Monthly Archives: November 2004

Thanksgiving flicks

Most of us probably grow up convinced that our own family is dysfunctional or abnormal. This is usually brought home all the more at holiday time. Years of watching glowing Hallmark Hall of Fame TV movies and MGM Andy Hardy flicks about an America that never existed only serve to reinforce this belief that our individual family is not normal. One of the more revelatory moments of my adolescence was a Thanskgiving spent at a friend’s house when I realize that it wasn’t just my relatives that were weird.

Two of my favorite Thanksgiving movies now are Pieces of April and Home for the Holidays. Then this week thanks to the latest attempt to keep me glued to my sofa, I’ve got a new one to add to the list. Not the best flick I’ve ever seen, but well worth my time.

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Philosophy 101

New episode of my beloved Lost last night and now in addition to a character named Locke, we now have one called Rousseau.

Who knew that I should never have thrown away all my philosophy notes? Fortunately for me, others can help me out with all of that…

On another note, just finished Mark Haddon’s The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time, which I loved. It’s a YA book told entirely the perspective of a teenage boy who has Asperger’s Syndrome. Good story, good writing, and the author keeps it from getting maudlin.

Most horrifying thing I’ve seen in years

Worse than Martha, now there is Sandra Lee. WASPy chick who wrecks everything she touches in the name of convenience. She needs to be seen to be believed.

10 Commandments of Detective Fiction

My bookclub just tackled The Dante Club, which has enjoyed a lot of really positive reviews. The concept is fantastic. The Dante Club, whose members include Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, Oliver Wendell Holmes, James Russell Lowell, J.T. Fields, and others, has been working on a translation of the Divine Comedy, specifically the Inferno. A grisly series of murders occurs and gradually the club comes to realize that the killer is using punishments from the Inferno as inspiration. Already under pressure to stop their translation, the members of the Dante Club decide that they must solve the murder.

Hell of a concept. Poor execution. The author doesn’t really know how to set it up properly and he breaks every one of the 10 Commandments for Detective Fiction. Also it’s suggested that a good writer shows rather than tells.

Still, a promising first effort.