Good afternoon to you all.
Happily as the weeks go by there seems to be more and more to talk about fabulous things here on the blog. So I’d best make like a skit and daddle as we plough through the various wealth of issues we have to discuss this week!
Amusingly, one of the best stories I read about this week was the Queen of Crime, Agatha Christie, has been exposed as being something of a surfing fan. No, not as in the world wide web, don’t be silly. As in the water sport favoured by residents of beaches in far-off exotic places one can only realistically get to by watching Baywatch. Ms Christie learned how to surf, it is believed, just after WWI when her husband accepted a job based in South Africa and it was here that she discovered she preferred the past-time of water-riding than sitting in cocktail lounges like most women did. I have since been rather disappointed to realise there is no Poirot novel which involved him “catching waves” with Captain Hastings. Now that would make for good telly. The great white shark dunnit!
It was also in the press this week that the final Harry Potter film, the Deathly Hallows Part 2 (in case you didn’t know) is well on its way to overtaking Avatar as the biggest-grossing movie of all time. Earlier this week it became a champion of the $1bn club, and with Avatar triumphant with its $2.8bn revenue, although Potter has a way to go, after only three weeks of release I can see it being an extremely strong contender for the crown of king of the box office. But could the putting-it-mildly long-awaited Twilight: Breaking Dawn Part 1, to be released this November, or The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey releasing December next year be waiting in the wings to steal either James Cameron’s crown, or JK Rowling’s, if her hero of Hogwarts wins?
And let us not forget the first part of the magical trilogy (and my personal favourite in looking forward to) which Peter Jackson and Steven Spielberg will be bringing to us this October, Tintin: The Secret of the Unicorn. Don’t know about you, but regardless of which film may conquer Avatar these movies are all going to find me sitting happily in the theatre munching away on an extra-large popcorn. Oh yes.
Coming back to the world of literature, news on some forthcoming releases I was joyous to hear about in the past week included Where’s Asterix? Published by Orion and from the makers of Where’s Wally?, I’m confident this will continue stapling the legacy of one of France’s most-beloved comic book characters into the futures of the next generation, much like the Moomins are presently.
And with graphics as rich as the original Asterix drawings as standard, I’m sure it won’t just be children who will enjoy trying to find the little Gaul in his many scenes. I can’t see an Obelix one though as he might be a bit too easy to spot.
Another title I personally was even more excited to learn about being released this November is MetaMaus, a companion to the seminal work of art that is Maus. If you’ve never heard of Maus and consider yourself a connoisseur of literature then you should be ashamed. Mausis the true biography of Vladek Spiegelman as told through the graphic-novel drawings by his son, Art Spiegelman. To give you an idea of the book’s status, it is the only graphic novel to have ever won the Pulitzer, telling the true story of Art’s father as he survived the horrors as a Polish-Jew in the Holocaust.
What makes Maus so unique though, and this is not just in terms of the bleak and miserable black and white drawings recounting Vladek’s times in Auschwitz, but the sheer talent Art has in anthropomorphism as all his characters and races in the book are animals. I will not progress on the narrative any further, but I will say this 25th anniversary companion, which promises never-before-seen sketches, alternate drafts, Spiegelman family photos, diary entries and even a DVD of interviews, is most certainly a highly-anticipated book release for me this year.
Staying with literature but something a lot less heavy that tickled me when I saw photos of them yesterday, were twenty very unique and interesting bookshelves currently being shown here http://www.buzzfeed.com/melismashable/20-insanely-creative-bookshelves I have to say my personal favourite is the second one on the list; I believe as a gamer I would very much love to have the Mario shelves in my home! Although how did they do number 17?
I am rather envious too since I learned what Man and Boy author Tony Parsons’ next project is to be. He is to take up residence at Heathrow Airport for seven days and ask travellers about their stories of where they are flying and why. After he has collected his stories, he will be publishing his findings in October by HarperCollins. So if you’re travelling long or short haul through Heathrow very soon, you may indeed see Mr Parsons lurking in a terminal somewhere, in the hope that you will have an interesting story to tell about your journey.
This weekend is also the start of the Edinburgh Fringe Festival. I was going to go up this year to see a performance of Hamlet but as one of my favourite actresses who was due to be in it has since had to cancel her performance, I followed suit too and cancelled my plans to go. However if you’re going then of course enjoy yourself and any of the productions that you see in Edinburgh this weekend. I believe the weather is set to be good, too.
So I leave you all now for another week, but I think you’ve had a lot there to read and digest… try not to miss me too much.