Cleolinda Jones (cleolinda) wrote,
Cleolinda Jones
cleolinda

  • Music:

Monday morning, icy cold

So I finished Thunderstruck, the new Erik Larson, and it was very good. I won't say it wasn't as good as The Devil in the White City, because I think the subject matter of that book gave it a transcendent quality--the magical White City that was there, against all odds, against all sense, for less than a year, and then it was gone. The Marconi wireless, in addition to being something that did endure a while, didn't have that single-event quality that the World's Fair did. The story of the Marconi wireless has a beginning but not really an end--it's just there, and then it's either criticized or accepted. So in Thunderstruck, the murder half of the book really is more compelling, whereas I always said that it was a testament to Devil that the saga of building the massive fairgrounds in two years was actually more gripping than the serial killer plotline. (Both are nonfiction, by the way.) Here, the Crippen murder is the compelling storyline, but Larson manages to do something that the World's Fair/Holmes storyline didn't allow: the Marconi wireless actually becomes the means by which Crippen is caught--and Crippen is the means by which the effectiveness Marconi's wireless is finally proven. The two lines come together in a much more satisfying way, whereas Holmes and the Fair mostly seem to exist in proximity to each other, concurrently, but nothing more. More than anything, though, Larson is a consistently vivid storyteller, and I'm to the point where I pretty much buy anything he puts out without even knowing what it's about.


Linkspam:

U.S. strike targets al-Qaida in Somalia.

New Orleans faces a spike in killings.

Wildfire burns 8 mansions in Malibu.

Hawking hopes to go in space in 2009.

Prisoner "probably" ate parts of cellmate.

Van Halen, R.E.M. among Rock hall of fame entrants.

Kylie tops best-dressed list, topples Kate Moss.

Fed-Ex has a single fan, and he is... John Waters.

Batches of new Golden Compass stills: one; two.

judith_s: "Please buy the [25th anniversary DVDs, see link yesterday] of The Last Unicorn from Conlan Press, here to help out Peter Beagle who does need it. I'm not affiliated with the web site, but have been in touch with Peter and Connor about their fight with Granada Media."

cassildra: Forum talking about the legality of what Getty's doing (see yesterday's entry about Getty going after people high and low for using their images).

eofs: Thought this might amuse.

foresthouse: "My sister just told me that she's managed to book Peter Yarrow (of Peter, Paul, and Mary fame) to perform at the Star Island Conference of the Arts that is coming up this summer. It's a week-long conference on an island off of Portsmouth, NH that has 6 workshops in various artistic disciplines as well as evening performances and other activities. It's phenomenal, and I had a fantastic time when I went 2 summers ago. I'm planning to go this summer. I'd love it if you could spread the word about the conference. P.S. Jen's got a childrens' author to do the writing workshop this year - have you ever heard of Elizabeth Levy who wrote Something Queer at the Ballpark? I liked it a lot when I was a kid. :)" At which point I flipped out, because I was obsessed with Levy's Something Queer at the Haunted School when I was about eight years old.

And finally:

My Peculiar Aristocratic Title is:
Her Royal Highness Cleolinda the Insouciant of Leighton in the Bucket
Get your Peculiar Aristocratic Title



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Tags: books, his dark materials, movies, thunderstruck
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