Book Review:The End of All Things #1: The Life of the Mind: The End of All Things

Comments on End of All Things #1 – John Scalzi

 First Thoughts:

John has really improved on his Old Man’s War series of novels and short stories. Among these is the End of All Things storylines, written in four volumes, which I like reading on Amazon Kindle e-reader.  First off, really like the writing style. Sarcastic, fast-paced. Similar to Andy Weir’s The Martian in terms of style and interest. Kept me going throughout.

 Story & Plot:

Getting hired as a pilot is one thing. But being kidnapped and having your brain transferred to a computer and flying a ship is something else!

The bad guys with a traitor politician (no surprise there) want to get rid of the Colonial Union. With secrets from the senator, this is an easy task. But our hero is a computer programmer as well as a pilot, and devised a way of circumventing the computer controls and makes his escape. But he’s still a brain in a box!

 Conclusion: Great short novel, a fun read. Can’t wait for the next one!

 

 

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Movie Review:Lawrence of Arabia

LawrenceFirst Thoughts:

Lawrence of Arabia is one of those classics I’ve never watched all the way through and so I picked up a 2DVD series for a song on Amazon.com.  Though it’s rated as one of the top films of the 20th century, I was not that impressed.

Story & Plot:

Love the cinematography of this film!  The amazing desert sunrises, the mirages, the authentic costumes!  The crazy Arab played well by Anthony Quinn!  The sleek Prince played by Alec Guinness! (Yes, he did many films before Star Wars); Omar Sharif as Ali, the only character who, somewhat violent, had to keep running after Lawrence and guide him.

Peter O’Toole’s Lawrence is a bit crazy.  I mean here you are as a British soldier who nearly “goes native”, very independent, does his own thing, ignores warnings and crosses vast deserts and attempts the impossible.

It’s really sad, his character!  Lawrence is one time a hero, fancies himself ready to walk on water, then next moment he wants to throw it all away, can’t handle the responsibility of freeing Arabia and just go back to England to “get a job”.  I mean really now!

He lets a mad lust for killing take over and mows down the Turks.  Nowadays this film would push the PG rating since there’s plenty of death for the even the most die-hard film fan.

My DVD had a great interview with Steven Spielberg on how he was impressed by the film and how he met the director and picked his brains on the making of the film.  Several documentaries and lots and lots of praise for the technical quality of the film.

Final Thoughts:

It’s a hard film to watch, with an ending that is somewhat disappointing.  How a man can rise so high and crash down so hard is tough to imagine.  Excellent authentic desert scenes and a new look at Arabian culture; but the cons include Lawrence himself, a conflicted man who can’t decide if he is just an ordinary guy or an extraordinary being.

Worth the watch, won 7 Academy Awards,  but I would not clamor for it!