« 52 Poems, Week 23: The Prophet (Alexander Pushkin) | Main | 52 Poems, Week 24: An Old Man's Winter Night (Robert Frost) »



Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.

Currently watching The Tunnel, season 3. As you say, The Tunnel is very good, but The Bridge is better. Nice thing is, in each series only the first seasons coincide, so you can watch the remaining episodes of both without fear of spoilers.

I watched a couple episodes of the American/Mexican Bridge -- it was well-done but I didn't like the way that the actress portrayed the detective: her take on the Aspergers thing was too over-the-top and annoying, imo.

Finished Fargo season 3 a couple weeks ago. In some ways I think it's the best so far -- I think that overall it's the most humane and least cynical of the three.

I haven't seen any of the Fargo series, though I've had it recommended. It was on my Netflix watch list for a long time but then disappeared, as stuff is always doing, and I forgot about it. Probably on Amazon but at $15-20 per season.

I can loan you seasons 1 and 2 of Fargo, Mac. Although I think the first is on BluRay so you have to have something that plays those. 2nd season is DVDs.

I got all three Fargo's from the library.

I thought the cultural stereotyping of by-the-book Swedes and happy-go-lucky Danes was hilarious. Proximity really does accentuate difference.

Were all the paintings you liked from the same artist. I like her work.

When I was reading the part about abstract paintings, I was thinking yes,but sometimes I see an abstract that I really like for no discernible reason, so there must be something there. And then I saw the picture and thought, "Oh, he liked that one." Well, it moved you, and that is more than liking. I can almost see it. It would make a tremendous difference to see it in person.


Now I know why my magnolia doesn't have many blooms. We cut down a huge pecan tree this year that was blocking the sun, so maybe that will help, but it still has a lot of other trees around it. At the moment it has one blossom that is about to give up the ghost.

Ghosts and magnolia go together, don't they.


They do!

Part of their coolness is that the flowers are so huge. I really like the scientific name: Magnolia grandiflora.

Yes, all the paintings I liked were by the same artist. Some of the others were sort of semi-abstract landscapes that I liked a lot.

That never crossed my mind, Paul. Not surprisingly. One thing that puzzled me a little was the extent of the language difference. Sometimes it seemed to be treated as at least a partial barrier, sometimes not at all.

Thanks, Stu, but I don't have Blu-Ray player. It usually doesn't occur to me to try the library for things like this but I will. I thought Netflix might have the dvds (as opposed to streaming, but they don't).

I like the landscapes a lot.


I've had the same kind of emotional experience a few times in recent years when looking at piece of abstract art. Also surprised me because I'd always before pretty much dismissed such work.

Good to hear that you don't think I'm totally bananas about Nordic noir. A bit worrying, though, that it held such a fascination for me for quite a while.

Maybe the art thing has something to do with age? I don't see why it would, but it's odd that it's happened to both of us fairly late in life.

No, I don't think you're bananas. That kind of stuff is fascinating. Were you thinking of tv and movie stuff like this, or the books, of which I haven't read any?

I was thinking of both books and some TV series. I think maybe the books are much worse; the killings are usually very gory and there's often sadism involved. I stopped after maybe two or three of them, but I shouldn't have even finished the first one. Maybe the etymology of "fascinate" applies -- Webster's says it comes from the Latin fascinum "evil spell". :)

I can take gore but not torture. Is The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo one of these? I saw the movie of it and it was pretty rough.

No, I didn't dare even look at that Dragon Tattoo book. The two I remember are The Snowman by the Norwegian writer Jo Nesbo and one of Henning Mankell's Wallander books, but can't remember the title right now.

I read The Snowman, and I agree -- both the sex and the violence were O.T.T. and I probably won't read any more of him. I read a couple of the Wallander books but wasn't overly thrilled. Maybe I've been spoiled by P.D. James and Ian Rankin.

I do like the Nordic Noir TV shows though.

I started to read the Dragon Tatoo book a couple of times and then thought better of it.

We have been taking a break from crime dramas and watching comedies. Well, except for Death in Paradise, which isn't very good, but I like the characters and sometimes it's funny and never gruesome.


We've seen a couple of episodes of Death In Paradise and I agree with your opinion. I should keep it in mind for occasions when we want to watch something not very long and not very heavy.

Have any of you read any of James Ellroy's books? What I read about them sounded like something I would like, but I tried one, and within the first few pages encountered something so sickeningly perverted and gruesome that I immediately stopped reading and got rid of the book. Took me a couple of days to get over it.

I have never even heard his name, although I recognize the name of the books. I'm glad you warned us.


I've not read any Ellroy but had a similar experience several years ago with a Lee Child book. My tolerance for such things is much lower than it used to be. The way I look at it now is, when there's so much stuff out there to read, why read (or watch) things that seriously offend your sensibilities?

I'm pretty much of the same mind. Looking at descriptions of Ellroy's books, I think the one I picked up was probably The Big Nowhere, which is said to be about "a brutal sex murderer." That's a deceptively mild description. Others may not be that grisly. I assume the movie L.A. Confidential is based on his novel of the same name, and it's pretty good. I don't remember it being terribly disturbing though it's been a while.

That I have lived to see the day that "brutal sex murderer" is deceptively mild.


That entire genre of books is hard for me to deal with. I read one a while back on my Nook, cannot remember the author, Boston-based Clint Eastwood made a movie with Tim Robbins and Sean Penn. Anyway, that movie and book I liked a lot, so I picked another one. There was a scene involving a child that was so awful that years later I still remember it.

All of that said, I have read one James Ellroy book, American Tabloid. It was very good and didn't have that sort of stuff. More about the Kennedy assassination and people involved in all of that. His writing style is very different.

Dennis Lehane is the author I was trying to think of in the first paragraph.

Mystic River!

Don’t get me started on Mystic River. The abduction/sexual abuse scenes in the movie were what stayed with me and maybe most viewers, mainly because it gave the impression that it was Catholic priests doing the foul deeds. But it’s not priests doing them in the book -- from “Eastwood adds twist to 'Mystic River' :

The molestation crisis in the Catholic Church led director Clint Eastwood to make a minor, but eyebrow-raising plot change in the film adaptation of "Mystic River," which opens the New York Film Festival on Friday before a wider opening next week.

In Dennis Lehane's book about the stifling of childhood innocence in a fictional Boston-area community, two pedophiles posing as police officers kidnap a young boy.

But in Eastwood's moody adaptation, one of those molesters poses as a priest--a point driven home when the criminal reaches over the back of a car seat and displays a gold ring emblazoned with a cross.

"What's been happening all over the country, but in Boston in particular, influenced me to use [the crisis] as a red herring," Eastwood said.

"You try to lead people into anticipating what is coming next, so right away they go `Maybe this is going to be about that whole deal with Cardinal Law,' but then it isn't. You lead them into little red herrings before they finally find out where it ends up."

I think I'll let Mystic River slide.

'That I have lived to see the day that "brutal sex murderer" is deceptively mild.'

I know, I thought that as I was typing it. Don't ask me to explain why it's accurate.

Wasn't planning on it.


I remember admiring 'Mystic River' more than liking it. It was definitely a downer of a film, but it had some really good performances, especially Sean Penn's -- one of his best, I'd say. Didn't know Eastwood had made that plot change; I see his point about the red herring, but it's more than a little cynical.

Mac, the Danish "Killing" trilogy is pretty expensive on DVD. You'd probably be better off buying a multi-region player, which would be a lot less money, then I could lend you my UK copy of the trilogy, among other things.

Hollywood is disproportionately interested in Catholic priests, for good or for bad, but I suppose mostly for bad.

Yes, mostly for bad.

Thanks, Rob, but I'm not eager enough to see it to go to that much trouble. Surely it will eventually show up for rental or streaming.

Did not know this (or maybe forgot it) but the DVD players built into some laptops are multi-region.

Hmm, wonder if mine is. I'll have to check that out.

Verify your Comment

Previewing your Comment

This is only a preview. Your comment has not yet been posted.

Your comment could not be posted. Error type:
Your comment has been posted. Post another comment

The letters and numbers you entered did not match the image. Please try again.

As a final step before posting your comment, enter the letters and numbers you see in the image below. This prevents automated programs from posting comments.

Having trouble reading this image? View an alternate.


Post a comment

Your Information

(Name is required. Email address will not be displayed with the comment.)