Current Book: Quicksilver by Neil Stephenson. Rating: ****
Quicksilver is a fascinating book. It’s a bit dense at first, but once the story gets started it is hard to put down. Newton, Leibniz, Hooke. Monmouth, John and Winston Churchill (but not that Winston). Science fiction in the 1600s, in the most literal sense imaginable. Who could ask for more?
Sidelined: Les Miserables by Victor Hugo. Rating: **
Les Mis is one of those books I always wanted to read to get all the good stuff which hadn’t appeared in the movie or stage adaptations. The story is good (which is why it’s been adapted so many times), but, in the end, the story-telling style is tedious. I’m about halfway through the book, and don’t think I’ll be picking it back up again to finish off.
Next Up: World Without End by Ken Follett.
World Without End is the sequel-of-sorts to Pillars of the Earth, which I read and loved several years ago. I’m excited to delve back into the world of cathedral-building masons.
Possible Usurper: The Confusion by Neil Stephenson.
Yeah, it all depends on if I’m able to put down Daniel Waterhouse’s saga (the Baroque trilogy) at the end of Quicksilver or not. This is a strong contender to the throne of “Current Book”! Thing is: if The Confusion comes up next, then logically I’d have The System of the World immediately after (to wrap up the 3k-page trilogy).
Recent Movies of Note
Vantage Point gets 2 of 5 stars from me. The plot was predictable, the “clever” approach became repetitive on the very first “rewind”, and the story itself stretched all credulity far beyond the breaking point. I don’t think ten seconds went by in the last half hour where I didn’t roll my eyes. If the audience in my theater is any judge, this opened huge (being in front of every movie for the past 3 months or so assured that) but should die quickly. Oddly, it is getting fairly good reviews. I suppose I have a new batch of reviewers to put on the “questionable taste” list.
There Will Be Blood is masterful. Just. Masterful.
Juno is as good as everyone says it is. And the soundtrack is great as well.
The Orphanage was well-made and very fun. Definitely worth seeing.
I Am Legend. Will Smith did a great job of bringing the character to life. One would expect that if one of the highlights of a movie was Will Smith’s acting, the movie must be a real stinker. But it wasn’t. His acting was just unexpectedly and uncharacteristically good.