Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Erasing Death

Regular readers should know the drill by now. Sunday I post what I received the previous week, some Monday’s I’ll post randomly, and Tuesdays I post the link and an excerpt to the Book Review I posted the previous night. In this case, the book review I posted last night was Charlie Huston’s The Mystic Arts of Erasing All Signs of Death.

Huston tells the story completely from Web’s eyes, the dialogue is real, raw and puts the reader into the narrative of the story in a very effective manner. All of the characters Huston brought to life in Mystic Arts are vibrant (Po Sin, Chev, Web’s father – a former screenwriter and script-doctor), Web is the lynchpin and sun around which they all rotate. Initially, Web’s arrogant and off-putting manners are questionable. A dark event in his past is alluded to and through the course of the narrative, Huston illuminates two life-shattering events which have led Web to be the person he is. It’s a wonder Web hasn’t taken his own life because of the events, but he’s basically too stubborn to give in.

Prior to the novel’s events, Web was a teacher, which doesn’t come out immediately, which begs the question: how did a guy who once taught young kids become trauma scene cleaner? Huston answers the question in brief passages peppered through out the “current” plot of Web’s involvement with Soledad’s (and her brother Jamie) problem. This is where Huston’s storytelling skill really shines – he intricately weaves the past and present into a seamless story that by novel’s end you wonder how he packed so much into such a relatively thin novel 336 pages, many of which comprise single line dialogue. The dialogue is another strong point of the novel, Huston conveys character, setting, and plot so well with the dialogue. The story seems like it would transition very well to the screen maybe through the help of a director like Quentin Tarantino.

Mrs. Blog o’ Stuff and I made to to movie theaters two weeks in a row. This weekend it was Taken which was pretty entertaining. I had a tough time reconciling the fact that the daughter, portrayed by Maggie Grace, was only 17. After all, this is the same actress who was on Lost as Shannnon; a character that was at the very youngest 20 years old and in real life is in her mid-twenties, so I had a tough time buying the fact that she was only 17 in the film. Her scenes were pretty much set up for Neeson going over to Europe and destroying everything in his way to finding her so it didn’t really spoil the good parts of the film. There were some awesome fighting scenes in the movie and it ended rather predictably, but still a solid adventure/ass-kicking movie.

I've a feeling the next movie we see in theaters will be this little film:

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