Monday, April 30, 2012

March 4th, 2012 - The Magicians

The Magicians by Lev Grossman is one of my favorite books!  I've recommended it to any adult who loved Harry Potter and after  five or so people promised to read it after they finished such and such and so and so and then never picked it up, I put it on the book list.

It took 7 months, but it was finally chosen!

 A warning before you run to the store and go get it right now. It's the adult version of Harry Potter. And I don't mean it just has curse words and sex scenes combined with magic (which it does). It also has a quarter-life crisis outlook on life. So if you think that hard work and talent will help everyone achieve all of their ambitions, then this book will probably piss  you off.

If you recently graduated and have put in the time, got decent grades, and consider yourself smart and hardworking, but have been trying to find any job for half a year - let alone one you can stand - then this book is for you.

Being a magician in Grossman's world is hard work. It's for Type-A personalities who obsess heavily over details and memorization and will do the same thing over and over again until it's right.

Unfortunately, those character traits rarely let one achieve happiness. Especially if the world doesn't resolve itself into a neat little bow once you've succeeded. Like real life.*

The book is about Quentin's Coldwater discovering his magical traits at 17, his life at Brakebills (a college for magicians,) and his search for Fillory. Coincidentally, Fillory is a magical world created by Christopher Plover in the 1930s. It sounds a lot like Narnia, but it's a separate and real series.

So if my warning didn't put you off, the go run to the store and get it right now! Also there's a sequel!

It inspired 3 hours worth of discussion in my book club by the way, so I'm not the only one who liked it and wanted to talk about it.

 *I know it sounds like I'm depressed. I'm not. I've just watched a majority of my friends struggle to get some of the same opportunities that I just fall into. While I definitely do what I can to make thing work and deserve it, most of my success I blame on luck.

February 26th, 2012 - Beauty and the Beast

I know. It's been awhile.

I'd say "I'll be better," but I probably won't. On the plus side, I have at least 6 things to write about for this spurt so I won't just leave you hanging with just one drop of my amazeballs rhetoric.

So to the post at hand.  I wasn't going to see Disney's musical production of Beauty and the Beast, despite the fact that it is my favorite Disney movie growing up.

For one, it was at the Paramount and if I went with my usual theatre crew I probably would've gotten seats I hated.  I had also bought the Original Broadway Cast recording back when I was still in high school because I heard "Home" and fell in love. The problem was, the reason you sympathize/fall in love with the Beast in the movie is because you get really good shots of his eyes. And eyes being the window to the soul and all, you see he's not really a big whiney jerkface.

In the OBC version, he sounds like a big whiney jerkface. And Belle sounds much more stubborn and hard-headed then I remembered. So I actually lost a little respect for the movie because of the recording.

Of course I still wanted to be Belle, but my prince changed  into Prince Philip from Sleeping Beauty because he gets up and kills the dragon instead of sits around and whines about not being able to read (big turn off.)

Of course Aurora would've been able to kill the dragon herself, if she hadn't been asleep. Don't worry guys, I'm still a feminist at heart.

So there was lots of hesitation about going to see this show and then on the last day of its short run I wasn't doing anything and decided to splurge on myself. I got a seat in the Loge for the first time ever and took myself out.

Luckily, the show didn't erode my love for the story anymore than it already had been. It did feel a little flat but it was a touring production at the Paramount and was geared heavily towards kids.

The set, of course, was beautiful and the transformation scene appropriately mysterious, but I don't think I'd see it again if it came back in town.

If you take away one thing from this though, it's to go listen to a version of "Home." It's so good!