Whenever people ask me what I thought of Yann Martel’s Life of Pi, usually I say I didn’t like it.
Which isn’t directly true – I did like it, in fact.
I just didn’t love it – which I think is the expected reaction to the book (I have similar feelings about Ironman). It was good, but it didn’t capture me. I think it has a compelling narrative, but the unreality of certain elements pulled me away from the whole. I just couldn’t get personally involved with the story, because it was too fantastic.
And I actually think the shock of getting personally involved with the fantastic is what draws people in to this story, and makes them laud it so.
Maybe I’ve just read too much magic realism to be surprised by such conceits.
Something that is fantastic, but wholly real is Yann Martels What is Stephen Harper reading? project/blog. It’s an oldie but a goodie. An entry Of note, is his letter about sending Jenna and Laura Bush’s recent childrens book to our Prime Minister. No mention is made of the identity of the authors.
This I love.
Another good blog find is Jezebel‘s Fine Lines column. If you were a teenage girl in the last 30 years, you will love it too. Unless you were illiterate as a girl. Which I admit, is a total possibility.
Next week they will review The Girl with the Silver Eyes which was one of my favourite YA novels as a fifth grader. It reassured me that I felt like such an awkward, bespectacled, weirdo because I had magical superpowers. Duh.
So I am terribly excited about that upcoming one, in particular.
Past review of note include The Crazy Mixed Up Files of Miss Basil E. Frankweiler, the Little House on the Prarie books, and some of the more obscure Madeline L’Engle titles (not “A Wrinkle in Time,” in other words). Ummm…? Did these people find my diaries from when I was 13?
Since the damn column seems to be effectively spelunking my pre-teen-hood here’s hoping The Mysterious Disapearance of Leon (I mean Noel) makes it on the list someday soon. And maybe some Diana Wynne Jones too.
Another thing I love right now is Okami.
If you have a Wii you should RUN out and get it immediately. It’s definitely one of those games that makes having the platform worthwhile – between this and Super Mario Galaxy we’re pretty happy with our investment.
It has very similar game mechanics to the Zelda games, but takes place in a breathtakingly beautiful world, coated in floating cherry blossoms and pastoral settings.
It is rendered like a brightly coloured japanese print, coated in swashes of calligraphy – which is where one of the more innovative aspects of it’s gameplay comes from – you are given a brush loaded with black ink and must draw on your environment to enact changes. This (as you could imagine) is a lot more fun given the Wii’s controller than on the original Playstation 2 release.
The aspects of Japanese culture and folklore that are woven into the plot are also a welcome and fascinating addition. The game doesn’t spend much time explaining these elements (which will probably be quite foreign to most western audiences) and I actually quite like that about it – you are left to discern, and interpret things for yourself, which leaves the world you inhabit rich, exotic and mysterious.
Most of all I am left hungary for sushi, sake, and miso when I play this game (Katamari has a similar effect on me, but it is more direct since you are left to actually pick up japanese food with your growing Katamari ball).
And finally, you probably missed Reaper this fall. Or you might have caught the first (Kevin Smith directed) episode and moved on – understandably so. The show seemed to drag under it’s premise (a young man must complete tasks for the devil because his parents sold his soul out from under him). It became repetitive and task oriented. Not bad, just not surprising or new, like the pilot held the promise of being.
Well you should have stuck with it like we did, because as soon as it came back from the strike it came back (to quote the show) with a vengeance. Oh, and you know the fat kid from Breaker High who’s in this? Yeah, turns out he’s really, really funny. As is Micheal Ian Black, who guest stars towards the end (but you probably already knew that). As is Veronica Mar’s Ken Marino (you may remember him as Vinnie Van Lowe), also a recurring star. Actually, this show has perfect casting, right down to their chosen devil.
I think the show can now officially pick up the crown Buffy left in it’s wake for pop-culture saturated, supernatural, youthfully angsty show. Although I have to say, with it’s cadre of slacker boys as its core characters it feels more like Buffy as written by Judd Apatow.
Totally one to download, or rent when the 1st season DVD comes out.