Dec 24, 2010

I was very honoured to be the Writer In Residence at Open Book Toronto all month. It was a terrific experience. I posted my last blog this evening, IMAGINING PEACE. Here's the link: http://www.openbooktoronto.com/jround/blog/imagining_peace

Dec 9

The King’s Speech shows Colin Firth at his best as the socially awkward, stuttering and stammering King George VI, better known these days as the father of HRH Elizabeth II. While many of us may be familiar with the slow, grave delivery of the speech, delivered September 1939 and informing the world that Britain was at war with Germany, few will know or remember the story behind the speech. The King’s Speech tells that story in a moving, compelling way, while incidentally providing a prequel to Stephen Frears’s The Queen, with its glance into the curious, dysfunctional affairs behind the scenes at Buckingham Palace.

Dec 5

The Doomsters by Ross Macdonald (Knopf 1958)

Macdonald, whose real name was Kenneth Millar, was American-born and Canadian-raised. His most successful character, Lew Archer, is at the heart of this and many other volumes of noir writing. Macdonald is one of the early genre writers revered as both a good crime writer and a literary stylist. Indeed, his prose has moments evocative of Scott Fitzgerald. His weakness, however, is the corny, tough-guy dialogue that so many of his characters spout. Nevertheless, his mysteries have edge and he can twist his plots along with the best of them. In this volume, a runaway from a mental institution turns to Archer for help. He gets it, despite his best efforts to resist Archer’s uncanny ability to read into other people’s characters.


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