More reviews of good stuff from Surry Hills Library

11 Jun

Together — Chen Kaige (2002). (DVD) Lots of beautiful Chinese and Western music.

The boy looks rather like one of my coachees. Performances throughout are quite luminous, even Chen Kaige himself as the cold piano professor. A kind of Chinese Billy Elliot, but with a rather different conclusion.

The Chemistry of Death by Simon Beckett (2006). “As a whodunit, this is certainly a cut above the average, with a convincing central character, a gripping plot and a fine store of morbid information. In contrast to the story’s original angle, however, the crimes themselves seem a little bit hackneyed.”

Definitely worth reading, but not quite in the Best Reads of 2007. The following two are:

The Death of Dalziel by Reginald Hill (2007). Is this the end?

I’ll leave that hanging, though the answer should be obvious. The books are superior to the TV versions in wit, irony, and depth. This one has more of interest to say about Islamism in the UK post July 2005 than most pundits or weighty tomes or interminable TV documentaries. It is certainly better than Melanie Phillips.

The Enemy of God — Richard Burke (2003). US crime fiction. “Author Daley (“Prince of the City”), himself a former Deputy New York Police Commissioner, finds an original way to explore crime and crises of faith. He traces past and present in alternating chapters, to keep events in the dead priest’s life leading up to his death as vivid as the current day investigation.”

This is an adult novel in the proper sense of the word “adult”. It is also a reminder of the seedier side of the US Democrats and of the place of the Mafia in US culture. Full of humanity. What more could you ask?

All three serve to show that genre fiction can achieve way beyond the pejorative associated with that term.

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Posted by on June 11, 2007 in Cultural and other, Films, DVDs, TV, Reading, Surry Hills


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