Television Show Review: Mad Men

Mad Men: Season Five created by Matthew Weiner (Lionsgate Television, Weiner Bros., and American Movie Classics) Starring Jon Hamm, Elisabeth Moss, Vincent Kartheiser, Christina Hendricks, January Jones, John Slattery, Kiernan Shipka, Robert Morse, and Jared Harris. Recommended, Highly  In replacement of a spoiler warning, if you haven’t watched Mad Men, stop reading this review and rent Season One. Actually, before you do so. I need to make sure you’ll like it. There’s nothing worse than highly recommending something that someone doesn’t like. Mad Men is a slow-boiling character-driven drama. If you need a fast-paced plot, death, mystery, and explosions. Steer clear! If you like complex characters, though, you need to watch Mad Men. For Matthew Weiner and company, Season 5… Read More →

Book Review: The Hottest Dishes of the Tartar Cuisine

The Hottest Dishes of the Tartar Cuisine: A Novel by Alina Bronsky; translated by Tim Mohr (New York: Europa Editions, 2011. 304 pp) Alina Bronsky was born in Yekaterinburg, an industrial town at the foot of the Ural Mountains in central Russia. She moved to Germany when she was thirteen. Her debut novel, Broken Glass Park, was nominated for one of Europe’s most important literary awards, the Ingeborg Bachmann Prize. Tim Mohr is a New York-based translator, author, and editor. His translation of Guantanamo by Dorothea Dieckmann earned him the Three Percent award for best translation. Mohr also collaborated with Duff McKagan on It’s So Easy (And Other Lies). Head in the Clouds I tend to be oblivious of my… Read More →

Television Show Review: Whites

Whites directed by David Kerr (British Broadcasting Corporation. 2010) Starring Alan Davies, Darren Boyd, and Katherine Parkinson. Celebrity Chefdom In a world where Gordon Ramsay rules, Anthony Bourdain sarcastically entertains, and celebrity chefdom somehow continues to rise, it was only a matter of time before a comedy in the culinary world would emerge to please the masses. I was thrilled to see Whites arrive. But, I was equally as disappointed to see it quickly vanish, cancelled after one season. Based in Reality Roland White (Alan Davies) had a seemingly promising career ahead of him. Alas, he is now a past-his-prime chef in a dead-end restaurant, at the White House Hotel. Roland is a gifted-but-lazy chef. The show’s writer, Matt King,… Read More →

Book Review: Catching Fire

Catching Fire (The Second Book of the Hunger Games) by Suzanne Collins (New York: Scholastic, Inc., 2009. 391 pp) Suzanne Collins began her writing career in children’s television. While working for Nickelodeon, Collins wrote for many shows, chief among them Clarissa Explains it All and The Mystery Files of Shelby Woo. Eventually, Collins moved to children’s literature writing a five-part series, The Underland Chronicles. Her Hunger Games trilogy, however, has received high acclaim, and the first book has been adapted into a major motion picture. Collins lives in Connecticut with her family.  *Spoiler Alert for Book One in Effect Throughout this Review* Book Two The Hunger Games and its subsequent Catching Fire is the latest craze among teens. The Hunger Games… Read More →

Book Review: A Clash of Kings

A Clash of Kings: Book Two of a Song of Ice and Fire by George R. R. Martin (New York: Bantam Books, 1999. 768 pp) George R. R. Martin is an American author and screenwriter of fantasy, horror, and science fiction. Born in New Jersey, Martin earned a B.S. and M.S. in Journalism from Northwestern University. He began writing fiction in the early 1970s with his first works earning him a Hugo and Nebula award. In the 1980s, he began writing in Hollywood for the Twilight Zone and Beauty and the Beast. Martin is best known for his critically acclaimed epic fantasy series, A Song of Ice and Fire, which was developed into Game of Thrones, an HBO television series…. Read More →

Television Show Review: The Walking Dead

The Walking Dead: Season Two created by Frank Darabont; produced by Gale Anne Hurd, David Alpert, Robert Kirkman, and Charles H. Eglee (Circle of Confusion and Valhalla Motion Pictures) Starring Andrew Lincoln, Jon Bernthal, Sarah Wayne Callies, Laurie Holden, Jeffrey DeMunn, Steven Yeun, and Chandler Riggs. A Premature Review Partly because I’m currently engaged in some lengthy books and need to post some content, I am reviewing the current season of The Walking Dead despite the fact that it is early in its second season. As I mentioned in my review of the show last year, I am not a fan of the zombie genre. Yet, the more I consider the subtext beneath these post-apocalyptic narratives, the more the genre… Read More →