The Lost Weekend (1945 USA)

The now very famous title is obviously a reference to what can happen to the confirmed alcoholic when they feel compelled by their bodies to embark on the mother of all benders. As this is an addiction – or a disease, however you prefer to label it – gaps in time tend to occur quite frequently. The drunk will not remember nor care about the depths they have sunk to, but director Billy Wilder was able to superbly capture all of the squalor on film for his audience. The Lost Weekend is almost beyond reproach in its sobering message, sending a strong no-preaching tone. It has a wonderful, sometimes offbeat, script, a wide character range underscored by a marvelous supporting cast and an often moving lead in Ray Milland, our lush under the microscope, who does a grand job projecting despair and cynicism. [Read more…]

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The Love Machine (Jacqueline Susann)

eamstrashy novelslove-machineWould you think something was wrong if you kept shouting out “Mummy! Mummy!” in a German accent every time you tried to sleep or reach orgasm? Maybe a trip to a hypnotic psycho-therapist is in order and we can travel back to when you were five. This extremely tasteless best-seller from 1969 certainly shines. Like a rhinestone in a pit full of manure. The novel deals primarily with the rise and fall of Robin Stone. His psychological problems are straight out of Hitchcock. And he runs through the lives of a good half-dozen women in the course of the book, leaving all of them scarred and mutilated–a couple of them literally so. [Read more…]

A Scanner Darkly (Philip K. Dick)

4798509311_fa145ba0c2The work of a mature writer – and is as close as the author came to writing a mainstream novel. The sci-fi elements are discreet: the novel is set in the future, but this is the California of an imagined 1994 that is very similar to that of 1977, which is this book’s original year of publication. [Read more…]

The House On The Strand (Daphne du Maurier) Book Review

220px-TheHouseOnTheStrandDick Young is staying at his friend Professor Magnus Lane’s house on the Cornish coast whilst he is in London, and is encouraged by him to try an experimental drug he is working on. The drug sends Dick back to the 14th century to experience life and intrigue in the local landowning families through the steward Roger Gylmirth. [Read more…]

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