Thursday, September 10, 2009

Day #21,450

Walk km 2787-2790: Uljiro Co-Op Residence to Kyobo Book Centre
Walk km 2790-2794: Uljiro Co-Op Residence to LotteMart

Teenie Weenie Store
aprox km 2792 on the way to LotteMart

I have now developed two blisters on my right foot. This may slow me down.

Book #257: The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo(2004, Steig Larsson)

It appears the writing of crime novels has become quite the cottage industry in Sweden. It doesn't seem so long ago that I was reading all those Wahloo & Sjowall stories. Unlike other Swedish crime novelists, Mr Larsson seems to be mainly concerned with plot (or "was" as it appears he actually died before any of his novels were published). There is nobody here to match Walander from the Henning Mankell novels but it's a decent try with one of the main characters named Salander. But the plot is the main thing here and Larsson gets you turning the pages at a furious rate. There is a traditional crime story (murder, rape and the rest) and a financial crime story (swindling, foreign bank accounts etc). The odd thing is that Larsson has chosen to solve the traditional crime story first and then finish the novel with the outcome of the financial crime story. I think a lot of people were finding those last 100 pages a bit of a letdown.

Movie #1079: The Whip Hand (1951, William Cameron Menzies)

Don't get me wrong: this is a disgusting movie - but I loved it! This is another "red scare" movie along the lines of the recently viewed "Five Steps To Danger". In this one a fellow takes a little vacation in Minnesota to do some fishing. And he stumbles across the oddest town. Everyone acts weird and trys to get him out of town. Once he decides to go, they won't let him leave! It's a great Twilight Zone type story but the filmmakers have decided to ruin the whole plot by giving away the secret even before the story begins. They explain that these seemingly crazy people are all Commies and they are there to do the bidding of Moscow. I believe they gave away the plot because they wanted everyone in the theatre to be totally disgusted with these Commies for the full 90 minutes and not just at the end. The reason this movie was made was to spread propaganda - not to entertain. And then we get to the lead actor, Elliott Reid, as the all-american fellow who discovers this fiendish plot: has there ever been a more annoying character in all of filmdom? Compare him to the spiffy Commie innkeeper as portrayed by Raymond Burr and you'll soon be cheering for the Commies. Beautifully filmed by Mr Menzies and with a plot that only Joe McCarthy could love. I thought it was great except the finale where the nauseating hero wins out over the Commies (but I saw that coming!).

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