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I read Each Man... a number of years ago during Lent, and it was quite a kick in the posterior. In a good way. Alas, I've not read any more of Green's work since then, although I have copies of a couple of his other novels.

I have that Butterworth/Bridge CD too, and it's excellent.

This is another very good one, with different pairings:


Ha. I think that's the other one I listened to that didn't grab me in the same way. But I remember thinking that I wanted to hear the Howells viola piece again.

I had that same trouble placing the story in time. Even after I figured out that it was within my lifetime, I still could only think of it as around the turn of the century.

I never did read the introduction.

This book reminded me of others, one of which I could not remember, but now I realize it is Heart of the Matter. I had been thinking it was something I read more recently.


I started to read a Green novel maybe 25 years ago and found it too lush and descriptive. I didn't get past page 20. Maybe I would try this one.

I am going to check out the Butterworth - it sounds interesting!

If anyone on this blog has not yet seen 'Three Billboards Outside Ebbing', its very worth seeing. I watched it on Amazon Prime Video over the weekend.

I was sort of shocked at some of the language in "Three Billboards", Grumpy. And I am not easily shocked. That's not to say I didn't enjoy it, I did. It was kind of situational involving what was happening at the times the language was used.

I haven't seen it. I had seen some favorable comments about, and a few that absolutely trashed it. One of those, if I remember correctly, was from a Catholic theology-literature sort of person on Facebook.

Funny you say that about the lush descriptions in the Green book. I thought it was relatively short on those, except for a few.

I read an NYT obituary of Green which said that he was considered a master stylist in French. He was elected to the Academy Francaise (sp?). I wouldn't say the prose as such is a big draw in this novel. Meaning English prose of course. Not that it's bad but I don't remember ever thinking "that's a brilliant bit of writing."

If Stu was shocked by the language, I'm not sure I'm up to it.


~~I was sort of shocked at some of the language in "Three Billboards"~~

The writer/director, Martin McDonagh, is from Ireland, and perhaps he's not aware that some of those words are not used in the US in the same way (or as frequently) as they are in Ireland. I have a friend from Ireland who thought the same thing upon seeing the movie.

I liked it a lot, despite the language; I thought that in its own weird way the story was very "redemptive."

(By the way, McDonagh is the brother of director John McDonagh, who made the film Calvary.)

I didnt notice the language. It gave me a great vision of grace. Its very interesting to hear the director os the brother of the director of Calvary

I read down until he descibes the movie then I stopped till after I watched it. I had heard nothing but praise for the movie last year, from students and colleagues. I think what hooked me was that Teachout says the director made In Bruges, which was a film I liked a lot


I can only read the first paragraph--then it says "subscribe to read more." But Teachout is certainly worth listening to in general.

Teachout says at some point in that article that 'Three Billboards' is in no sense a comedy. I don't agree. I think its a very black, 'Infernal Comedy.' IE a hellish comedy. And so it has the language of hell. Swearing in books or movies is not quite the same as swearing in real life. Literature and films are their own aesthetic world.

Well, it's now on my Netflix queue. At the top.

Now that Rob says the director of Calvary is his brother I can see the analogies

Haven't seen Billboards, but just watched a trailer for it; looks pretty wrenching, even with some over-the-top funny dialogue. But I have watched In Bruges, twice, and I found it mostly terribly sad, and couldn't get past that to let the grace come through.

Billboards is pretty wrenching at times also, but I found it more explicitly redemptive than In Bruges.

Speaking of wrenching, I am up to the series finale of Rectify, the 4th and final season of which has been incredibly moving in places. It also has been very "redemptive," although in a somewhat different way than Billboards or Calvary: more Southern American Protestant than Irish Catholic. Think Horton Foote or To Kill a Mockingbird. I'm not sure whether creator Ray McKinnon is any sort of Christian believer or not, but he certainly treats the faith seriously and shows respect for it in his characters. There is one subplot in which one of the major characters over the course of the story has a crisis of faith, and it is handled extremely sympathetically and respectfully.

I find myself hesitant to watch the final episode in the same way I was with Breaking Bad: I'm mostly convinced that they won't fumble on the one yard line, but still worry that they might. Full report later.

I need to see this

Grumpy, had you started it then gave up after season 1 or something? I think Mac did, but I thought someone else here did as well. I can understand that, as that first season was pretty painful to watch.

Yes, I did, and I'm 99% sure Grumpy did, too, for more or less the same reason: just too psychologically painful, and not really much movement, just static misery.

Re the treatment of Christianity: I remember a moment in which a group of evangelical women, I think in a Bible study group, casually cited Aquinas. Not impossible I guess but it struck me as highly implausible.

I vaguely remember that scene -- I think that the main character, Daniel, had mentioned Aquinas to her earlier (he had read him in prison), and she repeated it to her friends.

Lots of misery, yes. And it is deliberate in its pacing. But there are hints of redemption all along, sparse in the early episodes but more prominent as things proceed. (The scenes in which Daniel remembers his only friend on death row, a young repentant black man, are marvelous and extremely moving.)

I have a couple friends who gave up on it because they didn't find it "gripping." Well, yeah; but then it's a drama not a thriller, even if there is an underlying mystery constantly bubbling under the surface.

Yes now I remember! My actual plan for fall viewing is to be totally uncool and rewatch The Wire. How uncool is that

I watched the first one and couldnt go on

So something smusing happened! I was telling a grad student how much I liked Three Billboards and he demurred saying it was magical, allegorical and had an unbelievable character conversion. Say hello to myself 25 years ago!

I put Three Billboards on my queue. We will see.


I can't wait to hear what Mac and Janet say about 3 Billboards.

It'll be at least a week, probably more, before I watch it. Current Netflix dvd at home is High Noon, which as far as I know I've never seen. Maybe when I was a kid.

So, Grumpy, "magical" and "allegorical" were negatives to you 25 years ago? I guess I'm not surprised at allegorical.

As for watching The Wire, sounds very cool to me. I probably will sometime.

And re Justify, I also didn't care much for most of the characters, especially the main one himself. I will say though that I'm curious about how the crime actually came about.

Yeah it is/was me! Making my own demands on me

I’m very pleased about the sand :)

Me too. Thanks.

"I also didn't care much for most of the characters, especially the main one himself."

Well, yes, that would be a hindrance. In a drama for sure, more so than in a cop series or a thriller.

That wouldn't have stopped me if I'd like it otherwise, of course. But that didn't help. There was an incident involving coffee....

Yes. Well, it never gets any worse than that (not even close actually) and that particular incident serves as the catalyst for a number of other developments, as you may imagine.

Yeah, I think that was already under way at the point where I stopped watching.

I watched 3 Billboards, and it was really good except that every other word was the same 4-letter word. I'm not sure why anyone who can write as well as the person who wrote this movie can write, would rely so heavily on a word that has been so completely drained of any power to shock or amuse.

I'm still trying to decide how I feel about the end of the movie.


I may be able to watch it next week sometime.

I had pretty much the same reaction, Janet. Just felt that it was "jarring" considering characters and situations during which some words were used. Don't want to say too much, since Mac has not watched yet.

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