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Book Review – So Long and Thanks For All The Fish By Douglas Adams

Part four of the series and what was intended to be the end?

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What does Goodreads say?

SO LONG, AND THANKS FOR ALL THE FISH.
Just as Arthur Dent’s sense of reality is in its dickiest state he suddenly finds the girl of his dreams. He finds her in the last place in the Universe in which he would expect to find anything at all, but which 3,976,000 people will find oddly familiar. They go in search of God’s Final Message to His Creation and, in a dramatic break with tradition, actually find it.

The fourth instalment of the series is where it starts to go downhill, don’t get me wrong there are still moments of sheer comic genius but you can tell that the author really doesn’t seem to want to be writing it.  It starts off well enough but the thread of the plot become increasingly erratic as the various strands diverge and in some cases end rather abruptly.  You are left with the feeing of complete confusion and a little disappointment.

This is a short review as a) it is a short book and b) well like the book you are left feeling you don’t really know much more than you did at the end of the last book.

After 5 stars for the first three parts of this series the 3 out of 5 I am giving this might seem harsh and if this had been written by a different author I might have marked it higher but because it is part of this series it has to be judged against them as well as on its own merits.

 

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WIP Wednesday – More Rejections

Just a quick post today as I am getting for the monster’s birthday which is tomorrow as I write this but today as you read it.  I am hoping he loves his presents and I can get some footage of him opening a present in the morning and his cake in the afternoon.

I am determined to keep positive in the face of adversity at the minute so the latest rejection has not phased me, infact I was positively delighted by it!

No, I have not lost my final marble, let me explain.  I decided that I should as they say reach for the moon in the hope of ending up amongst the stars, so I submitted my story to what I consider one of the best Sci-Fi magazines out there, (should you be part of a different Sci-Fi mag don’t take it personally I am sure I will get to you) this is an award winning magazine so as a totally unpublished writer I fully expected to be rejected.  Now let me tell you why I was so thrilled, firstly I did not receive the form email, I actually got a personal response from the editor then as a bonus he pointed out that although my story was not what they were looking for at the minute I had actually not got the right format they like for submissions and he provided a link showing how they like work submitted for future reference.  I want you to bear in mind I was physically shaking last week when I hit the submission button, though why I am not sure it is not as if they were going to come to my work and scream in my face I was rubbish and never to write again but I guess that is what nerves do to you.  I could get really down this is the second rejection for this story but I really like this story and believe in it, for me it is a case of finding the right place for it and I will keep submitting it until I find a market or until I decide to use it in a different way as part of an anthology or collection.

With reference to the competition I mentioned last week I did message them for more clarification on certain points and do feel a little more comfortable about their responses, the reason for not dates announced was they expected to have to extend the deadline (I am guessing to get enough entries to cover the prize money) I have not decided if I am going to enter yet mainly now as the story I was writing took a path I am not sure is right for the competition but we shall see, I may take a chance with it knowing even if it gets no where I have another piece for submission to other areas.

Okay better go get stuff organised and let the dogs out, then towel them off as it is throwing it down here once again and I am sure the fox has been back in the garden judging from the smell of the spaniel when he comes back in.

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Tellybox Tuesday – Death of an Icon

Television

This week we return to a programme I featured a couple of weeks ago and that is Autopsy.  The subject of the show I watched this week was Marilyn Monroe and I have to confess the conspiracy continues as the first five minutes of the show failed to record! I started watching this ready to scream at the television even though I do know this show is good at sticking to facts and is not one I would expect to be part of any possible cover up but given they have to work with the available documents I was not convinced we would get any closer to the truth of her final hours.

The conclusion he reached was accidental overdose as a result of her doctor prescribing her drugs that should not have been given at the same time especially to someone with the insomnia issues she suffered.  While this might fit to evidence and he does make a convincing argument it does not totally convince me nor does it explain everything.  Why did the maid call her psychiatrist before the doctor, why did the both arrive so quickly?  Why did it take to medical professionals over an hour to call emergency services? Okay they say they were in shock but an hour and if they were covering up their own complicity why not remove one of the two medicines which should not be prescribed together?  He rules out foul play due to lack of evidence in the autopsy report but I have to say that does not really mean a lot as far as I am concerned as I am pretty sure that the coroner would have omitted anything that he was told to omit after all this did possibly involve the President and his brother.

I don’t think we will ever really know exactly how Marilyn died and I don’t think we want to.  For 50 years people have shouted conspiracy and cover up, the rumours do not die and no explanation has ever been produced that covers all the facts, like her beauty the mystery of her death seems destined to last.

Now the writing part and it fits rather well into plot points, the facts fit numerous scenarios as long as you only show the ones that fit. the minute you throw in a random plot point then it becomes more difficult to sell the story you want to.  It does however give the opportunity to give differing solutions but in fiction the reader prefers a firm final solution.

 

Film

Well actually this week we are talking theatre instead.  As you will know from my various social media sites and the vlog the Saturday before last I went to the local theatre the LBT to see The Mist in the Mirror adapted from the book by Susan Hill, author of The Woman in Black. Firstly I am going to share the trailer they produced for this production…

And I am going to share a far more professional review than mine which it really is worth taking a quick peek at before I start….

http://www.independent.co.uk/arts-entertainment/theatre-dance/reviews/the-mist-and-the-mirror-oldham-coliseum-theatre-woman-in-black-sequel-doesnt-take-itself-too-seriously-10040523.html

Now the first thing I want to comment on is the theatre experience I love going to see plays but this one was the first I had gone to see alone and it was lovely to note I was not the only person who decided just because their friends weren’t up for it they weren’t going to miss out.  In some ways it is a liberating experience going alone as there is no one commenting during the play however the downside is there is no one to discuss it with after, well unless like me you have a blog and a wonderful audience. Like the previous production I had seen by this company they mix live acting with film using a minimum of scenery. In fact this is the trailer for Hound of the Baskervilles the previous production I had seen

I really wish there was a way for you to experience these but I cannot find anywhere that has the performances themselves recorded, The Mist in the Mirror has far more in the way of humour than The Woman in Black and if I had to pick fault with it, it would be the same issue I had The Woman in Black and that would be the ending. I write ghost stories and to write an actually scary ghost story is hard, it is about creating a tension and suspense, a questioning of our own senses and is not a form suited for a simple straight ending in some ways.  Now a few people did jump in the audience at certain points, I was not one of them, and I understand that time constraints also play a part in adapting a novel to film or play, (and I confess I have yet to read either novel so I reserve the right to change my mind lol) but I felt the ending was rather abrupt and was a little predictable.

However overall I really did enjoy it and will certainly be going to see any future productions this company put on.

 

Youtube

Okay I will let you watch the TED Talks video before I discuss it not really writing related this one…

Okay they have great voices and the song is moving but that is as far as it goes with me.

Dannielle Hadley – Accomplice to Murder

Debra Lee Brown – First Degree Murder

Theresa Battles – Accomplice to Murder

Diane Metzger – Helped Murder her husband’s ex-wife

Thelma Nichols – Murder (beat a woman to death)

etc.

Now I am sure that some of the women have stories of horrific upbringings and maybe were even unwilling accomplices I do not know how horrific a crime a 14 year old girl would need to commit in the States to get life as the system is different here, but I think we can all honestly say if they were a group of men with the same records no one would care if they could sing or not.  I know I sound unsympathetic but the saying goes if you can’t do the time don’t do the crime and at least three of the women obviously were not bothered by someone else being denied a life as I say accomplice can have many definitions but beating a woman to death has only one.

I love watching crime programmes, I am fascinated by what makes people tick and I do believe in the right circumstances (or should that be the wrong ones) everyone is capable of killing another, if you think I am lying just imagine someone is choking the life out of your loved one right in front of you, your partner, your child or grandchild are you telling me you wouldn’t do whatever it took to stop them and save the one you love?  We would know there would be consequences and you might argue that you would not be thinking of those at the time, but if you did would it stop you acting? I think not, I have no doubt that these women may be sorry but that does not bring back the people that are dead or take away the pain of the families and a very big part of me thinks until they can do that they have no right to feel sorry for themselves.

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Book Review – Life, The Universe and Everything By Douglas Adams

On to the third part of the Hitchhiker’s series…

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First of all the Goodreads summary…

LIFE, THE UNIVERSE AND EVERYTHING.
In consequence of a number of stunning catastrophes, Arthur Dent is surprised to find himself living in a hideously miserable cave on prehistoric Earth. However, just as he thinks that things cannot possibly get any worse, they suddenly do. He discovers that the Galaxy is not only mind-boggling big and bewildering but also that most of the things that happen in it are staggeringly unfair.

First I have to say while I had read the first two books numerous times I realised that I really had neglected reading these later parts of the series.  I read them years ago but they just did not grab me like the others had and rereading them now I understand why.  Adams is of course witty throughout but the story-lines become increasingly complex, and while I did enjoy it still I can see how the younger me got distracted.

I almost thing it would have been better if this and the next three books had been put together however I understand why they weren’t firstly the size of book and secondly the publishers would have wanted to make as much money as possible.  I do think that this could never have been the final book, there would always have needed to be another instalment. While I did not feel as invested in this book as much as the previous two there are nonetheless some moments of sheer genius and I will certainly pass it on to my son when he is older.

The rating for this is slightly lower than the first two with 4.5 out of 5.

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