Posts Tagged ‘joseph gordon-levitt’

While reading the The Instructions

September 24, 2013

I’m a third of the way through Adam Levin’s doorstop The Instructions and I’m not yet sure what to make of it. It’s interesting. The characters are engaging, and easy to forget that they are meant to be middle schoolers  not yet likely old enough to have hair in their arm pits. They talk with eloquence, even when they are vulgar. There are moments where it feels more as if I am reading an adapted Shakespeare than the story of young children building up for war. That is a bit of a problem I have with the novel as a whole. It feels as if Levin has the ages and stages of his characters just off a bit. And it isn’t the language that does it. The protagonist, who may or may not be the messiah, repeatedly talks of love and places himself into situations that are clearly  beyond his years. This is a trick that can be pulled off. We saw it in the movies with Rian Johnson’s Brick where a gritty noir story line is paired up with high schoolers, but you never forgot that the characters were high schoolers. Johnson would continually drop little bits of life into the created environment, lending it a bit of reality. It kept the gimmick grounded.

With The Instructions, I haven’t gotten that (yet).  Maybe their childness will make itself known in the last two thirds of the novel, or maybe I’ll just see it differently as I trudge on.  I doubt the latter will happen, though, because this has become quite the sticking point for me. At some point, it doesn’t feel like I’m reading about children any more and that is one of the major points of interest for me. I care less about adults having these issues or speaking in such a way. The way the kids communicate isn’t far removed from how I hear many adults interact, especially in my work environment (academia). It’s just less interesting. However, while the idea of it gains interest when layered over children, transforming their day to day acts and lives into a bit more of high theater, it’s still a gimmick unless it means something, unless it accomplishes something, unless it gives does something to the story to give it greater depth.

so far it’s just window dressing. While it’s neat window dressing, while it’s fun, after awhile you get tired of looking at it. I’m getting tired of looking at it. Just 700 pages to go…

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Daily Book Links 10-26-12

October 26, 2012

a letter from Charles Bukowski. Have to admit, I like Bulowski’s writing. I’m never sure what to say or write about it, but I enjoy reading it. All of it. The novels. The newspaper articles. The poems. It’s all good. This letter is just more Bukowski. Enjoy.

Here’s an article on zdnet by Eileen Brown defending Amazon’s right to wipe your Kindle. The bad thing is that she has a point about their EULA, and it’s nothing new since software companies have been doing it for years now with things like MS Office, Windows, etc. The whole idea that you don’t actually buy something when you “buy” it at Amazon, but are really just buying the right to access it (which, to me, sounds a lot like renting rather than buying) and not the actual whatever it is itself.  This is something I have long complained about in those venues, too. You “buy” something, you “own” it. And I don’t understand why any consumer willingly takes a stance that opposes this. You’re just pointing a gun at your foot and pulling the trigger at that point. Maybe you shouldn’t own the car you paid for, but just the license to insure it, drive it, park it, maintain it, etc. But if you do something that Saab isn’t happy about, they should just take their car back, keep your money, and leave you hanging out to dry. Does that sound fair? Does that sound right? Of course not. And using the boogeyman of fighting media pirates and protecting copyrights is just bull. If someone rally wants to steal your stuff, DRM is not stopping them. It has never stopped them. It never will stop them. Know why? This is why. And I support Ars Technica in this because you should have that copy for yourself, even if you have to break a ridiculously unfair and likely illegal EULA agreement to get it. Or maybe no one will listen to us until we chuck a few barrels of Kindles into Boston Harbor.

Here you can download a short Halloween themed recipe book. It’s a quick download, the recipes look alright, if you don’t mind baking some cookies or making a cosmo, might be worth your time.

I really don’t know what to make of hitrecord.org, but they have their second tiny book coming out and JGL’s web site just interests the hell out of me. If anyone has any experience with them, or just an opinion to share, hit up at the bottom. Just wondering what some other’s thoughts are on it.

Alright, that’s all for today.