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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.
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My newest novel, Happy Valley, can be found here.

Thursday, July 4

The Lone Ranger

Johnny Depp has played, in a wild assortment of outlandish makeup and costumes, nearly all of the odd characters in the past three decades of film—Gilbert Grape in What’s Eating Gilbert Grape (although it was only the name that was odd), Edward Scissorhands, Sweeny Todd, the Mad Hatter, Ichabod Crane, the pirate Jack Sparrow in The Pirates of the Caribbean series, Willy Wonka, John Dillinger, Barnabas Collins of Dark Shadows, and two cross-dressing oddballs (Bon Bon in Before Night Falls and Ed Wood in Ed Wood, about Hollywood’s worst director). And now, in perhaps his greatest odd character of all, his hilarious portrayal of the Lone Ranger’s Cochise sidekick Tonto. I wasn’t sure I’d like this modernization of the hero I grew up with on early radio and in early films about the Lone Ranger and his valiant horse Silver. But I was pleasantly surprised at how funny this version was, with Depp’s Tonto and the ranger’s Silver delivering most of the laughs. Armie Hammer was very good as the lawyer who became a Texas Ranger and then the masked lone ranger (although not alone as long as Tonto was at his side). The humor was set at the beginning when a young boy, in white cowboy hat and black eye mask, visited a carnival in 1933 to see a western display. And there, behind glass, was an ancient Tonto outside a teepee. The boy is amazed when the figure comes to life and converses with him, Tonto telling the boy about how he had come to know and ride with the masked man.
Quite a bit of Tonto’s face and head makeup were of Depp’s devising, the white paint with two black vertical lines from the eyes to the chin, the crow sitting above his head. But even without the garish makeup, Depp’s facial expression and eye rolling would have been a riot. Most of the action and stunt sequences had to do with two trains near the end of the track being laid to finish the east to west railway system. And much of the humor came from the craziness of those action stunts. The scenery was spectacular, the action frenetic and silly but exciting, and the humor mostly related to Johnny Depp. The audience was vocal in their laughter throughout and their applause at the closing credits For a fun filled afternoon or evening, go see The Lone Ranger.
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