Posted in Books, TV

The Stand Remake

I love Stephen King. Whether you know me or not, you’ll quickly learn how much he’s impacted me as a writer and a reader. I love his tireless ability to just keep going and I can only hope to one day feel a little of what that would feel like. But then he’d tell me to stop saying feel and describe it instead, show, don’t tell.

When worlds collide

Early last year I downloaded The Stand on Audible, mostly because it was around 45 hours long and I figured it was a great use of my one monthly audible credit. I was also still doing my masters in Creative Writing and there was a different assessment coming up. I had to write an actual essay comparing writers or various works of a writer (you can tell the assignment itself had little impact on me) however, I knew The Stand would be a great book to dissect. I ranted and raved about the book to anyone who would listen, and even some who wouldn’t and I felt vindicated that someone else recognised just how easily civilisation could crumble, and how rampant a virus could spread. This was also confirmed with the film Contagion which I saw around the same time. Chilling, isn’t it? I can remember quite clearly conversations I had with others who insisted that none of it was possible, that no virus could have that effect and there’s no such thing as zombies, the T-Virus or Captain Tripps. So now all those naysayers are quiet a year later when we’re all living in it! I will concede though, that Mr King himself, did state that Covid-19 is nowhere near as bad as Captain Tripps in The Stand as that killed 99.999% of the population, whereas Covid-19 is ’eminently survivable’.

In spite of everything people are still idiots

The Remake

Back in 1994 there was a mini-series adaptation of The Stand, which has pretty good reviews online and I spoke to a few people who’ve watched it since. I’ve been tempted to buy it, but then we started living a very slow opening scene of it. Then, a couple of days ago I received a notification online that there was already a remake in the works prior to lockdown but it’ll still be going ahead once we’re all back up and running again. There’s an insanely A-list cast involved, Whoopi Goldberg as Mother Abigail, Alexander Skarsgård as Randall Flagg plus rumours of Marilyn Manson as Trashcan Man (and he’s recorded a cover of ‘The End’ by The Doors, with Shooter Jennings of all people!).

Who else is excited for this?

e x

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Posted in Books

Book Ban Update

Way back at the start of this hell year, I made myself a challenge that I wouldn’t buy any new books for 2020. The only exceptions were my Kindle Subscriptions, Audible and the new Dresden Files book.

Temptation is everywhere

I hadn’t realised on the one hand how freaking easy it would be because I’ve not been in a bookshop since… November? Obviously Amazon keep tempting me with their Kindle Daily Deals with amazing books for only 99p, but I’m resisting! I have also cancelled my Kindle Unlimited sub because I’m not reading the books I have in real life, never mind those on my online shelf. I got through a few of them before it cancelled. I have also put Audible on pause for a few months since I’ve quite a collection of lecture series to listen to. Plus, I’m skint.

I like Big Books and I cannot lie

Being home so much has got me looking at the books which I want to read but are too big and awkward to take out to read. One is Lord of Shadows by Cassandra Clare. I’m very much into the Shadowhunters books, but felt the departure from Jace and Clary with the new trilogy, The Dark Artifices – Lady Midnight quite strongly and it took me a bit to warm up to Emma and Julian. Needless to say I was quickly hooked and rushed out to buy the blue edged paperback of Lord of Shadows when it came out… then it sat on my shelf for years. And I’m sorry it did. It was great. I won’t go into a full review here, but I’m pissed as hell at the ending, if you can call it an ending and not a total ploy into making you buy the next book: Queen of Air and Darkness. Which of course, I priced on Amazon – but book ban! I didn’t buy it. My birthday is in November, perhaps the book fairy might visit.

Damn you, Butcher!

While taking a wee break from reading last week, I noticed Prime added the old Dresden Files TV show. I’ve heard so many bad things about it but Paul Blackthorne is a good actor and I watched the Shadowhunters movie twice. Needless to say the show was cancelled after only one season, and I imagine because the fans couldn’t get behind it. They changed so many little things that make no sense why they would need to be changed. The casting was odd for Murphy and the actress who played Susan gave it a good shot, but she was not Susan. I won’t say much more other than, where’s the damn Beetle (car)?, Why is Bob a person? and a drumstick?!?!

Alas, it got me thinking about the new book and that I should probably read back over the summaries and maybe read the last few books to refresh my memory since it’s been six years since the last book. So I jumped onto Jim Butcher’s website and saw the artwork has been released for Peace Talks.

Peace Talks by Jim Butcher

Isn’t it beautiful?

Then I noticed on the upcoming works… a very interesting sentence:

THIS JUST IN: TWO DRESDEN BOOKS WILL BE RELEASED IN 2020! PEACE TALKS HITS STORES JULY 14TH, AND BATTLE GROUND COMES OUT SEPTEMBER 29TH!

Jim-Butcher.com

OMG! That crazy freaking wonderful man has decided to treat us to two books this year! After all it is the 20th Anniversary of The Dresden Files (how wild is that?) I’ve only been around for the last ten years of it and it’s such a big part of my literary life.

Battle Ground by Jim Butcher

Finally some good news during this hell year! I’m holding off pre-ordering just now, maybe I’m hoping against hope but I’d imagine if bookshops are open again by July that they might do a midnight launch of Peace Talks… I guess we’ll see.

Anyway, I’m off to stir myself into further hysteria with all the YA and Urban Fantasy books I have.

Have any of you read the Dresden Files? Might you be inclined to try it now? Would you go to a midnight launch if there was one?

Stay safe and keep reading!

e x

Posted in Books

Buon Dantedì!

Oggi, il 25 marzo è la giornata dedicata al poeta Dante Alighieri della Divina Commedia.

Anche durante questo periodo strano, gli italiani è quelli che amano l’Italia, leggono le sue opere a casa, a youtube e insieme a distanza. Leggete più!

Non lo sapevo che esistesse il Dantedì, e in quanto tale adesso leggo il Purgatorio!

La Divina Commedia

Come festeggiate il Dantedì?

e x

Posted in Books

Currently Reading – January 2019

The Mandibles: A Family 2029 – 2047

This book was killing me.

From the way it opened, and continued so much of the narrative by describing events; telling us how the world changed, informing us how life now differed, and a smattering of dialogue to show the characters having serious, in-depth economics and survivalist discussions, it rang alarm-bells for me. I’m confused more than anything, I was reading this as a backdrop to my creative writing course and yet it seemed this book broke many of the cardinal rules: telling instead of showing; skipping chunks of action in a summary paragraph (which we’ve been led to believe is lazy writing).

There was a couple of massive time jumps, which as a reader I always find awkward, and for a writer it seems like they are avoiding writing a section they may not enjoy writing… I don’t know, it’s how I perceived it.

I checked out the reviews on goodreads and elsewhere, and thankfully, it’s not just me. Others felt bored by the constant, dense discussions on economics and the collapse of the American dollar. I’m not taking an exam for an econ class, I don’t need this much backstory. Even halfway through the book, not much seems to have happened, except that cauliflower has become too expensive, even when it’s possible to get fresh produce because the American governments have snatched all farmland from the remaining farmers to export the goods to rake in a little money.

The family members all resent each other, but they make stupid decisions which bring them to a stupid end: all end up in Florence’s home but she answers the door and they get house-jacked (is that a word?). They spend a night or two in the shanty town that’s taken over Prospect Park, and acquire a gun, then they decide to head north to the Uncle’s farm to help out… No spoilers but there’s suddenly a massive time jump.

Hit the 73% mark and as well as the jump, another weird twist… If anyone’s read it, let me know if I missed what happened or if it was a metaphor. Alas, there was a bit more actual story that was finally interesting, then another time jump, then a fairly flat ending.

It is interesting, maybe if you know what you’re heading into (an essay with dialogue) and it creates a strange feeling, will the apocalypse really be so dull? Even if the economy crashes (again) and to such an extent that electricity, water, and food are rationed, I’d still like to think that the basic nature of human beings would be to find some hope or light in the situation and survive humanely, not exist blandly until a paper-cut kills us.

e x

Posted in Books, Crafts, Writing

30 day Blogging Challenge – #Day 3

Your favourite quote.

My favourite quote is from Maggie Stiefvater when someone on twitter asked her how she is so good at so many things. I screenshot it to keep it for inspiration.

maggie

She’s right, it’s always about consistency and practice, less about talent which can wane if not consistently applied.

I try to follow this advice because I have many different random interests that individually require a lot of attention and practice… I’m not great at it, but practice makes perfect!

e x