Sunday, November 29, 2009

some thoughts on a few things

Liverpool's current season:

Bollocks. I'm sure I am not the only one who's pissed off that Aquilani's not had a start yet, despite being declared fit to play for about a month now. The injury woes the team has been having have not been too positive either, but with Gerrard back, at the very least we have a chance of getting back into the top four by year's end. Anyway I am not feeling too bad about the current form. Lucas and Mascherano have done well as holding midfielders, and Glen Johnson has proven to be one of Rafa's best investments, and he's a good fit to the left attacking defenders like Aurelio and Insua. So, not too worried, but I'm not getting my hopes up too high either.

Stephen King's Under The Dome

What can I say, it's another latter day Stephen King book. After the focused, singular narrative of Lisey's Story and Duma Key from the last couple of years, it is refreshing to see him take on another small-town epic story, at least in terms of concept. The thing I like most about Stephen King is his ability to create the right mood to sell the story. I don't want to give too much away, but essentially, UTD is about a fictitious small town in Maine that gets trapped under, you guessed it, a dome, an invisible barrier that lets air through, albeit slowly and in small amounts, but doesn't allow water or particulate matter to pas through. So the increasingly worse air quality and heat that builds up as a result is used skillfully by King to create a sense of atmosphere and desperation that actually led me to feel a little cramped in and claustrophobic for a couple of days.

However, after a couple of decades of writing these types of stories, the more common King elements start making themselves kind of painfully obvious: smart children (you know what I mean), hero(es) up against impossible odds, obvious "evil" characters, the crazies who act as catalysts to larger events, and, surprisingly, at least three genuine deus ex machina moments. I won't spoil them, but if you read the book, you'll know when you get to them. At 1000+ pages, you'll get your money's worth in terms of story density, and it is a pretty quick read. Do I recommend it? Only if you want to ease into King's tremendous body of work; it's at least a good primer for what he does much better in stories like 'Salem's Lot and The Stand.

Incidentally, I bought a book from a friend a couple of months ago, which I still have not yet started on. So, Nadia, I promise the next book I finish will be Bolano's 2666. Or, at least, I will finish it by January? Come on, it's just so goddamn thick.

Away We Go

Great little movie from Sam Mendes. It's about John Krasinski and Maya Rudolph's journey across North America to find a place to settle down and raise their as yet unborn baby daughter. It's basically divided up into more or less equal segments of them meeting friends and family and gaining insight into how different families can be raised by the types of people the parents are. There are no out and out funny or overtly expository moments, it's just a light movie with real heart. Anyway, I was bought over by its charm, but if I watch it again a couple years from now I don't know what I'd think of it.

Music

Man, my music listening has really not been very focused lately, still rating stuff that's in my current library (23000 songs down, 3000 to go!). But, I want to recommend some stuff regardless. Nick Drake, Nico (the lady who collaborated with The Velvet Underground), er, the new Julian album, Deer Tick, oh man, the entire Wu Tang catalogue. Holy shit, their stuff is amazing! As you can see I am not really lucid music-wise. I'll get back to you on that later.

Oh, right. Big Star. Yes. You have to listen to Big Star. I am into them in kind of a big way at the moment.

No comments: