Sunday, September 25, 2005

Literary corner

I read some nice books lately of which i would like to talk a little bit. The first one of them, Baudolino by Umberto Eco is a historical novel taking place in (mostly) Europe at around 1100. I like historical novels, It is interesting to me to imagine how people and historical characters lived at the time. The novel's main character, Baudolino, has two amazingly useful gifts. The first gift allows to learn a language perfectly just by listening to two persons talking it; the other gift is that he is an incorrigible liar. Thanks to his talents, he manages to become Frederick Barbarossa's adoptive son and abandon a life in the countryside as a farmer. Not that he is a good farmer, he spends most of his time dangerously roaming in battle fields out of curiosity. Anything to avoid helping his family in the farm. Lazy as he is, his new life serves him well. The book describes many interesting facts from the time in a humorous way. The ever-changing alliances of cities in north Italy, the delicacies that that are part of the cuisine of Constantinople, looting by crusaders, trading of religious relics, etc. The last part of the book becomes too fantastic for my taste, Umberto Eco himself lies as much as Baudolino :).

Then i read the first book of The Hitchhikers guide to the galaxy by Douglas Adams. I found it very entertaining, the jokes of the narrator and the dialogues are clever. The story is not credible enough for a science fiction book, but I guess that it is not really what this book is about. I had a good laugh with this book but i don't consider it a great book. That is why i hadn't big expectations for the movie. Nevertheless the movie was just as funny as the book, I laughed a lot, at the end it becomes too romantic but still it is a fun and relaxing movie to see. If you have doubts about seeing this movie i will reveal a bit of the plot (not a spoiler, though). The book is about an earthling, named Arthur, who happens to have his house and his planet, incidentally the earth, destroyed the same day. Fortunately his friend, Ford, is an alien who is doing a research for The hitchhikers guide to the galaxy for the company that publishes it. You can think of this "book" as some kind of a lonely planet book for space travel. As he knows a few ropes about cheap space traveling, he saves Arthur and off they go hoping around the galaxy. I love the beginning of the movie with the dolphins singing the musical "So long and thanks for all the fish".

The third book is Terry Pratchet's Thief of Time. It was the funniest book i read in a while! The story is rich and demented. The world in which the story takes place is just as bizarre. The characters include Death (the one guy with the scythe), the Death of rats (some kind of pet), some eccentric tibetan-like monks that teach the old discipline of controlling time, a socially-challenged genius clock maker and some strange beings that are the accountants of the universe (don't ask, read it). I can promise a laugh every five pages and a constant smiling because of the cleverness of the book. It is an irreverent book just as The hitchhikers guide to the galaxy, it pokes fun at everything. Readers of Harry Potter and The hitchhikers guide to the galaxy will love this one.

The last entry is about a movie, not a book. Yesterday I watched Kung Fu Hustle, I don't remember when was the last time i laughed so hard. Tears were coming out of my eyes and at a certain point i was afraid that my stomach was going to explode (after that copious dinner i had, who wouldn't!). The jokes are not clever as in the previous two cases, they are childish, like throwing a knife to the wrong place (yourself) or the charming joys of marital life (the wife beating the husband to a pulp). If you need a laugh, this movie will not disappoint you. I read that there are even funnier movies by the same director, i will try to find them and try to watch them with a relatively empty stomach.


Anonymous el forastero said...

I'm cheking the countrys where the people who writes bolivian-blogs are writing for the list. Which is the country where are you living?

4:27 AM  
Blogger Alexey said...

Hello Forastero, I live in the Netherlands. Well done for that new blog, it is something the Bolivian blogosphere badly needed ;).

5:33 AM  
Blogger Cigamybab said...

Wazz up Great Blog


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