Sunday, 8 August 2010

How Can It Be Sunday Evening Already?

This weekend's cinematic viewing consisted of JUST ANOTHER LOVE STORY and WELCOME TO THE DOLLHOUSE - both of which I can heartily recommend.

JUST ANOTHER LOVE STORY is a Danish thriller - a sort of film noir version of the romantic comedy WHILE YOU WERE SLEEPING. At the start of the film we are introduced to the main character in a very SUNSET BOULEVARD way as he lies on the pavement in the rain, his blood mixing with the rainwater. Jonas - a family man with an ordinary, boring life as husband, father and crime-scene photographer is involved in a car crash which puts millionaire's daughter Julia into a coma. Jonas goes to the hospital to visit her and Julia's family assume he is Sebastian - the boyfriend she met in Hanoi (and who - this happens in the first minute so no spoilers here - she may possibly have shot, before fleeing the scene). When Julia wakes up, she's lost her sight and can't remember anything about her trip to the Far East and Jonas allows the deception to continue. Very twisty (very, very twisty, with lots of little tricks and traps), nightmarish and dark.

WELCOME TO THE DOLLHOUSE is also dark, but it's also very funny. Achingly, bitingly funny. Eleven-year old Dawn Wiener - geeky and with absolutely no fashion sense suffers through Junior High where she is called Wiener Dog and Dogface and where her locker is the only one decorated with insults, amongst rows of pristine lockers. At home, Dawn's nerdy older brother is only interested in getting to a good college, and her perfect little sister spends all her time pirouetting in a tutu. And guess which daughter their mother blatantly obviously prefers. And then, to make matters worse, Dawn gets a crush on a hunky (but terribly thick) High School student, and is sure she has a chance with him. Unsettling, touching and bitterly funny, this is like a darker version of LITTLE MISS SUNSHINE.

So, with the Sunday film reviews over, back to the book news.

First of all, the lovely Shari Low of the Daily Record reviews new books by Paul Johnston, Lin Anderson and Caro Ramsay.

Talking of Paul Johnston, Martin Edwards has a post on his excellent blog, describing Johnston - quite rightly - as "a writer of genuine quality." I would dearly love to see a new Quintillian Dalrymple book.

A couple of videos from the Edinburgh International Book Festival - first of all Ian Rankin on why he loves the festival, and then an interview with Quintin Jardine.

Will any of the international acclaim, plaudits and finance for a film version of Alexander McCall Smith's Mma Ramotswe make its way back to Botswana?

A couple more reviews - firstly a couple for M C Beaton as Spinetingler reviews DEATH OF A WITCH, and Diary of an Anxious Reader reviews THERE GOES THE BRIDE. And 100 Degrees at Midnight on Philip Kerr's A QUIET FLAME.

More from Aly Monroe on the real life inspiration for Peter Cotton.

And finally, as I settle down to watch the third and final of the new Sherlock Holmes TV series, here's Steven Moffat on Arthur Conan Doyle's villains. And, apparently, Sherlock Holmes' style is the latest thing amongst fashionistas. So does this mean I should go out and buy a pipe?


  1. What a wonderful commentary by Rankin about the Edinburgh Book Festival, and how wonderful to see people truly loving books! Thanks for the Caro Ramsay review, you and your Dad are who turned me onto her writing, here. I just finished Absolution and it's phenomenal. Another great Glasgow writer! :-)


  2. Bobbie - me and my Dad are very happy that you like Caro's books!