Atonement: A Movie Review

Having read the novel Atonement by Ian McEwan last year, I was eager to drag my poor hubby to the movie, though Keira Knightly was in it, so at least he had some eye candy (although she's suddenly skinny as a pencil, which is kind of unattractive to my hubby - much to my advantage).

I'm quickly becoming a pseudo connoisseur of books turned to movies (just because of my frequent reading/watching of them) and was pleasantly surprised by how well the movie followed the book (this rarely happens). The actors were well picked for the characters and the plot followed the book to a T. I felt that movie was extremely well done and the acting was great. I was impressed by the way the director, Joe Wright, incorporated a historical relevance into the movie because although the book didn't necessary give a historical relevance to the book specifically, the setting of the novel during WWI was a huge part of the novel and I felt that the historical relevance was naturally incorporated into the novel. Wright does so in the movie with class and in a manner fitting to the feel and theme of the movie. The movie was moving and powerful with a good pace and absolutely perfect editing. It's been a while since a book turned to movie (or just any movie out in the theaters recently) has been this satisfying and impressive to me.

Hopefully the Coen Brothers do as well with No Country for Old Men, which I'm planning on watching next weekend - as long as my hubby finishes the book by then...

No Country for Old Men: A Review

No Country for Old Men by Cormac McCarthy was my first McCarthy experience. I actually own All the Pretty Horses but had never gotten around to reading it. With the movie out for No Country for Old Men I was finally motivated enough to read my first McCarthy novel and finally found out what all the fuss was about!

No Country for Old Men is a modern day western story. Partly told from the point of view of an aging Sheriff, the book is not only about the actions of the story, but about how it relates to the direction our world is going. The Sheriff seems to waiver between having hope and being hopeless about our world, and his narrative sprinkled through out the book add a deeper context to the story.

McCarthy's writing is to die for, literally (at least in the novel, literally!) He brings simplistic writing to a whole new level. His writing is amazingly descriptive, but the truly amazing part about it is that he barely goes into detail about anything at all! He's a master of describing a scene or a situation by the way a character says something or by their body movement. His subtly is extremely well calculated and well thought out, and something that I personally strive for as a writer. Of course I tend to over-describe (if you couldn't tell). His writing is so articulate and well thought out that I read somewhere that the action in the movie is literally taken from the book, word-for-word, which is usually very difficult to do when turning a book into a movie because of how much descriptions of action is left out or glassed over. McCarthy not only describes nearly every action, he does so with simplicity and clarity. The book is fast paced, suspenseful and an extremely satisfying read. And at the same time it goes much deeper than that, it is a well written literary novel that ultimately connects the story to a much larger and meaningful picture. In every way that I believe McCarthy could strive for, I believe that this novel was a success. I'm pushing my husband to finish the book by the end of this week so we can see the movie this weekend!


The Sandman - The Doll's House: A Review

The second TPB for The Sandman by Neil Gaiman series is called The Doll's House. The story centers around a woman named Rose who also happens to be a "vortex." The book is as dark and twisted as the first one, and illuminates many sides of humanity both truthful and horrifying. The art in this series is more vivid and brighter than in the first TPB, but still carries that horrifying feeling with it. As I said with the first book, this is not a book I'd like to read before going to bed! It was absolutely thrilling and once again a master plot written by Neil Gaiman. A must read for anyone who liked the first TPB or for anyone who loves a twisted, horror story. Gaiman's not afraid to lay it all out there for the readers and this series is not for the weak stomached.



Snow and Stuff.

Today was the first snow fall at my new home of Raleigh, NC! My hubby, having grown up in the Midwest and thinking this snow is no big deal, is out braving the crazy roads in order to run some errands. Let's hope the roads aren't as crazy bad as all the North Carolinians make them out to be!! Especially because I was dead set on watching Atonement tonight...

Today feels like a lazy, stay in cuddly day, and that's pretty much what I've been doing all day. I'm about to clean up a little around here, but I also hope to finish (or at least nearly finish) No Country for Old Men so that my hubby can read it next and then we can see the movie next weekend. No Country for Old Men is definitely a "guys" book, but as I am, as are many cool ass women, a tomboy at heart, I love it. It's written with amazing simplicity that I'm insanely jealous over and the action is so well written that I've heard the movie pretty much takes the action scenes word for word straight from the book, which is extremely rare and hard to do when turning a book to movie!! I really think my hubby will love the book, I'm excited for him to read it...

A couple of links for those feeling the adventurous bug. This is the non-profit that I traveled to Africa with. They are a really great non-profit that are good at making the relationships and equal interactions between Americans and the Ugandans the lynch pin of their program. Please share these links with anyone whom you think would be interested:

International Art Academy Immersion
More Than A Game! Sports for Social Change Immersion

Snuggles, everyone!


One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest: A Review

One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest by Ken Kesey is a great novel for anybody working in the mental health field to read. It takes place during the 60s mental health era, where shock treatments and lobotomies were generally accepted practices. In a book that was extremely well written and creative, it was disturbing for a mental health worker (like myself) to read. The mental health field is constantly changing and growing, and the newest perspective has moved from the "Case Management" perspective to what is called "Community Support." The emphasis on people learning to help themselves rather than having workers take care of people like they're helpless children. And inflicting shock treatments and lobotomies against people's wills is just flat out creepy.

I felt that the plot was a little slow as the plot wasn't necessarily the point of the novel, but rather the vehicle to illuminate the mental hospital and the characters involved. But it picked up near the end and the ending was inevitable. The characters, especially the narrator, Chief, were unforgettable and the story is sad on many different levels.

I also watched the movie. I liked it but felt that the book was much more powerful and effective in describing the feel of the mental institution. The way that Chief described the fog (of being on medication) and the Combine (the machinery of the government and society trying to control you) was brilliant in the book and definitely was lost in the movie. But it did pretty well overall reproducing the book, and it's unfortunate that over a legal dispute Kesey never watched the film. As if writers don't get screwed enough, stupid companies screwing them out of the movie earnings!! I mean, don't they know 95% of writers are poor as shit? At least if all they do is write and don't have another job too (which most now-a-days have to).



So I'm tentatively releasing some of the that breath I've been holding in this past month as I'm easing out of the busiest Holiday Season of my life. Work was just crazy, and again I'll have to work this weekend on paperwork (I'm hoping that this will be the last weekend I'll have to do this for a while) and of course family coming and going from my house and driving down the Charlotte to see some family has taken its toll on me. This weekend is the first weekend with no family at my home and no traveling for me! Phew!

Things I learned this Holiday Season, Rock Band on XBox 360 brings the family together, which quickly leads me to the highlight of my Holiday Season, which was getting my mom to play Rock Band and her actually enjoying it! I also learned that sometimes it's just easier to accept an HD DVD player even when you don't have an HD TV from my mom rather than stirring up the pot of controversy by thinking of returning it (eesh, that was just a headache conversation with Mom). I also learned that some of my family members read my blog and take some things I write too literally (Don't worry folks, I'm not broke! Just one month of a paycheck mix up!) and also spread it like wild fire amongst my loving family members. No wonder my aunt was constantly asking if I was okay. She's a sweetie.

It was great to see my family and I really loved it, especially my cousin whom I rarely see since he's out in California. I also really love my job even though it's been crazy busy, it should be getting better since we've got a new girl on my team now (a big Phew there) and I'm just completely in love with some of my kids. It's so hard to not take some of them home with me!! Especially the ones that I feel like I have connected with and who I feel like I can actually make an impact with. Did I mention one of my younger kids gave me a big hug (totally initiated by him) right before the holidays because we wouldn't be seeing each other for about a week? Yeah, I almost cried, it was the sweetest thing!

Glad to be back.


Read in 2007

Alright, so here's my master list of the books I read in 2007. All should be reviewed except for Stardust, which I really enjoyed and found a nice light airy kind of fairy tale for adults (there, that counts as my review, sorry, life's been crazy busy as of late!) I wish I had read more books, I definitely got caught up in the craziness that is life and slacked in the reading recently, but things are calmed down and I have substantially added to my ridiculous TBR pile with books from Christmas so I'm diving back into the wonderful world of the written word!

In 2007 I read 29 books which is roughly 2.41 books per month. That's pathetic! I'll blame moving and starting a new job for that. I'll aim for at the very least 3 books per month this year (which is about 36 books) but I want to hit a total of 40 books this year. I got my reading cut out for me, no more vegging in front of the TV! Well, except for Project Runway of course!

  • Stardust : Neil Gaiman : 4*
  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer - The Long Way Home : Joss Whedon & Georges Jeanty : 5*
  • 30 Days of Night : Steve Niles & Ben Templesmith : 4*
  • Fray : Joss Whedon : 5*
  • The Lone Ranger and Tonto Fistfight in Heaven : Sherman Alexie : 5*
  • Atonement : Ian McEwan : 4*
  • The Collected Short Stories of Amy Hempel : Amy Hempel : 4*
  • The Sandman - Preludes & Nocturnes : Neil Gaiman : 5*
  • The Mysteries of Pittsburgh : Michael Chabon : 5*
  • Reread : The Last Vampire : Christopher Pike : 3*
  • Tales of the Slayers : Joss Whedon : 5*
  • The Amber Spyglass : Philip Pullman : 5*
  • The Subtle Knife : Philip Pullman : 5*
  • The Golden Compass : Philip Pullman : 5*
  • Harry Potter and the Deathly Hollows : J.K. Rowling : 4*
  • Watchmen : Alan Moore & Dave Gibbons : 5*
  • Then We Came to the End : Joshua Ferris : 5*
  • Reread : The Shipping News : E Annie Proulx : 4*
  • Batman: The Dark Knight Returns : Frank Miller : 5*
  • Perfume: The Story of a Murderer : Patrick Suskind : 2*
  • Hotel World : Ali Smith : 4*
  • The Night Watch : Sarah Waters : 4*
  • Schindler's List : Thomas Keneally : 4*
  • Girl With a Pearl Earring : Tracy Chevalier : 5*
  • The Sportswriter : Richard Ford : 3*
  • Suite Francaise : Irene Nemirovsky : 5*
  • Notes on a Scandal : Zoe Heller : 5*
  • The Cleaner : Brett Battles : 4*
  • Crime and Punishment : Dostoevsky : 5*

    blogger templates | Make Money Online