Tuesday, January 11, 2005

Books, Movies and TV

A well-rounded weekend of entertainment. Finished A Wizard of Earth-sea, read Summer Moonshine, watched the first DVD of Cowboy Bebop episodes (or "sessions", as they are called) and watched The Two Towers extended cut all the way through for the first time (along with a bunch of the extras).

I'll be brief about Summer Moonshine, except to say that it had a couple aspects that were very unusual for Wodehouse. The villain only appears in the final few pages and she does not get her comeuppance. As well, when the hero and heroine finally have all obstacles to their love swept away, Wodehouse ends the book just before their re-uniting. Very out of the ordinary for him. Good book, though.

A Wizard of Earth-Sea was pretty good. At first, I kept thinking that the mini-series I watched had done a pretty good job of following the book. Then I realised that there was more to the mini-series than was in the book. And then it finally dawned on me (two-thirds of the way through the book) that the mini-series had tried to cram all of the Earth-Sea books into a two-part mini-series. And while the book wasn't bad, it was awfully short. It seemed a bit much, on the basis of just this book, to have such fulsome praise for it. The back had something like "Often compared to Tolkien's Middle-earth or Lewis' Narnia" or some such. It wasn't a bad little fantasy novel, but it wasn't Tolkien. And it probably wasn't even Lewis. But I think it will be worth reading the next book.

I think I'm hooked on Cowboy Bebop. The soundtracks are wonderful though incongruous. The characters and fun and interesting, and (for a sci-fi anime set in space) believable. So far, interesting back-stories have been hinted at for our heroes and there's usually a twist somewhere. The twists aren't David Mamet, but they're not bad. I found myself pricing the complete DVD set last night. Thanks, Steve!

And finally, The Two Towers. That will have to be a separate post.