Our Man In Havana (Graham Greene)

Havana, frozen as it is in time since 1959, is a special, exciting and fascinating place to be. The Havana described by Greene from this 1950s slice of fiction is still very much there to see, albeit in its 21st Century version. Anyway, this light hearted novel is uncannily reminiscent of The Tailor of Panama. A spymaster and an expat on the ground in Cuba manage to concoct between them, but entirely without each other’s knowledge, a fantasy international plot, which allows the “source” to receive generous ex-gratis payments, and the spy to convince his masters in the UK that he is doing something useful, thus worthy of a generous budget. The joke wears off when people start to get killed; but they’ve started so they have to finish.
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Nightmare In Pink (John D MacDonald)

Nightmare in Pink is the second book in John D. McDonald’s 21- novel Travis McGee series. Although McGee gets involved in mysteries, he is not a police officer or a private investigator. Instead, he is a “salvage consultant” who lives on a houseboat (“The Busted Flush”) in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida. He prefers to be a beach bum, get a tan, reel in some fish, drink some beer, etc and seems a little uncomfortable in the big city. He is also a ladies’ man. [Read more…]

Ethereal, Luminous, Poetic…

A mis-spelling of Lazaris name but maybe that is for copyright reasons. This incredibly gentle music is designed to put the listener into a different space, full of the resonance of ancient Lemuria. Its wonderful if you want to meditate and need ‘sounds’ that carry you very lightly.

Gratitude (Omraam Mikhael Aivanhov)

“Think each day of thanking heaven, until you feel that everything that happens to you is for your good. From now on, say ‘Thank you, Lord, thank you, Lord…’ Give thanks for the things you have and for those you do not have, for the things that delight you and for those that make you suffer. In this way you will keep the flame alive within you. It is a law you should be familiar with: nothing can resist gratitude. You will say, ‘But how can anyone give thanks when they are unhappy, ill or poverty-stricken? I’ll never be able to!’

Yes, you can, and this is the greatest secret: even when you are unhappy, try to find a reason to give thanks. If you are poor or ill, give thanks, give thanks, and rejoice when you see others who are rich, in good health and prosperous, and you’ll see… It won’t be long before certain doors open and blessings begin to be showered upon you.”
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I Found This Video To Be Interesting

But some others obviously didn’t and the old “comments are disabled” must have been a response to some unpleasantness. Anyway, the concepts in this clip are a welcome antidote to so much Law of Attraction you must feel intensely positive about it or you must clear out all the negative thought patterns first that can be a right turn off for those of us who are more lazy or lacking in hyper enthusiastic energy. This is much more humble and sobering. Nice.

The Light of Day (Eric Ambler)

Winner of the 1963 Edgar Award for best novel this is an enjoyable crime/espionage vehicle typical of the era: crooks with scruples, the beautiful but unobtainable beauty & the luckless hero in the wrong place at the wrong time. The second half, with its collection of various misfits planning a heist, I found overlong and the stakes not high enough. Its hard to feel that Arthur, our hero, is in any genuine danger either (obviously because the first-person narrative guaranteed that he lived beyond the outcome of the plot) and everything was a little too languorous to be compelling. But the book has aged well even if Arthur’s character hasn’t.  [Read more…]

“If you wanna squeal to the FBI…”

“See these eyes of green…”

Man and Superman (George Bernard Shaw)

A first for this blog, I’m reviewing a play. But not any old play, one of the greatest of all time, penned by one of the greatest playwrights. The central question the play explores is the one that confronts every one of us: what is the most important thing I’m going to spend my life’s energies on, given our temporary time on this earth? In the preface to this play, Shaw said: “This is the true joy in life, being used for a purpose recognized by yourself as a mighty one; being thoroughly worn out before you are thrown on the scrap heap; being a force of Nature instead of a feverish selfish little clod of ailments and grievances complaining that the world will not devote itself to making you happy. The only real tragedy in life is being used by personally minded men for purposes you recognize to be base.[Read more…]

Prison Girls (1972 USA)

A bunch of female inmates get a weekend pass from St Helena prison. These jail birds are supposed to go out into the real world to secure jobs for when they are released. But they prefer tracking down their husbands and boyfriends to get it on. If you don’t mind the stench of some slightly grainy, slightly unclean cinematography on display then you may enjoy one of the greatest ever shower scenes to be put on celluloid. After Norman Bates and Marion Crane’s one of course. Anyway, how can I be rude about a flick that kicks off with a six-way (count em) cat fight? The 94 minutes pass like three hours but I can forgive that. We’re talking broads who are buck nekkid here so obviously this post is NSFW. (Just kidding)
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