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Match Play is a golf/suspense novel. Dust of Autumn is a bloody one set in upstate New York. Prairie View is set in South Dakota, with a final scene atop Rattlesnake Butte. Life in the Arbor is a children's book about Rollie Rabbit and his friends (on about a fourth grade level). The Black Widow involves an elaborate extortion scheme. Doggy-Dog World is my memoir. And ES3 is a description of my method for examining English sentence structure.
In case anyone is interested in any of my past posts, an archive list can be found at the bottom of this page.
My newest novel, Happy Valley, can be found here.

Friday, January 20

War Horse

We finally got to see War Horse. I think what I said about it in my Oscar prognostications was right, that movies about horses don’t win awards. Forgive me, Flicka, The Pie (National Velvet), Black Beauty, Ruffian, Secretariat, Seabiscuit, and any other horses I may have offended. Although this was a good movie, it wasn’t a great movie. The early twentieth century English countryside looked just too fake for my tastes. And the village and the farmhouse where Albert and his parents lived looked too much like something out of Disney. Not that Disney doesn’t put out great films, but often their sets are almost too pretty to be believed. Although the bond between Joey the horse and Albert the boy was touching, heart-warming, it stretched my imagination to think that they were as tuned into each other as the story would have me believe. The British cavalry charge on the German encampment was brutally realistic and well done and the depiction of trench warfare, with its barbed wire no-man’s-land and its mustard gas was equally well done. But then there was the moment when the English soldier leaves his trench to help the wire-entangled Joey. A German soldier comes out to help the Englishman cut the horse loose. He has a wire cutter, but the Englishman tells him they need a second wire cutter to successfully free Joey. The German shouts back to his trench mates for another wire cutter and suddenly about eight such tools come flying through the air. It was a play for laughter and it seemed totally out of synch with the horrors of WWI warfare. Am I nitpicking? All of us would like to think our pets are special, intelligent, loving creatures. We anthropomorphize them, just as Albert did with Joey. But realistically, it just ain’t so. The movie was sentimental, tear-jerking, and heartstring-tugging. The movie was good. But it certainly wasn’t the best picture of the year.

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