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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.

Sunday, June 28


If I were fourteen again, I might have gotten some kind of kick out of seeing Melissa McCarthy do her comedic shtick in Spy. But I’m not, and I didn’t. In fact, now that I think of it, I had too much good taste and good sense when I was fourteen to have gotten much of anything from this movie. The reviews were surprisingly positive. I say “surprising” because my humor level must be way below (or above) most of the reviewers who thought this was a clever film by writer/director Paul Feig. I keep wondering if Melissa McCarthy would be as funny if she weighed only 120. How much of her humor is based on her weight, as in Mike and Molly and all the other things she’s been in like Bridesmaids and The Heat? How many miles can a comic get out of farting and barfing and having episodes of diarrhea? What might Melissa McCarthy do with a straight dramatic role? Maybe we’ll never get to know. Maybe she’ll never lose that hundred pounds she needs to drop.

Spy opens James Bondishly, heavy on the guns and silhouettes and kick-ass action and a really loud Bondishlike theme. In fact, it was so much like Bond that it went beyond parody. Susan Cooper (McCarthy) is a CIA analyst working somewhere in CIA depths, acting on her computer screen as the eyes and safety net for the badass CIA field agent Bradley Fine (Jude Law), warning him about all the bad guys coming at him from all directions, flirting with him much as Penelope Garcia flirts with Morgan on Criminal Minds only not nearly as winningly as with the Garcia/Morgan bit. The plot involves a nuke for sale by a badass Bulgarian named Boyanov, but Fine, during an unfortunate sneeze, accidently kills him before he can learn where the bomb is. Now they have to find and track daughter Rayna Boyanov (Rose Byrne) who might lead them to the bomb. When Fine is shot by Rayna, CIA director Elaine Crocker (Allyson Janney, who should stick with what’s really funny in Mom) decides to send Cooper into the field because she’s the only one who isn’t already known by the bad guys. And there you have it: Agent Cooper magically becomes a truly foul-mouthed, kick-ass agent who saves the day. My day was saved when, after two hours, I was able to walk out of the theater. If you’re fourteen and enjoy really bawdy, f-bombing, banana-skin slipping humor, you’ll get a kick-ass out of this one.
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