Reading History: “Bring Up The Bodies” (by Hilary Mantel)

Bring Up The Bodies begins almost immediately after the events of Wolf Hall, with Thomas Cromwell orchestrating the precipitous downfall of Anne Boleyn and the meteoric rise of the blushing Jane Seymour.  The novel chronicles Anne's inexorable slide into oblivion and ends with her execution and Cromwell's triumph. As with Wolf Hall, one gets the sense that this is an … Continue reading Reading History: “Bring Up The Bodies” (by Hilary Mantel)

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Screening Classic Hollywood: “Shane” (1953)

In keeping with the western theme I seem to have going on "Screening Classic Hollywood," today's film is George Stevens's Shane, released in 1953 and starring Alan Ladd, Jean Arthur, and Van Heflin.  Shane (Ladd) is a roaming gunman who enters a seemingly idyllic valley.  Once there, he quickly becomes embroiled in the growing conflict between the homsteaders … Continue reading Screening Classic Hollywood: “Shane” (1953)

Screening Classic Hollywood:  “High Noon” (1952) 

Today's entry in "Screening Classic Hollywood" is High Noon, widely considered one of the best westerns ever made.  Starring Gary Cooper as Will Kane, a recently married marshal who attempts to gather his townspeople's support to confront a recently pardoned criminal who threatens to bring the town back to its period of lawlessness and chaos.  … Continue reading Screening Classic Hollywood:  “High Noon” (1952) 

Screening Classic Hollywood: “The Greatest Show on Earth” (1952)

Today on Screening Classic Hollywood, I'm going to be talking about Cecil B. DeMille's film The Greatest Show on Earth.  While this tagline could have easily been used for any of his spectacular showpieces (either Samson and Delilah or The Ten Commandments would also come in for consideration as the "Greatest Show on Earth"), this … Continue reading Screening Classic Hollywood: “The Greatest Show on Earth” (1952)

Book Review: Defenders of Shannara: “The Darkling Child” (by Terry Brooks)

I've been an avid reader of Terry Brooks for many years, and he has always managed to keep me riveted with his extraordinary writing abilities.  The latest installment of his long-running "Shannara" series, The Darkling Child is no different.  As always, Brooks manages to ask pointed and deep philosophical questions while still maintaining his trademark … Continue reading Book Review: Defenders of Shannara: “The Darkling Child” (by Terry Brooks)