Showing posts from March, 2014

Mets Monday: Opening Day 2014

Play ball! Baseball season is once again upon as as my beloved, beleaguered New York Mets kicked off their season with a game against the Washington Nationals. As in years past, I'm going to say now I hope to write more Monday blogs about the Mets throughout the course of the season. I'm not sure how successful I'll be at sticking with that; I have a nagging suspicion my success will be in no small way linked to just how successful the Metsies' own efforts are...

Today, however, rather than talking about that fairly disgusting loss we suffered today, I wanted to keep things simple and, aside from this introduction, just join my team in celebrating the life of our legendary broadcaster, Ralph Kiner. I got on him in recent years because let's be honest, legendary or not, the man should have been forced into retirement years ago, but that doesn't matter. What matters is that for decades he was the entertaining voice of the Mets, and for that he'll be loved an…

Goodreads Book Review - Dark Places

Dark Places by Gillian Flynn

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Having now finished reading Gillian Flynn's body of work, I can safely say I worry about her state of mind, because she has got some dark places of her own in her head. Good thing for us readers though, as those dark places have led to some really good books, and this is no exception, although it is in my opinion the weakest of the three. The bouncing around from first person narration to multiple third person point of views is interesting but also off-putting; getting really into one point of view only to have it switch on a cliffhanger and not go back to that section for awhile can be a little distracting. Also, all the characters in the book are a little rough and hard to like, but that isn't always a bad thing as it makes them feel a bit more real, because let's face it, most people aren't always the easiest to like. The story itself was an interesting one with plenty of twists, most of them good and hard to predic…

Goodreads Book Review - Sharp Objects

Sharp Objects by Gillian Flynn

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I'm going to have to keep this mercifully (for me, and maybe you) short because I'm not feeling very well. I'm starting to really like Flynn's writing; he way she gets into her main character's head through her first-person narration is terrific. What makes it better is that she still manages to give her other characters great characterization, something not every writer can pull off in a first-person novel. I also really enjoyed how I thought early on I had the killer picked only to have her fool me once and then fool me again back to my original thought. A very clever, entertaining read.

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Goodreads Book Review - Redshirts

Redshirts by John Scalzi

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This is an interesting book, not just for the story itself but for its framework, but we'll get to that bit later. The majority of the story is a bit of a send-up of sci-fi TV show conventions, specifically Star Trek. In that regard, it's brilliant. It's entertaining and witty and made me laugh out loud quite a bit. The twists in the story and how the whole thing is resolved are clever as well, especially in how one trope of the genre is solved by another. A flaw to the main story is that none of the characters have a distinct voice or personality; they all pretty much sound exactly the same and if their names weren't used in dialogue it would be impossible to tell them apart and know who was speaking to who. It dawns on me that that might be a conscious choice non Scalzi's part, another commentary of the nature of "redshirt" characters, but if it is a conscious decision, it feels off to me. It would be like …

Goodreads Book Review - Star Wars: Scourge

Scourge by Jeff Grubb

My rating: 2 of 5 stars

This wasn't one of my favorite Star Wars novels, but it was serviceable. None of the usual characters appear at all, which is a refreshing change; as much as I love the regular cast, there is only so much that can be expected to happen to them. With new characters, on the other hand, the sky is the limit in terms of the growth they can go through... which is part of why this book disappointed me a bit. The author gives us a fresh cast of characters and of them all, only one actually goes through anything and comes out the other side changed. The rest stay static, and in some cases are just cardboard cutouts of characters to begin with. The Hutt characters are fun, but even there the problem persists. The mystery is nice, though; I for one didn't put it together and figure out the bad guy's identity until pretty close to the end. The action scenes are decent, probably better than can be expected for a Jedi story featuring a Jedi w…

2014 Oscars Scorecard

Well folks, the Academy Awards have come and gone and it is once again time to see how all my predictions panned out. But first, a bit about the show itself. I didn't enjoy Ellen Degeneres as host all that much. Yes, she made me laugh a few times but for the most part she felt like a lot of pointless filler, like all that pizza nonsense. Without all that crap the show might have ended on time for once. And yes, I know the stuff the host does is pretty much just filler crap every year, but some of it is more worthwhile than others. I did like the bit with the record-setting Twitter selfie.

Anyway, how'd I do on the scorecard? Out the total twenty-four categories, I got twelve right for a respectable .500. Not great, but when you consider I didn't see any of the animated shorts, live shorts, or documentaries, it could have been worse.

Out of the big ten that I predicted in my blog post last week though, I got a much more respectable seven out of ten, for a .700 average.

I kn…