A literary post: I can do reading me

Yes, it may shock you to realise I am in fact literate and that movies are not my sole source of entertainment 😛 I am in fact an avid reader, and so I feel it is time for a post regarding this.

First off, some very sad news: Ian M. Banks has been diagnosed with gall bladder cancer! It is heartbreaking that anyone should suffer this disease, and the possible loss to the science fiction genre (I never really read his mainstream novels) is also concerning. Obviously though if he were to recover and not write another book I would still be overjoyed. But Ian M. Banks, the man responsible for The Culture novels, is a great asset to my favourite genre and my prayers are with him.

Consider Phlebas and Look to Windward

My two favourites: Consider Phlebas and Look to Windward

Onto more cheerful news, I have recently had what can only be described as the privilege of reading the two latest books from Ken Follet: Fall of Giants and The Winter of the World. This man is a literary genius I tell you. He’s responsible for the two critically acclaimed novels Pillars of the Earth and World Without End.

Fall of Giants cover

Fall of Giants cover

Both books form part of The Century trilogy, which is based around the 20th century and the wars fought during it. It’s historical fiction, which means that the main characters are fictitious, but the events they witnessed are real and accurately portrayed. The first one is based around WWI and the second around WWII. The books follow families dragged into the war on both sides, and the books follow the same families and the new generations born into each.

Both are incredibly well written books. They have romance, action, historical facts interestingly told, as well as drama, intrigue and excellent character development. And both being around 800 pages long will keep you busy for a while…and books of that length make you look all intelligent-like! 😛

So yes, in conclusion I would definitely recommend the books to anyone for they really are superb.

Jeremy

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Fast & Furious 6: Fantastic

Ok, so months ago I said I’d be back after my hiatus…I’m sorry I blatantly and out-right lied, fibbed and deceived with that statement. But I’m here to tell you I’m back. This time for good (for realsies though, exams are coming up which means I’ll be in prime blogging mindset :P).

I’m here to kick it off with a bang. The biggest, baddest bang I’ve seen for a long time: Fast & Furious 6.

Fast & Furious 6 crew

Fast & Furious 6 crew

Let me start by saying that this was the awesomeness I had hoped for from Iron Man 3 (but more on that in another post). It really is my favourite movie of the year so far (Django Unchained included).

Quick review: the crew from Fast 5 are all back (excluding two smaller parts) and in tippy top condition here. It has The Rock delivering a fine performance as maverick secret (not really though) agent in charge of looking after Vin Diesel and his crew. All the man characters in the cast give a fine performance in fact. No one is going to win an Oscar, but I didn’t cringe at any point either, and Vin Diesel, Paul Walker, Dwayne Johnson and Gal Gadot (the ex Mossad agent) all coming across as badass. The story line is what you’d expect from a Fast and Furious movie, quite an adequate excuse for all the action.

And with regards top the action: it’s there in spadefuls. Explosive, fiery, awesome spadefuls. The first half of the movie works more on the story, with a few car chases thrown in for good measure. But when the action starts off in the second half it goes all out, surpassing even Fast 5’s final sequences in intensity and scale (yeah, including the safe-dragging bit). I don’t want to give too much away because half the fun is the incredulity you experience at what they get up to next, but the tank scene blew. My. Mind. And the final fight was filled with so much testosterone that it makes any Rocky or Rambo look like girl scouts selling cookies on a lazy Sunday.

In conclusion: it won’t win any Oscars, but it’s escapism at its finest. But more than that, it’s just plain fun. Definitely recommend it if you like action, are moderately into cars and/or enjoyed any of the previous ones.

Right, now onto the scientific inaccuracies (SPOILER ALERT):

  • Just before the tank scene the cable slung across the road would not have stopped that truck. Momentum people!
  • The cable attached to the tank would not have flipped it over, not in a million years. Battle tanks weigh upwards of 50 tons, a little 2 ton car on a rope is going to do jack.
  • The runway at the end of the movie by my calculations (assuming a takeoff speed of 250km/h based on a plane of that size) the runway would have to be about 63 km long…yeah right. Even though I’m not an aeronautical engineer I can’t be off my more than 10 km either way. To put it into perspective a fully laden Galaxy requires 2500m to take off. And the world’s longest runway is 5,5km long.
  • And in the runway scene about 5 cars manage to hold down a Galaxy sized airplane…pull the other one mate, a Galaxy can take off with 380 tons.

As always, if I left out anything or you have anything to add leave a comment please 🙂 my next post will be up soon!!

Jeremy