Things Seen, Things Read

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Okay, first beware:

The dreadful tedium of yet another animated mess--Happily N'ever After. This pallid attempt to capitalize on the genuinely clever Hoodwinked starts from the wrong premise and from there makes ever choice in precisely the incorrect manner to assure maximum adult tedium. The kids may get something from it--but not enough to endure except perhaps on DVD as the iPod gently lulls the mind.

Now to the excellent: Apocalypto. When I first heard that Mel Gibson intended to make another film in which dead languages feature largely, I thought, "Oh goody. More pretension."

Don't judge a film by its pretensions. By turns amusing and truly ghastly; high-school locker room and abbatoir, the film has heart and meaning for anyone trapped in the grinding soul-breaking toil of much of the American Corporate system. The message, in a sense boils down to a simple Simpson's episode. Those who watch it will know what I mean when I say "Do it for her."

A love story, a survival story, an historical epic--the true brutality and horror of life among the peoples of ancient North America is exposed for what it likely was. No PC approach to living in harmony with nature, although that is also shown for what it is.

I haven't said much, but I was moved and enjoyed the film despite the gory and ghastly images that can linger behind. Intense, but intensely meaningful and really beautiful.

And now, for reading. I finished one last book during vacation, a book by an author I had long ago abandoned and thought never to pick up again. The author: Dean Koontz. The book Odd Thomas. I believe I first saw a positive word about it at Julie D.'s Happy Catholic and as our tastes have large areas of overlap and her enthusiasm was evident, I thought it good to try the series. Well, I must confess myself surprised and satisfied. This is not the usual stamped-from-the-same-fabric plot that Dean Koontz churned out in so many early books that he finally alienated me as part of his audience. Odd Thomas has many clever ploys and dodges that wind up in a most satisfying, if somewhat unexpected conclusion.

Odd Thomas, you see, sees dead people. He sees the ghosts of those who pass on--including Elvis who has as many unique features as a ghost as he had as a living person. These ghosts, and other, more unpleasant entities, cue him on on happenings or about-to-be-happenings in the spirit world that affect the world of the living.

A remarkable and entertaining diversion that contains hints of something more. As I continue to read the series I am hoping to see that something more develop. But as it stands, Odd Thomas is recommended reading.

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I am so glad that you liked Odd Thomas. Once again, we are in sync, reading-wise anyway. :-)



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This page contains a single entry by Steven Riddle published on January 6, 2007 7:28 PM.

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