11.02.2009

Link Roundup and General News

Michael Connolly's The Lincoln Lawyer is the best of his books I've read. Intricately plotted and compellingly narrated, it's interesting to see how an author's stories differ in the first and third person. Connolly's Harry Bosch series is told in third-person limited; it's good, but it's not nearly as engaging as his creation of Mickey Haller in the first person. Connolly, a former journalist, knows his legal procedure and, in the form of Haller, he's created a conflicted anti-hero (the dude's a defense attorney) whose bleak outlook on the world is both depressing and spot on. Hate to say that, as I'm a glass-half-filled kind of person, but I think Connolly's backlog of zany crime stories that he reported have since come alive in the passages of his fiction.

The book on the right side of the screen there has been a joy to get into. Kenneth Cameron's turn-of-the-century London is fascinating to explore with Denton, our American literary lion blundering through the city in his pursuit of a Ripper-style murderer. So far so good on The Frightened Man--review forthcoming.

Escapism is good when the storytelling is strong enough to suspend disbelief. I had the pleasure of experiencing a pair of narrative excursions this weekend when I watched Transformers II (2009) and The Last House on the Left (2009). The former squandered much of the goodwill it had established in the original with its hugely exaggerated fight scenes and stilted dialogue. It doesn't help that Bernie Mac passed on and couldn't lighten the mood as he did in the first. The CGI was clunky and the whole thing fell apart by the third act, I think. I don't know, because I didn't finish it. The animations stripped it of any worthwhile human emotion, and I couldn't get behind it enough to believe that things were really that bleak for the human race.

The latter, on the other hand, was too hard to take in spots. It's a simple premise. What would you do to the savages that hurt someone you loved? When a couple of Samaritans find that they've harbored their daughter's rapists, they answer the question with hammers, a handgun and, to gruesome effect, a microwave. Escaping into this film awakens some pretty grim emotions and, while the film isn't top shelf, it's effective. It doesn't pull any punches, and the cast pulls off a brutal story with appropriate gravity. I'd recommend watching it, if you enter into the experience knowing it'll be a hard watch.

The Oregon Ducks did a great job on Saturday against USC. I haven't seen an effort like that since last year's Civil War, and I couldn't be prouder of my team and my state. Stay humble and hungry, fellas, and let's get another win on the road this weekend in Palo Alto.

Lyla cut her first tooth on Saturday, just in time for her first Halloween. That kid is amazing, and a joy to be around. She's learning a lot, and is growing up so fast...

I'm revising my recent long project and had the good news that I placed a story with a journal I've been hoping to break into. I don't want to jinx anything until I sign a contract, but I hope to have some good specific news soon. I hope things are well where you are.

2 comments:

Karen from Mentor said...

".. had the good news that I placed a story with a journal I've been hoping to break into."

Yay Daniel! I'll keep my fingers crossed.

:0)

Daniel W. Powell said...

Thanks, Karen! I certainly appreciate it, and I hope to have some good news soon.

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