Saturday, April 11, 2009

Recent Books

I just finished The Mark of Zorro (formerly The Curse of Capistrano) by Johnston McCully. As a fan of old adventure stories & of the old films/serials based upon those stories, I'd wanted to read it for a long time. When I worked @ Borders 10 years ago, however, it was out of print so I had to wait patiently for the day it got picked up again. Well, I found it a few weeks ago & thought I'd give it a shot... maybe a mistake. The book kind of sucks, but it is supposedly the 1st to have a masked hero. (I'd though The Scarlet Pimpernel was older, but apparently that dude wasn't really a masked hero w/ an alter ego.) Coming to the book w/ full knowledge that Zorro & don Diego are & the same makes it impossible to read like the audience in 1919. It must have been something in a world w/o Bruce Wayne, Clark Kent, or Peter Parker to read that for the 1st time. I kept trying to figure out when those readers would 1st be able to tell that they're the same, but it's a hard thing to do. He isn't unmasked until the last few pages, but of course even the back of the book explains who he is. I can't imagine it would have been that was originally though. McCully does a nice job of dropping hint, but people might not get them w/o the history. I think I was supposed to be surprised when his mask came off.

Since I finished it yesterday, I started Sharpe's Rifles. The movies w/ Sean Bean are really good (as far as low-budget made for BBC movies go), but reading a series isn't my thing so I've been putting them off for a few years. If I could access my "Chain Reading Profile," I'd recommend this book though. I'm only 30 pages into it & it's already definitely better than The Mark of Zorro.

A couple weeks ago, I read The Third Policeman by Flann O'Brien. It's fuckin' good! Someone @ Nicola's recommended it, but I'd never heard of it before. Or @ least I didn't think I had. As it turns out, it's mentioned in a couple episodes of Lost, & w/ good reason. It's clearly influential on the producers of that show. A dude kills a guy for a box of cash, waits 3 years to get it, then finds out the money is gone & spends the next 200 pages in a weird 2D police station w/ a couple cops who can stop time w/ some weird room down a road that can only be found by reading the tiny cracks in the ceiling like a map of the county. READ IT!

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