Book Reviews: Movies, Bolivia, Alternate Universes, and Alcohol

Tookey’s Talkies
The first thing to know is that Tookey is the last name of the British film critic who wrote the reviews, and thus this collection of reviews. With that out of the way, if you’ve read Ebert’s or Kael’s or Maltin’s books there isn’t that much new here, though they are fun to read with a British accent. Some of his choices for best of the last 25 years are expected, but more are surprising; there are quite a few I’d never heard about, mostly British and European stuff that most likely didn’t make their way to the States. If even one of these hits the spot I’ll find this book well worth it. My favorite parts are when he’s deeply surprised when sequels are as good if not better than their progenitors, but mostly he makes me smile when his reason for liking a movie is the same as mine. 4/5

Tookey’s Turkeys
“Here is a movie that makes Dumb and Dumberer look threateningly intellectual.”
Here’s the other half of the movie-reviewing coin, Mr. Tookey’s worst films of the last 25 years. As one might think, this is tougher to read than those he praises. Most of the selections are expected, though his takedowns of several great/famous actors are worth the read alone. The revelations come when he selects some movies that most people would have on their best-of list, including Oscar winners; he particularly has it in for Michael Moore, and doesn’t like Dan Brown much more. Or Mel Gibson. . . 4/5
{Beeteedubya: in the leader quote he’s talking about Charlie’s Angels: Full Throttle.}

Senate Proof
Various levels of conspiracy fill this story about a bootlegging still for the modern age near D.C., involving rich people, politicians, and FBI agents. Internal strife threatens the entire operation, with some characters changing sides midstream.
The one note I made about halfway through was “This story is very uneven,” and that opinion did not change at the end. There are two main steams running through, one about a woman looking for clues to her father’s murder, the other about the still’s history and possible futures. At times they seemed to be written by different authors. The revelation at the end annoyed me, as there was no hint to it coming. It’s certainly not horrible, but I wouldn’t go out of my way to read it. 2.5/5

It’s the End of the World as We Know It
First of all, it has nothing to do with the song. With that out of the way, I can tell you it has some cute moments, but nothing more. Too much weirdness introduced too quickly to really keep up; I would like to see an outline of the author’s original intent, because it was hard to see a structure to all this, going all over the place as much as the characters.
The speech where they switched the first letters of every other word was cute for a while, but rapidly grew tiresome. And cats are terrifying enough without giving them this much power. . . 2/5

The Travel Writer
A woman goes missing in Bolivia, and a travel writer goes looking for her.
Not much happens. Nor is it a travelogue. It’s mostly the first person ramblings of a young travel writer who’s way too far inside his head to be of use to anyone. It’s okay when a character is amusingly annoying, but this one went way past that, almost making me give up on this. I would say I couldn’t stand the protagonist’s selfishness, but fact is every character is like that.
And I so hate it when a major character is killed off undeservedly. . . 2/5

;o)

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