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Archive Entries for December 2011

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Saturday December 31, 2011

Books in December

  • From the Dead Mark Billingham [read by the author] BOM-FromTheDead.jpg
    Well - as I have observed before - cold cases are always popular. In this case it's a slightly different twist. A wife organises her husband's murder via a contract killing and has served 10 years in prison as a result. However it seems the evidence of the man's death was falsified since he appears to be very much alive after all.
    As well as looking into all this, teaming up with a (female) private investigator, Thorne's private life is not going well. I have to say I find it hard to like Thorne for much of the time, but I am not keen his girlfriend Louise; she seems to be a very "serious" character which follows through to why she is so excellent at her job - but somehow she seems too "grown up" for him. I freely admit to not understanding the writing process, but I think she's a dull character, and Thorne must be so frustrating to have a relationship with that she can only try and limit him with her dullness - so I think and hope we'll be saying goodbye to her...

  • The Language of Bees by Laurie R King [read by Jenny Sterlin] BOM-TheLanguageOfBees.jpg
    It seems a long time since I read the last of this series and so I was really looking forward to this one. As fascinating a plot as ever with an even more incredible scenario (if having Sherlock Holmes married to a young wench were not incredible enough for you) - yet set out in a totally convincing way. Jenny Sterlin is an excellent reader - but I am in two minds as to whether I sort of expect Mary Russell to have an American accent - or at least the remains of one maybe in her "normal" voice - I would of course expect Mary to be able to produce a variety of accents when called upon to do so.
    Set chronologically in 1924 after some months traveling abroad in Japan and California, the couple return home to Sussex. No sooner back than they are visited by Holmes' estranged son, Damian Adler, who asks for their help in finding his missing wife and daughter. They soon connect the disappearance with a religious cult called The Children of Lights, and the climax of the novel, is set in an ancient circle of standing stones in Orkney.
    I am sure there are lots of holes in the story but - if there are - then we are just taking a leaf out of "Dr Doyle's" original ideas. The real snag is - it's a two-parter, and we are left on somewhat of a cliff-hanger....

Posted on December 31, 2011 at 1:27 PM. Category: Books of the Month. | Comments (0)

Wednesday December 28, 2011

The Ladykillers


We, like dozens of others, (amazing performance at the box office), could not resist the combination of seeing Peter Capaldi, in such a classic story, adapted from the screenplay by William Rose, and directed by Sean Foley. They must have faced a lot of challenges in creating a play taken from such a well-loved film - not only the different medium, but also the fact that it would inevitably be held up for comparison. However, they did it splendidly with a lot of creative "business", a lovely set for the crooked house by the station, and as bizarre a set of criminals as you could hope for. They had a very strong cast for the latter, in the shape of James Fleet, Ben Miller, Clive Rowe, and Stephen Wight - Capaldi's criminal mastermind was beyond description, and Marcia Warren made a delightfully sympathetic sweet old lady.

Posted on December 28, 2011 at 11:48 PM. Category: Art and Culture.

Sunday December 25, 2011

Christmas Day


We started the day at home with a few presents, and then went for Christmas Dinner with Karen and Tony. Later on in the afternoon, I went for a very short walk across the fields.


Posted on December 25, 2011 at 7:03 PM. Category: Red Letter Days.

Saturday December 10, 2011

The Snow Queen


This is the Rose's production for the Yuletide Season. I think Rob wanted to see it, as he's been involved in a couple of Snow Queen productions in his time - one in the distant past in the professional theatre as well as one in more recent history with his students - so we went along. In fact I thought it was woeful - but to be fair to the Rose, I've never really liked - or understood - the story*. However, as a theatrical experience it was truly nothing compared with the 2008 version of A Christmas Carol (which had shades of the brilliance of the 1980s Nicholas Nickleby) in the then newly opened Rose, and which definitely deserved bigger audiences. [Or is this just because I like the Dickens story so very much...?! No - I'm afraid I think not.]

[* I understand that Frozen - 2013 - is an adaptation of the story - and I would say "adapted so it makes sense"].

Posted on December 10, 2011 at 8:50 PM. Category: Art and Culture.