Thursday, February 16, 2017

STRANGE DAYS Original text by James Cameron

Finished Su 2/12/17 Sick with a cold and finished GIRL ON THE TRAIN the same day. This was an oversized paperback that I bought at the library sidewalk sale on Sa 6/11/05 and finished the first time on that weekend.

The movie stars Ralph Fiennes, Angela Bassett, and Juliette Lewis and was directed by Kathryn Bigelow. The role of Faith, played by Juliette Lewis, was unforgettable.

SQUID  stand for Superconducting QUantum Interference Device
First used by law enforcement to 'tape' interaction with the public, now sold on the black market to people that want to 'live' strangers' experiences. Ex.- Man that can't walk and is in a wheelchair puts on the device to 'feel' what it's like to jog on a beach.

Lenny Nero ('nero' means black in Italian) is a dealer of 'tapes' and is given a squid in which two LA cops execute a couple of black leaders. Good Guys and Bad Guys fight to get it back to suppress it or expose it.

The novel is set on the eve of the new millennium, 2000.

Stars in the 1995 film

Ralph Fiennes ...
Lenny Nero

Angela Bassett ...
Lornette 'Mace' Mason

Juliette Lewis ...
Faith Justin

Tom Sizemore ...
Max Peltier

Michael Wincott ...
Philo Gant

Vincent D'Onofrio ...
Burton Steckler

Monday, February 13, 2017

THE GIRL ON THE TRAIN by Paula Hawkins

Finished Su 2/12/17

On Sunday I was very sick from a cold and spent the whole day on the couch and finished the novel in a four hour push. I also read most of the screenplay- STRANGE DAYS.

This novel has been compared to GONE GIRL, and I re read and watched GONE GIRL last week.

The author's page at wikipedia-

The novel at wikipedia-

The novel is set in the suburbs of London. Probably west of London.

Tom is a sociopath and he has been 'gaslighting' his ex wife, Rachel for years.
'gaslighting' at wikipedia-

The crux of the novel occurs on a Saturday night in July near a train underpass.
Tom has been cheating on Anna with Megan. On the evening of July 13th, Rachel is drunk walking through the underpass. Tom punches Rachel and gets in the car with Megan. Megan later tells Tom that she's pregnant. He kills her with a rock and buries her in a wooded area nearby.

Tom has been manipulating (gaslighting) Rachel throughout their marriage. She drank, but not as unhinged as he allowed her to believe.

I'm looking forward to seeing the film.Emily Blunt as Rachel!!!

The novel at amazon-

Friday, February 10, 2017

LAID BARE by John Gilmore

"A Memoir of Wrecked Lives and the Hollywood Death Trip"

John "Jonathan" Gilmore died in October of 2016.

Finished Th 2/9/17

This is an oversized paperback that I bought at Barnes and Noble on Mo 7/27/98. There's no record that I read it, but the condition of the book indicates that it was read in a whirlpool or bath.

This is a well written expose and the author seems to have know just about all New York and Hollywood celebrities of the 40's through the early 70's.

The pieces are not in chronological order and the books starts out with his thoughts and impressions of Janis Joplin. I don't think I'll ever view her the same way. When she was living in San Francisco during the early sixties she was not much more that a drunk and drug addled street person/ busker.

He and some friends share a drink with the legendary Hank Williams and Hank is so drunk that he just pisses himself. His handlers were not surprised in the slightest, and they carried extra clothing for this reason. This happened at a Hollywood Hills C&W nightclub.

Gilmore was more than a friend to James Dean (Jimmy). The sexual encounters described between the two men border on the creepy, but feel authentic. Gilmore was married and divorced three times, he could be attracted to men. His curiosity might be that, as an actor, he is searching to find out how a homosexual would view the world. And, James Dean was a true 'American Sex Symbol' and probably connected with anyone.

Many of the 'pretty boy' stars of the forties and fifties were controlled by older, gay managers. And, they had their own version of 'the casting couch'.

Steve McQueen seems to be not at all what he appears on the screen. Gilmore sees him as a borderline coward and somewhat of a showboat. They both had relationships with the same woman, so this might someone have tainted his perception.

Harry Dean Stanton went by, 'Dean Stanton'.
Dennis Hopper comes across as a full blown lunatic- on drugs!
Jack Nicholson smokes weed and drinks wine non-stop.

Gilmore's mother was an actress during the 30's and 40's- Marguerite LeVan
His father, Robert T. Gilmore, Jr. worked as a cop for the LAPD. Later he was kind of a public relations officer- he made films for the department. He was also involved in The Black Dahlia Case- Elizabeth Short, 1947.

The actors John Hodiak and Ida Lupino were Gilmore's mentors. Hodiak was a film and TV star probably most remembered for the Hitchcock film, LIFEBOAT.

Jane Fonda was an ex girlfriend of Gilmore's. Bridget Bardot was also a girlfriend- and the French actress Jean Seberg.

Gilmore covered the trial of Charles Schmid- 'The Pied Piper of Tucson'. An early, large profile case for F. Lee Bailey.

Gilmore had numerous motorcycles and road with James Dean

Gilmore wrote a book about Charlie Manson and The Family called HUMAN GARBAGE

The book on amazon-

The author's page at wikipedia-

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

GONE GIRL by Gillian Flynn

Finished Mo 2/6/17

This is a book that I picked up for free on South Interlacken on We 5/18/16, the day before my hernia surgery. I got several great books that afternoon.

I had read this novel before- probably a library copy, and also I saw the movie, but the writing was so well done, that it was just as good the second time around.

Nick (Lance) Dunne and Amy Elliot are married. Amy's parents are psychologists and children's book authors. They created a series of very popular books based loosely on Amy's life- THE AMAZING AMY series.

Amy and Nick live in NYC, and Nick was a writer and Amy had a job writing psychological quizzes, but she basically was a 'trust fund baby'. They both lose their jobs during the Dot Com Depression, and they move back to Nick's hometown in rural Missouri. He borrows money from Amy to start a bar. It's ironically called 'The Bar'.

Amy is a sociopath and has been acting the role of 'the perfect girl that every guy would love'. For a time, Nick held up his part of the bargain, but when his feelings started to change, Amy plots to get even. Nick understands that nobody could live under such 'enforced perfection', but Amy is so damaged that it is the only alternative for her.

She comes up with a plan to fake her murder and pin it on Nick. It's a plot that involved years of calculated, fiendish planning that leaves nothing to chance.

Nick tries to help the police find out what happened to her, because in the beginning he has no idea what's going on. But, soon he learns that Amy is not at all what she seems, and has a history of plotting intensely cruel revenge scenarios for various people that have tried to become close to her.

When Nick makes a public declaration of his love for Amy and his wish to make it up to her (he's just lying to clear himself from a possible murder charge), she reappears. She had been "a kept woman/the prisoner" of an old boyfriend, Desi Collings, in a swank suburb of St. Louis. This guy viewed it has 'giving her everything she needed, and there was no reason for her wanting to leave- Ever'! She slits his throat and claims that she had been his prisoner, but she had really sought him out and was only using him.

When she comes back, Nick realizes that he's trapped- in almost every sense of the word. Amy gets pregnant from his frozen sperm and he realizes that he must stay to protect his unborn child from Amy's diabolical cunning.

Nick to Amy when he admits that he doesn't love her, but he feels sorry for her-

 "Because every morning you have to wake up and be you". And, Amy answers to herself...."I really, truly wish he hadn't said that. I keep thinking about it. I can't stop....I just wanted to make sure I had the last word. I think I've earned that."

I think that Nick's horror is just about to begin.

The author's page at wikipedia-

The novel's page on wikipedia-

Thursday, February 2, 2017

ANOTHER CITY, NOT MY OWN by Dominick Dunne

Finished We 2/1/17

The phrase, 'A novel in the form of a Memoir' is included in the title, but it's really a "roman a clef".

The is one of my hardback books that I purchased at the library for $2.00 in mid May, 2003, and I finished it on Sa 5/26/04, and I noted that it was, ' The best two bucks I've spent'.

It is a great re-visit to the OJ Simpson Trial, but I think that the recent HBO series stole a bit of its' thunder.

Notes that I scrawled on the flyleaf-


Makes me wonder about the nature of gossip. Is there such a thing or is every detail and observation just 'information'? Much of what Gus Bailey deals with might or might not be true, but the more tidbits, impressions, and observations, the better he is able to arrive at 'truth with a big T'. I guess the real test for accuracy would be to arrange the data into the most meaningful analysis. This is even more important in today's world where computers and social media record nearly every aspect of our lives. A grade that you received in the third grade, what your neighbors thought of you in 1987, or how many times you voted and for who, is all available and can be manipulated and used to explain who you are.

What 'facts' are allowed, and what 'facts' are ignored really shapes and creates, 'The Truth'.

However, the way that the justice system is portrayed in the book is deplorable. Forensic facts that are ignored in a judicial setting represent a total breach of justice!

Gus says that Johnny Cochran, one of the Dream Team lawyers for Simpson, "understands the brilliance of stupidity". This is also a telling and wry description of our new president.

The author's page at wikipedia-

Andrew Cunanan's page at wikipedia. This was a clever way to end the novel, because Gus Bailey's work is done-

I loved the book and will read more of his books.