Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Banned Books Week: Day IV

Now that the scare is over (for now), we can continue my little venture into some of my favorite books.

I think I'm going to continue doing a series, but this one is only a two-booker:

Ready for it?


If you ever wanted to read a fictional tale of the man who believes he reshaped both Ireland and America yet no one today truly knows or cares, then you should read the tale of Henry S. Smart.

His parents were attracted to each other by their names, Henry Smary and Melody Nash. His father was known to be a bouncer for an adult club and a hit man when required to do so. Oh yes, Henry Sr. also has one leg . . . he gets around using a wooden replacement. In fact, that wooden leg is also used as a weapon in his bouncing and hitting deals. No one thought that these two could ever be in love.

Henry was born in Ireland in 1901, and he was considered a child from the heavens. Absolutely beautiful in every physical way . . . he was reputed to have a thick head of hair and a full set of teeth on his birth!

As he grows up, Henry becomes a powerful player in the Easter Rising and in the Irish Revolution. He eventually even becomes a right hand man for Michael Collins himself.

But as the tale grows, it's clear that Henry isn't as big as he think he is. Clouded by his vain, he has no realization that the people he is currently fighting for will eventually turn on him, in an effort to take out any future potential troublemakers, of which he is the best in the business.

His efforts to escape the grasp of the IRA will take him to Ellis Island in 1924 . . . soon after he becomes a jack of many trades, including a sandwhich card salesman, a dentist, and a bootlegger. But these jobs fly by until he is asked by none other than Louis Armstrong to be his personal Guard and right hand man. Henry takes up the offer, and finds several similarities between he and Louis . . . especially in how both of them - no matter how successful they can be - will always have to answer to somebody, whether they be the white people (because Armstrong is a black man), the IRA (because they want Henry dead), or of each other (Louis is Henry's boss, yet Henry is the white man of the team). In the end, you can only find an amazing tale.

The series I specifically mention this week because while I doubt they have been brought into question for banning, they do indeed have alot of foul language, deaths, and sexuality . . . but for Henry, that's only the beginning. He is a man everyone wishes they could know more of, but there is not chance anyone would ever want to be him. No matter how resilient the man is (and trust me, this guy should have died more than once), he still remains proud, vain, stubborn, ruthless, and above all . . . ignorant. Even when he sees things are not the way they should be, he still can't get out of the world which he has driven himself into.

It really is a fascinating story.

Here's the pics of the first two books. Roddy Doyle has hinted of a third and final installment, but it has never become more than that. If he is indeed writing one, I'd expect it no earlier than 2009.

The Last Roundup
A Star Called Henry (1999)
Oh, Play that Thing (2004)

The Archive is Safe . . .

. . . for now.

Whew, that felt like a close one. But according to the site now, apparantly Arch is trying to fix whatever happened a few days ago.

I still would like all die-hard members to come and post here, as Blogger users, guests or even anonymous (though that last one WOULD defeat the purpose of checking in), just to see if every one's "safe"

And I must admit, because of my use of this site, it can be said that the Anti-Archive had NOTHING to do with it!! (yeah, weird . . . .)

MIA: The 24-Archive!

MAJOR REPORT: The 24-Archive - THE 24-Archive is apparently NOT online. What's going on??

Federal Agent Jack Bauer?
Martin HD?

I'm offering some sanction here for lost members of the Archive . . . but I've emailed Arch like three times with every known email I have and they've all come back unsendable!!

I'm really starting to panic . . . .

Please, someone respond!!

Monday, September 25, 2006

Banned Books Week: Day III

So anyways, I know I'm a tad late, but hey, I DID remember.

So here was what I was thinking. Everyday, I plan on showing you some of MY favorite books. Some are considered harmless. Some . . . well, aren't.

Anyways, here's my first batch.

It's a cop out I know, to do six books at once but it IS a book series after all.

Yes, I am talking about The Harry Potter series:

Harry Potter & the Sorcerer's Stone (1997)
Harry Potter & the Chamber of Secrets (1998)
Harry Potter & the Prisoner of Azkaban (1999)
Harry Potter & the Goblet of Fire (2000)
Harry Potter & the Order of the Phoenix (2003)
Harry Potter & the Half-Blood Prince (2005)
The Eventual Book 7 (unnamed and undated)

Any ways, this is the series that makes magic epic in our very own world. Unlike the tales of Narina or even Lord of the Rings, Harry Potter exists in our own world, actually set in a time period of 1991-1998 . . . with certain events happening as far back as a thousand years earlier, as well as the forties, fifties, sixties, seventies, and eighties, with Harry Potter being born July 31, 1980.

While many may claim that HP is a series that takes advantage of concepts and ideas from other well-known literatures, thing is, to create such a world as HP almost "demands" a tribute to certain books here and there.

And then there are the nuts (no offense) who believe that Harry Potter is pure evil. Let me just say this: Read the books for once! Then make a comment. While you may end up still not liking the series, at least it won't be a bias comment that's generally "EVIL!!"

As for the legacy of how this series has played a part in my life, I've been a fan since 2000, just a month or so before the release of Book 4. Good times, indeed.

Since then, I've read the first four twelve times (that was a LONG three years between Books 4 & 5!), the fifth twice, and the sixth once.

When the Seventh book comes out (and I'm slightly hoping for a 07/07/07 release - If it comes out later than that, odds are, it'll be longer!), I'm sure I'll be a fan of it as well. Until then, I'm just learning how to be a patient fan. Being a fan for six years now has been truly gratifying.

Now if only the movies were half as good as the books. Mind you, I thought the first and second rocked. The fourth was okay. Number 3 . . . bad. Just bad, IMO.

So that's it. I've posted some pics of the Four Founders of Hogwarts and how their pasts will surely be crucial in Book 7!! Come back tomorrow to see what next for my Banned Books Week Book Review!


Wednesday, September 06, 2006

What the??

Makes no sense, I know . . . but thanks to Agent Aranel of the 24-Archive for this one!

David Xanatos: Soon everyone in New York will be hunting gargoyles.
Goliath: Because of you!
David Xanatos: If you're going to be picky, we won't get anywhere.

Clopin = The Puck??

Yeah, I was watching the Hunchback of Notre Dame recently, and I must admit, that Clopin, the King of the Gypseys looks and sounds EERILY Similar to the Puck from Disney's Gargoyles. It's probably just some coincidance, but I really like the idea that while banished from Avalon, Puck may have spent a few years in France as Clopin before he decided to become (CAN'T SAY) in New York City by 1994 . . . .

Here's some pictures to get you thinking: