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My books can be purchased as e-books for only $1.99. If interested, just click here: Books.
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.

Thursday, April 4

North Korea & A Few Reviews

Disturbing images on the news these past few days—knee-locked fanatics stomping along the streets in Pyongyang. I was reminded of German troops in 1940 similarly marching in Berlin, goose-stepping past their mad leader. I recently referred to Kim Jong-un as a stupid young man embarked on a stupid course that could ignite the entire world in that conflagration we have imagined in our worst dreams for more than sixty years. But I now realize he’s more than just stupid. He’s an egomaniac who cares only that the world recognize him as a great leader, doesn’t care a whit that most of his people live in poverty on the edge of starvation. The entire world should be alarmed by Jong-un’s reckless behavior, his bellicose words. We should send Dennis Rodman back to him to offer the young man his vast wisdom. No maybe not. If we did we’d have two cuckoo birds in Pyongyang instead of one.

How about a few comments on recent television shows and one movie? I began watching Top of the Lake, Sundance channel's new drama set in New Zealand. My, but that's an interesting premise and plot, interesting and disconcertingly confusing. Elisabeth Moss plays a young detective who, on a short visit to her ailing mother, signs on to find a missing girl, a pregnant twelve-year-old. I remember Elisabeth Moss from West Wing as the president's daughter Zoe. Then she made a big splash on Mad Men, a series I didn't care enough about to watch. My mistake, I guess. Then there's Holly Hunter as GJ, a really strange leader of a battered women's group. But then, Holly Hunter has always gone for strange roles: Ada McGrath, the mute in The Piano; Edwina McDunnough in the Coen brothers' Raising Arizona; Penny in the Coen brothers' Oh, Brother, Where Art Thou?; and Grace in that oddball tv series Saving Grace. Top of the Lake is set in backcountry New Zealand, beautiful scenery, complex relationships between the characters, all sorts of plot strands and conflicts. I'll continue to watch it, hoping the confusion will pass, the connections between people and times become clear. Then there's that other series I wrote about a week or so ago, The Americans. I can't figure out who to root for, the spy family, the bad guys, or the FBI agents trying to deal with Russia and the cold war, the good guys. But then, the bad guys don't always seem so bad and the good guys don't always seem so good. I guess I'll just keep watching to see how it's all resolved. Now, the movie, Admission, with Tina Fey, Paul Rudd, and Lily Tomlin. I guess I'd go see anything Tina Few was in. She's a really funny person. And I wasn't disappointed with Admission. The comedy was subdued but funny, the laughs relying more on the interaction between Fey, who works in the Princeton admissions office, and Rudd, who is head of an experimental high school, than on the sophomoric sexual and toilet humor of too many comedies these days. Rudd is trying to get Princeton to accept a really bright boy from his school, an autodidact with extemely high test scores but a lousy resume. And mix in Ringydingy Lily Tomlin as Fey's oddball mother and you have a proper mix for an interesting two hours at the theatre.

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Any comments? Write me at jertrav33@aol.com