literature


"A-15.  UPPER LANDING OF STAIRCASE (FROM BELOW).  Phyllis Dietrichson stands looking down.  She is in her early thirties.  She holds a large bath-towel around her very appetizing torso, down to about two inches above her knees.  She wears no stockings, no nothing.  On her feet a pair of high-heeled bedroom slippers with pom-poms.  On her left ankle a gold anklet."

“A-15. UPPER LANDING OF STAIRCASE (FROM BELOW). Phyllis Dietrichson stands looking down. She is in her early thirties. She holds a large bath-towel around her very appetizing torso, down to about two inches above her knees. She wears no stockings, no nothing. On her feet a pair of high-heeled bedroom slippers with pom-poms. On her left ankle a gold anklet.”

My Top 5:

  1. Double Indemnity
  2. Gaslight
  3. Arsenic and Old Lace
  4. Laura
  5. Ministry of Fear

Note:  That’s it.  My whole list for the year.  But it’s also a year where only 8 films rank above *** and the other three are original.  Not a good year for film. (more…)

thorThor by Walter Simonson (5 volumes)

  • Author:  Walter Simonson
  • Published:  Nov. 1983 – Aug. 1987 (original cover dates) / 2013 (current 5 volume set – links below for each volume)
  • Publisher:  Marvel Comics
  • Pages:  1156
  • First Line:  “Far beyond the fields we know, the core of an ancient galaxy explodes!”
  • Last Lines:  “May his hammer ever strike in the cause of justice.  So say we all.”
  • Film Version:  none, although elements creep into the two Thor films and presumably some will show up in the third Thor film
  • First Read:  Summer 1994

(more…)

“If you do not wish to sell perhaps you would consider parting with an entertainer.”  “That’s up to the entertainer.”  Those are the lines in the play.  The lines in the film are much better.

My Top 7:

  1. Casablanca
  2. The Ox-Bow Incident
  3. Watch on the Rhine
  4. For Whom the Bell Tolls
  5. Heaven Can Wait
  6. Five Graves to Cairo
  7. Phantom of the Opera

note:  Yes, there is only a top 7, and not a fantastic Top 7 at that.  1943 just isn’t that great a year for film, especially when you realize that Casablanca is a 1942 film that just didn’t get an Oscar qualifying run until early 1943. (more…)

The amazing entryway to London Below.

The amazing entryway to London Below.

Neverwhere

  • Author:  Neil Gaiman
  • Published:  1996
  • Publisher:  BBC Books
  • Pages:  370
  • First Line:  “The night before he went to London, Richard Mayhew was not enjoying himself.”
  • Last Line:  “And they walked away together through the hole in the wall, back into the darkness, leaving nothing behind them; not even the doorway.”
  • Film:  1996  (BBC – ***.5); Radio Drama (2013)
  • First Read:  2003

(more…)

"This house was the pride of the town.  Faced with stone as far back as the dining-room windows, it was a house of arches and turrets and girdling stone porches: it had the first porte-cochere seen in that town."  (The Magnificent Ambersons, p 9)

“This house was the pride of the town. Faced with stone as far back as the dining-room windows, it was a house of arches and turrets and girdling stone porches: it had the first porte-cochere seen in that town.” (The Magnificent Ambersons, p 9)

My Top 10:

  1. The Magnificent Ambersons
  2. Bambi
  3. Random Harvest
  4. Now Voyager
  5. The Glass Key
  6. Kings Row
  7. This Gun for Hire
  8. The Man Who Came to Dinner
  9. Mrs. Miniver
  10. The Pride of the Yankees

note:  Like in 1941, I have a Top 10 but no more. (more…)

Raymond Chandler meets Ken Kesey.  Or, film noir on acid.  Or, as Veronica put it, a Pynchon novel.

Raymond Chandler meets Ken Kesey. Or, film noir on acid. Or, as Veronica put it, a Pynchon novel.

Inherent Vice

  • Author:  Thomas Pynchon  (b. 1937)
  • Published:  2009
  • Publisher:  The Penguin Press
  • Pages:  369
  • First Line:  “She came along the alley and up the back steps the way she always used to.”
  • Last Line:  “For the fog to burn away, and for something else this time, somehow, to be there instead.”
  • Film:  2014  –  (**** – dir. Paul Thomas Anderson)
  • First Read:  the day before it was released in 2009

(more…)

"Spade by means of his grip on the Levantine's lapels turned him slowly and pushed him back until he was standing close in front of the chair he had lately occupied.  A puzzled look replaced the look of pain in the lead-colored face.  Then Spade smiled."  (p 46)

“Spade by means of his grip on the Levantine’s lapels turned him slowly and pushed him back until he was standing close in front of the chair he had lately occupied. A puzzled look replaced the look of pain in the lead-colored face. Then Spade smiled.” (p 46)

My Top 10:

  1. The Maltese Falcon
  2. The Little Foxes
  3. Here Comes Mr. Jordan
  4. The Devil and Daniel Webster
  5. High Sierra
  6. How Green Was My Valley
  7. Hold Back the Dawn
  8. Meet John Doe
  9. Suspicion
  10. Pépé le Moko

Note:  I have a Top 10, but unlike 1940, my list doesn’t go any further than that. (more…)

Next Page »

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 339 other followers