mamculuna: (Default)
( May. 12th, 2005 12:28 pm)
The trailer for the Narnia movie is up at:

Can't tell from this whether it's going to succeed like the Tolkien movies, fail dismally like Wizard of Earthsea, or be somewhere in the middle like H2G2. Hoping for the best.
mamculuna: (Default)
( Feb. 27th, 2005 10:54 am)
I've been reading Neal Stephenson lately--now half-way into The Baroque Cycle. I really loved Snow Crash and Diamond Age, but couldn't get into Cryptonomicon--it seemed too much like Pynchon, whom I love, but one is enough.

But when I finally did get started on Quicksilver, I loved it. It's not fantasy, at least not like his earlier books, but historical fiction with many a real character tossed in--Newton, William of Orange, etc. Like Eco and others (yes, still Pynchon), Stephenson mixes in lots of intriguing information from science, history, etc., along with wildly bizarre characters and events. I'm getting started now on The Confusion and liking it too--expect to finish the trilogy.

Reading fantasy )
I'm trying to locate a story for a student. I thought it was by Gabriel Garcia Marquez and I thought the name of it was "The Gospel According to St. Mark" or something close to that. Google does not reveal such a story in his works currently in print, so either author or title is not what I think, or maybe both.

In the story, an educated man, perhaps a teacher, is visiting some very isolated folks up in the mountains or perhaps in the rain forest, and tells them stories from the Bible. A big rain comes and all roads, etc., are cut off and he's trapped with them. First he notices that they're building something and knowing that they take the Bible stories very literally he thinks it's an ark. Only things are getting very tough and they've keyed into the idea of the sacrificial lamb; it turns out they're building a cross--to sacrifice him.

I may even have the plot wrong in places, but that's the general idea. Ring any bells for anyone?
mamculuna: (Default)
( Jan. 24th, 2004 05:35 pm)
Retold tales have made for many a good book lately. I thought when I found these two that they'd both be the same story, but it turns out that Tepper's is Sleeping Beauty, so I wasn't expecting as much from it, since the B&B story seems so much more archetypal. Well, wrong. Both books are excellent—no surprise to those of you who've read their others. Both left me in those post-book dazes where you want to start over, or find someone else who'd just read it to, or really, go live in it. But they're very different—McKinley started as a young-adult, Newberry Prize winner, eventually evolving into the author of Sunshine. Her Beauty is probably just that, but it's so very well done that the nine-year-old reader inside me was completely satisfied. She stays with the traditional elements of the story, just placing it in a world so real you can imagine going there. Tepper comes out of science fiction/fantasy mixed with some social concerns (women and environment) and her Beauty goes far beyond the basic tale—to other tales, future worlds, and finally to a sort of speculation/mediation on the end of the world and the meaning of beauty. I especially enjoyed the aging of her Beauty—not just for that reason, but the sixty-one-year-old reader in me was happy, too.

Beauty Sheri Tepper
Beauty: A Retelling of the Story of Beauty and the Beast, Robin McKinley


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