Saturday, January 21, 2012

Double review

Our love for BBC produced period dramas is well known so last year on her birthday I gave Sparky the first series DVD of Lark Rise to Candleford. Then wonder of wonders, my local library got the rest of the DVD sets for the other three series they made of this show and after seeing series 2 and 3 this summer we just finished series 4.

We both really liked this show. It has all the requisite things in a BBC produced period drama, great costumes, locations, great acting, sets, and this one had the added pleasure of being overtly political. The basic story is that Laura, the cute blonde in the center, is from Lark Rise, a poor working class village, and she gets the chance to move to Candleford to work in the post office which is run by her distant cousin Dorcas. The lives of the citizens of both the towns inter mingle and as time progresses all sorts of interpersonal dramatic and gentle comedic things happen. Lives grow complicated, love finds those who seek it, and everyone's lives are a bit richer and better because they all got close and folks had their back at one time or another.

I liked the fact that this show got political at times, it showed the plight of the working people and the indifference of the wealthy towards them. I also liked the many guest stars that it had and the fact that they didn't wear out their welcome. The show had several characters that it was built around and other characters came and went as needed. It was all very British and all very good. My favorite characters were Minnie the post office maid, the Pratt sisters, priggish Postman Brown, Alf, Twister and Queenie, and Robert and Emma.

After seeing all four series of this show I liked the first one best but all of them are worth the time. This one is highly recommended.

I read this slender hardboiled Mexican mystery in a three day span. It's only 162 pages long and the story flew by at break neck speed.

A one eyed gimpy legged private eye is hired to find out why a woman's husband and brothers got murdered and why she's being muscled out of the money left behind in her father in law's bank account. The private eye is an intelligent but world weary guy who has seen his share of the ugly side of Mexico City and it's corrupt government officials. He's also old friends with a criminal who's high up in the crime world. His investigation takes him to places he doesn't want to go and he finds out that his hometown of Mexico City is even more corrupt than he imagined. With the help of a couple of retired pro wrestlers and a novelist named Paco Ignacio he solves the case and helps to bring a little bit of justice to a town that needs it badly.

I loved this book. I loved how fast the story moved and how Taibo painted all his characters. I'm sure things in Mexico City aren't as bad as they sound in this book and I'm sure Mr. Taibo his taken literary license with other tings about his adopted country. I also love how he made himself a character in the book. I could see elements of the famed Latin 'magical realism' in this book and they added to my enjoyment of it.

I highly recommend this novel and I'll be seeking out more books by this author.


Mnmom said...

I would watch Lark Rise, and Candleford at odd times, completely out of sequence, and I got very confused. Still enjoyed it, especially the Pratt sisters.

Kim Hambric said...

Dawn French! A hot British guy! I'm gonna watch.