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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.

Wednesday, October 14

The Walk

If you weren’t already an acrophobe before seeing The Walk, you certainly were afterward. I can only say how thankful I am that we didn’t choose to see it in 3-D, because I’d have certainly had to leave the theater before spitting up all over my shoes and other shoes around me. I nearly did exactly that in the non-3-D version. Terror in a film can build when the viewer isn’t sure how a scary situation will resolve itself. In The Walk, we already knew the outcome and we still put deep finger impressions in the arm rests. The first ninety minutes showed us the young, ambitious Phillipe Petit (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) as the Paris street performer—magician, unicyclist, mime, juggler—only later as a fledgling wire-walker seeking advice from Papa Rudy (Ben Kingsley), a world famous wire-walker and father of wire-walking sons. When Petit first sees a depiction of the planned Twin Towers in New York, he becomes obsessed with the idea of walking on a wire between them, even though it would be illegal and wildly dangerous. He gathers a small band of companions who agree to help him with his plan—Annie (Charlotte Le Bon), a street musician in Paris who shares his bed; Jean-Louis (Clement Sabony), a photographer Petit meets in Paris; Jeff (Cesar Domboy), Jean-Louis’s cousin and math instructor who is a raging acrophobe; J. P. (James Badge Dale), a transplanted Frenchman who sold them the wireless radios they needed to communicate from tower to tower; and two doofuses who served as grunts to transport equipment to the top of the first tower. The back story details were necessary but not great. It was the final half hour when they encountered problems getting the wire across the void and when Petit finally began his walk that had the audience holding its collective breath. Then there’s the rather remarkable performance of Gordon-Levitt. He had to learn how to ride a unicycle, juggle flaming dumbbells, and walk on a wire, all that in addition to learning French and honing a French accent. A loud huzzah to you, Joseph Gordon-Levitt.

Two tiny observations: Last week, Entertainment Weekly had a little teaser about the next episode of Blindspot, funny, but oh so true. While at the CDC, the team decodes a hidden message in one of Jane’s tattoos that could lead to a global catastrophe. The message reads: “Donald Trump 2016.”

I remember a news story from a few years ago about a 92-year-old lady who had walked across the country from California to D.C. to show her displeasure with what was going on in the Oval Office. She was interviewed about how she had withstood the rigors of her walk and she said, “The days go by and the miles go by, and before you know it you’re there.” Wow! That pretty much defines life, although the destination isn’t D.C.

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