Sunday 20 November 2011

Minor Gripes of the Week- A Mild Rant

It's a mixture of stuff that I've stored away in the garage. Really of no use to anybody but myself.
John Le Carre? Cold War's over, old boy.
35mm Photographer's Handbook? The world's gone digital.
Esquire magazine from 2005? The fashions went out of fashion about 20 minutes after that issue hit the news-stands.
Vanity Fair from 2008? May as well be from 1908.
Screenplay to "Thunderball"? A very poor photocopy that's almost impossible to read.
A book on fountain pens. Fountain pens???In the age of the iPhone?
See? Of no use to anybody.

And in case you're wondering, yes, these figures of Solid Snake are mine. He's the hero of the "Metal Gear Solid" game series on the Playstation. The first game was released in 1999 and it was amazing. Very atmospheric and tension-filled.
By the time the fourth game ("Metal Gear Solid 4-Guns of the Patriots") had been released, I felt as though I had grown older with this guy and it was heart-wrenching to see him go through this mission. I kept reminding myself that it was just a PS3 game, but the writing, the voice acting, and the graphics helped create this incredible world. There were times when the hair would stand up on the back of my neck, there were times when my heart would race, and there were times when I would get choked up. This game was a greater emotional experience than any film made in the first decade of the 21st Century. Seriously.

My wife didn't like the stamp I made. She said it looked like a crucifix. I told her I was aiming for a lower-case 't'. She said it looked very "Se7en". She and I say that when we're out and about and we see something creepy or seedy. That was a great film, btw. Best crime investigation film since "Chinatown".


  1. I like the stamp. very full of character! (:

    Also, finally got around to reading John le Carre - a 1963 copy of "The Spy Who Came In From The Cold". Pretty depressing ending, I was sort of expecting to to be more like a 007 book. Was a good read, though - are there other le Carre books you'd recommend to a first-time reader?

    And regarding your book theives - had to have been kids; I kinda doubt that a serious burglar would cart off 2 boxes of books as potential booty. It's quite a shock to the system to have your security breached though. Glad to see you've beefed up the perimiter and electrified the fences. :D

  2. Hey Ted, No, no, no. John Le Carre positively despised Bond, referring to the character of 007 as 'the ultimate prostitute' in an interview back in the '60s. Alec Leamas was a very downbeat character, probably as opposite to Bond as you could get. "The Looking-Glass War" by Le Carre was pretty good, but I read it back in the '80s when I was but a young lad.
    Try some of Len Deighton's work. "The Ipcress File" was a great book. The book in my blog pic above, "The Honourable Schoolboy", is the second in a trilogy which features George Smiley, who appears in "The Spy Who Came In From The Cold". The first book in that trilogy is "Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy". Perhaps best to start with that one. The third book is called "Smiley's People". But be warned. Le Carre's books are more of a character study and their pace can be a little slow for some.
    If you're still on a Bond kick, then read "Casino Royale". The 2006 movie was very close to the book (thankfully), and then move on to the next one, "Live And Let Die", which was nothing like the movie (thankfully).

    And yeah, I think you're right. It had to be some kids looking to hit paydirt. In my garage, ha!

  3. I'm deep into Le Carre but not read "The Honourable Schoolboy" yet. On the list and interested in Hong Kong setting. Ever read Charles Cumming's 'Typhoon'? Also set in HK and excellent.

    I loved "The Spy Who Came In From The Cold" book and movie.

    The Cold War's never over for Le Carre and he may just be right once more...

    1. Haven't read "Typhoon". Another one goes onto the list. Have to take another crack at the Smiley/Karla trilogy. I think I'm the right age for them now. It only took 30+ years!

  4. Yes, I want to do the trilogy when I free up some reading time.