Sunday, 24 April 2011

Kate Adie - Finally finished

Its a miracle!

Kate Adie - The Kindness of Strangers

Lets begin by saying, Take some time, and read this book.
Pertinent, relevant, and fully engaging.

Kate Adie, seems to live a life a little like a butterfly in a Hurricane. Constantly thrown around by external forces ( The BBC and War). We see Kate travel across the globe, flitting from war torn crisis to war torn crisis. Constantly fleeing from death, bombs, snipers, crazy military and coup's... and generally everything. Oh, and drinking wine...

Having watched various news reports you get a snap shot of a crisis, and a few pictures.. you a get a feel that war is pretty much organised and fits into neat sound bites.
Kate's autobiography largely gives you the feeling that its a miracle that any news reports actually happen, and that more news reporters don't get killed in action. Chaos..

Kate also constantly underplays her own role in these events... Anyone made of less stern stuff would have legged it very early on in her career... Just having the commitment to voluntarily stay in these war zones, and tell these stories is frankly amazing.

I watched the news tonight - and was left wondering about the back story. What didn't we see? That is what the Kate Adie book has left me with. What can't we be shown? Not due to censorship - but due to time constraints, or editorial policy. And thinking a little more is never a bad thing...

Now, was it a good book... Hmmmm... has taken me a long time to read - a very long time, and has been quite hard work. This is despite the subject matter being fascinated.

What I struggled with was the sense of story.. There was no obvious narrative journey. Each of the events, and there were hundreds of stories - all jumble together to form a morass. Kate does seem to live her life like a butterfly in a hurricane, and in my opinion writes the same way.
Worth a read, very worth the time, just a little tougher than I expected.

Tuesday, 19 April 2011

Taking 5 minutes+ Game of Thrones

The sun is shining, I've eaten my porridge, and now taking 5 minutes out from life to update my much neglected blog.

Currently Kate Adie's autobiography is killing my reading. I mean I like the book, really I do! Its fascinating, and interesting and everything.

Just a really slow read....

However.... A quick recommedation...

The Game of Thrones (Songs of Fire and Ice), George RR Martin

Its been years since I read this, probably 5 or more....
However this is the most brutal fantasy series you are likely to ever read, with some of the best and harshest characters you will ever read about.

This is epic reading, that pulls no punches at all. The Lannisters are truly vicious, the Starks are completely flawed heroes, and everyone betrays everyone. Great Writing, absorbing, just not for the faint hearted.

So, last night I watched episode 1 of the TV adaptation on Sky Atlantic.

I watched with some trepidation... I hated the TV versions of the Terry Pratchett stuff - they just lacked the speed and the comedy of the books, feeling like an over laboured attempt at TV fantasy.

Would Game of Thrones be the same? Well.... um... I don't think so. It followed the story well, didn't seem too cheesy ( although Cat seemed older than I expected from the books) and the characters seemed to be well represented. As I watched the story came flooding back, and i increasingly felt sorry for all the characters as they emerged. None of them have much fun ahead of them. Especially not the children....

I'm sticking with the series - first viewing looks positive - and I enjoyed it. Could be the next best thing on TV. Still - if your easily offended, I would leave well alone.

Interestingly the books haven't been finished yet... I've been waiting for some years for this to come to an end... Maybe this year will see it written..