The Principles of Aesthetics
In a future world where everyone can read minds--somewhat--Wally Wilson (cardsharp, bookie) is better than most. Joe Barcelona wants the Kentucky Derby fixed, and leans hard on Wally to do it. But how?
If you can believe the fairytale premise of universal telepathy, light a cigarette or cigar and enjoy the story.
(1929) Horror (Occult) / Thriller
R: * * * * *
The U.S. Government is going to bounce a radio signal off of Mars, and scientists come to the conclusion that only the falsetto voice a ventriloquist uses for his dummy will work in their experiment.
A contrived, silly, story that is a little fascinating for its ineptness.
The leader of a belligerent country wants to get his people in the mood for some slaughter, so he stages a show that allows him to demonstrate his own skills of violence.
For being as short as it is, the story develops a nice feel, but in the end it's hard to avoid saying, huh?
I must be honest as a reviewer and say I did not care for this play at all. If I was given free front row seats and all I had to do was cross the street, I wouldn’t bother, but after extensive research it appears I’m the only person in the world who doesn’t like the play. Therefore, I’ve given it three stars out of respect for what is clearly a majority opinion when personally I would only give it one.
Elizabeth Baker (1876 - 1962) was an English playwright and a proud member of the lower middle class intelligentsia. Her very first play was Chains and was produced in 1909 (not 1911 as is reported). It has been resurrected many times to rave reviews and has also been a TV production as well as performed multiple times on stage.
Charley and Lily Wilson are members of the lower middle class in Edwardian England. Charley works as a clerk six days a week and Lily is a homemaker. To make ends meet, they take in borders and as the play opens, their present tenant, Fred Tennant (Get it? Tenant? Tennant? Oh, never mind.) decides he has the itch to leave his boring life and go cast his luck in Australia.
Much angst ensues as Charley wrestles with going to Australia along with Fred and various members of the cast either encourage or castigate him for even thinking about it. At the end of the play, nothing is resolved and you had to wade through a lot to get to it.
There are several attempts at humor, one being the neighbor who doesn’t use the front door but repeatedly climbs over the garden wall (this all takes place off-stage) destroying the garden in the process. This was evidently a real knee-slapper in fin de siècle England.
Nonetheless, in spite of my own ambivalence about the production, people in England absolutely adore this play and treat it like Americans treat the National Anthem. If you think lower middle class ennui is your cup of tea, enjoy.
(1897) Mystery (Criminal) / Adventure (Survival) / Thriller (Conspiracy)
R: * * * *
Great story about a solution to the U.S.'s murder problem: mechanical birds which can detect murderous brainwaves and pheromones, and dive down to prevent the murder. Of course, there's alway one stick-in-the-mud who has a vague intuition the project might not be a good idea.
First-rate extrapolation into the future by a good writer.
Brilliant! Totally worth reading.
surgical precision, sharp observations and brilliant narrative. Nietzsche's rhetoric enchants ones ears and captures imagination in this worldview proposition of the infamous Super-Human/Zarathustrian new and ancient philosophical concept and system.
I enjoyed this novel some long time ago, at 14 years old in another language. Now I am about to read again it in English.
Needless to say that I expect even more from it this time around.