Looking for a a gritty, historical police procedural full of highwaymen and hangings? Then check out "The Gallows Thief." The author, Bernard Cornwell, provides a full complement of eccentric characters while the CDbook's narrator, Sean Barrett, brings them to life.
Rider Sandman is a former soldier and a hero of Waterloo. Due to a family scandal, he scrounges for employment. Given the opportunity to investigate a case for the Home Secretary, Sandman has too much integrity to confirm a corrupt conviction. Intending to find the real culprit, he questions both lowly servants and distinguished gentlemen. Sandman takes some wrong turns, proving he's human while still being a champion of truth and justice. He's assisted by an 'actress' named Sally and a veteran, Sgt. Berrigan, who are both cagey and well-versed in the seedy side of England.
"State of Play" was remade as a feature film in the U.S. Though the political drama is the same, the British version's additional storyline adds punch and is better cast. John Simm plays investigative reporter, Cal McCaffrey, whose college friend, Stephen Collins, is a politician. Collins comes under scrutiny for an alleged affair. Because of McCaffery's relationship with Collins, his newspaper expects exclusive information. The situation intensifies when McCaffrey investigates a shooting and unearths a briefcase that pits the paper against the police for withholding evidence. John Simm's performance is full of agonizing decisions as his profession and friendships are in conflict.
With the recent release of Martin Scorsese's film, "Hugo," based on Brian Selznick's Caldecott Award winning novel "The Invention of Hugo Cabret," in theaters and generating Oscar buzz, some may wish to delve deeper into the movie's rich cinematic history, accessible via the SLCL database page. The story centers around an orphaned boy living in a Paris train station and the relationship he forms with the station's toy shop owner and goddaughter. What some viewers may not realize is that "Hugo" pays homage to the life and works of real life French filmmaker Georges Méliès. Méliès, who began his career as a professional magician, went on to become one of the great silent filmmakers, creating over 500 films, many of which were applauded for their special effects.
"Can dogs climb trees? Evidently," writes Susan Orlean. "At least certain dogs can. And they can climb down, too."
A staff writer for The New Yorker, Orlean's work has been snatched up by Hollywood in the movies "Adaptation" and "Blue Crush." That relationship with Hollywood has reversed direction in her latest work, "Rin Tin Tin, The Life and The Legend."
Bob Seger is touring again after a hiatus. His career has lasted for decades and part of his longevity is due to his songwriting. Raunchy anthems like "Fire Down Below" and "Her Strut," are only part of his repertoire. His Silver Bullet Band spent excessive time on the road, and the lyrics for "Katmandu," "Travelin' Man," and "Turn the Page" are ripe for a doctoral thesis on the effects of endless touring.
Peter Mountford's debut novel, "A Young Man's Guide to Late Capitalism," follows Gabriel de Boya, a young, overeducated freelance writer who lucks into a perfect job with a high-power New York hedge fund. His first assignment is to cover the elections in La Paz, Bolivia, but not as a journalist--the fund wants to know what the president-elect will do with the oil pipeline so they can bet accordingly profit at any expense. All he has to do is get close to the new president without showing his real intentions--especially a press corps that keeps wondering why the new guy isn't publishing anything. When the unexpected happens--Socialist Evo Morales wins the election--Gabriel's position is suddenly more important than his superior expected, and Gabriel's romance with Morales' press secretary gives him a clear advantage. The problem is that he may be falling for her, and for Bolivia.