Sunday, November 29, 2009

A Sunday Review

TV this week:

  • Being Human: "Pilot" - Hubby-Eric and I finally got a chance to sit and watch this after having watched the entire first season earlier this year. And it's pretty good. The cast changes were mostly not a big deal. Mitch is still Mitch. Annie is... ok, Annie is completely different. I see her character traits there, but the actress in the pilot is very different in almost all respects. Still, the whole thing was very good, and I'm glad it went to series.
  • Ghost Lab: "Shadowman" - The GDC building is a pretty neat-looking place. It looks like they are covering the "renovations can cause hauntings" theory with it. They don't really test the theory at all, but I'm not sure you can. Again, I want a thermal camera to play with. I don't want to hunt ghosts with it, just play with it. The second place was a cool little antique mall. I'm not fond of the places, but they do make for a really neat ghost story.
  • Heroes: "Thanksgiving" - Hiro at the circus. The Petrelli family has it out. The Bennets display family love. Typical of this season, although Hiro's growing spine is nice.

This week's comic book related review is Hikaru No Go Vol 17 by Yumi Hotta and Takeshi Obata. There are 23 volumes of this Manga, but I would have been satisfied if this had finished the story. There was a conclusion, and settling, at the end of this volume that made reading it immensely pleasing. True, there is a lot more that could be told, but the end of this volume manages to pull together a lot of the threads and tie up quite a few loose ends. I wouldn't be at all surprised if Game 148 was originally meant to end the series. I'm not sure what the final six volumes will do, but I have to say that I'm really glad I read this series. And yeah, I'll pick up the final six, and hope that it doesn't go on too far and detract from the wonder that went before.

My library book this week was Goth Girl Rising by Barry Lyga. As I said a couple of weeks ago, The Astonishing Adventures of Fanboy and Goth Girl kind of blew my mind, but Lyga wasn't even started yet. This dark look into the heart of a teenage girl is so true, so complete, so incredibly real that I wanted to throw it across the room and I couldn't stop reading it. Admittedly, my life was heaven compared to Kyra's, but I was suicidal from elementary school until well into college, and Lyga has somehow captured in a single book what took me over 20 years to work out. I loved Kyra's letters to Neil Gaiman, and although I knew right away that she wasn't sending them (more of a dear diary thing) I wondered if Neil actually gets those kinds of letters. And, like Bendis with the previous book, I wonder if Neil has read this book. This is really really good stuff. Deep and painful reading that has the potential to be light and fluffy on the surface. Again, Highly Recommended.

Agatha Christie this week was The Under Dog and Other Stories from 1951, a collection of nine stories only released as this collection in the United States.
  • The Under Dog - Poirot is asked to investigate a murder by a woman who clearly doesn't want him to investigate. This is a good one, with plenty of twists and turns, and the reader gradually is let into the thinking of Poirot in such a way that I *almost* had it. I'm not even sure if I got it before Poirot's reveal or not. A mostly satisfying story, with a few too many subplots.
  • The Plymouth Express - A murdered woman is found on a train, and Poirot comes in to investigate. I got who the murderer was, more or less, but didn't figure out all the details. Bummer.
  • The Affair at the Victory Ball - A society double murder mystifies London, but is easy work for Poirot. I GOT THIS ONE! As soon as I read the description of the events of the night, I knew exactly who the murderer was. Unfortunately, I didn't quite figure out the motive. But hey, I solved a Poirot mystery! Yay me!
  • The Market Basing Mystery - On vacation with Inspector Japp, Poirot and Hasting get called to a murder scene. My first thought on reading the set up was correct, but I rejected it too quickly. Christie has used a similar set up before. Or maybe written after, I'm not sure.
  • The Lemesurier Inheritance - A family curse claims the first-born sons before they can inherit. The clincher for this one was the final few paragraphs. Ha! Good ol' Poirot.
  • The Cornish Mystery - A very ordinary woman married to a dentist comes to Poirot with the belief that her husband is poisoning her. Another one of Poirot's failures of timing. These stories show that he isn't quite perfect, even if he is very clever.
  • The King of Clubs - Poirot is called to investigate a murder by a Prince. Very simple story in a lot of ways, and the whole thing played out nicely.
  • The Submarine Plans - I read an expanded version of this story in "Murder in the Mews" so I knew the solution ahead of time. It was still fun to read it.
  • The Adventure of the Clapham Cook - Poirot is called upon to find a missing cook. Wow. I wasn't expecting that one to go where it went. And I didn't even come close to figuring it out.
A nice solid little anthology of Poirot stories, all very short except the first. I think two of the stories were either expanded into other stories I've read, or were based on other stories. And I finally got a Poirot tale before the reveal.