Monthly Archives: December 2013

The Book of the Dead

I wished The Book of the Dead, by Douglas Preston & Lincoln Child, for Christmas and I got it. I’ve read other books by Preston & Child, all under the series Pendergast.

When I read the first book, The Cabinet of Curiositie, from the Pendergast-series, I became an addict. After that I read Brimstone, then Still Life With Crows, now The Book of the Dead.

Pendergast is a very unique character, something I’ve never “met” in a book. He’s extremely intelligent. He’s pale, quiet, cool, strong, a little bit weirdo, and I like him. He is a very abnormal agent and many people are confused when thet meet him.

Yes, these books contain violence, twisted and sick minds, horrible crimes. Yes, these books are fascinating, up to every little detail. The Book of the Dead also has many interesting details about the history of Egypt. I have no idea if these details are true, but, anyhow, these details are intriguing. In The Book of the Dead there’s also family issues, a lot of resentment and rancor between brothers, that are not easy to solve. There’s also some supernatural elements. All these elements, and many more, packed in an awesome package.

I read 635 pages in just two days and when the book ended, I would have wanted to read more. That’s gotta tell you something.

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The Hobbit – The Desolation of Smaug

This was something my son had waited the whole year. The Hobbit – The Desolation of Smaug. Yesterday we went to see the movie and the movie theatre was really full, I say, a lot of people in there. We were prepared, the movie was about to last 2 hours and 41 minutes.

In the Hobbit movies, as well as in The Lord of the Rings movies, all the details are magnificent. Costumes, setup, make-up, everything. Visually these movies are remarkable. So many things that I couldn’t imagine, I have no such imagination. Luckily someone else has.

These movies are also very dark and gloomy, there’s no sun or light. In The Hobbit – The Desolation of Smaug there’s one scene where Bilbo climbs to a top of a huge tree, sees the sun and dozens of butterflies fly around him. That’s the most bright and happy moment of the movie, but it only lasts for a few moments.

As the movie got on, I spotted many familiar actors, even behind heavy make-up. There was Mikael Presbrandt (my absolute favourite Swedish actor) as Beorn and Stephen Fry as the Master of Laketown. And Smaug, the adorable Benedict Cumberbatch. Well, we didn’t see him, obviosly, because he is a dragon in this movie, but I knew that it was his voice.

Then there’s the lenght of these movies. They all last almost three hours, as so did this Hobbit too. In the middle of the movie I got a little tired and I had some difficulties staying awake. The story moved ahead quite slowly. When the movie got towards the end, it had more action and got more interesting. My son was thrilled, he loved the movie, and I was happy for that.

All in all, a good movie with plenty of beautiful details to see. Now we just have to wait another year to see how the story ends…

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Merry Christmas!

Soon I’ll tell you my opinion about The Hobbit – The Desolation of Smaug. I’m going to see it after Christmas, with my son. But now, I want to wish you all a very merry, tasty, peaceful, happy Christmas full of good movies and books!

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The Map of Lost Memories

The Map of Lost Memories, by Kim Fay, has an interesting and exotic theme. The is a heroine seeking an a treasure of ancient Khmer civilization in Cambodia. She, Irene Blum, feels disappointed and betrayed when she doesn’t get the job she deserves. It is obvious that Irene is passed over because she is a woman. The main force in this book is Irene’s need to show to others that she is good and to restore her reputation as a professional, that’s why she want’s to find a significant archaeological discovery. As the story goes, other things come along, family issues, secrets, corruption and more. A lot of fascinating entities and details, so the story must be good, right?

The book is well written, beautiful language and full of well described moments. Still, there’s something missing. I think that the book was long-winded. It didn’t fill my expectations and I was expecting quite a lot. All the elements were there, all the interesting details and exotic places and scenes. Treasure hunting, that’s nothing new, but in this book I was waiting for it to be handled differently and freshly. Somehow I didn’t feel the story that way.

Someone, surely many, will disagree with me about this book. To me, disappointment. To someone else, a great reading experience. I will not miss this book. Surely I will forget it quite soon.

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1st to Die

James Patterson’s books are, to me, somehow bland. I choose these books when I want to read something relatively easy, a little bit entertaining and I want to read it fast. Patterson’s books are those books that you forget after you’ve read them.

1st to Die tells about a group of women who set up a “murder club”, a police officer, a doctor, a lawyer and a journalist. They start to solve a series of crimes, a serial killer is murdering newlyweds. At the same time the main character, the police officer Lindsay Boxer is suffering  from health problems, falls in love, loses the guy and gets well.

There is something very stereotyped about this book. I can’t properly explain it, but it’s something about the characters of the books. 1st to Die is a forgettable novel, it doesn’t stand out from the large group of other thriller novels. Of course I’m always pleased when the protagonist in a book (or a movie) is a woman, a heroine.

If you want to read a good thriller novel, in my opinion, this isn’t necessarily the right book. But it’s readable and it doesn’t have any annoying features. I guess that’s something.

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