It's a dry spell
Have you ever seen the 1980s nine-hour-long Royal Shakespeare Company Nicholas Nickleby with Roger Rees? It may be hard to get a hold of online (I'm not sure – I've owned the DVD box set since I was a kid)... But I would BEYOND HIGHLY recommend it. I'm a theater-maker, so perhaps I'm a little biased, but Nicholas Nickleby is, no joke, one of the reasons I became one. I feel like it does such a good job at bringing out the best parts of the novel, nailing the humor and the pathos, and making both Dickens's caricatures and his human beings sing. And Roger Rees (despite being, like, 38 and playing 19-year-old Nick!) is so astonishing: His performance, I think, brings home the moral thrust of the novel in a way that maybe even Dickens himself—what with the full-blown picaresque-ness of his early stuff—maybe doesn't quite pull off. I feel like in Rees, what you see is this huge-hearted, young idealist who so believes in the existence of goodness and rightness, and is so affronted when he encounters a world that largely runs on anything but. His outbursts of violence are practically symbolic — it's his/our/the author's moral indignation breaking out of the character physically. And while maybe that's not actually, ultimately, The Way, we can't help but be with him. Part of us also wants SOMEONE to take down the Squeerses and Hawks of the world, right? I think Dickens got more sophisticated about the expression of this same kind of moral outrage at the cruelty and greed of the world as his books went along. There's something young and overly cathartic about Nicholas's aggro moments, but they're also so bound up with the heart of Dickens's project as a social/ethical novelist...
Also, Edward Petherbridge's Newman Noggs is one of the most fantastic performances... like, ever. If you have nine hours to spare, it's truly phenomenal <3
I just finished POISON FOR BREAKFAST after seeing it in your last post and loved it.
I have been listening to one Stephen King audiobook after another and I am enjoying them immensely in that format but you are super right about the misogyny. The other big thing is nonstop fatphobia. Any time he needs to let you know somebody is horrible, he makes them fat (in one instance, I want to say Under the Dome, he spent a long time talking about how big and disgusting somebody was then threw out a weight that is uhhh below what I weigh, didn't feel great!). I am just trying to meet these books where they are (decades old and possibly cocaine fueled) and I'm having a good time despite those negatives.
I'm reading Our Wives Under the Sea by Julia Armfield right now. I'm about halfway through and I just started yesterday. To this point, it's a 10/10 absolutely recommend. It's really beautifully written and mysterious and weird and there's a lot of talk of oceans and marine life.
Also phew The Innocents and Barbarian, two of the most intense movies I've watched this year! Have you seen The Watcher (the non-Ryan Murphy affiliated one)?
okay this is real long bye
I have the Gastro Obscura: A Food Adventurer's Guide in hand, but seeing as it's many separate articles, descriptions of food, I'm just picking away at it here and there. Other than that, I have a bunch of manga checked out, courtesy of the local library! So many volumes of Eden's Zero (by Hiro Mashima) and Yona of the Dawn (by Mizuho Kusanagi)! Thanks Foothill Ranch library for saving me all that money!
re: nightshift.. the Lawnmower Man, though! just sayin'..
We are reading Dracula by Bram Stoker! And by reading, I specifically mean my husband is reading it out loud in the evenings and it’s fantastic (it’s letters written by the characters so it’s so entertaining!). Also ... Barbarian ... so in love with that movie!
Last weekend I powered through The Stars Did Wander Darkling. I loved it! It was our first snowy weekend in Ohio so I got snug on my antique couch in my sunroom and read it with my record player by my side playing the complimentary vinyl soundtrack. Were you inspired at all by Stephen King's It because I definitely got that vibe? Your book had me going, especially "the smile" and when Athena saw her parents through the window. I've never listened to music while reading, but I kept flipping the vinyl back and forth throughout and it really felt like part of the book as I listened and listened. We're having a Toys for Tots drive at work and I ordered another copy to donate.
Currently reading Stephen King's "The Bachman Books" which is a collection of four of his earliest works when he wrote under the name of Bachman. "Rage", about a school shooter hits a little too close to home with all of the shootings these days. "The Long Walk", which I'm currently on, is about this annual event in a dystopian America where 100 teenage boys have to walk at a pace of 4mph nonstop until only one remains - when they slow down soldiers shoot them. Its an intriguing story.
Night Shift was the first King book I ever read. I did enjoy it, though definitely see the misogyny. I tend to get a kick out of his stories about inanimate objects coming to life.
Interesting! I never read night shift that way but I was also a teen and I’m a guy so maybe my POV was blind. I’ve never missed a king book and he definitely changes over time to the point where Some folks actually accused him of being too overly liberal etc. Maybe they miss the more glaring misogynistic days you were pointing out. There’s some really great ones in his later catalog as well.
I haven’t read nickelby but currently reading hard times and enjoying it for the satire that it is. I find Dickens being read to me is easier than getting into the rhythm on the page.
I read TSDWD last month and absolutely loved it! Wonderful wonderful book! Great job on that. Love these reading list comments!
I’ve never known how to sew
Just finished a great non-fiction book, "Black Box Thinking" by Matthew Syed, 2015. Remarkable book about the growth mindset. Learning from mistakes seems so natural for certain industries. Not so in healthcare or criminal justice.
I recently finished (second attempt) Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance. My first attempt around a decade ago ended with the book flying through the bedroom and landing in the closet. I might have been two or theee chapters in and I hated it. I’ve changed, I guess... more patience these days. All this talk of Stephen King has me thinking about giving The Dark Tower another go.
I can totally relate to being a rollercoaster reader. I will read a bunch, and then go months without getting through a single one!
I’m about halfway through Hunt for Red October. Clancy has never hand any allure for me, but I suggested it to my son who was looking for a “war” book. So I started it as well. I’m halfway through, and feel like I should finish it, but I don’t know if it the fact that I already know the story from the movie, but it feels a bit pedantic and reads a bit too clinical. Maybe choosing his first book was not the right place to start. I don’t know.
I am also reading the first Enola Holmes book. My daughter and I have enjoyed the movie series, and I just wanted to check out the books that inspired the movies.
My daughter and I also just finished reading The Stars Did Wander Darkling. I enjoyed it. My daughter has some critiques. She’s a harder sell than me. I think I was taken in by the 80s and the nostalgia as well as the characters. My greatest complaint is that there was not enough Roger (the real hero of the story!). Maybe he’s a candidate for a spin off called “Be Kind, Rewind.” We’ll see!
More books to come!
The 130 minute version of NN in 2002 starring Charlie Hunnam (Jax in Sons of Anarchy ! I didn't even know he was English!) is pretty well done.
Night shift was one of my favorites growing up along with Harlan Ellison's "Dangerous Visions" I still think "Carcinoma Angels" by Norman Spinrad should be turned into a movie (with a few tweaks)!
We too are watching a lot of horror films...most recently Bone Tomahawk on Pluto TV with Kurt Russell and Richard Jenkins! The title is not very memorable, but the movie is! We saw Smile in the theater and you sure get your $ worth from the dozen or so jump scares alone! Add in the gore and chills and straight up screaming in your face along with a smile or two and it adds up to a fun ride all the way to the end. Next up is Terrifier 2.
Still reading Andrew Graham Dixon's bio on Caravaggio, I just don't want it to end. What a crazy life.
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Stick with Mists. If you can avoid the sideshow of the author. I don’t know how far you are but it gets so good. I know books are always a personal taste but it seemed exceptionally good when I read it. (Ages ago).
Ready to start Liberation Day by George Saunders. Loved Lincoln in the Bardo.
If it’s a Spooky watch you need, then ‘The Devils Hour’ with Peter Capaldi is definitely worth a watch. It’s free on Amazon Prime.
The Hobbit (read aloud to the kids)
Swallowdale by Arthur Ransom (also read aloud to kids)