Be Glad More Elderly Women Aren’t Up To No Good

Maud is pushing 90 and quite a pistol. The Swedish protagonist of Helene Tursten’s small volume of five stories has little patience for the annoying or anything that might upset her living situation, which she is happily accustomed to. Maud is not afraid to take matters into her own hands to protect her interests and way of life.

Society’s assumptions of the elderly play into Maud’s modus operandi. With a few props and some play acting the cunning octogenarian becomes a harmless, weak and kindly little old lady. All to her advantage.

Best of all is that Maud’s many victims are deserving of the untimely ends they meet by her hand. The despatch of despicable people is a voyeuristic activity I’m sure many of us can get behind.

Wh wouldn’t root for a clever old gal who doesn’t put up with any crap. ‘Team Maud’ all the way here. Go Maud!

When Great Books Become Bland Movies

I saw The Goldfinch recently and was not impressed. Although the film stayed true to the story, it was a plodding and tired production. With an incredible cast based on an incredible book (my favorite of 2014) I’d expected more. Even when reports of it being a box office bomb started rolling in, I held out hope.

To no avail. I blame the director primarily aa well as the writer who adapted it from the novel. I suspect it was the writer who played with the chronology of the story by jumping all over in time rather than being straightforward. This change served no beneficial purpose and only confused things.

Most egregious, however, are the crimes of the director. The acting was flat. The characters dull, with perhaps the exception of Boris. It’s a wonder to me how he sucked all the life out of the brash Xandra. Even Popchyk lost out in this translation.

The film itself was a meandering mess made dull. No characters to root for, no excitement whatsoever. Even a shootout was made boring.

In essence, The Goldfinch film is lame. Rather than wasting two and a half hours of your life on this lackluster attempt, do yourself a favor and indulge in the nearly 800-page tome.

A Shining pairing.

This is my first reading of the Stephen King classic. Two things prompted me to delve into the happenings at the Overlook Hotel. First, the upcoming release of Dr Sleep, based on Mr King’s sequel of the same name. The second, being shamed by a friend for this hole in my reading history. I have read many, but far from all, of the masters works. Even more shameful is the fact that I have yet to read The Stand. But that’s another post. In my defense, I have read many of the classics; Carrie, Pet Sematary, Salem’s Lot, Misery.

I’m just about a third of the way into the book. The Torrance family is secured in the closed hotel but the snow hasn’t started to fall yet. Though it’s summer where I’m reading The Shining and writing this, Jack’s constant thirst for a drink coupled with the thought of winter in the mountains has inspired me with the perfect beverage to accompany the tome.

Stillhouse Mint Chip Whiskey is just the ticket. It’ll warm you right up and tastes great in hot chocolate. But don’t try taking a slug every time Jack licks his lips. You’ll be drunk as a lord in no time.

Dystopian Vacation

I love a dystopian landcape. Wide open spaces and the challenge of survival coupled with an attempt to retain some of humanity’s better qualities. With fewer irritating people to cause traffic jams and beaurocratic nightmares, what’s not to love? Make the world anew. And better.

Alas, for the present at least, this remains a fantasy world. Dystopian fiction is a favorite genre of mine and here are some of the books I think worthwhile. If it appears here, it gets my endorsement.

Dystopian YA


Zombies and Vampires


Modern Classics