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Sunday, June 22, 2014

The Long Dark Tea Time of the Soul

Douglas Adams

Enter the slightly off kilter world of Douglas Adams' London, where Norse gods run amok in the streets while Dirk Gently, a holistic detective who believes in the quantum interconnectedness of all things, tries to unravel the murder of a successful record producer, beheaded by a green demon from Valhalla.

Sound confusing? Welcome to the creative genius of Douglas Adams. Everyone knows Douglas for his brilliant Hitchhiker's trilogy (all four of them) but the Dirk Gently books are just as wildly imaginative. 

If you haven't had the pleasure of Mr. Gently's acquaintance go to your local book store right now and get them all. Go on! What are you waiting for?

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agency

Douglas Adams was a bit daft; I like that in an author.

It's been years since I first read Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agency and I must say it's a pleasure to reacquaint myself with Mr. Gently. In honor of World Towel Day I had decided to re-read all six volumes of the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy trilogy but then I saw this volume on my shelf and decided to start my Adams adventure with Holistic Detective Agency followed by The Long Dark Tea Time of the Soul. Whether this is Great Literature is irrelevant -- it's a fun read and an insightful glimpse into the brilliantly creative mind of Douglas Adams.

If you only know Douglas from Hitchhiker's then you certainly owe it to yourself to read Dirk.

Out of five stars I'd give this book a twenty.

Friday, June 6, 2014

Blood From the Mummy's Tomb

Blood from the Mummy's Tomb
Hammer, 1971

Starring Andrew Keir and the voluptuous Valerie Leon. Based on the Bram Stoker novel, Jewel of the Seven Stars.

In my estimation this is one of Hammer's finest. It is both moody and atmospheric with a wonderfully manic performance by Leon.

A British expedition in Egypt uncovers the ancient tomb of the evil Queen Tera. When one of the archaeologists takes the ring from the queen's severed hand and gives it to his daughter for her birthday he unwittingly unleashes an ancient curse. Is the girl truly the reincarnation of Tera or is she simply a tool to be used by the unscrupulous Corbeck (played with relish by James Villiers)?

Production on Blood was plagued by the death of director Seth Holt of a heart attack five weeks into production. Holt actually died on set in the arms of cast member Aubrey Morris, who played Doctor Putnam. Michael Carreras finished directing the final week of filming, though his work is not credited. Peter Cushing was slated to play Professor Julian Fuchs but pulled out after only one day on the set when his wife was diagnosed with emphysema. Andrew Keir filled in admirably, though to be honest I would have preferred Cushing. Keir does a fine job, mind you, it's just I'm a huge Cushing fan.

Did you know...?
Andrew Keir played Dr. Bernard Quatermass in the absolutely wonderful Quatermass and the Pit (aka Five Billion Years to Earth).

Aubrey Morris (Doctor Putnam) appeared in the classics A Clockwork Orange (1971), The Wicker Man (1973), and the wonderful Lifeforce (1985). He was also the captain of the Golgafrincham Arkship B in the British TV series of The Hitch Hiker's Guide to the Galaxy (1981).
Valerie Leon appeared in two James Bond adventures with bit parts in the awful James Bond fiasco Never Say Never Again as well as The Spy who Loved Me.

While she had no trouble appearing in skimpy outfits, Leon, like the gorgeous Caroline Munro, refused to do full nudity. A body double was used in the one very brief nude scene in Blood.

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Home by the Sea

Kyle slipped through the unlit house with practiced precision, taking his accustomed place alone in the family room, the eternal Pacific below his only company. A storm was coming, Kyle could feel it.
The wind raced in from the sea carrying cold steel rain and sleet. But even in a storm the ocean calmed him as no drug ever did, brought him a relief no therapy could offer. He let the sound of the surf wash over him, cleansing his soul, carrying away sins real and imagined, carrying his nightmare far out to
sea to sink into the eternal abyss, never to bother him again. It was a pleasant thought, more of a mantra, really, repeated night after night all these years.

Home by the Sea, from Walking the Edge by Curt Jeffreys

Available on Amazon