European Travel for the Monstrous Gentlewoman—Part2—From Vienna to Budapest

European Travel for the Monstrous Gentlewoman by Theodora Goss book cover
European Travel for the Monstrous Gentlewoman by Theodora Goss

European Travel for the Monstrous Gentlewoman, by Theodora Goss, continues the adventures of the Athena Club—a gathering of women who were all experiments and daughters of alchemists—from their meeting and formation of the Club in The Strange Case of the Alchemist’s Daughter. This time out, the Club are trying to rescue another daughter-experiment, one Lucinda Van Helsing.

I’ve broken my review up into two parts partially because this book is a doorstopper and partially because the book itself is divided into two parts. The first part of my review can be found here.

1—When Last We Left Our Heroines

Mary, Diana, Justine, and an increasingly unstable Lucinda had disappeared, kidnapped by Mr. Hyde, who is Mary and Diana’s father. He’s had them taken to a crumbling castle in the middle of the Styrian forest. Hyde wants Lucinda’s blood, and is willing to take it at gunpoint, to try to save his patient. Continue reading “European Travel for the Monstrous Gentlewoman—Part2—From Vienna to Budapest”

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Monty Python’s Life of Brian—Absurdist Non-History

Monty Python's Life of Brian movie poster
Monty Python’s Life of Brian

Monty Python is a British comedy group, with the most absurd sense of humor I’ve ever seen. This is their take on the life and death of Brian, who is definitely not the Messiah in Roman-occupied Judea.

Conclusion—I Don’t Know How to Review This Movie

If you have the kind of sense of humor that likes Monty Python, you’ll like this. If don’t, then you won’t. But it is a good introduction to their humor if you’ve been waiting to try them. There’s an actual narrative in the movie, however farcical. And ending with all the crucified men singing and whistling is just the perfect touch.

European Travel for the Monstrous Gentlewoman—Part 1—From London to Vienna

European Travel for the Monstrous Gentlewoman by Theodora Goss book cover
European Travel for the Monstrous Gentlewoman by Theodora Goss

European Travel for the Monstrous Gentlewoman, by Theodora Goss, continues the adventures of the Athena Club—a gathering of women who were all experiments and daughters of alchemists—from their meeting and formation the Club in The Strange Case of the Alchemist’s Daughter. This time out, the Club are trying to rescue another daughter-experiment, one Lucinda Van Helsing.

I’ve broken my review up into two parts partially because this book is a doorstopper and partially because the book itself is divided into two parts.

1—The Setup

Mary Jekyll receives a letter from her old teacher Mina regarding the disappearance of Lucinda Van Helsing, spurring her and Justine—disguised as Justin—to leave early for Vienna and the home of one Irene Norton nee Adler, via the Orient Express. They also have to borrow money from Sherlock Holmes, Mary’s employer, which they all chafe at, but needs must. Meanwhile, Diana Hyde, Mary’s sister, sneaks along with Mary and Justine. Sherlock goes missing shortly thereafter. Continue reading “European Travel for the Monstrous Gentlewoman—Part 1—From London to Vienna”

Constantine (2005 Movie)—Not As Deep As It Wants to Be

Constantine movie poster
Constantine

Constantine follows John Constantine as he tries to prevent the son of the Devil from using the Spear of Destiny to break into and overwhelm our world. Based on the DC/Vertigo comics series Hellblazer.

1—Half-Angels and Half-Demons

God and the Devil have a bet going for the souls of humanity. This means no direct interference from either side, just influencers whispering in peoples’s ears. When half-demons break the rules, John Constantine is there to send them back to Hell, a place with which he has personal experience, having committed suicide as a child and died for two minutes. John also performs exorcisms on possessed people. Continue reading “Constantine (2005 Movie)—Not As Deep As It Wants to Be”

The Wolf Man (1941)—Melodramatic

The Wolf Man (1941) movie poster
The Wolf Man (1941)

The Wolf Man is a horror film by Universal Studios. Larry Talbot returns home after his brother’s death and gets bitten by a werewolf, thus becoming a werewolf himself. Things go even more south when he sees the mark of the pentagram (really just a star) on his would-be girlfriend Gwen’s hand, a sign that she’s his next victim.

1—Larry Talbot is a Creep

Larry first sees Gwen through his father’s telescope, which ok, accidental spying for a moment, that happened. Where it crosses the line into creep territory is when he goes to her father’s antique shop and asks for a pair of earrings as a gift, then describes the earrings he saw her wearing through the telescope and of course she has earrings like that, they’re upstairs on her dressing table. Then when she asks how he knows that, Larry tells her he’s psychic about pretty girls. Later, when she’s said no to a date with him twice, and that she’s engaged to someone else, he still persists. That Gwen does seem to have a thing for Larry doesn’t make this any better, it just makes me think she’s an idiot. Continue reading “The Wolf Man (1941)—Melodramatic”

Yet More Tangential Links

It’s been a busy couple of weeks and I’m still working on that doorstopper of a book, but I just forgot to watch a movie this week to review. So here are some more links to some of my favorite sites.

1—The Creative Penn 

The Creative Penn has an excellent blog and podcast. The podcast, which I’ve been working my way through in reverse chronological order, currently has over four-hundred casts, most of which are approximately one hour long. So a nice long listen. Continue reading “Yet More Tangential Links”

Julie & Julia—Two Stories, Only One of Which I Liked

Julie & Julia movie poster
Julie & Julia

Julie & Julia is the simultaneous stories of Julia Child learning to cook and publishing her landmark book, Mastering the Art of French Cooking, and Julie Powell in 2002, who decides to spend a year making all the recipes in the book and blog about it.

1—Julia’s Story

Julia Child moves to Paris with her husband Paul, who works for the American government and was stationed there. Julia falls in love with the people and food and decides to attend Le Cordon Bleu. While at a party, she meets Simone Beck and Louisette Bertholle, who are writing a cookbook—a cookbook which needs to be rewritten. They ask Julia for help. After many trials, the book finally finds a home with Alfred A. Knopf and is published. Along the way, her sister gets married, her husband is interrogated by the government he serves (this was the McCarthy era), and she meets a pen pal. Continue reading “Julie & Julia—Two Stories, Only One of Which I Liked”

More Tangential Links

These are some of my favorite writing advice blogs.

1—Janice Hardy’s Fiction University

Janice Hardy’s Fiction University is a great place to get writing advice, with a nice list of subjects in the lefthand column, as well as a list of most popular posts. There are plenty of guest posts, and she also does a mini-series called Real Life Diagnostics where she diagnoses a real work in progress and answers the submitter’s questions. Continue reading “More Tangential Links”

Bram Stoker’s Dracula—Wants to be Romantic but Isn’t

Bram Stoker's Dracula movie poster
Bram Stoker’s Dracula

Bram Stoker’s Dracula, directed by Francis Ford Coppola, is a horror movie based on the book Dracula by Bram Stoker. The movie takes plenty of liberties though, like making Mina and Dracula love interests. Despite the music, I didn’t find it particularly romantic. Trigger warning for the movie for rape—Lucy was compelled against her will, so yes, it’s rape.

1—Disjointed Beginning

Dracula sets off to battle and comes home to his beloved Elisabeta having committed suicide, having been lead to believe that Dracula was dead. Enraged at being told Elisabeta’s soul is condemned, Dracula busts up the chapel and denounces God. Fast-forward four-hundred years and Jonathan Harker, played dismally by Keanu Reeves, goes to Transylvania with a picture of Mina, who just happens to be the twin—implied to be the reincarnation—of Elisabeta. When Dracula gets to England, he seeks out Mina, and rapes and murders her dearest friend Lucy while wooing Mina. I’m still not clear why Mina stopped being rude to him, she had every right. And that’s just one of the disjointed elements of this movie. The dialog at the beginning especially, between Dracula and Jonathan, and between Dracula and the female vampires seems…just off. Continue reading “Bram Stoker’s Dracula—Wants to be Romantic but Isn’t”