Sunday, May 24, 2015

Two recommendations

I have a novel and a movie to recommend.

The novel is A god in ruins by Kate Atkinson. No surprise here--her last novel Life after Life is one of 5 best novels I ever read and may have to move over for A god in ruins, which I'm only half through but already feel competent to recommend to the skies! To the stars, in fact.

The heroine of the last Atkinson book was Ursula Todd, who, as the title suggests, kept getting born over and over to live out very different lives. The main character of this one (I couldn't call him a hero because he wasn't though he was in WWII) is Ursula's younger brother, Teddy Todd.

Atkinson goes back and forth over the many decades of his life (he lives into his 90's) and often does so in the same paragraph! But it is seamless and never confusing. I've never read a novel written like this one. Get it! (I always have library books but I don't think I'd mind if you read this one on a tablet!)

This unsurprising recommendation (she's written 6 or 7 books--all very different but remarkably good) is followed by something I would never imagined in a hundred years that I would like so much that I would highly, highly recommend it: Mad Max: Fury Road!

I would have never seen it, but Bern wanted to (for reasons beyond my comprehension) and we went yesterday.

I would try to give a synopsis but I couldn't, not ever. I may have seen one of the Mad Max movies from the past, but it really made no impression on me. This one blew my mind! I usually don't like distopian books or movies and I usually don't like loud and excessively violent movies. But I loved this one--which is all of that.

It's two hours of almost constant chase scenes. Would that get old? Weird vehicles racing across an endless desert with unrelenting violence--how could that work?

It just does. I'm astonished that I loved it.

Tom Hardy and Charlize Theron, I believe, both deserve Oscar nominations even though they probably don't have a hundred words of dialog each. Their physicality and ability to remain so in character (as really hard-ass good guys!) is mesmerizing.

The special effects and the stunts are mind altering--how can people do that over and again? Filming was miraculous considering how many closeups there are of moving vehicles belching fire and exploding.

I know, I know...all that stuff probably makes you ask, "what has Jim been smoking?"

But it was remarkable. I would compare it to something but I don't have anything to compare it to.

Bottom like, as odd and strange as it was, it was completely 'believable' and totally engrossing.


Don't believe me? Go see it.

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some ponderings by an aging white man who is an Episcopal priest in Connecticut. Now retired but still working and still wondering what it all means...all of it.