nuranar: Hortense Bonaparte. La reine Hortense sous une tonnelle à Aix-les-Bains (1813) by Antoine Jean Duclaux. (Default)
1. A long-overdue cold front. I love warm weather and open windows, but it does feel strange when the Christmas tree is up! Especially when it lasts for a week on end.
2. Grilled mozzarella cheese sandwiches for dinner. Yum! If only I can quit burning the first side...
3. Watching I Spy on TV while finishing the gathering stitches on Heather's petticoat. I have all the shows on DVD, but there's something nice about watching it "for real"! Especially with a fun episode like "Always Say Goodbye."
4. Cutting my fingernails short, while the show was still on and I was done with the petticoat. Nails longer than 1/16" rapidly drive me bonkers. It feels so good to have them short again!
nuranar: Hortense Bonaparte. La reine Hortense sous une tonnelle à Aix-les-Bains (1813) by Antoine Jean Duclaux. (Campion)

I got a few more suggestions, so here goes!

Tell me you want to play and I'll pick up to three of your fandoms (a list might be helpful). Then update your journal and answer the following questions:

1. What got you into this fandom in the first place?
2. Do you think you'll stay in this fandom or eventually move on?
3. Favorite episodes/books/movies, etc?
4. Do you participate in this fandom (fanfiction, graphics, discussions)?
5. Do you think more people should get into this fandom?



First, from [livejournal.com profile] litlover12, Albert Campion, I Spy, and Georgette Heyer

Albert Campion

1. What got you into this fandom in the first place?
Somewhere I saw a list of great British mystery writers. I've always been a fan of Agatha Christie, and of course Dorothy Sayers' Lord Peter came a little later.  Margery Allingham was new to me, though.  I must have been at Texas A&M at the time (early 2000s), and the only Allingham the library had was Traitor's Purse.  In one way, it was the worst choice for a new Campion reader. Not only is Traitor's Purse smack dab in the middle of the Campion chronology, Campion himself has amnesia!  To say I was totally lost is a mild understatement.  But in another way, it was still a good choice, because I was thoroughly hooked in spite of my confusion.  Traitor's Purse is fascinating, and one of the most atmospheric of Allingham's atmospheric books. She seemed to alternate between straightforward mystery stories, and sensational and atmospheric adventures.  So Traitor's Purse fascinated me enough to try again when I got home, and then thanks to Paperback Swap and Book Mooch, I've accumulated all of the Campions and read them more or less in order.

2. Do you think you'll stay in this fandom or eventually move on?

Definitely stay. Campion is one of my favorite characters - I have to say, even more than Lord Peter. He can be so crazy, but under it all he's so very, very smart. And very athletic, far more Saint-like than like Lord Peter in that respect.  I enjoy Allingham's writing, particularly the "sensational" books, for their adventure alone.  And the TV show with Peter Davison is an unending delight, not just for the perfection of the characters and plot adaptations, but also for the (near) perfection of the setting.  Allingham did not usually write "ordinary" settings, and whether it's behind the scenes in a show-business family, or in the aged household of a former pre-Raphaelite master, it's all fascinating.

3. Favorite episodes/books/movies, etc?

Oh, lots! Mystery Mile, Gryth Chalice/Look to the Lady, Sweet Danger, and The Fashion in Shrouds (despite a slow beginning). The Crime at Black Dudley is Campion's first appearance, where he's a fairly minor character, although key to the plot; it's interesting, and definitely sensational in spots. The Tiger in the Smoke is a later Campion, in which he's not the star of the majority of the action; but it's an excellent, suspenseful novel, again very atmospheric.
The shows are all taken from pre-WWII books, and again, "Mystery Mile" and "Look to the Lady" are my favorites.

4. Do you participate in this fandom (fanfiction, graphics, discussions)?

No, not really. I have a few icons I like, but I haven't gotten into fanfiction, and have not really found much discussion.

5. Do you think more people should get into this fandom?

I'd love it if they did. But it's so quirky in many ways, that I think it's hard to really get into. My brother enjoys some of the shows, but he finds Lugg's dialogue almost wholly unintelligible, which definitely puts a damper on the fun!


I Spy

1. What got you into this fandom in the first place?

As with Hogan's Heroes and The Wild Wild West, thanks to broadcast TV stations when growing up. My mother knew what it was when we stumbled across it during lunch hours, so we all quickly got into it. Being a spy show it was fun and exciting, but it wasn't nearly so silly as Get Smart (or as Hogan's), and the dialogue between Robert Culp and Bill Cosby is pretty much unequaled.  Shortly thereafter I graduated high school, though, and ended up in College Station without a TV - and away from the broadcast station if I had had one!  When I moved back, I discovered the whole series was on DVD, and bought all three sets within six months for myself.  I dived in and never looked back!

2. Do you think you'll stay in this fandom or eventually move on?

I'll never leave this one! I did finally get overloaded halfway through the third set, and had to take a break.  There are some pretty intense episodes, with some pretty hard questions, and it's not all fun and games.  That said, it's something I've always gone back to.

3. Favorite episodes/books/movies, etc?

Whew, so many! It's a rare episode that doesn't have SOMETHING priceless in it. And some of these I haven't seen in a long time - I was in the process of re-watching everything when John Carter stopped recognizing his CD drive. Real favorites:
"A Cup of Kindness"
"Carry Me Back to Old Tsing-Tao"
"Three Hours on a Sunday Night"
"Bet Me a Dollar"
"The Conquest of Maude Murdock"
"Sophia"
"Vendetta"
"Will the Real Good Guys Please Stand Up?"
"Child Out of Time" (Kelly telling how he tried to impress the chambermaid with his shiny Colt makes me giggle uncontrollably)
"Mainly on the Plains" (Boris Karloff!)
"Let's Kill Karlovassi"
"The Honorable Assassins"
"Home to Judgment"
"Tag, You're It"

4. Do you participate in this fandom (fanfiction, graphics, discussions)?

Not now. There was a fairly active discussion board I was on for a while, but when I got saturated I kind of dropped off. Especially since I was still new to most of the episodes, and hadn't seen some, so I was trying to avoid spoilers.
That said, several years ago someone recommended a piece of fanfic he wrote, and I thoroughly enjoyed it.

5. Do you think more people should get into this fandom?

YES. This is a really good series,high quality in every way, down to having an individual soundtrack for every episode.  Of course some things are dated, but there's more than a little emphasis on ideas and principles and what it means to do that job. The plots are usually day-to-day spy jobs, not saving the world! every week!  And the interaction between Culp and Cosby is just incredible.  People who've seen original scripts say that their dialogue is nothing like what was scripted - they ad-lipped everything.  Except for the episodes Robert Culp wrote.  He knew both characters so well that their dialogue is practically word-for-word.


Georgette Heyer (mostly Georgian and Regency romances)

1. What got you into this fandom in the first place?

I honestly do not know where I first heard of Georgette Heyer. I don't know if it was [livejournal.com profile] estelyn_strider at the first, but she certainly contributed.  I know Heyer was not associated in my mind with Jane Austen. I mean I didn't heard of her as recommended to Austen-ites. And I appreciate that, because although the time period is (usually) the same, the actual settings are usually nothing alike, and the style of writing is very much the same.
Anyway. I really can't remember which was the first book I read. I got a few on Paperback Swap, but I think most of those were her mysteries. (IMHO rather inferior to her romances. Hence why they're easier to find on PBS.)  I've found a few at Half Price Books as well, including a nice 1960s hardcover (with illustrated dust jacket) of False Colours that's special to me, but most I got in a couple of big batches on eBay.


2. Do you think you'll stay in this fandom or eventually move on?

Definitely stay, at least for the romances! They've already held up well to re-reading. All but one of the mysteries (Footsteps in the Dark - more of a sensational adventure than a mystery) I've traded back. I have a number of her historical novels, part of the big eBay auctions, but I've not really been motivated to read them; and they don't seem to be as popular among her readers.


3. Favorite episodes/books/movies, etc?

False Colours, The Masqueraders, Sprig Muslin, The Foundling, The Toll-Gate, The Corinthian, The Grand Sophy, Powder and Patch


4. Do you participate in this fandom (fanfiction, graphics, discussions)?

Not really... Esty pointed me to a really good discussion board, but I haven't read all the books and I really want to avoid spoilers! The last time I checked it was down for maintenance.


5. Do you think more people should get into this fandom?

Absolutely! This is the way romances should be: Really fun characters, stuff actually happens, and CLEAN.  I wish they were easier to find! There are a few just now being reprinted, in (slightly pricey) paperback editions - Sprig Muslin and The Toll-Gate! I somehow only see 1 or 2 at Barnes & Noble when I go in, though, and usually a random history like Lord John. Strange.
I would really love to see some of THESE made into movies, too. Much as I love Jane Austen, do we really need a new film of the same books every ten years?

nuranar: Hortense Bonaparte. La reine Hortense sous une tonnelle à Aix-les-Bains (1813) by Antoine Jean Duclaux. (...Oops.)
More Mutt-ley pictures here: The Singing Marine, Part 2

So Monday I received a pudding a beautiful present, made of a suitable material, from the Tree herself.  (That is, [personal profile] beloved_tree.) Thank you, dear! :D And your card arrived yesterday!

By the way, I don't think I ever thanked you for sending those two books earlier this fall - Leigh Brackett's The Long Tomorrow and the I Spy book.  And thereby hangs a tale. Because I've heard about the I Spy books, that they're really pretty good, and the author always wished that he'd written under his own name instead of under the pseudonym John Tiger.  I'd been intending to track one down but just haven't made it.  Well... frankly, it was so cringe-worthily-awful it was downright unbelievable! (Well, it wasn't that bad.)  Considered just as a story, an adventure-spy story, it was slow, wordy, and very lacking in action.  As a companion to the I Spy TV show, it was a huge failure.  It had no mood at all, much less the quick-changing humor and concentration and even anger of the show, besides being slow and wordy and action-less (all very unlike most I Spy).  Only in a few conversations did it approach the brilliant, ad-libbed repartee between Scotty and Kelly. And the epithets drove me up the wall!  How many times can you repeat "the Rhodes scholar" or (this is awful) "the agent with the face of a movie star"?!  I have never cringed like that before.  And when he wasn't using epithets (which was rare), they were "Robinson" and "Scott."  Sorry, but nobody thinks of them that way. They're "Kelly" and "Scotty" and always will be. Aaah!

But anyway, Aspen dear, Thank You! :D  I really appreciated (besides the fact that you saw it and thought of me! Squee!) the opportunity to read one. And now I know for sure, I certainly do! I may try another again, of course; I still love those guys. I'm also still in disbelief that I found it that bad, I who so thoroughly enjoy Captain Future, etc., AND adore I Spy!  *giggles a trifle hysterically*

 
nuranar: Hortense Bonaparte. La reine Hortense sous une tonnelle à Aix-les-Bains (1813) by Antoine Jean Duclaux. (...Oops.)
More Mutt-ley pictures here: The Singing Marine, Part 2

So Monday I received a pudding a beautiful present, made of a suitable material, from the Tree herself.  (That is, [personal profile] beloved_tree.) Thank you, dear! :D And your card arrived yesterday!

By the way, I don't think I ever thanked you for sending those two books earlier this fall - Leigh Brackett's The Long Tomorrow and the I Spy book.  And thereby hangs a tale. Because I've heard about the I Spy books, that they're really pretty good, and the author always wished that he'd written under his own name instead of under the pseudonym John Tiger.  I'd been intending to track one down but just haven't made it.  Well... frankly, it was so cringe-worthily-awful it was downright unbelievable! (Well, it wasn't that bad.)  Considered just as a story, an adventure-spy story, it was slow, wordy, and very lacking in action.  As a companion to the I Spy TV show, it was a huge failure.  It had no mood at all, much less the quick-changing humor and concentration and even anger of the show, besides being slow and wordy and action-less (all very unlike most I Spy).  Only in a few conversations did it approach the brilliant, ad-libbed repartee between Scotty and Kelly. And the epithets drove me up the wall!  How many times can you repeat "the Rhodes scholar" or (this is awful) "the agent with the face of a movie star"?!  I have never cringed like that before.  And when he wasn't using epithets (which was rare), they were "Robinson" and "Scott."  Sorry, but nobody thinks of them that way. They're "Kelly" and "Scotty" and always will be. Aaah!

But anyway, Aspen dear, Thank You! :D  I really appreciated (besides the fact that you saw it and thought of me! Squee!) the opportunity to read one. And now I know for sure, I certainly do! I may try another again, of course; I still love those guys. I'm also still in disbelief that I found it that bad, I who so thoroughly enjoy Captain Future, etc., AND adore I Spy!  *giggles a trifle hysterically*

 
nuranar: Hortense Bonaparte. La reine Hortense sous une tonnelle à Aix-les-Bains (1813) by Antoine Jean Duclaux. (Default)
I've compromised.  It's now the recycle can, not the wastebasket, that's handy for kicking over.  It won't make such a mess when I tump it over, but will give no less satisfaction.

---

In addition to the heaps of Nero Wolfe books, my to-be-read Debris Field includes several Alistair MacLean books.  Besides The Way to Dusty Death, sent to me by the Most Gracious [personal profile] jordannamorgan, I have The Satan Bug (from PaperBackSwap) and Fear Is the Key (from the Book Rack).  The Way to Dusty Death, written in 1973, is the first of MacLean's final, and poorest, phase, so I read it first.

The Way to Dusty Death is set on the Grand Prix racing circuit in Europe.  It tells of the seeming - seeming - mental breakdown of Johnny Harlow, unquestionably the best driver, after a series of crashes, and his lapse into alcoholism.  Reader beware - Things are seldom what they seem.  I have zero interest in automobile racing, but that was not a handicap to understanding the book.

If this is a poor book, it's poor only in comparison to MacLean's best.  I didn't find it terribly suspenseful, but that is a very subjective opinion; it's far more suspenseful than most mysteries, for example.  There's a bit too much narration and too little dialogue, particularly in the beginning.  Characterization is not poor, but certainly doesn't show the extreme care and effort put into his earlier books.

In all of the four or five Cussler novels I've read, I've thought that Cussler tried to accomplish too much.  He tries to write a modern thriller with heavy historical elements, and his hero(es) have to head off The Biggest Catastrophe to Hit the World Ever.  In every book.  I swallow a lot, but that's just too much.  Another of MacLean's later books that I've read seemed to fall into the same trap, coupled with a (Cussler-like) caricatured Evil Villain.  But not in The Way to Dusty Death.  As always, the kernel of the conflict is deeply hidden; it's not a Save the World situation, though.  I refuse to give away plot points, so I cannot elaborate.  But it's a definitely a worthy plot.

There were a few notable word choice examples in the dialogue.  At one point, the Hero agrees with the Partner, saying, "True, true!"  That little phrase is up there with "wonderfulness" as the biggest of the many catch phrases that I SPY made famous.  At another point, the Hero refers to the opposition as "the ungodly."  If you think that didn't bring a big grin to my face, you don't know me!
nuranar: Hortense Bonaparte. La reine Hortense sous une tonnelle à Aix-les-Bains (1813) by Antoine Jean Duclaux. (Default)
I've compromised.  It's now the recycle can, not the wastebasket, that's handy for kicking over.  It won't make such a mess when I tump it over, but will give no less satisfaction.

---

In addition to the heaps of Nero Wolfe books, my to-be-read Debris Field includes several Alistair MacLean books.  Besides The Way to Dusty Death, sent to me by the Most Gracious [personal profile] jordannamorgan, I have The Satan Bug (from PaperBackSwap) and Fear Is the Key (from the Book Rack).  The Way to Dusty Death, written in 1973, is the first of MacLean's final, and poorest, phase, so I read it first.

The Way to Dusty Death is set on the Grand Prix racing circuit in Europe.  It tells of the seeming - seeming - mental breakdown of Johnny Harlow, unquestionably the best driver, after a series of crashes, and his lapse into alcoholism.  Reader beware - Things are seldom what they seem.  I have zero interest in automobile racing, but that was not a handicap to understanding the book.

If this is a poor book, it's poor only in comparison to MacLean's best.  I didn't find it terribly suspenseful, but that is a very subjective opinion; it's far more suspenseful than most mysteries, for example.  There's a bit too much narration and too little dialogue, particularly in the beginning.  Characterization is not poor, but certainly doesn't show the extreme care and effort put into his earlier books.

In all of the four or five Cussler novels I've read, I've thought that Cussler tried to accomplish too much.  He tries to write a modern thriller with heavy historical elements, and his hero(es) have to head off The Biggest Catastrophe to Hit the World Ever.  In every book.  I swallow a lot, but that's just too much.  Another of MacLean's later books that I've read seemed to fall into the same trap, coupled with a (Cussler-like) caricatured Evil Villain.  But not in The Way to Dusty Death.  As always, the kernel of the conflict is deeply hidden; it's not a Save the World situation, though.  I refuse to give away plot points, so I cannot elaborate.  But it's a definitely a worthy plot.

There were a few notable word choice examples in the dialogue.  At one point, the Hero agrees with the Partner, saying, "True, true!"  That little phrase is up there with "wonderfulness" as the biggest of the many catch phrases that I SPY made famous.  At another point, the Hero refers to the opposition as "the ungodly."  If you think that didn't bring a big grin to my face, you don't know me!
nuranar: Hortense Bonaparte. La reine Hortense sous une tonnelle à Aix-les-Bains (1813) by Antoine Jean Duclaux. (Default)

When I got home last Wednesday there was a nice fat  package waiting for me.  Not only did it have the three Alistair MacLean books I requested, but the seller had included a fourth for free!  The following note was stickied onto the cover:

Hello:
    Please excuse my wounded condition... You see I got into a fight with a much better swordsman and suffered a gruesome gash across my face.
    I've been bandaged up pretty well and I'm still willing to serve... if you'll have me.
           "The Secret Ways"

*delighted wibble* The injuries in question were two wide razor cuts to the cover, penetrating a couple dozen pages. The cover and first few pages were repaired with tape.  It wasn't PBS-allowable, but just fine for reading, especially with a bookmate.

I requested Night Without End, The Black Shrike, and The Golden Rendezvous, written in MacLean's best years according to Wikipedia, between 1959 and 1962.  The "wounded" book was The Secret Ways, coming immediately before those three.


 

Reviews )



My list of MacLean favorites has jumped from three to six. It was a glorious three days.

 

Writing )

I still have two books yet to read on the early-MacLean list: Fear Is the Key and The Satan Bug, both available on PBS.  How long should I wait before requesting them, d'ya think? :D

nuranar: Hortense Bonaparte. La reine Hortense sous une tonnelle à Aix-les-Bains (1813) by Antoine Jean Duclaux. (Default)

When I got home last Wednesday there was a nice fat  package waiting for me.  Not only did it have the three Alistair MacLean books I requested, but the seller had included a fourth for free!  The following note was stickied onto the cover:

Hello:
    Please excuse my wounded condition... You see I got into a fight with a much better swordsman and suffered a gruesome gash across my face.
    I've been bandaged up pretty well and I'm still willing to serve... if you'll have me.
           "The Secret Ways"

*delighted wibble* The injuries in question were two wide razor cuts to the cover, penetrating a couple dozen pages. The cover and first few pages were repaired with tape.  It wasn't PBS-allowable, but just fine for reading, especially with a bookmate.

I requested Night Without End, The Black Shrike, and The Golden Rendezvous, written in MacLean's best years according to Wikipedia, between 1959 and 1962.  The "wounded" book was The Secret Ways, coming immediately before those three.


 

Reviews )



My list of MacLean favorites has jumped from three to six. It was a glorious three days.

 

Writing )

I still have two books yet to read on the early-MacLean list: Fear Is the Key and The Satan Bug, both available on PBS.  How long should I wait before requesting them, d'ya think? :D

Profile

nuranar: Hortense Bonaparte. La reine Hortense sous une tonnelle à Aix-les-Bains (1813) by Antoine Jean Duclaux. (Default)
nuranar

July 2017

S M T W T F S
      1
2345678
9101112 131415
16171819202122
23242526272829
3031     

Come, Follow Me

RSS Atom

Most Popular Tags

Style Credit

Expand Cut Tags

No cut tags
Page generated 19 October 2017 10:39 am
Powered by Dreamwidth Studios