Book review: Hitman Anders and the Meaning of it All – by Jonas Jonasson

hitman_anders.jpgI bought the book because I loved the idea: a failed priest, the grandson of a millionaire, and a geriatric hitman just out of prison. Circumstances throw them together, and together they come up with some pretty odd ideas to scam money out of their fellow Swedes. The book is a good long poke at organised religion, which manages to deliver a few smiles and the occasional raised eyebrow along the way, but if I had to sum it up in one word, then I’d probably go for ‘likeable’.

Hitman Anders showed great promise in the early chapters, but it lost its way a little bit towards the middle. It kept me reading, which is good sign because I’m happy to drop a book if I’m not enjoying it. The author delivers basic but workable characterisations and keeps things moving at a mild canter.  He does have  to resort  to the occasional ‘lookahead’ though, to keep the reader moving to the next chapter.  Yes, it works, but I always feel it’s cheating for some reason… Still, it doesn’t happen too often so I’m probably being picky.

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Film review – Warcraft: The Beginning

I wasn’t going to see it; I don’t even play World of Warcraft which probably means I’m not the intended audience, but it was a nice day and I fancied being stuck inside a large dark room, so ignoring all past experiences of games made into movies, I popped down to the local picture house to see if it was as bad as I was expecting it to be.

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And do you know what, I was pleasantly surprised.

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Film review – Captain America: Civil War

 

I’m gonna hate myself for it, but I have to make a direct film comparison here. Captain America: Civil War had everything that Dawn of Justice lacked: heart, humour and humanity. Without the raw, destructive power of someone like Superman or Wonder Woman, and with Hulk missing in action, Civil War had to rely on brilliantly choreographed (and often brutal) action sequences to keep the audience engaged through the whole two-and-a-half hours. On its own that wouldn’t have been enough, but woven through the mass destruction of property and a fairly impressive body count, we had a story of friendship, guilt, sacrifice and betrayal.

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The stoic relationship between the Captain and the Winter Soldier; the confusion of emotion suffered by the Vision; the erosion of friendship and trust between the Captain and Tony Stark; Stark’s loss of faith in himself: it was all surprisingly deep stuff that was as equally gripping as the superhuman wrecking show going on around it.

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