Ugh, I can't finish this. I just quickly browsed through the rest of the articles, and it was all the same: random unfunny quips (what's Bogart's toupUgh, I can't finish this. I just quickly browsed through the rest of the articles, and it was all the same: random unfunny quips (what's Bogart's toupee got to do with anything?), unimportant trivia (yes, Mary Astor went through a humiliating divorce, but how's that relevant when dealing with The Maltese Falcon and its influence on the genre?), and severe lack of actually interesting information ("Also missing from the film version was the comma in the title." You're kidding!? Not sure if that was supposed to be a joke, though.).
Hughes promises detailed analyses and the tracing of the developments of the genre, but instead relies heavily on plot synopses and brief mentions of actor filmographies, both of which I would check from Wikipedia or IMDB if there was a need for that. The choice of films is a matter of taste, so I'm going to let that go. Overall I understand this is supposed to be an overview, but the lack of focus is distracting and renders the book shallow. Lists don't offer insight to anything, as was proved here....more
The "Holy crap!"-revelation towards the end will make a lot of people happy and excited, but as a whole Volume 2 feels mostly like a filler volume witThe "Holy crap!"-revelation towards the end will make a lot of people happy and excited, but as a whole Volume 2 feels mostly like a filler volume with discussions about relationships, whereas the proper action and dealing with the next bad guy will (hopefully) happen in the next issues. Although I believe the pillow fight between Xander and Spike was completely necessary. Absolutely. The bonding though... Now that was disturbing....more
Combining fairy tale and etiological myth, this story of the Victorian art critic Ruskin has familiar motifs found in fairy tales (the number three, bCombining fairy tale and etiological myth, this story of the Victorian art critic Ruskin has familiar motifs found in fairy tales (the number three, bad siblings vs. good siblings, a quest, goodness is rewarded and selfishness is punished), and it apparently worked for contemporary audience, because the story sold out three editions and became an instant classic.
I didn't find the story particularly interesting. Under all the flowery prose the plot is quite simple, and reminds me of fairy tales of lesser quality I've been reading lately. I don't see the kind of charm and magic that would make this memorable, even though there's nothing atrociously bad either. To be fair, Ruskin wrote this for his future wife and never intended this to be published, but maybe his friends wanted his work to be known, who knows....more
One of the most popular tourist destinations in Germany, the Black Forest region is known for its wood-carving, Black Forest Cake, gourmet cuisine, anOne of the most popular tourist destinations in Germany, the Black Forest region is known for its wood-carving, Black Forest Cake, gourmet cuisine, and beautiful scenery, but the dense and sinister forests have also served as inspiration for myths and storytellers (the most famous ones are of course the brothers Grimm). Émile Erckmann's and Alexandre Chatrian's werewolf story draws from that tradition, but also reminds us of the classical historian Tacitus, who wrote that Germans dress in the skins of wild beasts.
Every year, on the same day, count Nideck suffers from fits, and his chief huntsman invites the narrator to the castle to try and cure the count of his malady. A mysterious old woman called the Black Plague is seen on the castle grounds every year, and is therefore suspected to be a witch and responsible for the count's howling and yelling.
Hugues-le-loup is rich with descriptions of the Vosges mountain range, and you can feel the mysterious air of the castle and the crisp silence of a wintry forest. Traditional horror this is not, instead it leans more towards the Gothic genre with its wolf howling, dark rooms, family curse, decaying aristocracy, fainting lady, and brooding master of the house.
I do take issue with the bland narrator, who constantly disrupts the action with his long and boring ponderings. At one point he contemplates the nature of Knapwurst, "this dwarf, - - an ill-shaped caricature", and during a chase he's thinking about animals and whether "the wolf, the fox, and the ferret seek the darkness that conforms to their ugly deeds". Shouldn't you, uh, maybe stay sharp in case the witch is trying to kill you?
The story would be perfect for cold and quiet winter evenings, but the fact that it could have been told within half the space somewhat detracts from the enjoyment. Plot-wise not the most balanced short story either, but the atmosphere and the involvement in the Black Forest tradition might prove interesting to others as well.
This is also pretty much a definite must-read for those who are intrigued by the older mythical werewolf stories, and how the "condition" is portrayed in them. In that sense Hugues-le-loup is (like Hugues the Wer-Wolf) without a doubt interesting, because it treats lycanthropy as a thing of the mind (at least if I interpreted the transformation scene correctly), and one particular scene is effective in all its creepiness.
(Will probably check the other stories in the collection later on, but for now I was only after the title story.)...more
So she was burnt, with all her clothes, And arms, and hands, and eyes, and nose; Till she had nothing more to lose Except her little scarlet shoes; And noSo she was burnt, with all her clothes, And arms, and hands, and eyes, and nose; Till she had nothing more to lose Except her little scarlet shoes; And nothing else but these was found Among her ashes on the ground.
That's something you don't see very often these days in a children's book. Struwwelpeter has a bit of a reputation of being macabre, but there are actually only three stories where misbehaving children end up dead or mutilated. Doesn't sound very fun, you say? Well, the rhymes make the stories appear more light-hearted, and compared with some of the modern children's books that underestimate children horrifically, I'd rather recommend Hoffmann's wacky story anyday. No matter how hard you scream and misbehave, you're not entitled to break the rules or do what you want. Actions have consequences (the gravity of them you'll never know beforehand), and there's no better way of showing it than through a bit of unpleasantness in a children's book that's read in a safe environment.
The illustrations are part of the fun. I don't usually go for this kind of style, but the bright colours are beautiful and occasional hilarity comes from the expressions of the people and the animals. Crying cats, racist kids dipped in ink, a tailor dashing to cut some thumbs off, and - my favourite - a rabbit turning against a hunter.
This might also get me to brush up my German. I read the story aloud both in English and in German, and the original definitely sounded better. It has a nice rhythm and clang to it, but it also sounds more fun and playful....more
Not the best writing or dialogue, but the pulpiness and the engrossing story are enough to keep one interested. I might be a bit partial though, becauNot the best writing or dialogue, but the pulpiness and the engrossing story are enough to keep one interested. I might be a bit partial though, because I like The Thing (1982) (watched The Thing from Another World (1951) yesterday, but wasn't that impressed). Nevertheless, an isolated research station in Antarctica as the setting creates a slightly claustrophobic atmosphere, when the alien starts to wreak havoc and paranoia ensues....more
Mouth-wateringly beautiful (as are the illustrations by Arthur Rackham), the verses aren't drowned in overly obscure metaphors, but they form a crispMouth-wateringly beautiful (as are the illustrations by Arthur Rackham), the verses aren't drowned in overly obscure metaphors, but they form a crisp narrative allegory about temptation and whatnot. Magical and subtle enough that it's suitable for children, but no adult can ignore the sensuality (juice sucking and so on). Laura is taken advantage of, and the hideous goblins are not interested in already spoiled maidens (and when their advances are rebuffed, they become furious and abusive), but luckily there is a chance to get redeemed. Or not, depends how you interpret the whole thing, since there seems to be as much different themes as there are readers. Sex, drug addiction, social redemption, incest, sisterhood etc.
"Pricking up her golden head: 'We must not look at goblin men, We must not buy their fruits: Who knows upon what soil they fed Their hungry thirsty roots?'"
Yeah, you never know where those goblins have dipped their fruits in....more