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"I'm not a psychopath, Anderson. Technically I'm a high-functioning sociopath. Do your research!" [Jul. 26th, 2010|12:53 am]

Just watched the first part of Holmes, (on iPlayer for anyone on the UK)...so thought I'd write a bit about it. The following is some mildly spoilerific thoughts on the first episode.
Under the cut.Collapse )
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Please note I was ill and off work and had nothing to do. [Jul. 22nd, 2009|10:20 pm]
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So, it's been a week since I saw Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince

 It was positively hilarious, on many levels. I spent the majority of it stuffing items of clothing into my mouth in order to stifle the crazed laughter that threatened to choke me. Prathanshi and I had a very enjoyable time making inappropriate comments. So, without further ado, a step-by-step analysis of Harry Potter and the film that has very little to do with the Half-Blood Prince. It's about time I passed a brief comment on it. Uh...well, a comment anyway. This is less of a review and more of a commentary; I wrote it while streaming the film (though I didn't watch, I just skimmed through it to remind myself of the scenes). So it is very very very very long, and basically half of it is just detailing what each scene is about (though I missed ones I didn't feel like commenting on, at my whim) - so in large part it's more like a summary. Refresh your memories :P

[SPOILERS - obviously]

On the good side, there were lots of amusing moments (intentional and otherwise) which made the film memorable and enjoyable (though the ending kind of put a damper on it), and it's probably my most-liked Potter adaptation to date. Probably. Thank you and goodnight.
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Things to do after my deadlines are over. [May. 17th, 2009|04:08 am]
1. Clean the flat every day.
2. Make cupcakes for everyone who has exams.
3. um...go see Star Trek, by myself probably.
4. Go to the Lowry. It's probably best I watch a play there though, apparently it's not that big. But the plays are expensive. So we'll see.
5. Do some sketching. If it's not raining.
6. Go swimming some.
7. Go to Matt and Phred's. Maybe also Frog and Bucket. On free nights.
8. Make cookies.
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Hidden meaning is not hidden. [Apr. 3rd, 2009|10:10 pm]
[i'm feeling... |frustratedfed up]

I just read The Alchemist. Jeezum, what a yawn, I'm uncertain why it's so famous. It was stylistically beautiful for a while in a very very simple way (a 9 year old would do with it I'm sure) but about halfway through it just got annoying and repetitive; by the end I felt like I was reading a self-help book. Which seems to be what it is. It's nothing new and it's been done often and many times better-written. There's a story with a moral and there's a thinly-veiled self-help book, which it was. Blah. Coelho must have very good PR people.

Anyhow, before that, The Hound of the Baskervilles, which I may write about at greater length at a later date - but for now here's my brief post from the book club's thread for it.

I read The Hound of the Baskervilles. It was okay, and my first Conan Doyle book. I'm not sure I'd read anymore unless something came my way but if I had picked one it would have probably been this anyway. I agree about a couple of the things being easily guessed - [spoilers removed].

I disliked Holmes from the beginning, he just seemed arrogant and blah and Watson's far too good for him. But I think we were meant to? Are we? Does he come across as a throughly dislikeable character in all the other Holmes stories? He was clever and logical but Watson felt a lot more human - though maybe that's just 'cause we were reading from his point of view...despite the fact that all he seemed to give us were...facts. Perhaps it's just that the reader picks up on little things such as him pointing out the attractiveness of various women (makes him more likely to be bisexual :P). Of course, if Conan Doyle based Watson on himself that would make sense... and it's interesting that the characters (at least Holmes and Watson) are quick to disparage the supernatural element of their case, considering that Conan Doyle was, from what I know of him, a firm believer in the supernatural (he did believe in fairies, he did, he did!)

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Borrowed from Rosie. 40 (I think. I'm bad at counting). [Mar. 17th, 2009|07:08 pm]
The BBC believes most people will have only read 6 of the 100 books here. How do your reading habits stack up?

Copy into a new note Put an X next to the ones you've read. Include the number you have read in the title and post to your journal.

1 Pride and Prejudice - Jane Austen- X

2 The Lord of the Rings - JRR Tolkien X

3 Jane Eyre - Charlotte Bronte

4 Harry Potter series - JK Rowling X

5 To Kill a Mockingbird - Harper Lee - X

6 The Bible

7 Wuthering Heights - Emily Bronte

8 Nineteen Eighty-Four - George Orwell - X

9 His Dark Materials - Philip Pullman - X

10 Great Expectations - Charles Dickens

11 Little Women - Louisa M Alcott X

12 Tess of the D’Urbervilles - Thomas Hardy

13 Catch 22 - Joseph Heller

14 Complete Works of Shakespeare

15 Rebecca - Daphne Du Maurier - X

16 The Hobbit - JRR Tolkien - X

17 Birdsong - Sebastian Faulk

18 Catcher in the Rye - JD Salinger X

19 The Time Traveller’s Wife - Audrey Niffenegger X

20 Middlemarch - George Eliot

21 Gone With The Wind - Margaret Mitchell

22 The Great Gatsby - F Scott Fitzgerald

23 Bleak House - Charles Dickens -

24 War and Peace - Leo Tolstoy

25 The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy - Douglas Adams - X

26 Brideshead Revisited - Evelyn Waugh

27 Crime and Punishment - Fyodor Dostoyevsky -

28 Grapes of Wrath - John Steinbeck -

29 Alice's Adventures in Wonderland - Lewis Carroll – X

30 The Wind in the Willows - Kenneth Grahame - X

31 Anna Karenina - Leo Tolstoy

32 David Copperfield - Charles Dickens -

33 Chronicles of Narnia - CS Lewis X

34 Emma - Jane Austen - X

35 Persuasion - Jane Austen

36 The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe - CS Lewis X

37 The Kite Runner - Khaled Hosseini X

38 Captain Corelli’s Mandolin - Louis De Bernieres

39 Memoirs of a Geisha - Arthur Golden X

40 Winnie the Pooh - AA Milne - X

41 Animal Farm - George Orwell - X

42 The Da Vinci Code - Dan Brown- X

43 One Hundred Years of Solitude - Gabriel Garcia Marquez

44 A Prayer for Owen Meany - John Irving

45 The Woman in White - Wilkie Collins

46 Anne of Green Gables - LM Montgomery

47 Far From The Madding Crowd - Thomas Hardy

48 The Handmaid’s Tale - Margaret Atwood- X

49 Lord of the Flies - William Golding X

50 Atonement - Ian McEwan - X

51 Life of Pi - Yann Martel X

52 Dune - Frank Herbert

53 Cold Comfort Farm - Stella Gibbons

54 Sense and Sensibility - Jane Austen

55 A Suitable Boy - Vikram Seth X

56 The Shadow of the Wind - Carlos Ruiz Zafon

57 A Tale Of Two Cities - Charles Dickens

58 Brave New World - Aldous Huxley

59 The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time - Mark Haddon – X

60 Love In The Time Of Cholera - Gabriel Garcia Marquez

61 Of Mice and Men - John Steinbeck

62 Lolita - Vladimir Nabokov

63 The Secret History - Donna Tartt

64 The Lovely Bones - Alice Sebold X

65 Count of Monte Cristo - Alexandre Dumas X

66 On The Road - Jack Kerouac

67 Jude the Obscure - Thomas Hardy

68 Bridget Jones’s Diary - Helen Fielding

69 Midnight’s Children - Salman Rushdie

70 Moby Dick - Herman Melville

71 Oliver Twist - Charles Dickens - X

72 Dracula - Bram Stoker - X

73 The Secret Garden - Frances Hodgson Burnett - X

74 Notes From A Small Island - Bill Bryson - X

75 Ulysses - James Joyce

76 The Inferno - Dante

77 Swallows and Amazons - Arthur Ransome

78 Germinal - Emile Zola

79 Vanity Fair - William Makepeace Thackeray

80 Possession - AS Byatt -

81 A Christmas Carol - Charles Dickens

82 Cloud Atlas - David Mitchell

83 The Color Purple - Alice Walker

84 The Remains of the Day - Kazuo Ishiguro

85 Madame Bovary - Gustave Flaubert

86 A Fine Balance - Rohinton Mistry

87 Charlotte’s Web - EB White X

88 The Five People You Meet In Heaven - Mitch Albom X

89 Adventures of Sherlock Holmes - Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

90 The Faraway Tree Collection - Enid Blyton X

91 Heart of Darkness - Joseph Conrad

92 The Little Prince - Antoine De Saint-Exupery - X

93 The Wasp Factory - Iain Banks

94 Watership Down - Richard Adams - X

95 A Confederacy of Dunces - John Kennedy Toole

96 A Town Like Alice - Nevil Shute

97 The Three Musketeers - Alexandre Dumas

98 Hamlet - William Shakespeare

99 Charlie and the Chocolate Factory - Roald Dahl – X

100 Les Miserables - Victor Hugo.
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Why Didn't They Ask Evans? [Mar. 9th, 2009|04:47 pm]
[i'm feeling... |awakealert]

I've never read an Agatha Christie novel before. It was good, somewhat teenage-ish fiction. Except perhaps that was just what I thought of it because my mother says Agatha Christie is what she read as a teenager, it being considered teenage fiction in India - because they didn't have a large young-adult base of fiction there at that time. Or something.

Interestingly, just about to start another dectective novel (Hound of the Baskervilles) not that it's entirely the same; Why Didn't They Ask Evans? concerned amateur sleuthing while Holmes is all the more professional, but I'll see how they compare.

The end (regarding the protagonists) was rather...quaint. And predictable...I don't even feel like it would be a spoiler. So it was kind of trite and while I was not disappointed I wasn't altogether impressed. The handling of the actual mystery was a bit tangled and it wasn't particularly clever, bar one point which I found delightful as I hadn't expected it. Not in the worst way....just I feel I prefer detective stories that leave you spellbound at the intricacy and accuracy of how the plots play out and the clues that are left so that you can figure it out yourself (or alternatively be clueless until the answer is revealed and then it all seems so damnably obvious). It was, I guess, pleasant light reading and I wouldn't not read Christie again because I didn't find it as enthralling as I thought a detective story could be - I'd imagine that her best writing is that she's most known for.
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January 22nd [Jan. 13th, 2009|10:19 pm]

Note: This entry contains no spoilers.
"Lush knew what Flanker meant and Flanker knew that Lush knew. I knew that Flanker and Lush knew it and they both knew I knew it too."

I return from the kitchen and my soles are sticky. I really need to clean this flat but have so much work to do that I do not have the time. Instead, I shall procrastinate by writing about my current reading material, something I've not really done properly in quite a while. At this moment in time, I am reading Lost in a Good Book, by Jasper Fforde - the second in a series of books revolving around Thursday Next (literary detective).

Now, I might have only read one chapter of this book (so mostly I'm basing my opinion on The Eyre Affair, which I read a few months ago) but I happen to find them very enjoyable - and I was reminded of it when I started reading this one. When I was reading Atonement I agreed that Ian McEwan is a writer's writer. And if McEwan is a writer's writer then Jasper Fforde is most definitely a reader's writer. While McEwan writes a wonderful narrative, it's painstakingly contrived and it's OBVIOUS that it's painstakingly contrived. But with the Thursday Next series it's done with such flair because the whole thing is just so fun in comparison. Partly this is a personal joy because I tend to have a fondness for all things nonsense and I know it's not for everyone; my mother said that she liked the concept but got bored with The Eyre Affair before finishing it. I think it's because she doesn't really like fantasy whereas I absolutely adore it as a genre, and it may have got too fantastical (by which I mean fantasy-like) for her. Still though, I can see why it's not a book for everyone (but which book is?)

" 'John Smith - Weeds & Seeds.'
'Unusual name,' I said, shaking his hand. 'I'm Thursday Next.' "

Some of it's so glaringly obvious you love Fforde for doing it but can't help groan - the majority of names in the book, for instance, are some sort of play on words or pun. From Thursday Next (self-explanatory) to her love interest Landen Parke-Laine, to Jack Schitt and Aubrey Jambe and the little extracts by Millon de Floss at the beginning of chapters. Pretty much all the names in there, to be honest.

" 'Seems everyone wants you to investigate their favourite book,' observed Landen. 'While you're about it, can you try and get Tess acquitted and Max de Winter convicted?' "

I love the prose, I love the dialogue, and I love the literary in-jokes that will make readers all over the place smile to themselves because they know that reference (if not all the rest). There are a lot of writers and a lot of books I've read that take a mildly satirical slant on politics, government departments, war, corporate policy, chat shows, fanatical organisations and dodos, but few (note: still some) do it so well and so hilariously that I can't help smirking to myself. I mean, a Toast Marketing Board, it's great. (In a couple of ways, this kind of thing strikes me as Pratchett-esque but it's still so different [in a way that is detailed in the next paragraph]).

Wiki calls them "comic fantasy, alternate history novels" which is...sort of true. Although how can you really have an alternate history at the same time as fantasy - yeah, it's alternate history for a world in which people can time travel and transmogrify - but that's not our world so can you really label it alternate history if it's not alternate history to our own world? I dunno. It's rather a fantasy-based alternate reality...um...or something. At the same time, it's still grounded in a world that's a lot like ours (which is ours, excluding the whole time travelling/transmogrifying[as detailed above]/jumping into books and conversing with characters way) anyway, which is what makes it easy to relate to even though it's still got all the fantasy elements. Obviously some fantasy is closer to home than others (see "Harry Potter") but there's still great fantasy that's far removed from us (see "LotR"*) but I think it's a lot harder to relate to the characters when, y'know, they're not even human (obviously you can in some ways, they still have emotional scope and stuff) but when they're not really living the same world you are. Fantasy books never are really living the same world you are - but there's a spectrum of how tied they are to reality, that's what I'm trying to say. I should draw a diagram and place all my fantasy books on it (watch this space).

So, to summarise, I like this series (disclaimer: so far) and they make me smile and they're great light reading for me, if not everyone. I would recommend them to...most people - so long as you appreciate their depth I'm fairly sure you'll like them but they're not really for non-book lovers.

*I apologise for using such clichéd examples.
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neverland [Apr. 15th, 2006|05:26 pm]

For the writers on my flist, I figured some of you may like the Never Ending Story so I'm linking it here. For those who haven't heard of it, it's a book-building website which lets users read and add to stories started by personalities including Simon Woodroffe (formerly from the BBC's Dragons Den programme?)... It's designed to encourage users from around the world to add to it daily to create full length original books, which eventually get published. It was launched only a few weeks ago and I don't think it got the media attention it deserves. Get joining :P
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(no subject) [Oct. 27th, 2005|09:24 pm]
Why did the mushroom go to the party?
Because he was a fungi.

Two peanuts walked into a bar. One was assaulted.

What's orange and sounds like a parrot?
A carrot.

Hehe, these were funny.
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tea! [Jul. 8th, 2005|11:06 am]
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Tea Dammit!

This made me smile. Heh.

Thanks to carentan for directing me to it  =)

------------- so did this - for the hp fangirls :P (or boys, whatever)
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