Saw Duplicity a couple of weeks ago, because I liked the trailers, and because I like Clive Owen and Julia Roberts, and because it was written and directed by Tony Gilroy, who also wrote and directed Michael Clayton, which I absolutely loved.
I enjoyed it. I didn't think it was quite as good as Michael Clayton, because Michael Clayton made you feel for the protagonists. This one just made you think, but it was a fine clever puzzle, and great banter between Owen and Roberts. And Paul Giamatti and Tom Wilkinson made two great warring corporate chiefs. I kind of suspected what the final twist would be, but I didn't mind seeing it coming. I'm sure I'll watch that again when it comes around on TV, it was thoroughly enjoyable.
This is fantastic on both counts. It's a fine cook book, but it still reads like a foreign language. Even though it's plain English.
The names of some of the dishes are fabulously mysterious, like enchantments and spells: "angels and devils on horseback", "pan haggerty", "Scotch woodcock" (huh?), "creamed haddock" (that's fish, right? right), "Welsh rabbit", which is not rabbit at all, but toasted bread with a flour-butter-cheese-beer mixture on top, and "cock-a-leekie soup".
The most mysterious name to me is "pig's liver faggots". The recipe starts with, "Faggots may not sound too appetizing, but as long as they're properly made, they are delicious and easy to prepare." The ingredients include liver and pork belly and breadcrumbs, as well as several spices and herbs. Reading through the instructions, it sounds like this will turn out like some kind of meatballs. Liver and pork belly meatballs. (Wikipedia concurs.) Faggots? I have never heard this word in a culinary context.
But my favorite mystery of all of them is this ingredient listed in the recipe for Cornish pasties:
"1/2 swede, about 400g"
A half Swede at less than a pound? That seems pretty small for a Scandinavian person. (My friend Mary said a swede is a kind of turnip. My friend the Wikipedia concurs: it's a rutabaga, or Steckrübe to my German brain.)
The Department of Defense is the single largest energy consumer in the United States. Last year it bought nearly 4 billion gallons of jet fuel, 220 million gallons of diesel and 73 million gallons of gasoline, said Brian Lally, deputy undersecretary of defense for installations and environment.
People, you've got to check this one out! Breathers: A Zombie's Lament is the first published novel by Bay Area writer S. G. Browne. I know, I know - you are SO over zombies. But trust me on this one, this is different. For one, the zombies are the good guys in this story of Andy, who reanimated through no fault of his own after a fatal car accident.
Andy's new not-quite-life includes residing in the wine cellar of his parents' house, with his mom in complete denial and his father angry about the inconvenience his son is causing, Animal Control picking him up and depositing him in an SPCA kennel when he causes trouble, and a support group for the undead where he meets Rita and falls in love.
The back cover bills it as a romantic zombie comedy: a rom-zom-com. I like this label. I like this book. I like the Santa Cruz setting. I like that you can follow Andy's diary and be a part of the community at Undead Anonymous. And I like that FOX Searchlight has bought the film rights, with producers Mason Novick and Diablo Cody.
What are you waiting for? Go out and buy a copy already. Or if you're Bay Area local, meet the author at a signing in California in May or June, or at Comic-Con in July.
PS: Oh yeah. Hat tips to Shannon Page, Cliff Brooks, and the Commander in Chief who all mentioned "Breathers". All of us can't be wrong ... well - we could. But we aren't. So go on and read "Breathers" already.
Wait, am I really all caught up with Repairman Jack? Man oh man, what a cliffhanger to end Bloodline!
Oh. Alright. The wonderful web site Stop, You're Killing Me! lists thrillers by author, series, and characters (and locations, jobs of the characters, and a historical index - it's really a fantastic site!) and lets me know that there is one more published Repairman Jack novel following Bloodline. But it's only out in hardcover so far, and I usually wait for the paperback.
Anyway. Bloodline. This one left a few loose ends that bother me. What is up with the mysterious author who knows so much about the Repairman and his past? Why didn't we see more of Gina and Vicky? And what's going to become of the pregnant girl who is carrying the bloodline carrier, so much like Rosemary's Baby? In some respects, this seemed like half a novel.
And the showdown keeps approaching and approaching without ever getting there. I want it to be here already, just to get it over with. I feel in limbo.
I suppose this is a nice problem to have for a reader.