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Friday, September 12, 2008

weekend suggestions

Since I'm sure at this point in the semester/ fall you have nothing better to do, here are a couple of semi-obscure suggestions for things to waste your time on:

If you liked Deadwood, you might consider reading Oakley Hall's novel Warlock. I got to it because the current NYRB Classics edition has a blurb from Thomas Pynchon and an introduction by Robert Stone, two of my favorite novelists. But don't let that scare you away. It's a really literate western, like Deadwood in that it's about a frontier town (this time in the southwest), but more concerned with the issue of law enforcement -- specifically, the relationship between failed public law enforcement and a privately hired marshal whose employment and practices and friends have a number of unanticipated consequences for the town of Warlock.

If you like crime dramas and political thrillers, you might want to rent State of Play, a BBC miniseries from 2003 which played originally on the cable channel BBC America and is finally now out in the US on DVD. British TV tends to do spy thrillers (see especially the two Alec Guinness/ Le Carre series), political thrillers (see House of Cards), and crime drama (see Prime Suspect) better than the Americans, and this is just as good as the best of those -- very fast-paced, thrilling, and thoughtful. In episode one there's a classic moment where a newspaper calls in its attorney to go over its legal options after it has just received some very hot evidence crucial to a murder investigation. It seems both incredibly realistic and hilariously funny, all at the same time, and gives one a sense of how the press (from whose perspective the series views the world) views its lawyers.

Posted by Mark Fenster on September 12, 2008 at 02:56 PM in Books, Film | Permalink

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