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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.

Wednesday, March 26

Divergent & Breaking Bad

We went to see Divergent with some misgivings—mixed reviews, science fictiony stuff based on a young adult series by Veronica Roth too much like Hunger Games. But at this time of year with so little that seems good, we went anyway. Quick review. It was too long by at least twenty minutes. It was too reliant on too many plot threads that got confusingly tangled. It had too many fight sequences. What was good about it? Shailene Woodley as the female divergent Tris was great, with huge brown eyes that brimmed with tears in the many facial closeups. The plot background was an interesting takeoff on the current trend of dystopian futures, with a desolate Chicago ringed by an immense fence to protect the survivors from the nastiness on the other side. We’ll probably get to see what’s on that other side in future segments. The surviving population was made up of five factions, into which young adults at the “choosing” ceremony can go into the faction that they’re aptitude tests have determined to be best for them. Or they can choose any faction they want. There’s the abnegation faction, made up of selfless people who govern the city; the amity who provide comfort and care; the candor faction made up of the lawgivers; the erudite or smart faction made up of scientists; and the wild bunch, the dauntless faction who guard the fence and serve as police. Tris’s tests show that she’s a divergent, or one of the rare people who would be good at more than one of the faction’s talents, maybe all of them. She chooses to go into the dauntless faction, where she’s put through a four-week course similar to but harder than an army basic training. And she learns to kick ass. Her instructor is the oh so handsome Four (Theo James) and it’s immediately apparent that they have strings that will bind them for all three episodes of this series. So far, a lot like Hunger Games. Kate Winslet steps out of her usual character to play the baddie who plans to take over the governing from the Abnegators. And the plot thickens and thickens. Not a great movie, but I’ll probably go see the next installments, just to see what’s really on the other side of that fence.

We finished the last Netflix disc of Breaking Bad, Season 4, and both can hardly wait to see what they do with Season 5. Now that bad guy Gus is dead and the elaborate meth lab in the laundry blown up, where can it go? Will Hank ever catch up with brother-in-law Walter? Will Jesse stick it out with Andrea and her son? Will Skylar continue to launder money in the car wash? I can’t wait to find out. Breaking Bad has unanimously been hailed as one of the best ever. Maybe even THE best ever. We heartily agree. The plots are unexpected, the characters all developed to a remarkable degree, the actors all doing Emmy-worthy work, especially that of Bryan Cranston as Walt White, Anna Gunn as Skyler, and Aaron Paul as Jesse. And all the rest are superior. Thank you, Netflix.

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