Scott Cupp, SOME OF YOUR BLOOD, Theodore Sturgeon
Martin Edwards, THE MAN WHO LOST HIS WIFE, Julian Symons
Ed Gorman, KILLER, Dave Zeltserman
Rick Horton,  Ace Doubles: Conan the Conqueror, by Robert E. Howard/The Sword of Rhiannon, by Leigh Brackett
Jerry House, DIAMONDS ARE FOREVER, Flint and Spoor
George Kelley, DEEP QUARRY, John. E. Stith
Margot Kinberg, BLANCHE ON THE LAM, Barbara Neely
B.V. Lawson, GOOD COP, BAD COP, Barbara D'Amato
Steve Lewis/David Vineyard, THE WOMAN WITH THE BLUE PENCIL, Gordon McAlpine
Todd Mason, CONJURE WIFE, Fritz Leiber
Matt Paust, THE CONSEQUENCES OF DESIRE, Dennis Hathaway
James Reasoner, TERROR STATION, James V. Swain
Kevin Tipple. A DANGEROUS THING, Bill Crider
TomCat, SCHEMERS, Bill Pronzini
TracyK, FUNERAL IN BERLIN, Len Deighton
Westlake Review, ENOUGH, Donald Westlake

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Your ten desert island books?

No collections count. Single volume books only. I have read only three of these so their reputation precedes them.

Anna Karenina, Leo Tolstoy
Lonesome Dove, Larry McMurtry
Selected Stories of Alice Munro
The Bible
Infinite Jest, David Foster Wallace
Middlemarch, George Elliott
The Moonstone, Wilkie Collins
Tales of Mystery and Imagination, Edgar Allen Poe
A Fine Balance, Rohinton Mistry
A Secret History, Donna Tartt

Tuesday, November 24, 2015


Directed by John Houston and based on the novella by Carson McCullers, this is a film that is probably too much for most people (like me). What was interesting and odd and beautifully written in the novel, became sinister, frightening. hysterical (in its true meaning) and occasionally laughable in the movie IMHO. Never a fan of either Liz Taylor or Marlon Brando's acting styles, I should have known this was not the film for me. Anyone see it?
I am still looking for a film where Brando (or Taylor) works for me. Brando comes closest in STREETCAR but even there his hysteria, suited to that film, I guess, wears on me. Brian Keith is the saving grace in REFLECTIONS.