reviews

reviews: The Singing Sands, We Were Soldiers, SG-1, SG:A

I really need to sit down and plow my way through War and Peace instead of spending my time reading mysteries and watching movies.

The Singing Sands by Josephine Tey

I love this book. The problem is that I love it sort of incoherently, so every time I try to talk about it, I end up with sentence fragments, which isn’t very helpful. Or else I spend my time accidentally rereading it, which also isn’t very helpful. Enjoyable, though.

The basic premise is that you have a policeman suffering from claustrophobia after having a nervous breakdown due to overworking himself, and a dead man in a sleeper car. And the policeman works recovers through getting caught up in figuring out what happened to the dead man.

But that strips the book of most of its charm, so it’s probably best if you just ignore that synopsis. So here’s a couple lines from the antepenultimate chapter which sum it up much better—Grant (the policeman) has just decided he needs to turn the whole mess over to his superiors in the morning:

He hated the thought. This was his own private fight. It had been his own private fight from the very beginning. From that moment when he had looked down through the open compartment door on to the dead face of an unknown boy.

That’s pretty much the driving force throughout the story.

*

We Were Soldiers

My dad loves this movie. He’s been trying to get me to watch it for well over a year now, so I finally did. And—again, I’m not sure how to talk about it except to say “Here. Watch this. Now.”

Yes, it’s bloody and chilling and awful at points—most of the movie is spent on the battlefield, and even the scenes of the wives back home show a different type of battlefield, just as horrible in its own way.

But at the same time it’s beautiful. And I don’t know how to convey that beauty, except to say that this is probably the only war movie I will watch and rewatch. It’s the story of the first major battle between US soldiers and the Viet Cong in the Vietnam war (I think I have that right), and of their wives left behind in the states, coping with the constant threat of that telegram saying ‘We regret to inform you....” And I’m not sure which is/was worse.

*

Also, SG-1 is just as much fun as I remembered it being (having not had opportunity to watch it since last summer), and I think I really like Mitchell. And SG:A is more fun than I remembered, but they need to fire the people doing the incidental music. Way too much of it, way too obvious. Which is funny, because SG-1 doesn't seem to have that problem. Now I need to get my hands on the first season and a half, since I haven't seen those yet.