That Thing Called Tadhana – Antoinette Jadaone

There are films that, secretly, you wish they don’t end at all. That being a voyeur to the adventures and misadventures of the protagonist give you a certain degree of abrupt escapism, wallowing on your own fortunes and misfortunes as if your entire life story somehow fused with that character on-screen. The utter feeling of profound emptiness when you walk out of the end leaves a dejected longing—a craving to discover—to continue being enmeshed in such a transitory atmosphere of a make-believe playground. But with the representation of love on the big screen is something discernible, more tangible and imperative; practically bestowing us an opportunity at reflection.

Antoinette Jadaone’s That Thing Called Tadhana (2014) weighs on our excesses at finding love in ways we least expect it. Ironically, of course, as the film begins with Mace (Angelica Panganiban) struggles with difficulty, on how to trim her suitcase of belongings she does not need to meet airport baggage requirements. As fate would have had its hand on the confluence of things, perversely setting in motion the sequence of events that would transpire thereafter, she meets fellow traveler, Anthony (JM de Guzman), who offers a quick-witted resolution to her predicament. There, they embark on a journey sort-of, attempting to search for the perfect remedy to alleviate the load they both, figuratively, haul—and, maybe in the process, fall in love.

The film is often (and I believe, quite erroneously) compared to Richard Linklater’s Before Sunrise (1994), however, despite the only similarity is its setup. It has become a clear barometer for dialogue-driven romance-themed film to take the oft-traveled path of Jesse and Celine, trading histrionics and chintzy performance for smart quips and mellow fluff. But The Thing Called Tadhana retains every bit of it as Filipino as it can possibly be—in spite of quoting Fitzgerald and its supposed high-brow-indie-film-sensibility—a great feat nonetheless, catering to diversified audience already brainwashed by a variety of dumbed-down cinematic glob.

De Guzman’s stoic demeanor punctuates his ability to spew philosophical one-liners and unforced witticisms is probably the impeccable equal to Panganiban’s natural spurned-lover bitchiness. Their chemistry, although, one might surmise being awkward—for one reason being the former’s unheard-of popularity—is quite refreshing. They trudge on the certainty of unfamiliarity, beckons the illusion of two unique strangers and forge the possibility of a route that maneuvers toward a would-be destination.

“Slow and heavy, but manageable”, as Mace repeatedly assures herself of how her baggage is (both literally and emotionally) and such figurative connotation could not avoid notice—comes to mind a David Pack song, The Secret of Moving On, is to travel light. And in the film’s penultimate scenes we see Mace leaving behind a lifetime of excesses. Jadaone’s passion for semantics is very clear and apparent, as the film lifts a burden of erstwhile experiences, taking into account a multitude of heartbreak and relief. It is through this such mawkish realization that perhaps, we find ourselves in their equal footing—wishing for our own inner Mace to simply yell it all out at Sagada (or somewhere similar without disturbing your neighbors), find that one distinct individual who will offer you a hand, and maybe (just maybe), fate will swoop down and makes everything fucking perfect.



American Sniper – Clint Eastwood

The sad thing that came out of United States’ War on Terrorism is not the nobility of its justification, but the divisiveness it created—the secular discrimination it somewhat turned into, and the social monstrosity that simmered from within gradually crept up and swallowed an entire nation as it grappled from the aftermath of a horrifying attack. Along with it, are the flotsam-and-jetsam of conflict—the soldiers whose lives were shockingly uprooted from the motility of normalcy and into the bedlam of urban warfare. Men like Chris Kyle. Men whose concept of righteousness is compartmentalized into tiny boxes of divine allegiance and patriotic duty.

Elevating the mythical position of the American warrior, is the film American Sniper (2014) also attempts to debunk it by inflating realism. Alas, we end up with a backwash of verisimilitude that wanders in the forefront of what actually is attained in seven-year military adventurism in Iraq. The film subtly questions decisions made and unmade, the human expediency of a fervent patriotic cause, and the tragic ramifications of homecoming.

Inasmuch as it is seen as an entrenching tool for military recruitment, American Sniper cautiously treads on bluntly admonishing the involvement for rational motives other than jingoistic. Politics aside, Eastwood refrains from being excessively flag-waving, yet indulges on the chosen playground of his machismo—his barren ghost-town wastelands of his Westerns replaced by the urban dustbowl of Fallujah and Ramadi; six-shooters traded in with Kalashnikovs, RPGs and M4 carbines.

Bradley Cooper’s Chris Kyle is far detached from the Chris Kyle that the Iraq War had seen: the moral ambiguity practically overwhelming his desire to confront the malingerers of his country’s interests—the “savages” hell-bent on destroying the liberty he so enjoyed. From this, is a rerouting of the film’s apparent impressionistic propaganda effect—fucking party sensibilities since George Jr. went to war to wage daddy’s vendetta against the ruler of Baghdad—instead, it bestows a radical yet subtle displacement of resistance to the armed conflict that saw the sacrifice of countless American lives.

What remains to be seen, however, is Eastwood’s treatment of a so-called hero that had been disparagingly portrayed by numerous disbelievers. There is little to doubt of Eastwood’s target audience in the making this film—but from what we surmise could be quite the opposite. For all we know, its morale-boosting aims at uplifting a nation’s war-weary consciousness in the aftermath seems to be the impeccable remedy of withdrawal. Much like a junkie pulled from an all nighter on crystal meth.

This film also tries to represents the phallic invisibility of a man with a gun–figuratively, and quite literally ,Eastwood does not shy away in delineating. His macho sensitivity oozing with a kind of misplaced confidence, and Cooper trained on the sights of a sniper rifle, reverberating either a Josey Wales in a desperate hunt for his wife’s killers or a Harry Callahan prowling the streets of Frisco for wayward souls. Among the female, as always in Eastwood’s cinema, is a solitary damsel-in-distress (being Sienna Miller as Kyle’s spouse–her weakness, though subtle, nevertheless obvious given the situation); and despite the American Sniper‘s faithfulness to its source material (Chris Kyle’s account of his ‘exploits’ in Iraq), never neglects the apparent gender stereotype.

Beneath the ecstasy that Chris Kyle had demonstrated in his four tours of duty in the battlegrounds of the Middle East, begs the conundrum of necessity. The similar approaches of today’s political climate misunderstood, the abrupt emergence of his “savages” and their incessant attempts to instill their radicalized beliefs, which is why, perhaps the realization of Eastwood’s film tends to become not just a film that chronicles a conflict—and a man’s moral inertia—instead, some people might believe that it somehow develops into something closer to a medium that forward a particular group’s political ideals.

By no means American Sniper struggles to cope with the repercussions of conflict as easy as portraying the trauma of battlefield stress simply as a postscript to the epic drama of Chris Kyle’s tortured (yet voluntary) existence, that it comes beguilingly constrained as a foolproof method of sympathy. Despite its imperfections and ideological undertones, Eastwood manages to helm a film that strikes a chord deep into the heart of a country divided in recognizing the value of past judgments.

The Imitation Game Movie New Pic (2)

The Imitation Game –  Morten Tyldum

The major premise of Morten Tyldum’s The Imitation Game (2014) is repudiating noted mathematician and World War II cryptanalyst Alan Turing’s supposed personal downfall during the 1950s when he was arrested and convicted of homosexual offenses in post-war Britain (the UK would decriminalize the practice of homosexuality by 1967). That, and maybe the entire complexion of the film that chronologically (and somewhat cross-jumping timelines in certain flashback instances) narrates his exploits undersell and overwhelm its true objective. Turing’s depiction of closet homosexuality in the film is a thunderous backstab to the same movement it is attempting to champion. And that, quite possibly so, Tyldum’s ulterior motive for the adaptation is mordant enchantment and coercive persuasion. Unmistakably so, baiting for Hollywood recognition.

The Imitation Game begins with Alan Turing’s Benedict Cumberbatch) reporting of a burglary in his house in Manchester that ultimately ends up—as history books and a quick look at the Wikipedia would tell us—with a public indecency conviction and a tragic fall-from-grace. Along the way, Turing narrates his wartime experiences, unsurprisingly expurgated by the people who employed him for the machine-like precision of his brain. This forms the gamut of the film, the race against time to crack the unbreakable Enigma code of the German Military during the Second World War. Turing’s contribution to the war effort, although much of it has been declassified and made to the public fifty years after the fact, is undeniably valuable—more so, of the subsequent developments that burgeoned from such an undertaking. Quite appropriately, through this he has been aptly called, “the father of computer science”.

The film’s bleakness relies heavily on texture. Tyldum ensconces Bletchley Park as smug and viscous, inhabited by the variety of spooks such Commander William Menzies (Mark Strong), and a wastebasket of Britain’s top minds during that time. He traps them in a claustrophobic set play where the only sunshine you see is when Turing goes for a sprint lakeside. His description, however fairly accurate, decides on his concept of an espionage thriller—imitating a Furst or Le Carre—the dour milieu has a foreboding agenda.

Cumberbatch as Turing, acts like a stuttering Sherlock (and he portrays the role perfectly well—fleshed out with similar balance of pedantic cleverness and irreverent sarcasm), with Joan Clarke (Keira Knightley) as his brainy Watson, on the quest to catch the elusive Nazi Moriarty—figuratively, the Enigma code. Their partnership, despite the quibbles of implausible flirtations (Turing’s queerness–obvious from the get-go–is never really given the necessary approbation if Tyldum is actually bestowing this film a chance for representation), never really takes off. Blasting into the furnace like a test-fired V2. Such awkward chemistry, notwithstanding, probably makes the film slightly tolerable.

This is a film that begs for critical attention, giving up tone for restraint—evidently wallowing on the apparent Britishness of its cast. I think Michael Apted’s shabbily-made Engima (2001) is a step better in portraying Bletchley Park as a melange of caged minds fighting a battle far away from the actual front lines. Its safety net is Robert Harris’ fiction, though, and shoo-in an implausibility of an exile holding a grudge to spy for the common foe. And while a whole lot would beg to disagree, carries that torch of historical thriller not as deceivingly as a biopic.

That said, The Imitation Game is an okay, watchable film that contends with historical veracity for the sake of drama and entertainment. Had Tyldum’s focus shift to the more grueling task of the cryptographers working to defeat Hitler’s seemingly undecipherable codes, it would have been far more structured and substantive. Instead, he abseils to the cliché of the biography, practically sacrificing verisimilitude for an individual’s supposed ‘human condition’.



Whiplash – Damien Chazelle

I am listening to Art Blakey and his band, The Jazz Messengers, going crazy on the drums performing the seminal jazz percussion tune, Moanin‘, as I write this review of Damien Chazelle’s film, Whiplash (2014). Writing about music, one has to traverse a different approach—an auditory immersion, more conscious rather than pure visceral—often skewed, never straightforward. With film on the other hand, albeit with similar difficulty, is its in-your-face urgency—ubiquitous and impulsive. Of course, jazz creates its own identity, and more so, that by description is a rock-climb on its own.

Writing about film and music combined together in mind is simply mind-boggling to say the least. And which is why the title Whiplash is considerably apt for this kind of endeavor. The film’s raw intensity, compelling delineation and its coarse, atonal percussion-centric score contributes to the allusive pragmatism of first-year music student Andrew Neiman (Miles Teller), whose aspirations of being the next Buddy Rich catches the eye of jazz band teacher Terence Fletcher (J.K. Simmons) and his unorthodox methods of instruction. Beyond that, Whiplash transcends the music away from the coolness of what jazz is known for; and maybe from whom Fletcher repeatedly mentions Neiman should ought to be: Charlie Parker—the Yard Bird—from whose jazz’s acidity began to mold itself, and crystallized it into the brassy grit of saxophones or, quite possibly (depending on which musician you would associate it to), the rhythmic brush of the drum.

Whiplash can be somehow similarly compared to Aronofsky and his Black Swan theatrics—the glowering mentor/mentee relationship; the over-the-edge insanity of accomplishment, and perhaps, the structure of frustration. Meanwhile, we can say the pretension is absent, the ambition is less pronounced. Chazelle offers a less viable route to take, of simply telling a story. More Shakespearean anyway. Innately traditional and on-course. He gives us a narrative we can follow quick and easy, the dramatics elementary and unequivocal. The lines, although profuse with every single known profanity imaginable, is both sharp and candid.

From the opening tracking movement where we see Neiman perched upon the drum kit prepping himself up for an impromptu performance for the unassuming Fletcher, leaves a certain imprimatur—the closed fists and the door slam—and the composed yet flabbergasted response by Neiman confirms there is something horribly amiss, nonetheless Chazelle continues the cinematic way of delivery: we know, but we don’t. There is always something to question of Fletcher. Of his manipulative tendencies, his psychological make-up. Aside from the fact that he pushes too hard. We have teachers and professors and instructors like him. Maybe then, we would have had attempted to understand their background to realize their actions?

I fell in love with jazz ever since I first heard John Coltrane belted out Giant Steps on CD back in 1998 when I was in my junior year of college. It still is my obvious preference for music. Despite my inability to play any musical instrument (I would have loved to learn to play the saxophone), I could, by now, able to discern the variations in strains of brass, as well as identify a tune by its artist (however limited to Coltrane, Davis, Mobley and a few others). A particular scene reminds me of Teller and his girlfriend inside the pizza restaurant, while a piano score hums in the background—and in spite of its fictional (there is no jazz drummer by the name of Bob Ellis nor a band leader that goes by Jackie Hill back in 1930s—composer Justin Hurwitz wrote the score for the film) origin—but you get the idea.

Eventually, as with most films, enumerating the flaws are consistent with its critical analysis. Whiplash does not exclude itself from being an imperfect film. Chazelle’s indulgence in the genre, his overt obsession with music in his movies, from his Hitchcockian-written-but-not-directed Grand Piano (2013), suffers from reticence—lacking the appropriate voice, instead opting to choose music to channel whatever he wants to express to his audience. With Whiplash, he has the better vehicle, and the perfect group to forward it.

Richard Brody says that ‘Whiplash honors neither jazz nor cinema’ and it is a ‘work of petty didacticism that shows off petty mastery’, to which I rather counter-argue that Chazelle somewhat convinces us of the same catchphrase that Terence Fletcher so deftly utters to Andrew Neiman midway into the film: ‘there are no two words in the English language more harmful than good job’. Such demonstration of mediocrity is apparent in the self-entitled youth nowadays, and perhaps, the only way for people in the similar stature of authority as Fletcher to bring out that level of potential from an ambitious kid like Andew Neiman is through that style of heavy-handed discipline.


I must admit, I kind-of stole the title from a Book Riot weekly column on books acquired and books finished. I don’t think they would mind (unless, of course, they decide to push for the removal, which I would gladly do–I would not make it difficult, play hardball and eventually see myself getting sued for something so trivial and unnecessary), for such title utilizes a similar concept: newly-acquired reading material for everyone’s reference.

Anyway, there are books in this list that I bought weeks back in Manila (and where else? Booksale!), when we travelled there for a much-needed respite (and for other reasons that, despite its eventual junking, practically made us promise to relocate somewhere close) and one that had been in my to-read list ever since its release date was announced several months ago. It really pained me to realize that I’ve been neglecting this blog for God-knows-how-long and my immediate reaction was to begin writing again–one skill that I believe had suffered from the interval I inadvertently created.



Haruki Murakami’s newest work Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage is his follow-up from 2011’s mammoth-size of a novel, 1Q84. As always with Murakami, his writing mesmerizes, a metaphysical detachment from the banality of contemporary prose, and despite its apparent repetitiveness (of plot and structure; elements and style), he plunges his readers into the chasm of the fantastic and, quite possibly, a sort of literary hypnosis. I am currently in the book’s first pages, and from what I surmise, it would be a breathtaking read.

This morning, I finished Jim Thompson’s The Killer Inside Me, which was adapted to the big screen by director Michael Winterbottom, and featured a cast whose names are affixed with incidental nepotistic delineation: Ben’s kid brother Casey Affleck, and Goldie’s platinum blonde daughter Kate Hudson. Also throw in a dull brunette (something so wildly un-stereotypical) by the name of Jessica Alba. To most of the pulp-noir faithful, Jim Thompson is a household name, along with the likes of Raymond Chandler, Dashiell Hammett, James M. Cain, and even David Goodis, authors whose works are constantly adapted and re-adapted. Thompson’s include The Grifters (Melanie Griffith and Billy Baldwin), Pop. 1280 (made into a wonderful noir flick by Bertrand Tavernier with Philippe Noiret and Isabelle Huppert), and The Getaway (Peckinpah with McQueen and McGraw). The Killer Inside Me weaves the unconventional–challenging the morality and the intrinsic righteousness of law enforcement)–and the unthinkable into one warped-up plot set in a small town Texas.

Dean Francis Alfar’s collection of short stories, How To Traverse Terra Incognita was bought simply because it’s a Dean Alfar. I haven’t actually read his previously published works in book-form (Salamanca, etc), but I’ve been a follower of his blog when he was updating it. And his prose can rival a Vandermeer or a Gaiman, for that matter. Dean mostly delves on the speculative-cum-fantastic fiction, the kind of fiction I had the least patience to read, yet he uses the traditional Filipino penchant in supernatural belief as a mechanism to fuel his stories—something that made me rethink of my aversion to fantastic fiction.

When I first set my eyes on Warren Ellis’ Gun Machine, I knew I had to have a copy. Took me a almost a month to bequeath what was left of my peso to journey back to the Powerbooks branch where I first saw to actually find myself handing the bills over to the counter person. I’ve been an Ellis fan since I read his debut novel, Crooked Little Vein, back in 2008, and where, a cult following to godzilla bukkake, like a metampethamine shot straight up. Gun Machine is, surprisingly, half-baked and almost contemporary: the quality, less reminiscent of the eccentricity of Vein, but more reader-friendly. Gone is Ellis’ semi-wired oddity and is replaced with a “cautionary-cum-satirical jab at America’s gun culture”. The book is readable, just don’t expect it to be at the same level as Transmetropolitan.

These books I got at Booksale, a franchise used bookshop that mostly caters to the casual penny-scrimping Filipino. Inasmuch as I patronize Powerbooks and Fully Booked, but finances often preclude me from binging at this two big box shops. Despite my bargain book tendencies I inculcated while living in the US (literature is mightily pricey—as literacy is measured not by the abundance of books available, but by its apparent cost), I am meticulous in searching for a book in perfect condition.

  •  People Who Eat Darkness (Richard Lloyd Parry) – I’ve seen copies of this book at Barnes and Noble months back (or probably, a year back) and while the curiosity had not really attempted to murder the kitty in me, I decided to forego buying one. I’ve heard and read of the disappearance (and subsequent murder) of Lucie Blackman through Jake Adelstein’s wonderful memoir Tokyo Vice, mentioning the difficult conditions of Western expatriates working in the Japanese hospitality industry. Parry’s book, on the other hand, magnified it in unprecedented detail.
  • Two Bond novels by John Gardner, Brokenclaw and Nobody Lives Forever – I was expecting to find Ian Fleming’s but I’d settle for this. Besides, I have read two of his Bond works long ago, Never Send Flowers and Seafire.
  • The Pacific War Companion – Osprey Publishing books are just too pricey if you are going to purchase them at either Amazon or BN. Finding this at Booksale is a godsend.
  • The Lemur (Benjamin Black) – Another blind buy, but only because I was hoping I’d find something of a gem. But guess what, The Lemur is far from being one. Serialized in the New York Times, Black (author John Banville pen name while writing crime fiction) goes for the broadsheet immediacy and length and is a big letdown, both in composition and style.
  • The MacArthur Highway and Other Relics of American Empire in the Philippines (Joseph P. McCallus) – one of the non-fictions I bought (the others being Parry’s, and The Pacific War Companion), is perhaps, one of the little gems I found at Booksale. The book is part travelogue, part history, part social analysis on the influences of American occupation of the Philippines. McCallus travelled to the several cities and townships where General Douglas MacArthur did his island hopping to fulfill his promise of liberating the Philippines from the Japanese during the Second World War. Interesting to the point of simply chronicling what happened in the war and the conditions of such places decades after.

Chris Pavone’s The Accident is the sequel to his espionage thriller The Expats, which in spite of its overtly cinematic treatment, still is a captivating read. Both have standalone plot, but I think The Accident has more plausibility, though somewhat a bit lukewarm compared to Olen Steinhauer. I would say Pavone’s literary proximity is there with Dan Fesperman’s spy novels.

William S. Burroughs’ The Ticket That Exploded is bought blind. As always, Burroughs’ offbeat weirdness is not for everybody’s palate, the reason why I hesitated when I started reading it (now, unfortunately, ended up in my to-read pile), and perhaps why the counter girl told me the book was marked way below its printed sticker price (same went for Thompson’s book–I’m not complaining, by the way, it’s just that people usually tend to value literature by referring to what’s in the bestseller list). The book is part of The Nova Trilogy, where Burroughs attempted to create a “new space mythology”.

Leche (or Milk, in Spanish, or colloquially, a derogatory term in the Tagalog vernacular) is R. Zamora Linmark’s take on the Filipino diaspora through the eyes of a Fil-American balikbayan. I have read a short story by Linmark in Jessica Hagedorn-edited anthology Manila Noir, and for some reason I decided to go for this book than Galbraith’s The Silkworm. Although I think of bestsellers as the anchor as to which the entire book industry is hinged, I believe their quality is compromised by its readability and market climate. Anyway, I’ve started reading Linmark’s book only to discover my pressent state of detachment to the Philippines, something that I (or we, my family, in fact) need to rectify in the future.



No, seriously.

In two years, the French region of Picardy will celebrate the centenary of the battle named for the river to which several towns near it were established: the Somme.

The Somme also prided itself as, tragically, the costliest one day in the history of the British Army–where around 20,000 Tommies were killed along with more than 40,000 wounded and missing.

The battle became subjects of both historical and strategic analyses, some on poetry, yet none in film. Except maybe for a documentary here and there, most notably the one narrated by actor Leo McKern back in 1976. As for fiction (or metafiction, I would say), I could not think of one–maybe, Geoff Dyer’s somber and poignant book-length meditation on the battle, The Missing of the Somme.

I have managed to find a slew of books that touched the subject particularly on its history–most of them well-researched and never attempted to dissect it through strategic movement and or any military jargon. Lyn MacDonald, for instance, practically redefined the military narrative by depicting the humanism of war–gathering letters of the fallen and the living, and integrating them into the bulk of the account, giving us a completely different perspective on the experiences of men during the war.


I hate to start my year with a stack of books unread. Last year at practically the same time, I managed to finish James Salter’s The Hunters and began Len Deighton’s Close-Up. By then, I have a small amount of backlogged titles waiting for attention, most of them relegated to the shelf of neglect and were accidentally ignored. Not that my tolerance to the written word has waned (similar thing befell my love for the artfilm), but I believe it was caused by further addition of books to the list.

Anyway, the previous year brought about an increase in my book purchases, basically through the noticeably unavoidable section of Barnes and Noble called “bargain section”–the mecca for the undiscerning reader, the oasis of literary quench, and maybe, the rainbow’s end of the frugal bibliophile. That being said, the list grew longer and longer–bumping up the amount to about two years’ worth of reading. A list that needed thorough trimming, metaphorically, my literary lawn aching to be mowed, or the branches pruned to a considerable thickness–in the case of my books, to a doable number.

So, here we go again.

I’ve read Frederick Forsyth’s The Odessa File back in college. Devoured in a single sitting, but my juvenile predilection towards Tom Clancy decided that Forsyth was a hands-down improvement over Robert Ludlum (whose verbosity was an enormous turn-off, having plodded through The Icarus Agenda and never finished it). It was through this book that I promised myself I would attempt to search for more of his older, Cold War-themed novels.

Colson Whitehead’s Zone One was bought merely because it ended up in the bargain bin (as most of the books in the list, anyway). Never a fan of the zombie apocalypse-caused dystopia, despite getting swooned by the first season of The Walking Dead eons ago. If I have to read anything about it, I would rather prefer Cormac McCarthy’s The Road.

Dream Team chronicles the establishment of the USA Basketball team that dominated the 1992 Olympic Games in Barcelona, Spain. It reads as an extensive Sports Illustrated article (evidently written by a former SI reporter Jack McCallum), replete with anecdotal references and personal recollection of the players involved. Probably an appropriate companion book to the late David Halberstam’s exhaustive detail-heavy work on Michael Jordan.

As always, my preference towards contemporary literature is limited to, maybe Nick Hornby or Haruki Murakami or Roberto Bolano, yet sometimes I dabble on the genre with much precaution so as to avoid getting frustrated and bored with them–and see them ended up on a shelf untouched and unopened for years. That when I bought Chad Harbach’s The Art of Fielding, I kind of foresee a similar eventuality, though the realization of actually picking it up after a few read books is somewhat promising.

J.J. Abrams’ S  and co-written with Doug Dorst (a name that, until this very moment, is a definite unheard-of), is in jeopardy of trudging the same route that befell Guillermo Del Toro’s The Strain Trilogy. Conceptualized by the cinematic bigwigs and ruined by sloppy writing. I bought the book primarily due to its packaging: an antiquated worn-out library book design in a cardboard slipcase and complete with the spine adhesive that contains its Dewey decimal number. This practically satiated the book collector side of me.

The Whisperer by Donato Carrisi and M.L. Stedman’s The Light Between Oceans were both bought mainly because they ended up in bargain bin of BN. And perhaps because of the latter’s favorable feedback in Goodreads that I decided I should find a copy. The former, meanwhile, is my second Carrisi having started his recent work, The Lost Girls of Rome, a few months back and replaced it  back to my consistently growing backlog pile.

There you go, and evidently this served as a personal testament to my ongoing bibliophilia. Much more persistent than my love for the movies (I grew up with books than films, I might say). I still have a bunch of books that arrived a few days ago from the online discount bookstore where I usually shop and a couple more from eBay (a Moorcock and a Harris!) that I would probably have to list for my next post. For now, I am in the process of trimming the backlog despite the additions. Wish me luck.


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