Close Range: Brokeback Mountain and Other stories

Close Range: Brokeback Mountain and Other stories

Brokeback_mountainby Annie Proulx

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This is such a beautifully written book. The prose is so well crafted and polished until it shines. Annie Proulx’s subtle mixture of the character’s voice and local dialect and slang with her own elegiac descriptions is a great example of free indirect style. She is amazing at describing landscapes and summing up people in a few sentences and she’s good at the subtlety of smell (all these cattle ranchers pong). My favourite stories were Brokeback Mountain – but you kind of imagine the story with the actors, having seen the movie a few times – and also The Mud Below – which was about a rodeo rider, and I imagine they also used bits of in the film. The rest of the stories are consistently good too.

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Crow Feathers selected for In The Palace Film Festival Bulgaria

image poster crow feathers small
In the palace Short Film Festival
In the palace Short Film Festival

Good news – Crow Feathers has been selected to compete in the 10th IN THE PALACE International Short Film Festival. The festival will take place in the sea capital of Bulgaria – Varna, from June 29th to July 7th, 2012 at Festival and Congress Centre Varna. I love their poster design here’s their website…  http://www.inthepalace.com

Bone: The Complete Cartoon Epic in One Volume

Bone: The Complete Cartoon Epic in One Volume

bone-collectionby Jeff Smith

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Three cousins – the Bones – are run out of Boneville and get lost in the desert. They wind up in a mysterious valley, where they meet a young girl Thorn and her Grandma Ben and get sucked into an epic adventure of good versus evil, magic, dragons, yokels, talking bugs, and stupid stupid rat creatures.

This is such a brilliant graphic novel. A cross between the old Disney comics – think Carl Barks’ Donald & Scrooge McDuck or Floyd Gottfredson’s Mickey Mouse adventure strips – and Lord of The Rings – you wouldn’t think such a thing was possible, but it is and it works really well! The three Bone cousins reference those old Disney comics in their design and character poses as well as their sassy forties(?) American comic book dialogue. Phone Bone is a kind of Mickey Mouse good guy hero; Phoney is the Scrooge McDuck of the gang with his greedy money-making schemes and Smiley is more of Goofy type – but one who plays dumber than he really is. The humans too are nicely designed cartoon characters that reference a more modern nineties Disney style. The inking and the strong graphic black and white design of the panels is beautifully done. But what makes the comic is the banter of the Bone cousins as they go from comedy scenarios to high fantasy adventure.

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A Confederacy of Dunces

A Confederacy of Dunces

duncesby John Kennedy Toole

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I just finished rereading this book  – I first read it ten years ago and had forgotten a lot of the details, but I was talking about it with some friends in the pub recently and so I thought I would read a little of it again. I opened it and from just reading the first few pages I was totally drawn in. The comic characters are so alive – their voices so brilliantly written, every single one of them. It really feels as if they are wandering around living their crazy lives and it all flows so effortlessly from there that it seems somehow as if J K T is just transcribing what they say. I’m sure the writing process was not at all like that, but that’s how it feels. It often brought a smile to my face reading it, and many  laughs too, each situation is so deliciously absurd and milked for as much comic potential as possible. Ignatius may not be ‘likeable’ to those around him but he has a roguish charm for the reader with his haughty blustering view of a world in which he totally incapable of functioning. A gigantic fat car-crash of a man for whom the author obviously has great affection and patience, bemused and surprised by what his creation does next, rather like poor Mrs Reilly!

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