August 20th, 2017


Book Reviews: The Grass Crown + Fortune’s Favourites + various 1980s Teen Novels

The Glass Crown by Colleen McCullough
This 2nd book in the ‘Masters of Rome’ saga is padded out and full of nattering. It is dull and far from captivating. Friends turned rivals, Gaius Marius and Sulla, continue their bad life choices for maximum dramatic effect.

Loads and loads of characters do ill-advised things and Gaius Marius becomes deeply fearful of the ambitions of a young Caesar and plans to bring him to order. There are chapters upon chapters of dangerous statements by worthless idiots, massive sexism, fake moralism, ideological programming and the ugly fallout of the moral problems of Rome.

Slaves are ignored, the Roman religion is ignored, Sulla’s particularly disturbing behaviour is ignored and people speak of each other in tones of condemnation. Precocious brat kids tantrum and tattletale. Things go counter intention to young Caesar’s dreams and purpose. This was way too long and dull and one doesn’t care about the identity formation of young Caesar or see why Gaius Marius feels threatened by this snotty kid. This 1991 book was lame.

Best Lines:
“Consider yourself divorced as of this moment!”

“Find another home. You don’t belong in mine.”

“He doesn’t know what he wants. Or perhaps he does know, but dare not be it and want it.”

“This divorce. His cruelty to you. It isn’t being received well.”

“You will never leave this house again for any purpose whatsoever.”

“No Roman army has ever marched upon Rome.”
“No Roman army was ever so provoked.”

“Muttering prayers in a language none of us understands anymore.”

Fortune’s Favourites by Colleen McCullough
This 1993 novel is the 3rd in the ‘Masters of Rome’ saga. Caesar, Pompey and Crassus begin to form their interoperable Triumvirate. Meanwhile the very young Brutus and Mark Antony make cameos. Also the wretched, degenerate Sulla unleashes his last vile acts. The doomed Spartacus leads his revolt and this was another long, turgid tale of loads and loads of characters. Caesar is wonderful, perfect and a prince among men. This was not good.

Best Lines:
“This creature of no significance.”

“You’re not good enough for me.”

“She was important to no one.”

“My little plate-licker.”

Recall the ‘Make Me A Star’ series. There were 6 books and I read 4: ‘Prime Time’, ‘Take Two...And Rolling!’, ‘Wanting It All’ and ‘On The Move’. They were okay.

Then there were the ‘Pratt Twins’ books. I read 2: ‘The Banana Split Affair’ and ‘The Hot Fudge Sunday Affair’. They were forgettable

Read 6 books of the 18 ‘Sisters’ books: ‘Threes A Crowd’, ‘Too Late For Love’, ‘The Kiss’, ‘Secrets At Seventeen’, ‘Always A Pair’ and ‘On Thin Ice’. They were okay.

I recall the ‘Bad News Ballet’ aka ‘Scrambled Legs’ books. I read 6 of 10: ‘The Terrible Tryouts’, ‘Battle of the Bunheads’, ‘Stupid Cupids’, ‘Who Framed Mary Bubnick?’, ‘Blubberina’ and ‘Save D.A.D’. They were terrible.

I also read one of the many ‘Couples’ books: ‘Fire And Ice’. It was okay.

Trailers, Quotes and Stuff

‘The Vault’ clip
What is James Franco up to? What’s in the vault? There is moral turpitude. I am interested.

‘The Last Ship’ promo

‘Thor Ragnarok’ trailer
Doctor Strange and his bizarre US accent annoys. There is synth music, stuff blowing up, Hulk and no Sif. Loki annoys. Where is Odin? There is stupid make-up, a helmet and the rainbow bridge.

Best Line:
“I have dire plans for destiny.”

‘How The World Made America’ promo

Made gluten free chocolate peanut butter cupcakes. They are mmm.

I will review ’The Magicians’ season 2, ‘Belle’ and ‘The Belko Experiment’.

I won’t be reviewing ‘The Mist’ TV show.

‘Sovereign Silk’; the third ‘Silken Magic’ book has finally been published!

Saw some of the ‘Marple’ ep ‘The Sittaford Mystery’. I’ve no idea what happened or why. Timothy Dalton was in it though.

Best Lines:
“Custody? It’s a larder you oaf!”

“His most recent fiancée.”

There is to be a ‘Licence To Drive’ remake?

Interesting info about upcoming ‘The X Files’ episodes.

An Obi-Wan movie? No!

I am interested in the casting of the season 6 baddie in ‘Arrow’.

‘3 News’ Quotes:
“A growing anti-tourist movement.”

“His casting out.”

‘Dr Phil’ Quote:
“The whipped cream thing.”

‘The Irish Times’ Quotes:
“Took back his criticism.”

“Treated their disagreements seriously.”

“Norm-shattering comment.”

The Eurovision of dead women.”

“Prone ladies.”

“It shows what was possible in its time.”

“When CG doesn’t reflect reality and physics and what’s possible.”

“Outrage, suspicion and hostility.”

“I am harm’s way.”

“Most squandered talent of his generation.”

“Becoming a life-long brand loyalist to the brands of her choice, perhaps even passing on this preference to her own peers and family.”

“Converting basic human needs into consumer wants.”


“Offensive to decency.”


“Rejected as credible.”

‘The Blackadder’ Quotes:
“Hate you and all your kind.”

“Both popes.”

“All 3 popes recommending your immediate excommunication.”

‘Hollyoaks’ Quotes:
“Not the useless mum they think I am.”

“Save your tears for some other mug!”

“If she turns on me as well.”

‘Caesar’s Women’ Quotes:
“Short hair is unintellectual.”

“Upstart trash.”

“I do not acknowledge either that union or its progeny-”

“I think that statement needs elucidating,”

“The worst of a decayed and degenerate lot.”

“Seen in a low tavern.”

“I spit on you, Caesar! I spit!”

“Brother of the trollop and uncle of the gutter-dirt.”
Scary Books

Movie Review: The Purge: Anarchy (2014)

Frank Grillo of ‘Prison Break’ stars in this dire sequel to the okay original. It is 2023 and united we purge. Why are people still outside 2 hours before the purge? A politician called Donald Talbot pontificates. The 1st film showed the purge from the POV of the upper-middle class, this shows it from the POV of the blue collar, mostly.

So much for social values with this new commonly shared ideology of an orgy of heathen perversity. A bickering couple bore. The rich do sinister activities. There is whining and this has the foetor of failure. People will meet their doom in a flurry of bad acting.

Rich sickos lurk and commit random acts of violence. Grillo is more or less playing the Punisher. There is even more bad acting and this was floridly ridiculous. All the characters (do we even learn their names?) are moaning energy sappers. This was cynical and people have implacable enmity towards decency.

Kiele Sanchez of ‘Lost’ is really annoying. There is a purging auction and an appearance by the Resistance. A character from the 1st film returns. Grillo plays a jackass and one doesn’t care about him or the fact that it is revealed that the purge is a giant con.

Best Lines:
“If you’re not purging, we advise you to get off the streets as quickly as possible.”

“I can hear you!”

“You sure? Make sure.”

“Need some protection tonight?”

“Hitting them in the face ain’t going to work no more.”

“Don’t piss me off bitch.”

“Run! Run! Faster!”
To Light The Way To Bed

Riverdale 1x08-1x11 + iZombie 2x12 Reviewed

The Outsiders
Who is the malign presence in Riverdale? The Blossoms want to mate Archie and Cheryl. Veronica talks too much, her eyebrows are OTT. Cheryl is without contrition. Archie looks dim. Alice rants. Skeet Ulrich lurks. Mr Blossom wears a flat cap and faces accumulating enmity. Archie’s dad employs child labour. Archie wants to bother a biker gang. This was uninspiring. Archie won’t shut up. Alice had a teen pregnancy? Alice throws the horrible Hal out of her house. Kevin’s boyfriend is a honey trap.

Best Lines:
“The Stepfords of Riverdale.”

“That is hardly appropriate.”

“Our maple empire.”

“Blew him off right in front of us.”

“Got you a good spot by the food.”

La Grande Illusion
Archie is dating Valerie, since when? WTF is SoDale? Veronica went to Spence aka Paltrow’s old school. Ethel Muggs bores. The Blossoms are like some weird cult. There is snow. Veronica’s dad ruined the Muggs clan. I thought Veronica said their clothes were seized. So why does she have loads of clothes and jewels? Veronica is patronising.

Archie is stupid. Alice and her useless husband feud. The Blossoms are obvious town villains. The Blossoms sent Veronica’s dad to jail? Cheryl threatens Archie for not liking her. There is bad acting and Archie has no identity, purpose or self image. I’m done with this show. I don’t care about Cheryl’s cruel egotism or life crisis.

Best Lines:
“Made her drink gutter water.”

“You hobo.”

“My claustrophobia acts up in small houses.”

“I’m done with you.”

The Lost Weekend
It’s Jughead’s birthday. Chuck and Cheryl plot. Betty freaks out and Molly Ringwald shows up as Archie’s mom. Skeet Ulrich lurks. Alice joins the school paper as an advisor. There is aggressive slicing. Archie and Jughead are sanctimonious and the least interesting characters on the show. Veronica is entitled and constantly appeased by her mother. Cheryl is awful. Veronica and Cheryl do a male gaze dance off for no reason.

What did Veronica’s mom do? Cheryl and her family are obviously evil. Why did Archie not go with his mom? Jughead is thankless. Cheryl and Chuck crash a party and cause a scene. There is no youthful, lustful eagerness. Archie’s mom bores. Jughead doesn’t like Kevin or Veronica. Why don’t Archie and co throw out the party crashers instead of literally playing Cheryl’s stupid game?

Veronica accuses Cheryl of incest. Veronica is impossibly privileged and unbearable. This was all banal blankness and unappetising shallowness. Jughead says Betty is only going out with him until Archie dates her. There is a fight. Alice was a Southside Serpent. This was ugh with no bleak unhappiness.

Best Lines:
“Catatonic bimbos.”

“Shoo, bitches.”

“I chose my dad.”

“Middle of a Seth Rogen movie.”

“Defiling Archie Andrews in a closet.”

“Your mob wife of a mother.”

“Dressed up like a hooker.”

“Long haired delinquent wearing a leather jacket.”

To Riverdale And Back Again
Veronica’s dad is getting out. Archie’s mush mouthed mother bores. Veronica’s mom is dim. Veronica and Alice plot against FP. Cheryl menaces Polly. Grim faced Jughead spoils with regret. This show is overwrought and weighed down with its own sense of importance. FP is arrested, Jughead learns what crap friends he has and nobody is savvy or trenchant. Nobody is sorry for anything. The Blossoms are like rejects from a VC Andrews novel. This has no moral gravity and one is not receptive to it. The actor who plays Archie is half-Samoan but this isn’t true for his character. And why not?

Best Line:
“Doing shady stuff.”

Physician, Heal Thy Selfie
I missed 2x11. Liv defiles another corpse. Who are all these characters? Where are her family and best friend and old surgeon friends? This isn’t even deliciously awful. Liv is awful and I hate her.

Why is Major orange? What is going on? The evil soft drink company is everywhere. Oh scary! This was boring. Liv realises Blaine is the source of all evil; she knew that in season 1. Liv is a dumb hateful bitch who has barely veiled distaste for Major. There is no coherent ordering of events.

Best Line:
“Nice hearse. It’s real inconspicuous.”