Archive for December, 2006

49 Down 3 Left (52 Books, 52 Weeks)

The main problem I have with short story collections about disaffected American suburbanites is that I don’t live in an American suburb and am largely existentially indifferent. So… if you’re the type who likes reading about affluent North Americans dealing with the banality of their existence by urinating on their boss’s plant, by ogling their teenage babysitter at the mall, and so on – you’re looking in the right place.

To be fair, The Safety of Objects has some stories that possess a fair amount of genuine emotion – Esther in the Night deals with euthanasia and Slumber Party with pre-pubescent sexual exploration – all well-stocked with pathos and confusion. But really, the only story worth reading in this book is Real Doll, where a young boy conducts a sordid affair with his sister’s Barbie doll. The premise alone is golden, and the execution deliciously perverse.

So borrow this book if only to read Real Doll, but the rest of the stories really didn’t appeal to me at all.

The Safety of Objects
(ISBN No: 0679736298) Check NLB Catalogue for item availability.

My next book will be The Blue Max by Jack D. Hunter.

macbook pros halt production

Just as I’m about to plonk down a crapload of cash, I get this news from AppleDefects:

I have received the following message from my Apple Reseller:
“bad news: MacBook Pro 15″ production is temporary stopped due to a quality issue identified on non-glossy LCD panel. There is no additional information!”

I know there’s been display issues but c’mon, Apple – gimme a chance to give you money leh. Don’t tell me I really gotta wait til March to get my MBP.

48 Down 4 Left (52 Books, 52 Weeks)

F.W. Murnau is one of cinema’s founding fathers, and is responsible for Nosferatu, horror film classic and one of the best vampire films of all time. Nosferatu in Love imagines the key periods of Murnau’s life, from his early years discovering avant-garde theatre, to his stint as a fighter pilot in WWII, as well his film career, spending a lot of time of course, on the making of Nosferatu.

But the real current of the book is Murnau’s doomed love for his teenhood friend and lover Hans Ehrenbaum-Dengle. Author Jim Shepard imagines how Murnau’s inability to escape his feelings of guilt and betrayal inform his entire creative output after Hans’ supposed suicide. Haunted by his inner demons, Murnau spends the rest of his life much like his titular hero, tragic and alone. Apart from being a passionate account of Murnau’s tortured genius, Nosferatu in Love is also an interesting document of early silent-era filmmaking.

Nosferatu is in the public domain, so you download and watch it for yourself. Torrent is available here.

Nosferatu in Love
(ISBN No: 0571192653) Check NLB Catalogue for item availability.

My next book will be The Safety of Objects by A.M. Homes.