Reviews by drouhardte
Human Spies
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This is a much more realistic, scathing view of spying (and moreso of bureaucracy and management) than Le Carre's previous Smiley novels. If you're looking for smooth operators and institutions that run them like clockwork, this is not your book. It could have felt like an angry internet post about a horrible previous employer, except for the truth, humor, and intrigue that still populate every page. I thoroughly enjoyed it, but had to start over at the beginning once I got halfway through and realized we were in a whole different ballgame with this one.
Does Justice to the Book
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Pratchett’s work really translates wonderfully to film. I suspect that the complexity and completeness of his world has threatened filmmakers in the past, but thus far there is a 100% success rate in the conversions. While I found Hogfather to be a little more immersing (there were more fantastical elements pushing that particular story of Ankh-Morpork), Going Postal is a very welcome addition to the slowly growing Pratchett-on-film collection. It’s well-cast and convincingly acted (special honors to Claire Foy and Ian Bonar for terrifically fun performances), and the story is, of course, wholly rewarding. There’s little not to enjoy here, from the introduction of the new communications technology (hint: mobile!) and the way that the business owner “plans” to implement it, to the thick layer of mucus that seems to be perpetually secreted from a particularly evil character’s skull. If you enjoy Douglas Adams, Terry Gilliam, or the wild and wacky film version of Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs, you’re probably already aware of Pratchett. If not, get started!
Fast and Fun
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This was such a relief after my horrible experience with Henning Mankell's 'The Man from Beijing.' Colfer has a complete story here with all the connections - the ones you can see coming and quite a few that you can't. He's clever without being obnoxious, his protagonist is very witty (allowing us to hitch a ride with an otherwise probably difficult-to-associate-with character), and his imagination vivid. The noir here fits right into the story, allowing us to believe the unbelievable and root for the ethically questionable. A fun, fast-paced summer read that'll have you scratching your head a few times over.
Sneak Attack
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This is one of the albums I pull out if a gathering is preemptively losing steam. Within the first few seconds people are tapping their toes, slapping their hands on their knees, feeling reinvigorated and ready for another board game. They're great songs if you want message, they're great songs if you just want a song, they're done in a great way, and they won't leave your head anytime soon.
zzz
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My wife found this film satisfying, but I was bored out of my gourd. Very little happens. What does happen is difficult to go along with, which either is a result of, or results in the difficulty I experienced in trying to care about the characters.