Hour 24: the halftime show

Happy second midnight (well, for your east coast hosts), readers! 👋 Time is a weird thing these days with most of us isolated/quarantined, and …

Hour 24: the halftime show

I got in a little over 10 hours of reading so far. Did a little washing and cleaning, watched a little telly and texted with friends, as we are all pretty much stuck at home. Restaurants are completely closed now. Anyway, I might sit outside on my balcony for a bit, while the sun is still out and the sky is blue… I finished my audio of False Value, I finished the rest of Storm Cursed and read the first 100 pages of Smoke Bitten. I read a few pages of Walking Dead, Vol. #5. And I started The Tempest on this amazing app… Pretty cool. Not sure if that still counts as reading, but what the heck…

The Tempest by William Shakespeare

I am listening/watching this on an app on my iPad. Unabridged, with extras.

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* A cast of professional Shakespearean actors performing the play
* The full text of The Tempest as published in the First Folio
* A full digital version of Arden Shakespeare The Tempest including full notes and commentary
* A linked historical time line of Shakespeare’s life, his plays, his theatres, and the historical context
* Video talks by both Sir Ian McKellen and Professor Sir Jonathan Bate on characters, themes, and the overall play
* Full breakdowns and explanations of every character with a visual rundown of all their lines across the scenes
* A full “play at a glance” with illustrations and summaries to explain the plot with key quotes and events.
* A history of all the major productions of The Tempest from the 17th century to the present day.
* The ability to make notes, copy and highlight text that can be collected, correlated and exported for later use.

Pretty cool. My main motivation really was to watch Ian McKellen and Derek Jacobi read this at me. And the hope of understanding it better.
https://www.heuristicmedia.tv/Heurist…

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For tracking purposes I downloaded a kindle unlimited version as well.

How familiar am I with Shakespeare? Not very. I watched some movies and I read Hamlet about 30 years ago.

More to come…

#StayHome24in48 #StayHome


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Finally done, halleluhjah.

The Incal Vol. 6: The Fifth Essence - Planet DiFoolThe Incal Vol. 6: The Fifth Essence – Planet DiFool by Alejandro Jodorowsky
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

I am pretty ambivalent about the whole experience and glad to be done with it. I think I do not like John DiFool much. I pretty much agree with those 78 million…. What a wanker.

The twist at the end was neat and there were some nice panels towards the end.

But mostly I felt very meh and couldn‘t wait to get to the end. The resolution of the storyline was underwhelming. This felt a bit like smoking too much weed and listening to Ravi Shankar‘s Best Of.

Definitely not picking up more of this. Yes, it‘s a classic. And if you are a completionist, have a look at it for the sake of rounding off your experience of European graphic novels. Other than that maybe read the first volume and don‘t bother with the rest.

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Blast from the past…

How time flies. I reviewed this over 10 years ago…

If on a Winter's Night a TravellerIf on a Winter’s Night a Traveller by Italo Calvino
My rating: 1 of 5 stars

Every now and then I read something that is not my “normal” choice, to keep things interesting. Sometimes it works and I find something that I really enjoy, other times it does not work at all. This is my worst choice for a long time. I was skimming pages at the end of the first chapter already. The first page sounded really good, but somehow this book never got off the ground for me. Intriguing idea, but there just seemed to be no point to the narrative. Unless it was to show us how smart and witty the author is.

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Dream novella

I just found an apparently unposted draft, so here it is!

TraumnovelleTraumnovelle by Arthur Schnitzler

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Fridolin and Albertine are married with a child. One evening Albertine confesses to Fridolin that she had sexual phantasies involving a man she had seen during their vacation. That sets off Fridolin on an exploration into his life, his wishes and desires.

In 1926, when this was originally published, it was probably a pretty scandalous book. My thoughts were more along the lines of “oh, another guy exploring his midlife crisis!” Which is probably really shallow of me. Eroticism is only one aspect of this novella. It looks at our dreams, our wants and how we deal with them.

Go read some of the other reviews, they looked at this properly and made an effort to give you a well rounded and educated idea about this famous piece.

The movie Eyes Wide Shut is based on this novella, but I have never watched it, so I can’t say how it compares.

The delivery of the German audiobook I listened to was pretty wooden.

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Valley of Fear

The Valley of FearThe Valley of Fear by Arthur Conan Doyle
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Written 25 years after my favourite Holmes story, The Sign of the Four. I don‘t think I ever read this!

25 years later! Excuse me while I wander off to read about Doyle‘s life again.

„..the long, low Jacobean house of dingy, liver-coloured brick lay before us, with an old-fashioned garden of cut yews on each side of it.“

…and about English architecture in the 17th century… and yews…. what a cool tree!

Ok, where was I…I liked the main story a lot, it was very entertaining. Holmes was Holmes—“Really, Holmes,” said I severely, “you are a little trying at times.”—, the various police detectives were very likeable and not as stupid as we have come to believe. Perhaps some of the characters were a bit one-dimensional.

The back-story did not keep me interested enough, but had a nice twist.

Maybe not the best Holmes story, but solid.

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Not very spooky

Mrs. Zant and the GhostMrs. Zant and the Ghost by Wilkie Collins
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

A classic Victorian ghost story, first published in 1885, which I got as an Audible freebie. Narrated by Gillian Anderson (X-Files).

I found it to be a pretty dull ghost story, with the stereotypical gender roles of the time.

Gillian Anderson’s narration was a bit breathy for my taste and the different characters were not terribly distinct and pretty much in the same register, regardless of situation.

It was short, it was free, it was ok.

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Not quite a dream novella

TraumnovelleTraumnovelle by Arthur Schnitzler
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Fridolin and Albertine are married with a child. One evening Albertine confesses to Fridolin that she had sexual phantasies involving a man she had seen during their vacation. That sets off Fridolin on an exploration into his life, his wishes and desires.

In 1926, when this was originally published, it was probably a pretty scandalous book. My thoughts were more along the lines of “oh, another guy exploring his midlife crisis!” Which is probably really shallow of me. Eroticism is only one aspect of this novella. It looks at our dreams, our wants and how we deal with them.

Go read some of the other reviews, they looked at this properly and made an effort to give you a well rounded and educated idea about this famous piece.

The movie Eyes Wide Shut is based on this novella, but I have never watched it, so I can’t say how it compares.

The delivery of the German audiobook I listened to was pretty wooden.

View all my reviews