It's hard to review a series that is in the middle of itself. I could have criticisms, but will they explain themselves in the next episode? Who knowsIt's hard to review a series that is in the middle of itself. I could have criticisms, but will they explain themselves in the next episode? Who knows, but here are a couple thoughts for the here and now.
First and foremost: the deaths are getting gratuitous. A la George RR Martin. There's a fine line between setting the tone or furthering the plot and just being gratuitous for the sake of shock value. I hope some of these deaths serve integral plot points as the series continues or I will be left with a bad taste in my mouth.
My second concern is that I hope the series isn't too ambitious. It's beginning to feel like it may be getting a bit rambling; pulling out random things like the need for dragon semen or the acquisition of an eardrum that a child from Phang should be able to listen to. Again, for me there is a fine line between world building or plot advancement and just plain reaching and rambling.
I will say, regarding both of these points, I can imagine a future in Saga where they are both relevant and necessary. One key theme in Saga is the never ending state of war and the question of the necessity of violence. To that end, maybe all of these gruesome deaths will end up crafting a meaningful theme rather than feeling like a way to engage all the 17 year old boys who buy comics. As for the concern for rambling...perhaps it is these types of details that will keep it fresh and interesting. It's hard to tell right now. I want to walk away feeling like I've read fun and imaginative science fiction; NOT like I've just sat around a campfire while a 15 year old boy off-the-cuffed a tale for his summer camp mates. Fingers crossed.
Overall the story and characters are becoming a bit boring. Ghus is kind of the only one with any real, stark difference in outlook. I would like to see alien species with more definable personality characteristics than "hard ass." Surely among so many different species, one would pop up with cultural/behavioral eccentricities? In other words, a personality to match Finoa's amazing illustrations? Marko's story line in particular has seemed to completely devolve into some overly moralistic daddy issue that can only be described as soap opera-ish. Who really cares that he beat up a girl who was torturing the family dog when he was 7? Is that really the crux of Marko's identity? Weak and cheesy.
The illustrations by Fiona continue to be gorgeous, imaginative, expressive and on point as ever. Once again I am left thinking how incredibly lucky this series was to commission her....more
This book is by Emma Mansfield, not David Meneer. Not sure how to report this error to Goodreads, but felt the need to give credit where credit was duThis book is by Emma Mansfield, not David Meneer. Not sure how to report this error to Goodreads, but felt the need to give credit where credit was due. A great little book of factoids about Cornwall. As someone who is moving there in a month's time, it was a lot of fun to scratch the surface of a few fun statistics and other things. Not a book of any sort of depth and will quickly become outdated. An Internet search would likely ping back a lot of the information but there are a few deeper gems hidden throughout. A fantastic reference in the back for interesting contacts in Cornwall that I am dearly hoping are still relevant....more
This is DC Moore's first play, and it shows. While the dialogue and witticisms are believable enough, the overall arc of the story is seriously lackinThis is DC Moore's first play, and it shows. While the dialogue and witticisms are believable enough, the overall arc of the story is seriously lacking. While the bigger issue here is clearly racism, one has to stretch quite a bit to make that out in Moore's play, which more closely resembles a narcissistic diary entry by leading man Frank. The play is overrun by unbelievable characters and superficial justifications/explanations for Frank's behaviour. He is a failure in school but has an unbelievable awareness of how lucky other boys are to be intellectually gifted, even asking one boy for an essay to read in exchange for weed - which he reads on the spot, supposedly so engrossed in it that he forgets why the other boy is even there. I found this incredibly patronising and altogether outside of the bounds of reality. Emma, a fellow white Brit, sleeps with Frank and it is hinted at that this is more out of pity than actual sexual attraction but is left pretty unexplained - which was one of many times I felt like Moore just did not have a handle on female characters whatsoever. Mamta's character in particular made very little sense to me, swinging from one extreme to another in a matter of a few moments and never even hinting at any explanation for most of her actions. If Moore was attempting to uncover the paradigm of racism/identity in Britain, which would seem the obvious point of a story revolving around an unlikeable white supremacist twat, then I'd say he failed pretty miserably. Perhaps a story digging into the intricacies, culture and misinformation behind something as complex as race relations wasn't the best choice of material for a 25 year old white male playwright's first play. It did very little justice to any myriad of situations arising in today's race wars and contributed very little to any real discussions being had. Moore was, however, able to blend subtle themes of classism, sexism, homosexuality and discarded youth into his play fairly seamlessly, which is where my second star lands. He is no doubt a capable playwright, and I would be happy to try and read one of his more developed plays....more
Dreadful. Just because it's dreadful on purpose doesn't make it any less dreadful. Why anyone would subject themselves to a production of this is beyoDreadful. Just because it's dreadful on purpose doesn't make it any less dreadful. Why anyone would subject themselves to a production of this is beyond me; to each one's own, I suppose.
Nothing happens. Repressed 50s widow has a bratty daughter and detached brother. Ends in weird and rather ambiguous tragedy. I felt very little for any of the characters and have absolutely no idea what the point was. A few war references and understated political references does not a meaningful play make. ...more
Read Beth's review which expresses my opinion more eloquently than I could. TLDR; feels very dated. What may have seemed "edgy" and "brutal" on its reRead Beth's review which expresses my opinion more eloquently than I could. TLDR; feels very dated. What may have seemed "edgy" and "brutal" on its release now seems juvenile and superficial. There's little depth and too much pretension. Watching 4 narcissistic characters be horrible to each other may invoke some higher meaning for others, but for me, I can watch the world news to similar effect. I want more. I expect more, Marber....more
An evening of story telling. Well written and haunting stories, but stories all the same. Not a piece of dramatic theatre - in fact, very little happeAn evening of story telling. Well written and haunting stories, but stories all the same. Not a piece of dramatic theatre - in fact, very little happens on stage at all. It is all in the story, all in the listener's mind's eye. Fair enough, but for those who ask "why theatre, why a play" as part of your criteria for judging a play's worth, you will likely be disappointed. It could just as easily be a night with a book by the fire....more
I had the great fortune of being able to play Antigone in a (rather poor) re-adaptation of an adaptation (Anouilh) of a translation of this incredibleI had the great fortune of being able to play Antigone in a (rather poor) re-adaptation of an adaptation (Anouilh) of a translation of this incredible story more than a few years ago.
Or should I say I had the great misfortune of playing her?
This young, brave, courageous, self-sacrificing and wise girl, who stood up against powers greater than she could possibly have hoped to conquer, has stayed in my bones. This young girl, in the midst of becoming a full person, in the midst of finding true love, makes a decision that she knows will result in her death. She loses everything in the name of selfless honour. It is not for self-aggrandizing glory, she sheds no blood and yet she revolts in a way that Achilles himself only dreamed of doing against Agamemnon.
A woman's warrior.
Through the course of reading this play and the subsequent playing of Antigone for a month of my life, I am still struck with a kind of true terror of her story. I am tied to it in a way relatively few probably can be, having said her words with my own mouth, having buried her brother with my own hands, having kissed Haemon with my own lips and watching him slip away from her forever. And lastly, I died her death, every night, trying to find the courage in my own modern heart and failing every night, failing every night to understand how she did it. I swore off playing tragedies after my experience with this young heroine, frightened of her story, frightened of my own weakness, frightened of death itself.
If I say it was transcendental, I mean it in the most esoteric, most indulgent way. ...more
From the back of Mitchell's book: "The epic is the story of literature's first hero - the king of Uruk in what is present-day Iraq - and his journey ofFrom the back of Mitchell's book: "The epic is the story of literature's first hero - the king of Uruk in what is present-day Iraq - and his journey of self-discovery. In giving voice to grief and the fear of death, in portraying love and vulnerability and the ego's hopeless striving for immortality, Gilgamesh and touched millions of readers in dozen s of languages."
Many would argue that a critic is to judge a thing, to one degree or another, against other things of its kind. If something may not be perfectly written or fleshed out but is the first to put forth the ideas that it does, one could argue on a high rating, despite its flaws. Some believe it is against all others of its kind that one should hold the baseline for a critique.
If this is true, how can I give anything but 5 stars to The Epic of Gilgamesh, the first known story to be written down. As far as we know, it is the first and only of its kind during its time. It shares a common thread through every story to ever be written in that it is the first that we have - it led the way - it is the genesis of written story-telling as we know it. Not only this, but its content is universal, despite the span of time that has passed since it was first etched onto its tablet, and its hero struggles with the same thing that we all struggle with today: a struggle with one's mortality and the mortality of those we love. There are many insights into the Ancient World from whence this came, making it almost a historical fiction that truly earns the title "epic," in all usages, but more than anything, I was amazed to find how much I related to Gilgamesh and Enkidu, how much of myself I saw in them both. Yes, I was transported into another realm completely, where the Gods are both fickle and wise, where love knows no bounds, where monsters lurk in cedar woods, where repetitions become epithets become incantations to the Gods, where Goddesses are jealous and hubris makes its first appearance and where the adventure ends for us all in death.
Some things never change. Long live the King. ...more