Book review: Heroes by Stephen Fry

The author actually did a bit of a fireside chat about the sequel to Mythos a few months ago, where I picked up a free copy (cheers Stephen!). I left it on the bookshelf for a while because I’d just finished Mythos, and I thought launching straight into another Fry epic based around ancient Greek mythology might be a bit much.

If you liked the first one then there’s really no reason you won’t like this one. I find Greek legends enthralling, and when you marry them with Stephen’s wry wit, then it’s bound to be another winner. Everything I said about the first book, pretty much applies here. The difference is that Mythos focussed mainly on the Greek gods (Zeus, his wife/sister, his various children by other gods/mortals …); this one is more about the playthings of the gods: men. Continue reading “Book review: Heroes by Stephen Fry”

Book review: Perfume

I’m getting to this one a little bit late, and I probably wouldn’t have read it all if someone at my writer’s group hadn’t talked about it. Well I’m glad he did because what a little gem this turned out to be.

Perfume has the strangest premise I’ve come across in years: it’s set in the 18th Century and tells the story of one Jean-Baptiste Grenouille. Borne and raised in poverty, he would’ve probably died an anonymous, crippled pauper, if not for a number of rather unusual traits: he has a sense of smell that goes beyond comic-book superhuman, a raw, untrained intelligence to match, and sociopathic streak that allows him to kill without the slightest twinge to his conscience. You’ve probably already gathered that you’re not going to like him very much, though when you read his reasoning behind it, you might just think there’s a perverse kind of purity in what he’s attempting to do, even while being quite appalled. Continue reading “Book review: Perfume”

Avengers Endgame

There’s not a whole lot I can tell you about the Avengers’ last outing without throwing in a ton of spoilers. Best if I just stick to the facts then:

  1. First off, it’s epic. And I do mean epic. It weighs in at a bladder-straining three hours, and there’s not a minute of it you’ll want to miss, so make sure you go before you sit down, and go easy on the water.
  2. It’s spectacular. Just about every marvel character from the past decade makes an appearance. Sure, there’s no way you can give everyone the screen time they deserve, but I didn’t get the feeling that anyone could’ve been cut.
  3. It’s exhausting. The movie starts with a whisper, and in the space of a few minutes it ramps up to full tilt and does not let go until the closing credits. Some genuinely sad moments along the way too.
  4. It really is the end, and that’s also kind of sad, but y’know, all good things …

Holding that many characters together in a single film is impressive work. The script was top-notch, though it lacked the same level of humour that I’m used to seeing in a Marvel production. Having said, that half the universe has just been wiped out, so perhaps now’s not the time for a comedy skit. Still, it still has its moments in what was a much more sombre outing. Having just trounced in the previous movie, the characters were a lot less sure of themselves, a lot more vulnerable, a lot more human; that was good to see, especially from Chris Hemsworth’s Thor.

Okay, so I enjoyed it, a lot, but it did have one or two moments that left me a little bit confused, mainly the bit with Captain America near the end – how does that work? Won’t say any more, but watch and see.

Ten out of ten. Go see it. Then see it again.