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September 19, 2005

Angels & Demons - Dan Brown

Angels & Demons - Dan Brown

When I started reading this novel, I almost did a double-take, confused if maybe I'd accidently packed "The Da Vinci Code" again by accident for my two week holiday in the sun. A bizarre murder by a religious nut; Robert Langdon being called in as a symbology expert; it's all so familiar. And yet, this was the original book in which our hero appears, to try and unravel an ancient trail of clues with only his encyclopaedic memory for codes, architecture and art history to help him. Well, there is of course a pretty foreign sidekick too, this one being Italian.

The book races along amiably, the plot being that an ancient cult of scientists called the Illuminati have stolen an anti-matter bomb that will destroy Vatican City at midnight. Robert Langdon only has hours to solve the clues to try and save four kidnapped cardinals. They will be killed, one every hour, and the oocation of the next murder will be obliquely signposted by something at the site of the previous one. During this time, the other important cardinals in the Catholic church are trying to elect a new Pope, unaware of the drama unfolding.

Does Langdon save the cardinals? Does the bomb explode? Do we learn a lot of history of Bernini's architecture we didn't really care about? The answers are no, yes and maybe, but not necessarily in that order.

This is perfect holiday fiction. Short chapters, multiple cliff-hangers, enough to make your brain work a little, but not too much. The appalling prose is still here unfortunately, the almost stupidly complex clues, and an unbelievable helicopter stunt too. But you will inevitably steam through it between your snorkelling and sunbathing, and be happy to come back for more next year. Come on Mr Brown, where is the third in this series?

Posted by se71 at 03:51 PM | Comments (2)

September 13, 2005

Sin City - The Hard Goodbye - Frank Miller

This is a short review of the graphic novel, not the movie, which I haven't seen yet. (Note: Now I have)

It's a violent gangster story, drawn in stylised black and white. Marv is the hero, trying to avenge a murdered prostitute, by torturing and killing a trail of people in the fictional town of Sin City. This city is corrupt from the top down, and this giant of a man is it's natural inhabitant. He's not too bright, is on medication for mental problems, and often forgets to take it, has the strength of an elephant and loves his dear old mother.

This is a tale that has been told many times, and would probably not be as famous if not for the fantastic artwork. Evrything is dark and gritty, simple and bold, reflecting the story and the environment perfectly.

It seems a shame to devour something like this in a single sitting, but it takes less then an hour, and once you start you won't want to stop.

Posted by se71 at 02:55 PM | Comments (0)