I’ve been reading Edmund Crispin–I’m going through a British mystery binge–and I’d forgotten how wonderfully off-the-wall Glimpses of the Moon is. The detective, Gervase Fen, wanders about an English village with his friend the Major and a confused journalist, idly questioning colorful locals about a murder that’s already been solved, carrying a pig’s head in a bag at all times, until he finally, on page 51, arrives home alone, and looks in the mirror: Continue reading
I watched Justice League last month to see what all the DC/Marvel movie hoo-ra was about. For those of you not plugged into superhero-internet spasms, DC has all the truly Golden Age iconic heroes—Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman—and is flailing at the box office, while Marvel has less universally known heroes—Ironman, Captain America, the Hulk—and is making money so fast it’s giving the industry a headrush. I don’t care about box office, I care about story, but I do think there’s often (not always) a strong correlation between good story and good profit, so I decided to do a compare-and-contrast, to look at Marvel’s big superhero team-up, The Avengers (2012) and DC’s team-up, Justice League (2017), to see why DC keeps falling on its face and Marvel usually (not always) kicks box office butt.
My thesis going in: It’s the story, stupid. My thesis after watching Justice League twice last month and The Avengers at least half a dozen times in the past six years: They’re the same damn plot, so it’s something beyond that.
Uh, that would be the writing.
Today is Towel Day, in honor of Douglas Adams’ injunction in The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy to never forget your towel (also, don’t panic). It is also Wear the Lilac Day, in honor of Terry Pratchett’s Watch tradition and to support Alzheimer’s Research, Pratchett’s cause.. Mostly it’s just to remember Adams and Practchett, two very smart men who looked at reality with skepticism and wit and decided the worlds inside their heads were better. They were right.
. I am grateful for their books because, as one of Pratchett’s characters (and my personal fave) Susan Sto Helit once thought, “. . . this she knew was a far more accurate way of looking at it — the book was true and reality was lying.”
Wear the Lilac Towel today and read Adams and Pratchett; what’s reality ever done for you?
How I managed to get to my advanced age without reading Colin Watson’s Flaxborough mysteries is beyond me; I even did my first master’s thesis on mysteries (“‘A Spirit More Capable of Looking Up To Him’: Women’s Roles in Mystery Fiction from 1845 to 1920,” don’t look it up, it’s terrible). Then the first one showed up as a Book Bub special and I was hooked. Just finished the seventh one, lovely real old-fashioned British murder mystery, not at all stodgy, in fact pretty wry while still being comfortably cozy. It’s been a drizzly week today, perfect for reading about quirky death in quirky small villages. Then I went to download the seventh and found out it’s not in e-book form until the 31st, and the publication of the rest is being strung out even longer, into July. You know, these are old books. Why not put them all out at once? Annoying, but Watson is worth the wait.
So what are you reading?
I’ve been reading mostly news and crochet patterns lately. I really have to stop reading the news.
What have you been reading?
I’ve bought some new books through Book Bub and recs here, but I haven’t read any of them yet. I’m obsessing on political reporting and the Justice League movie (so bad), trying to figure out what matters and what doesn’t about the Trump show and why, if Justice League has the exact same plot as The Avengers, one was so good and the other so bad, instead of reading good books. Must fix that.
What have you been reading?
May is Get Caught Reading Month. No idea why you have to get caught, reading is not generally an activity that’s illegal or done with others, so it’s pretty much you and the cat-and-or-dog, and they’re sleeping, so they don’t care. Still, it’s important to observe the holidays, so what did we just catch you reading?