September 25, 2005

a friend of the devil is a friend of mine

Posted in books, movies tagged , , , at 4:26 pm by placeinthestars

I took my niece to see Corpse Bride last night. We both liked it a lot. The story is slight but enjoyable, Elfman’s music is FANtastic, and of course I loved that Johnny Depp’s character went around going, “Victoria! Victoria!” (The best part of the not-very-good A Walk in the Clouds was Keanu Reeves running through the vineyard yelling, “Victoria! Victoria!” What? A girl can dream, right? *g*) I also liked that Emily was the agent of her own change – that she decided to stop Victor, rather than Victor or Victoria making the decision. So that was an enjoyable hour and twenty minutes.

We didn’t get the Narnia trailer but we did get GoF and damn, but Cedric is pretty. And Viktor, too. Sigh.

We also got the new Pride and Prejudice trailer, which looks pretty good. I thought Kiera and what’s his name MacFadyen had nice chemistry together, and he gives good brooding, so… It’s not Colin Firth but then who is? Colin Firth, meanwhile, was in a trailer for some really questionable looking kids movie with Emma Thompson wearing some kind of nasty prosthetics.

Earlier, I finished Anansi Boys, which I enjoyed a lot. Good review of it here by Elizabeth Hand, whose Waking the Moon rocked my world – she writes in a lush style I generally find unpalatable, but she makes it work. There are some plot-type spoilers in the review.

Anyhow, Anansi Boys. I liked it quite a bit more than American Gods, which I liked but… never quite engaged with emotionally for some reason. That wasn’t a problem this time around. But what I really, really liked about this book is that it’s about stories, and how they get told, and what they mean, and how they can change your life, which is one of my favorite kinds of stories (see my deep and abiding love for Foucault’s Pendulum and Absalom, Absalom, both books about how narrative is created and truth grows out of fiction). Also, there’s an army of spiders involved in the climax, which kinda gives me the willies, but for the first time since, oh, Charlotte’s Web and James and the Giant Peach, the spiders are good guys.

Anyhow, I was kind of worried when I first started reading, because I have a huge humiliation squick – I can’t stand to watch people be humiliated (or humiliate themselves – and this is why I can’t watch “Curb Your Enthusiasm” and often had to change the channel during “Seinfeld”) – and the main character, Fat Charlie (who isn’t, actually), seemed to share this squick. But oddly enough, I didn’t have a hard time at all, and in fact laughed out loud at a couple of points in the book. It’s clever, engaging, funny, creepy and just a bit suspenseful, because with Gaiman I’m never sure that the ending will leave the characters I like intact. Which is good for a story – the danger has to have weight, you can’t just be like, “Oh, they’ll live ’cause the book’s named after them.”

So you know, consider this a whole-hearted thumbs up for Anansi Boys.

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