books, TV

The Flight Attendant by Chris Bohjalian

The Flight Attendant is a novel by Chris Bohjalian, published on March 13, 2018.

It was quickly adapted for TV. AND a second season has already been lit. It’s had great reviews. Especially for Kaley Cuoco playing the hot mess alcoholic party … girl?

The TV show is better than the book. Quite entertaining. Of course the plot is silly silly.

Click PLAY or watch a trailer on YouTube.

The plot premise hooked me right away. Woman has a drunken one night stand — wakes up next morning to find the guy dead. His throat slashed.

BUT the rest of the book is average at best.

books

Later by Stephen King

Jamie Conklin can see dead people.

He lives with his single mother, Tia, in New York City.

In Later, the dead must answer Jamie’s questions honestly. This leads to some surprising incidents.

For example, a criminal known as “Thumper” committed suicide after planting one final bomb somewhere in the city.  Jamie gets the dead Thumper to reveal the hidden bomb’s location.

It’s a good short novel.

books

Billy Summers by Stephen King

Published August 2021, this book is set about 6 months before the pandemic.

It got great reviews and I do recommend it for everyone.

Stephen King is one of the most popular authors all time. Net worth is $500 million plus.

Though nobody ever called his books literature, he is one of the best story tellers. And Billy Summers is a great story.

Billy Summers is a killer for hire and the best in the business. But he’ll do the job only if the target is a truly bad guy. And now Billy wants out.

But first there is one last hit. Billy is among the best snipers in the world, a decorated Iraq war vet, a Houdini when it comes to vanishing after the job is done.

So what could possibly go wrong?

Click PLAY or watch it on YouTube.

I like King’s political activism. He hates Trump and most things GOP. Feels rich guys (like himself) should pay more tax.

books

Better Off Dead by Andrew Child

This is book #26 in the Jack Reacher series. Quite good, in my opinion. Better than the previous Andrew Child book.

As always, Reacher stumbles into an incredible scenario … by accident.

He bumps into Michaela Fenton, an army veteran turned FBI agent, trying to find her twin brother, who might be mixed up with some dangerous people.

Fenton is a badass herself, a good compliment for Reacher.

This book kept me going from start to finish.

books, human rights

Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe 

Good book. I’m not sure I’d call it Young Adult, however. though it’s often listed amongst the top YA novels of all time.

Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe is a coming-of-age young adult novel by American author Benjamin Alire Sáenz.

Aristotle “Ari” Mendoza is the main protagonist.

He’s a typically angry, bored and confused teen. A loner.

Set in El Paso, Texas in 1987, the story starts when Ari meets another Mexican-American teen, Dante Quintana.

Dante is an admirable person in every way. It’s his influence and their friendship which finally helps Ari grow up.

A happy ending.

Several themes feature prominently. These include Mexican-American identity, gender and sexuality, particular masculine gender roles and homosexualityintellectualism and artistic expression, as well as family relationships and friendship.

books, movies

The Man Who Died Twice by Richard Osman

I was happy to get my hands on the sequel to Thursday Murder Club.

Elizabeth, Joyce, Ron and Ibrahim—the Thursday Murder Club—are still riding high off their recent real-life murder case and are looking forward to a bit of peace and quiet at Cooper’s Chase, their posh retirement village. …

The writing is witty. The old folks endearing, especially Ibrahim.

It’s a lark. Don’t take the plot — or the murders — too seriously.

And soon to be a major motion picture from Steven Spielberg. It will be more like Best Exotic Marigold Hotel than a murder mystery.

Click PLAY or watch it on YouTube.

books

The Dog Stars by Peter Heller

My favourite post-apocalyptic novel is The Road (2006) by Cormac McCarthy. It won the 2007 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction.

Dog Stars (2012) is not as good. But similar. And it’s well written. I do recommend the book.

Hig survived the flu that killed everyone he knows.

His wife is gone, his friends are dead, he lives in the hangar of a small abandoned airport with his dog, his only neighbor a gun-toting misanthrope.

In his 1956 Cessna, Hig flies the perimeter of the airfield or sneaks off to the mountains to fish and pretend that things are the way they used to be.

But when a random transmission somehow beams through his radio, the voice ignites a hope deep inside him that a better life–something like his old life–exists beyond the airport.

Risking everything, he flies past his point of no return–not enough fuel to get him home–following the trail of the static-broken voice on the radio. But what he encounters and what he must face–in the people he meets, and in himself–is both better and worse than anything he could have hoped for.

peterheller.net

Click PLAY or watch it on YouTube.

books, movies

Dune on IMAX

I’ve always been a big fan of the original Dune published 1965.

Such a fan that I even loved the 1984 film adaptation by David Lynch. Recall Sting was Feyd-Rautha, Baron Harkonnen’s younger nephew. It was widely panned.

I booked an IMAX ticket online. Sat in the second row so the screen would fill my vision. I wanted to be engulfed by sand.

And I was not disappointed.

Denis Villeneuve was the right person to remake this story.

Dune is BIG. Dark. Gritty. Dusty. Beautiful.

I hiked that area of Jordan. Fond memories.

Though the cast was all excellent, Timothée Chalamet makes this film. He’s perfect as Paul Atreides. In contrast, Kyle MacLachlan was not believable in the 1984 version.  

Villeneuve stated that Chalamet was his first and only choice to play the role.

Stellan Skarsgård was intimidating as Baron Vladimir Harkonnen. He reminded me of Marlon Brando when he reached 300 lbs.

 Zendaya as Chani is excellent too, but doesn’t have much screen time. She’ll be a central character in Dune part 2.

The only casting I’d question is Sharon Duncan-Brewster as Dr. Liet-Kynes. Not sure that worked.

Great soundtrack by Hans Zimmer.

Click PLAY or watch it on YouTube.