February 2014


Sociology, history and a thrilling real crime all wrapped together with pure Crichton entertainment.

Sociology, history and a thrilling real crime all wrapped together with pure Crichton entertainment.

The Great Train Robbery

  • Author:  Michael Crichton  (1942 – 2008)
  • Published:  1975
  • Publisher:  Knopf
  • Pages:  281
  • First Line:  “Forty minutes out of London, passing through the rolling green fields and cherry orchards of Kent, the morning train of the South Eastern Railway attained its maximum speed of fifty-four miles an hour.”
  • Last Line:  “The money from The Great Train Robbery was never recovered.”
  • Film:  1979  (*** – dir. Michael Crichton)
  • First Read:  Spring 1993

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A picture of Thomas to tide you over.

A picture of Thomas to tide you over.

I’m not precisely certain what the next post will be and I don’t quite know when it will be up.  What it won’t be is the Best Adapted Screenplay for 1940.

Almost seven years after Veronica created this blog to keep people updated on Thomas and well over five years after I hijacked it to pontificate on films and literature (Thomas is now mostly updated through my YouTube page or Veronica’s Facebook, where most of family and friends can watch him grow up), I find myself exhausted.  Several thousand films have been watched, hundreds of reviews have been written, along with six days of work a week, a marriage and a family.

I lack the energy to continue writing a series that takes so long to research (all those books to read, all those films to watch again) and much longer to write (review the film, review the book, talk about the differences).  I started it because I found the idea fascinating and I just can’t bring myself to write more on it.  It’s one thing when you’re going to get in a game of Star Wars Angry Birds before working on your post.  It’s something different when you would rather just keep playing rather than actually write the post.  This isn’t a job and I get no pay for it; if I’m not loving what I do, there’s no point to it.

Or, if you don't come here for Thomas updates, here's a recent picture of Benedict to tide you over.

Or, if you don’t come here for Thomas updates, here’s a recent picture of Benedict to tide you over.

I may continue the Nighthawk Awards, partially because there is so much less in the manner of full-length reviews to write and partially because I enjoy the format of that writing more at the moment.  But I haven’t decided that yet.  I will review the Best Picture nominees sometime after the Oscars.  I will do a 3.0 of the Top 100 Directors, but not until after TSPDT do their new update.

But I really don’t know what I will write and I don’t know when I will write it.  I spent all week at home with a vicious cold.  Usually a single sick day becomes a chance for me to unleash myself on the computer for as long as I can sit upright.  After five days at home I wrote nothing.  So the passion to write something is low.

So, something will come, eventually.  With what length and what frequency, I don’t know.

The Penguin Classics edition of the novel that first got me to read it.

The Penguin Classics edition of the novel that first got me to read it.

La Bête humaine

  • Author:  Émile Zola
  • Published:  1890
  • Publisher:  Charpentier
  • Pages:  366
  • First Line:  “Roubaud came into the room and put the pound loaf, pâté and bottle of white wine on the table.”
  • Last Line:  “With no human hand to guide it through the night, it roared on and on, a blind and deaf beast let loose amid death and destruction, laden with cannon-fodder, these soldiers already silly with fatigue, drunk and bawling.”
  • Film Version:  1920 (possibly lost), 1938 (**** – dir. Jean Renoir), 1954 (***.5 – dir. Fritz Lang), 1957
  • First Read:  2010

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