This novelization of Episode II works quite well as a story. One of my biggest gripes against the prequels was just how clumsy Anakin's move towards tThis novelization of Episode II works quite well as a story. One of my biggest gripes against the prequels was just how clumsy Anakin's move towards the dark side was. The dialogue, the acting, and just general glossiness just never made this seem believable. Sure this is hard to do since portraying a soul towards evil and making him a likable character for the movies is pretty difficult. Breaking Bad achieved this because it was multi seasons exploring the topic. The prequels had to do it with episode II and II.
Now I am a big R.A. Salvatore fan and certainly liked how he carried out this story. The love interest pretty much worked, but the way he had Anakin anguish and rage after his mothers death and the feel of the power released through his rage made the move towards the dark side much more believable. This aspect of it just was hamfisted in the film.
I liked this much more than the movie. Though it was restrained because of the worst aspects of the movie. Yes Jar Jar Binks and midi-chlorians. The sI liked this much more than the movie. Though it was restrained because of the worst aspects of the movie. Yes Jar Jar Binks and midi-chlorians. The story is actually pretty good except for these intrusions. Plus Terry Brooks is much better at dialogue.
I listened to the audiobook version which had background sound effects. They were more of an intrusion than an aid to the story, mostly....more
Totally enjoyed this book which focuses on the intellectual life of the Church and the development of Christian thought. This is topic focused and soTotally enjoyed this book which focuses on the intellectual life of the Church and the development of Christian thought. This is topic focused and so the early fathers are revisited all throughout the book, especially St. Augustine. It is obvious that the book was intended for a wide audience beyond just Catholics and does a very good job in presenting this. Despite being a Philistine when it comes to poetry I enjoyed the chapter that dealt with the development of poetry in the life of the Church.
I listened to the audiobook version and no doubt I will revisit it in the future.
Wilken is a convert from Lutheranism into the Catholic Church....more
I was somewhat aware of the various controversies surrounding Pope Pius XII who was the Pope during WWII up to 1958. I remember the book “Hitler’s PopI was somewhat aware of the various controversies surrounding Pope Pius XII who was the Pope during WWII up to 1958. I remember the book “Hitler’s Pope” which I once saw for sale at a retreat center. Since that book came out their have been various books defending the Pope and setting the record straight in regards to helping the Jewish people. I also knew how the Rolf Hochhuth’s 1968 anti-Pius play “The Deputy” did much to change what was previously a favorable view of the Pope during WWII. That the play might well have been part of a KGB-led disinformation campaign.
So I thought I had a pretty good grasp regarding Pope Pius XII efforts to save Jews during WWII, which was mostly a behind-the-scenes effort. Then I heard author Mark Riebling being interviewed on Al Kresta’s show regarding his book “Church of Spies: The Pope’s Secret War Against Hitler”.
When he learned of the Holocaust, Pius played his cards close to his chest. He sent birthday cards to Hitler—while secretly plotting to kill him.
Church of Spies documents this cloak and dagger intrigue in shocking detail. Gun-toting Jesuits stole blueprints to Hitler’s homes. A Catholic book publisher flew a sports plane over the Alps with secrets filched from the head of Hitler’s bodyguard. The keeper of the Vatican crypt ran a spy ring that betrayed German war plans and wounded Hitler in a briefcase bombing.
That the Pope actually plotted to have Hitler killed seems to actually be accurate and this book details this. That the Pope took efforts regarding this on his own initiative and worked to separate this as an official act for the Vatican. That in this case he thought Tyrannicide to be warranted. The book is just full of interesting details regarding this. One tidbit was the installation of a Marconi wire recorder in the Vatican to record conversations covertly.
One of the central figures in the book is Josef Müller. His story is one of those that would seem outlandish in a novel. A lawyer who defended Nazi opponents including Jewish people and was part of the Catholic resistance against Nazi Germany. He was a central figure in carrying out a coup and passing intelligence personally to Pope Pius XII along with British intelligence. How he achieved this is simply astounding considering the watchful eyes he was under. He was later arrested, imprisoned, tortured repeatedly, and scheduled for execution. That he survived all this is another amazing story. Especially considering his connection to the various plots to assassinate Hitler including Operation Valkyrie with Colonel Claus von Stauffenberg. ...more
A mostly enjoyable take on the vampire mythos. Certainly more old school than most modern incarnations. Still it has some interesting new twists philoA mostly enjoyable take on the vampire mythos. Certainly more old school than most modern incarnations. Still it has some interesting new twists philosophically such as St. Thomas Aquinas's speculations on Jesus's body post resurrection. Also introduced is kind of a D&D alignment which affect vampires. So there are evil vampires and saintly ones. Mostly this works plot wise and there is not the Buffy predestination towards evil character flaw.
Mostly I enjoyed the story and the characters and it plays out as a solid action novel with both a bent towards humor and philosophy. There is a running gag mocking vampires from Twilight. The whole premise is interesting enough to want to see where the story goes in possible future novels.
About two thirds through the book a new character is introduced and there is a bit of a transition story-wise that could have flowed a little better....more
I always get Raymond Chandler and Dashiell Hammett confused (I blame Bogart). So while having read all of Dashiell Hammett, never read Chandler untilI always get Raymond Chandler and Dashiell Hammett confused (I blame Bogart). So while having read all of Dashiell Hammett, never read Chandler until now. This was just excellent....more
First off I love the playful title based on one of GKC's books.
With the recent canonization of Louis and Zelie Martin it is nice to look into the lifeFirst off I love the playful title based on one of GKC's books.
With the recent canonization of Louis and Zelie Martin it is nice to look into the life of a couple. With the investigation regarding G.K. Chesterton in the process of canonization, I wanted to know more about his wife. In many ways she seemed a private person thrust into her husbands public life. When GKC wrote his autobiography she asked him to keep her out of it. So mostly there has only been some general but not substantiative information about her in subsequent biographies of her husband.
The old saying about "Behind every great man, is a great woman" seems to totally apply here. Or more so what Jesus said about marriage that the "Two become one." GKC's famous absentmindedness certainly required a certain level of care from Francis. But there relationship was so more than that. Much of their marriage involved each nursing the other through various illnesses. GKC was able to be more fully himself with her help.
> “Frances’ life gives us hope. She experienced sorrows and obstacles; she faced family deaths; she watched as her dream of a large family faded, and her writing career was subsumed by the brighter light of her husband. Yet she remained faithful, hopeful, and loving. While not strictly a forerunner of her husband, she served as his sometime John the Baptist, and might have said: “He must increase, but I must decrease.”
This paragraph from the book is a nice summary....more
I knew ver little about Zelie Martin and much more about here husband Louis. So it was quite a pleasure to read this book about her from one of her daI knew ver little about Zelie Martin and much more about here husband Louis. So it was quite a pleasure to read this book about her from one of her daughters that quotes many of her letters. Her devotion to Divine Providence is inspiring and clearly shows why she was canonized a saint....more