Sunday, April 05, 2009

A Sunday Review

TV this week:

  • Heroes: "Into Asylum" - Whatever the producers have done, they've managed to recapture a lot of what made this show great originally. I wanted more Hiro and Ando, but even without them this was an ok episode.
  • Ghost Hunters: "Club Dead" - The first location, the Cuba Club, was very nice. The flashlight evidence was (if not faked) nicely compelling. Sounds never convince me, though, so the other evidence was nothing. The clinic under renovation is spooky in the daylight. I like how the "meat grinder" turned out to be a sterilizer.

This week's comic book related review is Girl Genius. I've been reading this one since it was a print comic, and enjoying it all along. I was delighted when it went to the web, because that meant I was certain to get it regularly. Three times a week instead of whenever they managed to produce an issue. And, to make it even better, we'd still get print collections.

My delight was not misplaced. The comic has been consistently excellent, and the story has continued to move along nicely. The collections are wonderful, particularly the hardcovers.

As for the story, it's about a girl named Agatha who has consistently failed at the university. But when a strange event causes her to duck down an alley, her life changes completely. The story slides through a steampunk Europe where geniuses are called "Sparks" and are able to alter reality. Throw in lost heroes, the remnants of a devastating war, and a talking cat... and you have everything a girl like me could want in a comic book.

My library book this week was Lavinia by Ursula K Le Guin. If you already know the tale of Aeneas, you know who Lavinia is and why there was a war over her. If you don't know the Aeneid, don't fret. There's plenty of context in the story to give you all you need to know. This is a book from the point of view of a minor character in a poem, and the strange thing about it is that the character knows that she's fiction. It's a jolting kind of read, to recognize her spirituality is all about acceptance, including accepting that she isn't real. Not that her fictionality is a focus of the book. On the contrary, the reader is drawn into Lavinia's world, which is based on the world of Italy before it became Italy and before Rome existed. It's a very good telling of how people may have lived and worshipped in those days, and covers the way they dealt with their neighbors and strangers as well. And it's a love story, though we never really get to know Aeneas. Certainly a fascinating book. I checked out this book because of this review.

Agatha Christie this week was The ABC Murders from 1936. This is a very different mystery, with what appears to be a straightforward solution. Christie plays well on the readers' expectations, and at the end we only want to know why. Again, I didn't see the reveal coming, and yet all the clues were there. I just don't think with my little grey cells like Poirot. I hate to say it, but I'm more like Hastings. *shudder*