Sunday, December 6, 2009

Tales of Redemption; Sony ebook

By chance I've stumbled upon several recent movies and books on the theme of male redemption. The first was Clint Eastwood's GRAN TORINO. Clint helms and stars in a tale of a bigoted retired Korean War vet who, to his surprise, gets to know and like his Hmong neighbors. He's a hero with a war secret in his past and we eventually learn it and the ultimate sacrifice he makes to save his new young friends and redeem his past.

The Phony Marine: A NovelJim Lehrer's THE PHONY MARINE, which I read on the new Sony Touch ebook (more on that later), is about a suit salesman who discovers his inner Marine when he buys a Silver Star on eBay. He actually avoided conscription during the Vietnam era by using college deferments. He pretends he is a retired Marine hero, performs two heroic acts in the present daysaving a judge's life and defusing a gunfight/hostage situation in a restaurantwhich leads to local celebrity in Washington, D.C. He deals with the fear of exposure or the shame of confessing his deceit to his new admirers. Lehrer, a former Marine, is a master plotter and ties this up so neatly, with honor, that we can only wish life were more like that.

Today 1onthetown received an early Christmas gift from my daughter, two ducats to SUPERIOR DONUTS on Broadway. We need more plays about real people and less about singing fairy tales and roller skating cats. Michael McKean shines as the owner of a failing donut shop in Chicago, a target for acquisition by the aspiring Russian electronics mogul in the shop next door. The donut man takes on a young African American to work the register, clean up, and eventually, he teaches him to make the donuts. The owner is a former draft evader who "was invited home by Jimmy Carter," but he lives with the nagging feeling of being a coward, as his father called him. The young man has a secret too. He's in a 16K gambling hole. The plot is resolved to the satisfaction of all parties, most important being the donut man's act of physical courage. This show has posted a closing notice and it's a shame. In the old days, the Tony Awards would feature scenes from dramas and this year they played up musicals from road shows. No wonder straight dramas and comedies continue to struggle.


I never had the time or the desire to devote to writing but I get bursts now and then. Ten years ago I had a web page called the Blackboard and here is a link to my review of one the original ebooks from 10 years ago.

I like the new Sony Touch. One of the great experiences was reading THE PILALRS OF THE EARTH. It's always been a drag to read heavy books on the train. This hefty tome is almost 1000 pages in print and 1-2 pounds depending on the edition. The ebook is 10 ounces and has the added advantage of a built-in 2000 page dictionary, a plus for a novel about 12th c. England. Great read by thrillmeister Ken Follett, a TV miniseries was co-produced by the Germans and Canadians, so read this book before the series eventually makes it over here. Publishers please note: this was a fantastic bargain at $7.59 in ebook form, so keep them coming. The Oprah's Book Club paperback edition will set you back $16.47. It's a beautiful production with the paperback cover in dust jacket style, some nice gold lettering. With Oprah, all things are possible.

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