The Great Gatsby

images-2Having seen a few ther adaptations I would like to qgetthe latest sumptuous film adaptation of The Great Gatsby wwhich Is out 11 November 2013 . Directed by Baz Luhrman, & Based on the classic novel by F.Scott Fitzgerald, It stars Leonardo DiCaprio, Tobey Maguire, Carey Mulligan, Joel Edgerton, Jason Clarke, Isla Fisher and Callum McAuliffe. It is the seventh adaptation of the book,  the best known Film version stars Robert Redford & Mia Farrow

The Great Gatsby is basically a love story in which a young chap named Jay Gatsby, né Jimmy Gatz,(DiCaprio) who starts off as a poor boy from a humble midwestern family, falls in love with Daisy Fay (Mulligan), the belle of Louisville, Kentucky, when he is stationed at the nearby army base as a young officer waiting to be deployed overseas in the months after the US entered the first world war. Gatsby wins Daisy’s heart and she promises to wait for him, but, as the months of his deployment drag on, her devotion wavers and she eventually marries the obscenely wealthy Tom Buchanan of Chicago.The novel opens in the summer of 1922; Gatsby has himself become rich, and bought a splendid house on Long Island Sound directly across the bay from the mansion which Tom and Daisy occupy. Gatsby gives lavish parties all summer, in the hope, it seems, of attracting the attention of Daisy, whom he has never stopped loving.

Finally they are reunited through an aspiring writer named Nick Carraway (Maguire), a childhood friend of Daisy’s who happens to move in next door. Gatsby imagines that he can erase the past and win Daisy back; it becomes clear that the entire gaudy jazz-age facade he’s created has all been in the interest of recapturing his dream of Daisy and it is also gradually transpires that Gatsby’s wealth may have come from indulging in rather dodgy activities, including bootlegging’ a fact which Daisy’s husband Tom uses against him.After a showdown in a Manhattan hotel room, Gatsby and Daisy jump in Gatsby’s car and Daisy, who is behind the wheel, runs down a pedestrian, who just happens to be her husband’s lover (Fisher), driving back to Long Island. The aggrieved husband of the dead woman, imagining that Gatsby is the culprit, goes to confront him with tragic consequences…

Pacific Rim

pacific rimDirectted by Guillermo Del Toro, the film Pacific Rim is ot on DVD ON 11 November 2013. The film begins in 2013, Where deep bneath the Pacific Oean, a fissure opens up, that leads to another dimension.Through the fissure, a giant monster referred to as a Kaiju appears, which destrys portions of San Francisco. The kaijus  also have cool names like Trespasser, Scissure, Reckoner, Onibaba, Spinejackal, Bonesquid, Kojiyama, Hardship, Reckoner, Ceramander, Tentalus, Knifehead, Yamarashi, Mutavore, Leatherback, Otachi, Raiju, Scunner, Slattern. .Soon  more of these creatures begin to come through the fissure, attacking coastal cities arond the Pacific. The World unites to stop the invaders, and build TheJaeger Program: a series ofgiant mechanical Robots, intended to stop the ceatures  which have cool names tike Gypsy Danger, Cherno Alpha  Striker EurekaCrimson Typhoon, . Which are piloted by two people each including Charlie Hunnam, Max Martini, Rob Kazinsky, and Rinko Kikuchi under the unwavering command of Idris Elba, their memories linked together in The Drift, synchronizing their movements to pilot the massive machines.As the Jaegers go to work, they begin to turn the tides, and take down the creatures . Pretty soon, the world is enthralled by the Jegers and their pilots. They become celebrities, and even have merchandise made. As well, the dead Kaiju are soon seen as a black-market commodity, their parts sold off for various collections and medicinal purposes Including Hannible Chau (Ron Perlman)  a bootlegger in Kaiju corpses.But just as the battle seems to be turning, the Kaiju’s attacks become more brutal. seven years after the fissure opened up, one of th more famous Jaeger duos, is Raleigh Beckett (Charlie Hunnam), and his older brother, Yancy (Diego Klattenhoff). Pilots of the Jaeger named “Gypsy Danger,” they are sent off to stop a Kaiju heading towards Anchorage. which severely damages the Jaeger, traumatised by the attack, Raleigh leaves the Jaeger Program, and goes to find work wherever he can

Seven years later, Beckett is working along the Western coast of the United States, helping build a giant wall that is meant to keep the Kaiju out and in the 7 years since Raleigh was with the Jaeger program, numerous countries have called for the program to be terminated, assuming that building the walls will make them safe, however the head of the program Stacker Pentecost (Idris Elba), claims that the World’s Leaders are making a terrible mistake and says the program is still viable, even so it is relocated to Hong Kong, and given 8 months of funding, before being termimated.Back on the West Coast, Raleigh continues to work on the wall, when television reports that a Kaiju has broken through the wall surrounding Sydney Harbor in Australia and is intercepted by the Jaeger  Striker Eureka. Soon.After seeing the news report, Raleigh finds himself being flown to a secret Base (known as ‘The Shatterdome’), where he meets Mako Mori (Rinko Kikuchi), who tells Raleigh that she has studied  how to be a Jaeger pilot, Pentecost also introduces Raleigh to two scientist  named Dr Newton Geiszler (Charlie Day), who is an obsessive ‘Kaiju Fanboy,’ who studies the creatures through salvaged organs and other parts. The other is Dr Gottlieb (Burn Gorman), who is a more ‘practical’ man, and is using his mathematical skills to try and pinpoint the frequency of creatures coming through the ocean rift.Within the Shatterdome, the last remaining Jaegers and their crews have also been assembled: The Crimson Typhoon (from China), Cherno Alpha (from the Ukraine), Striker Eureka (fresh from its stint in Australia), and (to Raleigh’s surprise) Gypsy Danger.Raleigh requests that Mako help him co-pilot Gypsy Danger, but is refused at first by Pentecost however he reluctantly agrees when the situation becomes increasingly desperate. Professor Gottlieb discovers that the number of Kaiju coming up through the rift is increasing. Geiszler meanwhile, wonders if they can learn more about the Kaiju, if they are able to make a neural connection with its brain and find out what their plans are, his research takes him to Hong Kong where he meets a man named Hannibal Chau (Ron Perlman), however they are interrupted when two more  Kaiju’s appear, so Pentecost sends out   to  clobber them. This does not go quite to plan so , and the Jaegers and Kaiju battle it out in Hong Kong. Pentecost explains that are formulating a plan which if successful could prevent any further Kaiju from coming through the fissure…

 

 

Raising Steam by Sir Terry Pratchett

The new Terry Pratchett novel Raising Steam Was published 7th November and is an my list of books to read ‘ Steam is the 40th Discworld novel, written by Terry Pratchett. 

It features reformed conman turned entrepreneur Moist von Lipwig who as master of the Post Office, the Mint and the Royal Bank finds himself with a new and challenging job when  Ankh Morpork recieves Discworld’s first steam engine, a great clanging monster of a machine, and  despite being a man who does not enjoy hard work’ he does enjoy being alive, so he finds the new job offer from The Patrician Lord Vetinari very hard to refuse

Of course This being Ankh-Morpork, Lipwig e ncounters some very strange characters including the engine driver Mister Simnel, the man wi’ t’flat cap and sliding rule who has an interesting arrangement with the sine and cosine.  a fat controller with a history of throwing employees down the stairs, Goblins and some very angry dwarfs .

Steam is rising over Discworld, and  Moist will have to grapple with gallons of grease, goblins,  if he’s going to stop it all going off the rails . . .

 

Regarded as one of the most significant contemporary English-language satirists, Sir Terry Pratchett sold his first story when he was thirteen, which earned him enough money to buy a second-hand typewriter. His first novel, a humorous fantasy entitled The Carpet People, appeared in 1971 from the publisher Colin Smythe. Terry worked for many years as a journalist and press officer, writing in his spare time and publishing a number of novels, including his first Discworld novel, The Color of Magic, in 1983. In 1987 he turned to writing full time, and has not looked back since.  fourDisc world Novels  (so far) are written for children. The first of these, The Amazing Maurice and His Educated Rodents, won the Carnegie Medal. A non-Discworld book, Good Omens, his 1990 collaboration with Neil Gaiman, has been a longtime bestseller, . In 2008, Terry’s standalone non-Discworld YA novel, Nation was published. .

During his literary careerPratchett has won numerous literary awards, he received the Officer of the British Empire award “for services to literature” in 1998, and has received four honorary doctorates from the Universities of Warwick, Portsmouth, Bath, and Bristol. His acclaimed novels have sold more than 45 million copies (give or take a few) and have been translated into 33 languages.  he was also knighted by Queen Elizabeth II on 18 February 2009 and was awarded the World Fantasy Life Achievement Award in 2010

Tribute to Bram Stoker

Dracula1stBest known today for his 1897 Gothic novel Dracula, the Irish novelist and short story writer Abraham “Bram” Stoker was born 8th November 1847 in Clontarf, Dublin, Ireland. Stoker was bedridden until he started school at the age of seven, when he made a complete recovery. He was educated in a private school run by the Rev. William Woods. After his recovery, he grew up without further major health issues, even excelling as an athlete (he was named University Athlete) at Trinity College, Dublin, which he attended from 1864 to 1870. He graduated with honours in mathematics. He was auditor of the College Historical Society (‘the Hist’) and president of the University Philosophical Society, where his first paper was on “Sensationalism in Fiction and Society.While a student Stoker became interested in the theatre & became the theatre critic for the Dublin Evening Mail, co-owned by the author of Gothic tales Joseph Sheridan Le Fanu. After giving a favourable review of Henry Irving’s Hamlet Irving invited him to dinner and the two became friends. Stoker also wrote stories, and in 1872 “The Crystal Cup” was published by the London Society, followed by “The Chain of Destiny” in four parts and “The Shamrock”. while a civil servant in Dublin, Stoker wrote a non-fiction book (The Duties of Clerks of Petty Sessions in Ireland. Stoker was also interested in art, and founded the Dublin Sketching Club. In 1874 The Stokers moved to London, where he became acting manager and then business manager of Henry Irving’s Lyceum Theatre, London, a post he held for 27 years. The collaboration with Irving was important for Stoker and through him he became involved in London’s high society, where he met James Abbott McNeill Whistler and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle (to whom he was distantly related)

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DRACULA http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=CVb2q0eNFxI

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Working for Irving, the most famous actor of his time, and managing one of the most successful theatres in London made Stoker a notable if busy man. He was dedicated to Irving and his memoirs show he idolised him. In London Stoker also met Hall Caine, who became one of his closest friends – he dedicated Dracula to him.In the course of Irving’s tours, Stoker travelled the world, although he never visited Eastern Europe, a setting for his most famous novel, and began writing novels beginning with The Snake’s Pass in 1890 and Dracula in 1897. Stoker was also part of the literary staff of the London Daily Telegraph and wrote other fiction, including the horror novels The Lady of the Shroud (1909) and The Lair of the White Worm (1911).Stoker also met Ármin Vámbéry who was a Hungarian writer and traveler and the story may have been inspired by Vámbéry’s dark stories by Carpathian mountains. He also spent several years researching European folklore and mythological stories of vampires as well as visiting Whitby Abbey, Slains Castle in Aberdeenshire and the crypts of St. Michan’s Church in Dublin and also read the novella Carmilla by Joseph Sheridan Le Fanu.Sadly After suffering a number of strokes, Stoker passed away on 20 April 1912 and was cremated at Golders Green Crematorium where his ashes were place in a display urn . To visit his remains at Golders Green, visitors must be escorted to the room the urn is housed in, for fear of vandalism.