bennet_7: (Bright Star: La Belle Dame sans Merci)
I don't go much for contemporary fiction and I really don't read the Latest Hyped Literary Fad, but I picked up Erin Morgenstern's The Night Circus and I enjoyed it. Though it's by no means perfect, it does have a several awesome things going for it:

- Morgenstern is a very visual writer, wonderful at describing the details and atmosphere of the circus. The production designer for the inevitable film adaptation is not going to have a hard time with concept art. The costumes will also be beautiful.

- The physical tension between the protagonists, Marco and Celia, is palpable but Morgenstern never writes anything explicit. I was really impressed with how she handled their intimacy.

- The supporting characters are all pretty great, each having their own thing going on that intersects with Marco and Celia's plot, but not always neatly. There is a lot of agency spread around, particularly amongst the female characters. The novel is also gay-friendly and inclusive of minorities. I initially had a little trouble with a mysterious and inscrutable Asian, but then all the characters are mysterious and inscrutable so it's not like Morgenstern was leaning too heavily on that trope.

- The setting: late Victorian London for the most part. THIS IS LIKE CATNIP TO ME.

- Machinery + Magic = FTW.


So, yeah, definitely give it a try if you like stories about people who should be enemies but instead fall in love and also magic and integral-to-the-plot-bowler hats.
bennet_7: (1909: You can't tempt me with cakes)
I'm not sure how I really feel about Game of Thrones. It's hard to judge it just as a TV series now that I've read so much of the books (somewhere in book three at the moment) and know what has been left out and what has been added. I find myself frequently liking scenes not in the books - generally those with Jaime and Cersei as the early books don't give them much depth - but a lot of the perfectly replicated scenes just feel like exposition.

And my problem with the books is that so many chapters and storylines are just exposition. We find out about things not because we see them through the POV of a character but because that character is told about them. Big events happen but we don't get to witness them and sometimes that works well for the books - I don't want to read endless descriptions of battles - but at other times the constant telling and lack of showing becomes is frustrating and hollow.

With the TV series I find myself enjoying individual scenes but having no strong feelings about the episodes as a whole. I don't think "Wow, that was a perfectly crafted hour of television" but rather "I really liked that scene between X and X." For me, the TV series is working as an illustrated companion to the books rather than a cohesive entity in its own right, as the most recent mini-series adaptation of Dickens's Bleak House did.

I'm curious as to how other people feel, whether they've read the books or not (especially not). Is context clouding my enjoyment of the series?
bennet_7: (D&B Show: Well that's one thing we got)
Some things that I watched in the order that I watched them.

The Killing

Another good episode but I'm slightly concerned that Spoilers )

Forbrydelsen

I watched the first episode of the original Danish version of The Killing and damn it was weird. So many similarities, not just in terms of the script, but the shot composition and the acting choices as well - particularly Mitch Larsen. I knew before that the two series shared the same composer but it was really jarring to hear the same music cues used. There are some notable differences though, mostly in the structure. You learn something about Stan in the first Danish episode that only comes up in the fourth American one.

I know that the killer is going to be different and that the American version will eventually diverge from the original but for now I'm going to wait to watch the rest of Forbrydelsen until after The Killing is finished as its the latter I'm currently more involved with and I don't want to be spoiled on even the smallest details.

Game of Thrones

I wasn't super psyched for this one because it looked grim, depressing, and incesty and it is all those things but I enjoyed it anyway and am really looking forward to the next episode. Spoilers )

How I Met Your Mother

Decent! Loved the credits.

Chuck

Beige! The only bright spot for me was Sarah's impression of Chuck's intersect face.

Cougar Town

Yes, I watch Cougar Town. I swear it's really really good! These episodes were no exception: funny, but with heart. Penny can!

The Chicago Code

I liked how this episode showed that there are people other than Gibbons that Teresa has to fight. Spoilers )

The Dan and Blair Show

Feeling remarkably optimistic about this one because Spoilers )

Parks and Recreation

Was the best! As always! Spoilers )

Community

I enjoyed this episode a lot more than any other of late, even as it pointed out just how formulaic Community can be. Spoilers )

The Office

I was whelmed. Spoilers )

Doctor Who

I liked a lot of this episode but I think I'm going to need to see the next part to figure out if I love it. Spoilers, sweetie )
bennet_7: (P&R: Here's a good idea: makeout already)
I finished two books this weekend. First was Cold Comfort Farm which I adored and was the perfect palate cleanser to Jane Eyre (which I finished earlier in the week). I then watched the 1995 adaptation on YouTube and while it's difficult to imagine anybody else but Rufus Sewell as Seth and Stephen Fry as Mybug, I wouldn't mind it if the Beeb had another go at it because Kate Beckinsale was pretty disappointing as Flora.

I started The Solitude of Prime Numbers by Paolo Giordano last night and finished it this afternoon. While it won't be making my favourites list any time soon, I was impressed by it because it contained a bunch of things I dislike but I wanted to keep reading it anyway. Whoever translated it from the original Italian did a good job.

I loved Parks and Rec this week. Well, I love it every week but this episode was particularly heart warming. It's probably the only show on at the moment which draws its comedy chiefly from its own good nature. If you're not watching it, you should.

Icon dump: The Chicago Code, The Good Wife, Parks and Recreation, The Dan and Blair Show



Here )
bennet_7: (P&R: Here's a good idea: makeout already)
The thing about living in Australia is this: I don't quite understand the scheduling of American TV, nor do I know when a TV show is going to have a little mini-hiatus right in the middle of its season.

I mean, I don't really know what 'March Madness' is (I know it has something to do with basketball but I really don't want to find out more. If I can't give a damn about Australian basketball, no way am I going to care about it in the US), but is it followed by 'April Apathy', where everyone winds down from the crazy and forgets to put my shows on?

Like, all last week I was expecting my shows to appear on the internet, kindly uploaded by the good-natured pirates, as per normal, but the only one to appear was The Good Wife. And it's the same this week so I did some investigating and found out that none of them were supposed to air anyway which is very disappointing. There needs to be some kind of app for international downloaders to keep us aware of scheduling changes so that we don't get our hopes up like I did last Friday, expecting to come home from work and find all my Thursday comedies ready to watch; I'd been anticipating them all week, looking forward to The Office for the first time in a long time, but they weren't there.

A couple of new shows did air so I gave them a try.

Chaos had an decent premise (the three musketeers and their d'Artagnan in the CIA) but wasn't very good. If it does improve I imagine that it will develop a huge slash fandom thanks to its cast of attractive white males. Only one female series regular in the pilot (and she was a POC so yay) but Christina Cole has made the jump across the pond to play the other (still a ratio of five guys to two women, though. Disappointing). Apparently Christina Cole will be playing against type: her character will be nice. The only times I have ever seen Christina Cole not play an uber-bitch were her small role in Casino Royale and as Norah in He Knew He Was Right (though Norah had a few moments). It's kind of amusing how many of the great bitches of English Literature she's played: Blanche Ingram, Caroline Bingley, Mrs Elton.

Anyway, I might keep an eye on the reviews to see if it gets better. I do enjoy stories about spies and James Murray's face.

The Killing was much more impressive. I really like the main character, Sarah Linden, who is very thoughtful and speaks only when necessary, but doesn't come off as cold, aloof, or bitchy. If they pace it right, the murder investigation could be really compelling and I like watching these stories unfold over multiple episodes so I'm in for now.

Spoilers for The Good Wife )
bennet_7: (Jesus on livejournal)
Woah. Someone has uploaded The Baby-sitters Club TV show to YouTube so I've been indulging in a little late 80s/early 90s nostalgia. The acting! The theme song! And, best of all, the costumes! Kristy's turtle necks, Dawn's "California Casual" look, and Mary-Anne's frumpy duds are all as I remembered them, but Stacey isn't nearly stylish enough for her New York upbringing (stereotypes FTW!) and Claudia's outfits seem kind of restrained considering what she wore in the books. Check it:

Nobody, but nobody, dresses like Claudia. At least, nobody in our grade. (We used to have a friend, another member of the Baby-sitters Club, named Stacey McGill, who dressed kind of like Claudia. But Stacey moved back to New York, where she used to live. And anyway, trust me, Claudia is unique.) The best way to get this point across is to describe to you what Claudia was wearing at lunch that day. It was her vegetable blouse: an oversized white shirt with a green vegetable print all over it - cabbages and squashes and turnips and stuff. Under the blouse was a very short jean skirt, white stockings, green anklets over the stockings, and lavender sneakers, the kind boys usually wear, with a lot of rubber and big laces and the name of the manufacturer in huge letters on the sides. Wait, I'm not done. Claudia had pulled the hair on one side of her head back with a yellow clip that looked like a poodle. The hair on the other side of her head was hanging in her face. Attached to the one ear you could see was a plastic earring about the size of a jar lid. Awesome.


No joke, I would dress as Claudia Kishi for a costume party in a heartbeat. I kinda wish I hadn't sold my BSC books back in the day.
bennet_7: (iClaudius)
So I woke up this morning, reheated some leftover pizza (the breakfast of champions), and turned on the TV to watch while I ate. Our cable provider has this service that previews programs from different channels; I scrolled through the selection and discovered that the TV movie Avalon High was there in its entirety, courtesy of the Disney Channel.

TL;DR: Arthur ended up being a girl and I am pleased by that )
bennet_7: (I: I am Bertha try not to be Jane)
Honestly, I think we need another adaptation of Jane Eyre (this will make 22, 23 if you count I Walked With A Zombie, potentially 4 others in languages other than English) like we need another adaptation of Pride and Prejudice (11, potentially 12 if Pride and Prejudice and Zombies goes ahead) - not at all. Next year we'll also be getting our 16th adaptation of Wuthering Heights.

But, but...this new adaptation has Michael Fassbender as Rochester. Want. Badly.

Here's the new trailer.

I don't know yet what to make of Mia Wasikowska as Jane; as the character isn't supposed to be immediately appealing, it's hard to get an impression of her from a quickly cut trailer. I am glad to see that Jane's childhood is a big part of the trailer - hopefully that will be the same for the film.

But Fassy as Rochester has that undercurrent of dangerousness that I think was sorely missing from Toby Stevens' performance in the recent BBC version - he was a bit too hammy. Rochester is meant to be morally ambiguous, potentially a threat. He's never been a character that I've swooned over but he is fascinatingly complex, so yes, I'm looking forward to this.


Just checked out IMDB and the only adaptation of Vilette was in 1970 and you have to go back to 1922 to get an adaptation of Shirley. There has never been an adaptation of The Professor nor of Anne Bronte's Agnes Grey. Sure, none of those novels are as good as Jane Eyre but they're still great stories.
bennet_7: (Press Gang: Spike & the image we project)
So I haven't posted in aaaages. Sorry about that. Partly, it's because I was working a really crappy job. I'd never been so miserable and so bored and so frustrated before and I didn't want to spew all that bile into this journal - LJ is my escape from real life.

I've gotten out of the habit of posting and I've found it hard to break the silence but I really want to get back into the swing of things. Any kind of writing is good for me, whether it's a 2,500 word essay on the cult of Amun in the New Kingdom or a paragraph on what I'm watching on TV at the moment, so I'm gonna try and do the latter a bit more (I did the former last semester and once was enough).

Right at the moment even a paragraph is beyond me so I'll take a baby step and start with a list of stuff I've been doing lately:

- Cooking. I've been baking, roasting, stir-frying, boiling, and leaving-to-cool-to-room-temperature a lot and I'm loving it. I've always liked cooking but I've started experimenting more, attempting my own recipes (with mixed results). Next time I make something impressive I'll post pictures.

- Reading Little Dorrit by Charles Dickens. I quite enjoyed the recent mini-series and the book is good to but it's very Dickensian - whole chapters about characters I don't like or don't care about and I struggle with those (though this isn't as bad as Our Mutual Friend. I refuse to give up but it's slow going.

- Re-watching The West Wing. The parallels between the campaign in season 7 and recent real life have me itching to skip forward but I'm still watching season 1 at the moment.

- Watching Being Erica (it has Eric from Wonderfalls!), How I Met Your Mother (spot the baby bumps!), Gossip Girl (why can't something good happen to Blair?), The Office (really good this season), 30 Rock (not so great this season), and Scrubs (oh dear lord but do I want that teal dress Elliot was wearing in the last episode).

What about you?
bennet_7: (Generation Kill: We pimpin)
The trailer for Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist is out and I'm kinda disappointed. It looks like they've made quite a few changes from the book, giving more material to the minor characters instead of focusing on Nick and Norah. Now the book wasn't perfect but it was charming (and that bit at the hotel - good lordy!) and I was really hoping that the adaptation would be faithful.

So instead, go watch this vid of Nick and Nora Charles from The Thin Man (which wasn't a strict adaptation itself, but the changes made it better) and their rampant but amusing alcoholism.

"I really shouldn't give him a birthday present at all. Sneaking off like that, getting drunk...without me."
bennet_7: (Lynda)
Let's have a list of things that are quite awesome:

1. After approximately a million years, Elizabeth Peters has finally written another Vicky Bliss mystery and it is being published next month. I've always preferred her Amelia Peabody series but that has gotten a bit tired and stale of late, so I'm glad she's returned to the adventures of Vicky and the very swoon worthy Sir John Smythe (my crush on this character is epic). If you have no idea what I'm talking about here are the first five books in the series: Borrower of the Night, Street of Five Moons, Silhouette in Scarlett, Trojan Gold, Night Train to Memphis (1, 2, 4, and 5 are .lit, 3 is .html in a .rar).

I just finished re-reading Night Train to Memphis and it was amazing, partly because it is quite a good book but mostly because I've now been to most of the sites in Egypt mentioned in the book. Never before have I had that experience - of having been to the place that I'm reading about in a novel (well ok, I've read a couple of books that have been set in Sydney but it's not the same). When she described the pyramids and Sakkara and Karnak and King Tut's tomb (I agree, it's a disappointment) I didn't have to imagine what it's like - I know. Now that might not seem so amazing to people who live in places they also read about but it was a new experience for me - and one I rather enjoyed.

2. I was recently overcome with the desire to re-read a book that I had loved in high school but was faced with certain problems. Like that I couldn't remember the title. Or the author. Or the names of any of the characters. I had a vague idea of the plot which is that prince in a fantasy kingdom grows up with half a body and as his faithful companions die, body parts reappear. However, if you try typing that into Google you'll get a bunch of links to Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince. Not helpful. Still, after much searching I discovered that it's called One for the Morning Glory and it's by John Barnes. Have now ordered a copy and am hoping it's as good as I remember (because I do remember it being very good).

3. Of the things that I am watching currently, I just finished re-watching the 2000 version of Wives and Daughters which is just a lovely adaptation of Gaskell's novel. It's one of Andrew Davies more restrained works - only one gratuitous wet shirt scene and it's almost a plot point!

4. Scans of the latest Invincible Iron Man have not yet appeared, which has me gnashing my teeth with impatience. When I fall for something I generally fall hard and I don't do well sitting around and waiting for my obsessions to come to me. Luckily, Comic Book Resources has the first 8 pages up which helps to take the edge off.

5. I started the great Press Gang rewatch of 2008 and am already onto the second season. It's not that I forget that this show is brilliant but I'm always reminded of it on rewatch. While Blink, The Girl in the Fireplace, The Forest of the Dead, and Jekyll are excellent examples of Steven Moffat's genius when it comes to pacing and structure and big stories, it's Press Gang that you really need to look to if you want to know what he's going to do with Doctor Who because Press Gang is all about characters and relationships and finding your way in the world. And it's got obsession and sacrifice and blaming yourself for the actions of others.

Honestly, the main reason I'm so excited about The Moff taking over Who is because I hope that it will give him the clout to bring about a Press Gang reunion special.

Random quote:

Spike: "You don't happen to be jealous of a girl I've never even met, do you?"

Lynda: "Of course I'm jealous, Spike. I wish I was the girl you've never even met."


Oh Lynda. Oh Spike. You're my favourite.
bennet_7: (curiouser and curiouser)
Thanks to a post in [livejournal.com profile] bbccostumedrama I have learned of a new mini-series of War and Peace, produced by a bunch of European TV networks.

Initially was filled with glee and that feeling remained as I looked at the pretty pictures.



I'm not the only one who finds that ridiculously hot, right?

More )

As you can see I'm already mocking, which shows that my hope for the adaptation is over. Mostly because I saw this 8 minute ad for it:



It starts out awesome with Natasha and Andrei dancing and making cute, inter-cut with scenes of war, but quickly devolves into everyone speaking English with a variety of accents (some American *shudder*) with some awful dubbing alongside, and then Malcolm McDowell shows up as Andrei's father and I burst out laughing.

The casting is so odd. Clémence Poésy is French and plays Natasha who is Russian but does so speaking English. The guy who plays Andrei is Italian. Malcolm McDowell and Brenda Blethyn are the only two English actors in the whole production but they seem so out of place, even in that ad. The rest of the cast is a mix of Russian and French but they're all speaking English. It's really weird considering that this isn't produced by English speaking countries. Maybe they wanted a more global appeal, but I would rather watch the characters speak French and Russian as they do in the book.

And yet I find myself looking forward to watching this, if only to mock.
bennet_7: (HP 7 spoiler alert)
Nice to see the internet still exists.

Like pretty much everyone else in the world, today I read Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows.

Spoilers )
bennet_7: (Snoopy (facepalm))
Would the media please stop talking about Anna Nicole Smith (who is dead if you haven't heard) like she was a worthy human being who deserved her fame and wealth and the air she breathed?

People, it's not a tragedy. She contributed nothing worth wile to our global culture. Let's not make a big deal about this.

In other, less skanky, news I started reading Phillip Pullman's His Dark Materials trilogy last night and considering some of the reviews I've seen, I was expecting it to be better.

Great world building sure, but the author's writing style is nothing special. Oh well. Maybe it gets better.

I just finished reading Richard Wilbur's translation of Moliere's Tartuffe and it is fantastic.
bennet_7: (emo Nemo)
On Monday, Australia lost two great men.

Steve Irwin aka "The Crocodile Hunter" was killed by a Stingray while filming a documentary on the Great Barrier Reef.

When I first heard this I couldn't believe it. I thought Steve Irwin would always be there, wearing khaki and doing stupid things like playing with snakes. It was such a shock to hear that he had died.

Steve Irwin has always been more popular in the US than he has been here. At first, Australians didn't know what to make of him. We though he was putting on the stereotypical Aussie bit and it annoyed us because we're not like that. But then he started doing some really great interviews (especially the one with Andrew Denton on Enough Rope) and hey, that was him. He was being absoloutely genuine and I grew to respect his commitment to conservation. Underneath the bluster he was a very smart guy.

I'm going to miss him. He was a good man who did a lot to encourage environmentalism.

I was really suprised to hear how he died. I have done a lot of diving and snorkeling and have never viewed Stingrays as a serious threat. They never attack unless provoked and are much more likely to swim away. You have to wonder what he was doing to it for it to attck him.


The second great Aussie who died was author Colin Thiele. He died of heart failure and was 86. Thiele was one of the most successful Australian writers, publishing almost 80 books during his lifetime. His most famous works include Sun on the Stuble, Pinquo, Storm Boy and my favourite  Uncle Gustav's Ghost (yes, I liked saying the title). He was an amazing writer.

He was also a full time teacher for much of his career and eventually worked with the South Australian Education Department on creating the new curriculum. He served in the RAF during World War 2.

His last book had been finished and is scheduled to be published next year.

My thoughts are very much with both families.

Argh!

Jul. 22nd, 2006 09:28 pm
bennet_7: (brood (John Thornton))
The universe is mocking me.

At 3:30 AM today I was overcome with a desire to re-read The Time Traveler's Wife but I can't find my copy any where. I know I loaned it to my BFF but I'm pretty sure I got it back from her. I think I also loaned it to my mum to read.

And tonight, I was going to watch North and South with my gran but, again, I couldn't find it anywhere.

WHY IS THE UNIVERSE DEPRIVING ME OF BROODY JOHN THORNTON? IT IS CRUEL!
bennet_7: (curiouser and curiouser)

[personal profile] koalathebear was discussing Jabberwocky here, a poem I adore. She reminded me that I had read a parody of the poem...somewhere.

After a bit of searching, I discovered it in The Even More Complete Book of Australian Verse by Australian satirist John Clarke.

The poem is not a parody of Jabberwocky; what it does is use the style of Jabberwocky to satirize Australian politics and politicians, in particular the 'Children Overboard' scandal. Some of the nonsense of words are not nonsense at all: 'ruddock' is a reference to Philip Ruddock who was the immigration minister at the time of the 'Children Overboard' scandal.

As such, the full effect of the poem will be lost on non-Australians but it is brilliantly written.




In the same book is a fantastic parody of Gilbert and Sullivan's 'I am the very model of a modern Major-General'. This one can be enjoyed by Aussies and non-Aussies alike ;-)

You can hear the original here




This book is truly excellent. I may post more of the parodied poems later as I love the Emily Dickinson and Robert Frost ones.
bennet_7: (neptune_online Veronica)

The latest issue of [profile] neptune_online covering episodes 2.04 and 2.05 is here.

It contains: - The events of Pirate Week from Duncan.
                     - Veronica and Wallace on The Office.
                     - Weevil on tattoos.
                     - Madison's interview of Sheriff Don Lamb. 
                     - Dick's interview of Keith Mars.
                     - Gia's review of Supernatural.
                     - Logan's advice
                     - Sound off on the Sheriff election.

It's an awesome read so go and read it!


I had an exam today but it was pretty meh, because I don't really wake up until 11 AM and the exam started at 9 AM. Oh well.

But then I went shopping in the city and I finally managed to buy Eskimo Joe's new album (if you want it, just ask).

I also went to the brand new Borders Book Store and it is beauuuuutiful. I love a good book store (well I love any book store really).

I bought Neil Gaiman's Neverwhere and I'm loving it so far. It takes the number of books I'm reading at the moment to 4 (also reading The French Lieutenant's Woman, Thief of Time and Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince) but I love having multiple books on the go - I've always read like that.

bennet_7: (Kinda don't care (Lamb))
Last night I saw The Da Vinci Code. My parents were paying, otherwise I probably wouldn't have bothered.

I've read the book. I like the book. It's not a great book but it is enjoyable. It has some major flaws (characterisation and Brown's writing style for starters) but I liked the (kinda) historical subject matter and I can read it in an afternoon if I just want to chill (I read really fast).

It's popular to hate the book. I guess it gives people a sense of superiority. Whatever. I like dipping into popular culture and have no problem with going from something like this to something 'literary'. 

The movie? The movie should be hated. It's awful. The suspense which made the book work is completely absent here, making it very slow.

It's badly shot. Too many close ups of the actors' faces, not enough wide shots to give you a sense of the art and architecture that is so important to the story.

The dialog is clunky  and fails to build on the book- Akiva Goldsman should not be allowed to write.

The book describes the main character, Robert Langdon, as 'Harrison Ford in Harris tweeds' so I damn well expected (Indianna Jones) Harrison Ford not Tom Hanks with a dead animal glued to his scalp pretending to be hair. Hanks is woefully miscast and doesn't even try with this admittedly two-dimensional character. He's too old to be opposite the gorgeous Audrey Tautou, who plays Sophie. She doesn't do much with her character either but she does improve towards the end of the movie. 

Alfred Molina, one of my favourite actors, doesn't get to do nearly enough. Jean Reno is quite good. Ian McKellen is fantastic as the Grail expert Leigh Teabing and I thought Paul Bettany was excellent as Silas the monk. His character is very creepy and the whole audience gasped at one point when he just appeared.

The big controversial story line? It's handled ok.
spoilers )

The movie is long and I would have preferred if certain scenes were cut in order to spend more time with
spoilers )

The big problem is the pacing - the book managed to be an enjoyable thriller despite its many faults,  because of all the twists and turns Brown employed which were manipulative but effective. The movie lacks this and thus ruins the opportunity to make a decent thriller. 

However I'm glad I went because the milk shake I bought was fantastic (Swiss Choc Caramel) and I saw the trailers for Superman Returns and Casino Royale. Kevin Spacey looks like he's having fun in SR, while the new Bond film looks very pretty.

bennet_7: (curiouser and curiouser)
I'm reading Nevil Shute's In the Wet at the moment. I first discovered Shute when my sister was doing a play and I had to help her with her costume changes (horrible experience btw. Amateur theatre is teh suckitude). I spent a lot of time just hanging around back stage, bored out of my mind.

So I picked up one of the props (it was supposed to be a school book) which was a copy of Shute's The Mysterious Aviator (originally published as So Disdained). I really enjoyed it and soon read A Town like Alice, for which I had already seen the movie adaption and was suprised to discover that they'd only made the first half of the book into a film! I found the second half of the book equally interesting but it's not terribly cinematic ;-)

A friend of the family had given me In the Wet a while ago but I haven't had time to read it until now. So far I'm really liking it.

The thing I love most is his imagery. He paints such a vivid portrait of the Australian landscape - when I read I can almost taste the dust in my mouth (in the outback dust gets every where and there's not a lot you can do about it) and feel the oppressive heat on my back. It's excellent stuff.

His main character, a priest named Roger Hargreaves, narrates the story in a very intimate way. I often have problems with stories told from first person perspective but Shute makes it work.

What I do have trouble with in his work is how he refers to Australia's indigenous peoples as 'blacks' or 'half-castes' - it's very...awkward to read that. The novel was published back in 1953 so I'm guessing he's probably just portraying the attitude of 'European' Australians of the time - I don't think he's being rascist per se, but just holds the uneducated and biased opinions that most people were brought up with. It grates on my nerves to read it but I'm not going to let it detract me from enjoying other elements of the story.

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