Friday, March 6, 2009

The Round-Up#6

Hi there. I think it's about time I shared with you some of the fine books and films I recently had the pleasure of experiencing. So here goes . . .

Book Review: The Cabinet of Curiosities: Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child burst onto the scene with the rousing adventure/thriller Relic, a genre-hopping novel that was scary, compelling and above all a great story. But it also served to introduce one very special FBI agent. Special Agent Pendergast, one of the most intriguing characters to come out of the mystery genre and maybe the most intriguing character to come out of the genre in the past twenty years. And of all the adventures written by Preston/Child, The Cabinet of Curiosities is probably the best place to get introduced to their work and to Special Agent Pendergast.

The novel, which revolves around a seemingly immortal serial killer who stalks the streets of New York city, is a delicious labyrinth of atmosphere, suspense, scares and clues. It is one of those books that is so good, so original, you just don't want it to end.

So if you are a fan of classic mysteries, the works of Arthur Conan Doyle or Wilkie Collins, or just plain good storytelling, curl up with this book and let Special Agent Pendergast guide you through this wonderful mystery.

P.S. For more info about the works of Preston/Child and the Pendergast novels, visit the authors' official website.

Film review: Changeling: Clint Eastwood's 28th film as director is a masterclass in filmmaking. It's a story so well-told, so compelling, you just can't help but admire the sure-handedness of Eastwood in handling this complex story based on true events.

Part mystery, part court room thriller, it is a film that effortlessly combines several genres, plot lines and emotional turmoil, to a startlingly touching and fascinating piece of cinema.

Based on the true story of Christine Collins (wonderfully brought to life by Angelina Jolie) and her lifelong struggle to find her missing son, this is a film that tells a heart-wrenching story and ultimately a strangely uplifting one, with a sort of minimalistic filmmaking that Eastwood has all but made his own. Unmissable.

The film comes out on Region 2 DVD on 30 March and is already out on Region 1 DVD.