What I'm Reading
Finished Winter's Bone by Daniel Woodrell. Excellent novel set in the Ozarks: a young woman has to search for her missing father.
A short, intense read. Doesn't patronize or sentimentalise the hard-bitten and insular clans of the area. It's written in a terse Hemingway-esque style that seems grimly realistic.
Also refreshing to see a well-written US novel that doesn't attempt to show its greatness by being heavy enough to kill a squirrel with.
Well worth a look, best novel I've read in ages.
What I'm Watching
Saw Southland Tales on DVD. Near-future SF by the guy who did Donnie Darko. Didn't like it much, but watched it all the way through since I didn't want to abandon two DVDs in a row.
Normally I have a fair amount of tolerance for anything that's a bit different, even if it's absurdly pretentious: I even quite liked The Fountain. But found this quite irritating. It might just be in this re-edited version, but there's a voiceover that laboriously explains everything that's going on, so you don't even really get to puzzle or wonder at the weirdness.
Good points: Philip K. Dick references. Particularly bad points: Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson incessantly twiddling his hands like Stan Laurel in an effort to look wimpish. Also, I think the reason people liked the dance number in Donnie Darko is that it was an unexpected bit of light relief, not that he's really good at choreographing dance sequences.
Public Service Announcements
The next Dresden Files book Turn Coat gets a UK release on 16 April 2009.
Joe Abercrombie's next book, set in the First Law world, is Best Served Cold, out 18 June 2009.
They've made a few new Red Dwarf episodes, airing April 10-12 on Dave.
Economics. Ex-IMF guy says US gov in crony-capitalism with finance industry.. (via). Kaletsky: G20 summit success. Canada's banks best prepared for crisis. Stumbling and Mumbling: Policy fetishism?
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