Category Archives: Uncategorized

Stoker, the film


I had never heard of Stoker when I flew to Singapore last week. When I saw they were playing it on the plane, I was curious to find out what the story was about. The film features Nicole Kidman, Mia Wasikowska, and Matthew Goode. Director is Park Chan-Wook and scriptwriter is Wentworth Miller. The movie has just come out in 2013. The story revolves around teen-ager India Stoker, who has just lost her father in a car accident. An uncle (brother of her late father) turns up, whom she has never heard of before. She is intrigued of course, and whilst grieving for her dad, is attracted by her uncle – she has to compete with her mother though (Nicole Kidman) a somewhat unstable and distant woman (one of Kidman’s classic roles). The truth behind the uncle’s story is very unsettling, to say the least. We learn quickly that he is dangerous, but his past is only revealed at the end, and it is chilling. A good story and for those of you who like slow movies, it’s perfect. It was little slow for my liking, but I realise this is how it was meant to be (It’s a psychological thriller after all). It does accelerate mid-way through. A good movie to watch on a plane, except that the way it is filmed, and some of the frames and pictures are stunning. I love the way India focusses on small things and insects, and how this is brought to life by the camera. The way the last frame of the movie links back to the first is perfect. Not the best movie I have seen, but a good one to watch (beware, there will be a number of dead bodies). Oh and Stoker is a family name, and it says it all…

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The Impossible


I don’t know if you get annoyed as I do sometimes with people going to the movies and buying a 2kg bag of popcorn, a few drinks and several bags of sweets during the film? It’s not the eating or drinking that I mind, but rather the noise that goes with it. It was particularly bad in Hong Kong when I was living there, but it’s not much better here in Australia – okay, at least we don’t get the smell of McDonalds food in the theatre. I wish candy companies had found a way to produce plastic bags that make no noise when opening them. Popcorn can be particularly  noisy too, and when you’re engrossed in a movie, it can be quite irritating. Well, I have found the movie you can go and see without having to worry about the noise people make when eating and drinking! It’s The Impossible, by director Juan Antonio Bayona and featuring Ewan McGregor and Naomi Watts (I love her). The film relates the story of a family with three kids holidaying in Thailand when the 2004 Tsunami hit on Boxing Day. It’s based on the true story of a Spanish family, although they are English in the film. This is a compelling and heart-breaking story. I wouldn’t say I enjoyed it, because the term is not quite right considering the topic, but it’s a very good movie. Anyway, back to my ranting about eating noises. The movie session started as usual with stacks of eaters and drinkers surrounding us, but fifteen minutes into the story, silence! You could have heard a pin drop! No one was either moving or opening their mouths to swallow anything or speak. The story is quite graphic and watching Watts’ torn calf bleeding profusely, the deaths that surround her and her son, the injuries, what she  throws up at one stage, and other niceties, all this reduced the audience to silence – and later to tears. Popcorn was wasted, candies kept for later. Goodie!

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Sidney Sheldon’s Angel of the Dark, by Tilly Bagshawe: don’t go there!


A few weeks ago I picked up a book in one of those shops that sell unsold items at very low prices. The book was only worth a few dollars, but the title attracted my attention and it had been published by Harper Collins, so I thought it couldn’t be that bad. The title of the book was created and written in a way to deceive people and make them believe they were buying a book from Sidney Sheldon, the well-known writer. If you went below the title however (Sidney Sheldon’s Angel of the Dark) you could see another name, Tilly Bagshawe, the real author. Everything about that method is cheap. Never mind, I started reading the book, supposed to be based on notes left by Sheldon when he died in 2007. The plot is good and the story starts well enough. In a nutshell, this is about a series of weird murders in which en elderly man is savagely murdered while his young wife is raped and left alive by his side. The murders take place around the world, and a number of individuals, one from Interpol and a useless comedy writer, set on a search for the killer. As I said, the plot is okay, until the end that is. The last part of the book is boring – a trial – and the ending so preposterous it made me cringe. You very quickly can’t stand the main character, the comedy writer. As for the writing, it’s all right most of the time, but sometimes you come across repetitions and gems such as (p. 222) “He was as Indian as the Taj Mahal.” Such trite similes should simply be banned from literature.

Bagshawe

The worst, for me, started with Chapter Thirteen, which takes place in Hong Kong. This is a fine example of how easily you can lose credibility with your readers, something all writers learn very early on in their careers. If what you write is false or simply wrong, your credibility is gone – and it doesn’t matter if it’s fiction or not. With me having lived in Hong Kong, Bagshawe didn’t stand a chance, but had she done basic research, she would have been fine. The underground system in Hong Kong (probably the best in the world in terms of efficiency, network and cleanliness) is called the MTR (Mass Transit Railway)… and it becomes the DLR in the novel. But the worst is to come. I will only give two examples. The first one reads, “Lan Kwai Fong, the nightlife quarter and red-light district, glittered and screamed and stank, its narrow streets packed with some of the weirdest specimens humankind has to offer: juggling midgets, armless dancers, blind transvestite hookers and the ubiquitous, wide-eyed U.S. servicemen on shore leave, drinking it all.” Anyone who knows Hong Kong would scream with laughter when reading these words. Lan Kwai Fong is vile, I agree, but it is a modern street with bars like those you can find anywhere in the world – like Los Angeles or London where the author lives – and, on Saturday nights when it becomes rowdy and full of drunk people, mostly expats. None of the weird specimens described here. It is as normal as it gets. One paragraph further down and you find, “In New York and London, shopping streets were crowded. Here they were overrun, infested, alive with humanity like a rotting corpse riddled with maggots.” I had to read this several times to make sure I had read well. Is Bagshawe really comparing Hong Kongese with maggots? This has to be the most racist, wrong and offensive thing I have read in a long time. She should be banned from writing and Harper Collins should change editors. Honestly!

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Love and Light published in the US


ten minute plays 2012
Love and Light was published in the US in 2012 in The Best Ten Minute Plays, 2011 – edited by Lawrence Harbinson
 
Love and Light is one of my most successful plays. Here’s a short synopsis:

Tania’s deceased husband has left her with bills to pay, no job and no idea where he stashed the money. Will consulting a Psychic provide her with the answer she seeks?

The book can be bought on Amazon.com
First Published: 2012
Publisher: Smith and Kraus
ISBN: 978-1-57525-782-2

Published by Smith & Kraus, 2011 (THE BEST TEN-MINUTE PLAYS 2011)

Produced for Ten in 10, Shepparton, Australia, July 20112008

Produced for Short & Sweet Malaysia 2008, Judges’ choice, best runner-up actor (male and female)

Produced for Short & Sweet Melbourne 2008

Produced for “Eight-in-a-Box”, Drama Centre Black Box, Singapore 2009

Produced for Favourite Shorts 2009, Armidale, NSW (WINNER)

Produced for Short and Sweet Sydney 2009

Produced for SHOWOFF!, San Juan Capistrano, California, 2009

Produced for 10 Min Madness Festival, San Diego, 2009

Produced for Pint-Sized Plays 2009 (UK)

Produced for PLAYTIME @ World Bar 2010 (Sydney)

Produced at the Otterbein University in Columbus (Westerville), Ohio, May 2010

Broadcast on audiobookradio.net, May 2010

 

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Review of The Sinner, by Tess Gerritsen


I’m back after a year off blogging! Too many things happening at home: a house move, a new job requiring all my energy, constant travelling for work, it was all a bit much, so I decided to let my blog rest. I have been busy though, and have read many books and continued to watch movies and discover new places. I’ll tell  you more in posts to come.

Sinner

My first post for 2013 is a review of The Sinner, by Tess Gerritsen. I discovered Gerritsen two years ago and have since read many of her novels, in particular those featuring Maura Isles and Jane Rizzoli. Isles is Boston’s Medical Examiner and Rizzoli is a detective. They form an interesting duo, one of them a cold-headed woman, the other as strong-headed as the other one is cold. The Sinner is one of the earlier novels in the series. Each book stands alone and you don’t have to know the personal lives of the main characters to enjoy the fast-paced, sometimes gruesome crime stories that have made Gerritsen famous. In the Sinner, two nuns are brutally murdered – when it turns up that one of them recently gave birth, things turn ugly. Good plot, arresting characters, good pace. What I found interesting in reading The Sinner after having read many of Gerritsen later instalments is the difference in the author’s writing and in how she treats her subject. The first thing I quickly noticed is that her writing wasn’t then quite as slick as it is now. Not the style or choice of words (Gerritsen is good at triggering images in your mind) but the way she described her characters’ personal lives was a little heavy-handed in this novel. Instead of underpinning the story, I found it was sometimes in your face – we were either in the story or in the character’s personal dilemmas, not in both at the same time. To me, her recent novels show better skills in mixing the plot with the characters’ lives. She’s also more subtle, and it works well. Don’t get me wrong, Gerritsen’s early Isles and Rizzoli’s books are excellent, always exhibiting an arresting plot and fast pace. I have another one of hers to read in my pile and I look forward to reading it.

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We need to talk about Kevin, by Lionel Shriver


I said in my previous post that you wouldn’t hear from me in a while, but I was obviously wrong! The combination of a typhoon in Hong Kong on the day our removalists were supposed to turn up and masses of people wanting to leave Hong Kong at the occasion of the Chinese National Day holiday has left me stranded at the airport. I have finally managed to get a seat on a plane to Sydney tonight, but this means I will get there a good 48 hours after heading to the airport the first time…. As a consequence, I have stacks of time for reading (and of course, writing this banter). I finished We need to talk about Kevin, by Lionel Shriver. This book won the 2005 Orange Prize for Fiction. It is a psychological, harrowing, disturbing exploration of several important topics which include responsibility and accountability, guilt, the “nature or nurture” question, innate evil, and – let’s not forget the heart of the story – what it means to be a parent (or a child), as well as the why of mass shootings. Phew! Do you think that’s enough? My sister-in-law gave me the book after reading it and warned me about the “difficult” ending chosen by Shriver. So of course, I was looking for that ending from the very start, but apart from one element, I missed it until it finally dawned on me about fifty pages from the word “End”. The book is written in the form of letters addressed by Eva to her estranged husband Franklin; I thought it would annoy me, but it didn’t, on the contrary. It provides a wonderful insight into what goes through Eva’s mind as she initially refuses to have a child, then gives in, much to her husband’s surprise and utmost joy. But things turn a little sour, as their son Kevin is nothing what they expect – and not someone they are able to understand. At all. The letters explore the relationship between Kevin and her mother, between Kevin and her father, but also between Eva and Franklin themselves. At times I found myself angry at one or the other, sad, happy or simply sympathetic, but never neutral. Having children is often not an easy (Read: natural) decision for women, unlike what many would like to believe, and this book is quite courageous in many ways. I am already thinking of quite a few friends to recommend it to. It’s well written and clever. But what I loved about it is that even after finishing it, I keep thinking about what it means. It’s not quite philosophical, but almost. It’s definitely a great book, and I wish I had read it earlier. It’s also a nice change from the crime novels I have been reading lately. Since reading We need to talk about Kevin, I have discovered that it was made into an eponymous movie this year. I think I’ll go and see it if I can. It was directed by Lynne Ramsey, and stars Tilda Swinton, John C. Reilly and Ezra Miller. We need to talk about Kevin, the book: five stars!

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Back to Australia!


That’s it, the time has come! Tomorrow we will be moving back from Hong Kong to Australia, not to Sydney where I normally live, but to Melbourne. It’s an exciting time for us, and we’re happy to settle in a new city. Of course, I have been to Melbourne many times for work, but never actually lived there. It was recently voted the most liveable city in the world, so it can’t be a bad choice, can it? :-) Having said that, I have no idea when my next post will go up. With having to find somewhere to live, organising all the paperwork, meeting with friends, and last but not least starting a new job, I think my blog may suffer a bit. Bear with me!

I’m currently reading “We need to talk about Kevin“, by Lionel Shriver. It’s a difficult topic (a school shooting in the US) but so far I’m loving it, as it is well written. It actually won the 2005 Orange Prize for Fiction. I have been told the ending is both unexpected and striking, so I can’t wait. Of course I will write about it as soon as I can. The next three books on my list are “The Tiger” by John Vaillant, “The Colour of Death” by Michael Cordy, and – yes, I have never read it! – “Jane Eyre” by Charlotte Bronte.

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“Leo Spencer的翅膀” (The Wings of leo Spencer) – Jerome Parisse的第一部小说…



Leo Spencer的翅膀
是我的第一部小说。这是发表在2010年5月SidHarta在澳大利亚。

这里有一个关于小说的简介。

您是如何从一个可怕的命运保护您的家人和你最好的朋友,如果你死了,你能对物质世界没有印象?

十四岁的Leo找到了他妈妈的生日最令人惊讶的存在。不幸的是,有人已经决定,他不会活着看到它… …当他死了,Leo发现自己面临着一个可怕的选择,一个会影响他的生活 - 他的死亡 - 永远。

但是,谁想要他死了吗?为什么他是有针对性的邪恶力量?即使Geraldine -死,爱它 - 没有以发生了什么线索。

Leo座的对真理的探索带他到最惊人的地方,并提出了挑战,甚至比死亡更他:保护从一个可怕的命运他的家人和他最好的朋友。

您可以在www.amazon.com购买或直接在我的网站www.jeromeparisse.com小说.

电子书:www.amazon.comwww.smashwords.com

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“身体交换” (BODY SWAP)



我的最新年轻成人小说出版了。这就是”身体交换” (BODY SWAP)。它作为电子书和平装书格式。

这里有一个关于简介的故事:

世界上第一个文字信息与对方浪漫的冒险!

William 是十三岁,最近转移到与他的父母叫Fulton一个小镇。他的姐姐Estelle一年前死于意外,他的母亲深深的悲痛中。在他的新故乡,William会见Pat,一个男孩谁爱大词和公司需要。忽然,William收到来自名为Stephanie寻求帮助一个未知的发送者的手机短信。两个男孩起初一惊,然后半信半疑,当在短信小雨Stephanie告诉他们她在附近医院昏迷。她说,她是在她的身体漂浮,需要他们的帮助进入回来。

最初怀疑的,William和Pat成为兴趣,并决定是否Stephanie说的是实话。他们设法追踪到重症监护室,在那里果然,他们发现在医院昏迷Stephanie并获得录取。在他们一筹莫展有关如何做Stephanie年底要求两个朋友在一个叫Doris呼吁女性心灵,帮助他们进入她的身体Stephanie回来。出现一个灾难性的混淆,然而,William最终被困在Stephanie的身体和关闭自己的了。

在Stephanie的身体里,William的经历困难,有时甚至幽默的情况。他学习的事情女孩一起生活,从不受欢迎的方法,以胸衣和高跟鞋。形势变得更加绝望Pat时与萧蔷爱上!

William和Pat拟订陷入各自的机构和Stephanie回William的计划,但时间是至关重要的,时间已经不多了。孩子们面临的挑战和满足真棒意想不到的敌人,同时发现在背后Estelle的死亡秘密。

网站:http://www.jeromeparisse.com/bodyswap.htm

购买平装本形式在Amazon或上AmazonSmashwords它电子书

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Pig Island, by Mo Hayder


Mo Hayder at her worst! I’ve read several of her novels now. Some are really good, others really bad. Pig Island belongs to the latter category. What a disappointment! I won’t even attempt to write a synopsis of the story, there is not enough to tell. But I will try to say why I didn’t like it. Here we go: 1) The start of the book is really promising, but then it turns into nothing. In fact, very little happens in the whole book. 2) Gratuitous gore is not good writing. In the novel, thirty people get blown up by a maniac. Hayder could have used this to show her writing skills; instead, she wastes precious space in repetitive descriptions of body parts. 3) There is a twist at the end, but I saw it coming from the beginning of the book, and trust me, I’m not good at predicting twists. 4) The main character is boring, unrealistic in his obsessions, and – that’s an understatement – impossible to like or care for. I could go on, but I’ll stop here. Enough said. I’ll give Hayder’s novels a rest for a while.

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