My normal reading fare is what is called the heavy stuff – philosophy, religion, economics, history etc. To vary the pace and for diversion I do read fiction but, had recently not been doing so, particularly thrillers, by default.
By accident, I came across an advertisement a few weeks ago, for the latest David Baldacci book and from there it was a matter of going back to reading that book and a few others by him and Lee Child. I was just about to finish one by Baldacci when a favourite journalist reviewed some books in a column in one of our local newspapers and mentioned John Verdon as being one of his favourites. I had never heard of Verdon before.
Since I trust the journalist’s taste, I downloaded Verdon’s very first book Think Of A Number, on my Kindle and am just about to finish the book. I am glad that I discovered him as, he writes very well and I intend downloading the other five books that he has written to read in sequence.
The purpose of writing this post however is not to promote the three authors mentioned above though, if my readers want to pursue further, they will not be disappointed. The purpose is to write about a new phenomenon that I am experiencing while I read thrillers.
When the author builds up the tension in various scenes, I am unable to read through till the end and, have to pause for a while and then get back to reading to bring the pumping adrenalin back to normal. This never used to happen before and I think that my body is sending me signals to slow down on the excitement! Sure sign of ageing?
Does this happen to any of my readers? Shackman particularly is a regular reader of thrillers and I would very much like to hear of his experience on this phenomenon. I can’t think of any other readers of thrillers among my readers but, if there are, their experiences also will be most welcome.
As my readers know, I am a great fan of Lee Child and particularly like his hero Jack Reacher. Throw in Tom Cruise into a mixture as Jack Reacher in a movie, and how could I not go to see it?
Due to illness, I was not able to see the first Jack Reacher movie when it was screened here and this time around I had no intention of missing it for any reason and so off I went earlier this afternoon to see it and thoroughly enjoyed the experience.
Tom Cruise effortlessly portrays Reacher and is ably supported by Cobie Smulders. It is a fast paced action movie and has one glued to one’s seat from the start to the finish.
If you are a fan of Jack Reacher, or like action movies and are willing to spend about two hours in a movie hall, I recommend that you go and see this film.
Dada Vaswani is a much in demand person for the Sindhi diaspora. He is therefore a much travelled man who has seen more of the world than most of his followers would in a lifetime. He was once asked by a follower as to which in his opinion is the best city in the world and without a moment’s hesitation replied “Simplicity.”
Is there such a city anywhere? I doubt it. But we can make ourselves live in simplicity which as Da Vinci points out is the ultimate sophistication.
Let me share with you my idea of the ultimate simple man. He is Jack Reacher. He does not have a home and lives in the clothes that he wears changing them every few days in a supermarket. He sleeps in motels and in whatever mode of conveyance that he uses to drift. He just carries a toothbrush in his pocket. I have written about him earlier and in that post had also introduced a great simplicist blogger Tammy. I had also mentioned my own regrets in the following words.
“My one regret in life is my physical limitation that prevents me from taking to the life of a Sadhu. Indian Sadhus are somewhat like Reacher except that they do not get into the kind of adventures that the latter gets into, nor are they likely to be retired Military Police officers. These are the people who have successfully broken out of houses as Wilder suggests most would like to. I would dearly love to and take to a life of wandering not quite begging to survive but like Reacher living on the move with no baggage.”
This topic was suggested by Padmum for the weekly Friday Loose Bloggers Consortium where currently nine of us write on the same topic every Friday. I hope that you enjoyed my contribution to that effort. The seven other bloggers who write regularly are, in alphabetical order, Ashok, gaelikaa, Lin, Maxi, Padmum, Pravin, Shackman and The Old Fossil. Do drop in on their blogs and see what their take is on this week’s topic. Since some of them may post late, or not at all this week, do give some allowance for that too!
Everybody’s talking about people breaking into houses but there are more people in the world who want to break out of houses.
~ Thornton Wilder.
This post is dedicated to Tammy who is a great minimalist constantly trying to break out of shackles.
He could be fictional, but the greatest minimalist that I have come across is Jack Reacher, Lee Child’s hero. He does not own anything other than the clothes that he wears and discards to buy just another set to last him a while longer. He stays in motels and keeps wandering getting into all kinds of adventures.
My one regret in life is my physical limitation that prevents me from taking to the life of a Sadhu. Indian Sadhus are somewhat like Reacher except that they do not get into the kind of adventures that the latter gets into, nor are they likely to be retired Military Police officers. These are the people who have successfully broken out of houses as Wilder suggests most would like to. I would dearly love to and take to a life of wandering not quite begging to survive but like Reacher living on the move with no baggage.
Joshua and Ryan are two modern day Minimalists who are kind of trail blazers and their book Everything That Remains explains the philosophy of Minimalism and the benefits of leading such a life like nothing that I have ever read before. How I wish that I could at least be as minimalist as Joshua has become if I can’t become a Reacher clone!
The attraction? Denzel Washington. The reason for going on a Weekend afternoon, a busy calendar the whole of next week for both my partner in crime Ramesh and me. And despite the higher cost of the tickets, both of us also wanted to exploit a sale offering “buy two get one free” from a shop that we patronise for garments in the mall that houses the multiplex. The offer is only for this weekend.
The reaction? Overall, a very satisfying afternoon. The film was good, I made some new friends at the theater and at the shop after the movie and Denzel did not disappoint. Both Ramesh and I made some good purchases as well.
What is puzzling is the frequency with which the Russian Mafia as it is called now features in many English films and action novels. Is it an all pervading presence in the USA and the UK today? I ask because the last two films that I saw had the Russian Mafia being tackled by the heroes, the last action novel that I read of Lee Child, Personal also features the Russian Mafia in London, and the last British made film that I saw Rocknrolla also featured them. It would appear that the Russians have now taken over from the Italians!
The story builds up nicely with just enough mystery to keep the viewer’s curiosity about the background of the hero alive till it all falls into place. The action is fast paced and quite realistic considering the background of the hero and tight direction and editing makes it a worthwhile movie to watch. Definitely a better film than just a popcorn movie. I however hesitate to give it a full six star because of the length of the film. It could have been lower with some unnecessary scenes cut out. So, Denzel has to be satisfied with [rating=5].