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Another catch-up post with bunches of books. I meant to do this last week but the past week has been, to put it mildly, a steaming pile of poo. "The devil farts in my face once again, Percy" about sums it up. I'm starting to feel semi-human again, so here we are. Following are some goodies I highly recommend.

Ugly War, Pretty Package = an in-depth analysis of how Fox News and CNN packaged, presented and sold the Iraq War as a "high-concept" film, complete with heroes, a soundtrack, special effects, and a catchy narrative. It's amazing, fascinating, and very creepy. The creepiest part is that -- Fox's loud protestations notwithstanding -- the two networks basically sold the exact same narrative, slavishly following the government's and military's "party line." Read it; you'll never watch television news the same way again.

It Can't Happen Here = dystopian America in which a populist loudmouth (who sounds frighteningly like Sarah Palin) is elected and sends the US into a spiral of totalitarian terror and oppression. Although written in 1935, it's almost eerily prescient in its portrayal of a media-created candidate, and Berzelius Windrip and his second-in-command Lee Sarason (who runs everything behind the scenes) are scarily like Dubya and Cheney. I could easily picture Cheney engineering a coup.

Wolf Hall = Henry VIII's divorce from Katherine and marriage/beheading of Anne Boleyn, told from the perspective of Thomas Cromwell. Booker Prize winner. Interesting -- written in the present tense, which took some getting used to, and in a style less narrative than poetic. Interesting to see a sympathetic portrayal of Cromwell, as a talented bureaucrat who just wants the country to run smoothly, and a very unsympathetic portrayal of Thomas More as an unbending fanatic willing to torture those who don't see God his way.

That about gets us up to speed. Oh no, one more -- Volume 2 of Neil Gaiman's Sandman tales, The Doll's House. VERY cool indeed. Love the spectacle of Morpheus having to track down and kill or recapture escaped nightmares, the idea that Desire and Despair are twins, and the story of Hob Gadling which poses the theory that Dream could be lonely and want a friend. The Cereal Convention was brilliantly creepy, and Morpheus' older sister Death makes an appearance. So far no glimpse of the Library of Dreams, though. Still waiting for that.

So. There it is, then.

Comments

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ladyoneill
Dec. 13th, 2009 05:31 am (UTC)
Death is the coolest thing ever. :)

My favorite of the arcs is the one in Vol. 4, Season of Mists, because it brings us Gaiman's version of Lucifer in full glory and that version morphs into the character who ran so beautifully in his own 75 issue book. I absolutely adore Lucifer.

Yes, I'm that weird. *g*

Now you're making me want to go dig out all the comics, which would take hours as none of my comics are in order. *sigh*
delphipsmith
Dec. 13th, 2009 05:23 pm (UTC)
Oooh, Lucifer. Looking forward to that :) I sympathize with your unruly comic stacks; I have stacks of old Cerebus comics which I rarely re-read because of the hassle of pulling out 200 things that will each take me ten minutes to read LOL! I'm glad I'm buying Sandman in the volumes; makes life much easier. Wish they weren't $20 apiece though!
nursedarry
Dec. 13th, 2009 06:48 am (UTC)
Okay, I must have that icon, Delphi!
delphipsmith
Dec. 13th, 2009 05:27 pm (UTC)
Help yourself -- came from curtana. I posted a thank-you to her for the one you sent me there for (this one), and she mentioned I should check out her iconsbycurtana and look for entries tagged "britcom". Some excellent stuff there!

Edited at 2009-12-13 05:28 pm (UTC)
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