Reviews. Princess Mononoke, God Save the Mark/The Hot Rock.
Princess Mononoke. From what I understand, the same director did this and Spirited Away. My apologies to Neil Gaiman, who did the English version of the script (and damn! did he do a good job. Yes, Doyce, it does look like the characters are mouthing the words that Gaiman puts in their mouths), I liked Spirited Away so much better that I was unsatisfied with this.
Don't get me wrong--this is a fine movie.
But you don't look at each and every individual frame and say, "Wooooow."
Donald E. Westlake.
The more of this guy I read, the more I like him. I have to say the Dortmunder novels make me happiest, though. Comedy is truly difficult to pull off, and to pull it off in a mystery/crime novel without getting cheesy is an achievement the likes of which you will probably never appreciate. I do, because I tried to do it...with a little success, but it's still beyond me yet. Ouch, I say, ouch.
God Save the Mark. The main character gets stiffed out of about fifty dollars a week--he is the world's easiest, most trusting mark. His best friend is a cop on the bunko squad...and his uncle is a semi-millionare, and dead. Guess what happens...
The Hot Rock. This is the first Dortmunder novel, which has just been re-released. Yay! The plot summary doesn't give anything away: Dortmunder gets out of jail and ends up with a job to steal an emerald. Six times.
The cool part is seeing Dortmunder wander through the first three capers, do ta do, and then...something clicks: for the first time, Dortmunder gets his panties in a wad and goes for revenge. (If you know Dortmunder, you know revenge makes him leap the gap between brilliance and genius.)
Cool! It's like seeing Batman put on the cape for the first time.
And yeah, I read the latest Harry Potter book, and yeah, I was happy. More than that I need not say.