LOLita: A Young Womans Journey Into The Seedy Internet Underworld
The 39 Steps A man in London tries to help a counterespionage agent. But when the agent is killed and he stands accused, he must go on the run to both save himself and also stop a spy ring trying to steal top secret information. A battle of wills ensues as the outlaw tries to psych out the rancher. The Year-Old Virgin Goaded by his buddies, a nerdy guy who's never ''done the deed'' only finds the pressure mounting when he meets a single mother. The Blows Intensley touching story of a misunderstood young adolescent who left without attention, delves into a life of petty crime.
To avoid internment, they must make their way to the border and get into the still-neutral USA. They hit it off and Henry think he's finally found the girl of his dreams, until he discovers she has short-term memory loss and forgets him the very next day. Abduction A thriller centered on a young man who sets out to uncover the truth about his life after finding his baby photo on a missing persons website.
About a Boy Based on Nick Hornby's best-selling novel, About A Boy is the story of a cynical, immature young man who is taught how to act like a grown-up by a little boy tt About Schmidt Warren Schmidt is a man in his 60's. While trying to run his daughter's life, he realizes that he wasted his.
About Time At the age of 21, Tim discovers he can travel in time and change what happens and has happened in his own life. His decision to make his world a better place by getting a girlfriend turns out not to be as easy as you might think. He makes it his mission to eliminate them. The Abyss A civilian diving team are enlisted to search for a lost nuclear submarine and face danger while encountering an alien aquatic species. The Accidental Tourist An emotionally distant writer of travel guides must carry on with his life after his son is killed and his marriage crumbles.
Ace in the Hole A frustrated former big-city journalist now stuck working for an Albuquerque newspaper exploits a story about a man trapped in a cave to re-jump start his career, but the situation quickly escalates into an out-of-control circus. Ace Ventura: Pet Detective A goofy detective specializing in animals goes in search of a missing dolphin mascot of a football team. Ace Ventura: When Nature Calls Pet detective Ace Ventura comes out of retirement to investigate the disappearance of a rare white bat, the symbol of an African tribe. Across the Universe The music of the Beatles and the Vietnam War form the backdrop for the romance between an upper-class American girl and a poor Liverpudlian artist.
The Act of Killing A documentary which challenges former Indonesian death-squad leaders to reenact their mass-killings in whichever cinematic genres they wish, including classic Hollywood crime scenarios and lavish musical numbers. Adam Adam, a lonely man with Asperger's Syndrome, develops a relationship with his upstairs neighbor, Beth. Adam's Rib Domestic and professional tensions mount when a husband and wife work as opposing lawyers in a case involving a woman who shot her husband. The Addams Family Con artists plan to fleece the eccentric family using an accomplice who claims to be their long lost Uncle Fester.
The Adjustment Bureau The affair between a politician and a ballerina is affected by mysterious forces keeping the lovers apart. Admission A Princeton admissions officer who is up for a major promotion takes a professional risk after she meets a college-bound alternative school kid who just might be the son she gave up years ago in a secret adoption. Adventureland A comedy set in the summer of and centered around a recent college grad Eisenberg who takes a nowhere job at his local amusement park, only to find it's the perfect course to get him prepared for the real world.
Adventures in Babysitting Chris Parker agrees to babysit after her ''dread'' date stands her up. Expecting a dull evening, Chris settles down with three kids for a night of TV The Adventures of Baron Munchausen An account of Baron Munchausen's supposed travels and fantastical experiences with his band of misfits. The Adventures of Ichabod and Mr. The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert Two drag queens and a transsexual get a cabaret gig in the middle of the desert. The Adventures of Tintin Intrepid reporter Tintin and Captain Haddock set off on a treasure hunt for a sunken ship commanded by Haddock's ancestor.
Film focuses An Affair to Remember A couple falls in love and agrees to meet in six months at the Empire State Building - but will it happen? African Cats A nature documentary centered on two cat families and how they teach their cubs the ways of the wild. After Earth A crash landing leaves Kitai Raige and his father Cypher stranded on Earth, a millennium after events forced humanity's escape.
With Cypher injured, Kitai must embark on a perilous journey to signal for help. After Hours An ordinary word processor has the worst night of his life after he agrees to visit a girl in Soho whom he met that evening at a coffee shop. After the Thin Man Nick investigates the case of a missing man and later a murder that is connected to Nora's family.
After the Wedding A manager of an orphanage in India is sent to Copenhagen, Denmark, where he discovers a life-altering family secret. Afterwards Nathan, a brilliant New York lawyer who leads a life of professional success, but his private life is pretty dismal since he divorced Claire The Age of Beauty In , a young soldier Fernando deserts from the army and falls into a country farm, where he is welcomed by the owner Manolo due to his political ideas The Age of Innocence Tale of 19th century New York high society in which a young lawyer falls in love with a woman separated from her husband, while he is engaged to the woman's cousin.
Ain't Them Bodies Saints The tale of an outlaw who escapes from prison and sets out across the Texas hills to reunite with his wife and the daughter he has never met. Air Force One Hijackers seize the plane carrying the President of the United States and his family, but he an ex-soldier works from hiding to defeat them. Can Ted Striker save the day and get the shuttle back on track--again??? Surely the only person capable of landing the plane is an ex-pilot afraid to fly. But don't call him Shirley. Airport Melodrama about a bomber on board an airplane, an airport almost closed by snow, and various personal problems of the people involved.
Airport '77 Art thieves hijack a , hit fog and crash into the ocean, trapping them and the passengers under feet of water. Airport ' The Concorde American based Federation World Airlines has just acquired a Concorde jet, which will make its inaugural commercial flight from Washington D. Airport A in flight collides with a small plane, and is rendered pilotless. Somehow the control tower must get a pilot aboard so the jet can land. Akira A secret military project endangers Neo-Tokyo when it turns a biker gang member into a rampaging psionic psychopath that only two kids and a group of psionics can stop.
Aladdin Aladdin, a street urchin, accidentally meets Princess Jasmine, who is in the city undercover. They love each other, but she can only marry a prince. Aladdin 2: The Return of Jafar Jafar comes for revenge on Aladdin, using a foolish thief and Iago's trechery to find away back into power. Despite the presence and encouragement of his friends Genie To be able to stop him, General Sam Houston needs time to get his main force into shape.
To buy that time he orders Albert Nobbs Albert Nobbs struggles to survive in late 19th century Ireland, where women aren't encouraged to be independent. Posing as a man, so she can work as a butler in Dublin's most posh hotel, Albert meets a handsome painter and looks to escape the lie she has been living.
Alex Cross A homicide detective is pushed to the brink of his moral and physical limits as he tangles with a ferociously skilled serial killer who specializes in torture and pain. Alexander Alexander, the King of Macedonia and one of the greatest military leaders in the history of warfare, conquers much of the known world. Alexander Nevsky The story of how a great Russian prince led a ragtag army to battle an invading force of Teutonic Knights. Alfie An unrepentant ladies' man gradually begins to understand the consequences of his lifestyle.
Ali: Fear Eats the Soul Emmi, a woman truly in the second half of life, falls in love with Ali, a Berber guest worker more than ten years younger Alice Doesn't Live Here Anymore A recently widowed woman on the road with her precocious young son, determined to make a new life for herself as a singer. Alice In Wonderland Alice stumbles into the world of Wonderland. Will she get home? Not if the Queen of Hearts has her way. Alice In Wonderland year-old Alice returns to the magical world from her childhood adventure, where she reunites with her old friends and learns of her true destiny: to end the Red Queen's reign of terror.
Alien A mining ship, investigating a suspected SOS, lands on a distant planet. The crew discovers some strange creatures and investigates. Alien 3 Ripley continues to be stalked by a savage alien, after her escape pod crashes on a prison planet. Alien Nation A few years from now, Earth will have the first contact with an alien civilisation. These aliens, known as Newcomers Aliens The planet from Alien has been colonized, but contact is lost.
This time, the rescue team has impressive firepower, enough? All About Eve An ingenue insinuates herself in to the company of an established but aging stage actress and her circle of theater friends. All About My Mother Young Esteban want to become a writer and also to discover the identity of his father, carefully concealed by the mother Manuela. All About Steve Convinced that a CCN cameraman is her true love, an eccentric crossword puzzler trails him as he travels all over the country, hoping to convince him that they belong together.
All Good Things Mr. David Marks was suspected but never tried for killing his wife Katie who disappeared in , but the truth is eventually revealed. All Is Bright While out on parole, Dennis reluctantly takes a job selling Christmas trees with his old buddy Rene in order to make enough money to buy his estranged daughter the piano she's always wanted.
All Is Lost After a collision with a shipping container at sea, a resourceful sailor finds himself, despite all efforts to the contrary, staring his mortality in the face. All Over Town Two zanies try to stage a show in a theater that has a reputation for being being jinxed. All That Heaven Allows An upper-class widow falls in love with a much younger, down-to-earth nurseryman, much to the disapproval of her children and criticism of her country club peers. All the King's Men The rise and fall of a corrupt politician, who makes his friends richer and retains power by dint of a populist appeal.
All the President's Men Reporters Woodward and Bernstein uncover the details of the Watergate scandal that leads to President Nixon's resignation. All The Right Moves A high school footballer desperate for a scholarship and his headstrong coach clash in a dying Pennsylvania steel town. All-Star Superman tt Almost Famous A high-school boy is given the chance to write a story for Rolling Stone Magazine about an up-and-coming rock band as he accompanies it on their concert tour. Alpha and Omega Two young wolves at opposite ends of their pack's social order are thrown together into a foreign land and need each other to return home, but love complicates everything.
Alphaville Lemmy Caution, an American private-eye, arrives in Alphaville, a futuristic city on another planet. His very American character is at odds with the city's ruler Alvin and the Chipmunks A struggling songwriter named Dave Seville finds success when he comes across a trio of singing chipmunks: mischievous leader Alvin, brainy Simon, and chubby, impressionable Theodore. Alvin and the Chipmunks 3: Chipwrecked Playing around while aboard a cruise ship, the Chipmunks and Chipettes accidentally go overboard and end up marooned in a tropical paradise.
They discover their new turf is not as deserted as it seems. Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Squeakquel The world famous singing pre-teen chipmunk trio return to contend with the pressures of school, celebrity, and a rival female music group known as The Chipettes. Amadeus The incredible story of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, told in flashback mode by Antonio Salieri - now confined to an insane asylum. Amarcord A year in the life of a small Italian coastal town in the nineteen-thirties, as is recalled by a director The Amazing Spider-Man Peter Parker finds a clue that might help him understand why his parents disappeared when he was young.
His path puts him on a collision course with Dr. Curt Connors, his father's former partner. Amelia A look at the life of legendary American pilot Amelia Earhart, who disappeared while flying over the Pacific Ocean in in an attempt to make a flight around the world. Amelie Amelie, an innocent and naive girl in Paris, with her own sense of justice, decides to help those around her and along the way, discovers love.
America's Sweethearts A movie publicist deals with the messy public split of his movie's co-stars while keeping reporters at bay while a reclusive director holds the film's print hostage. The American An assassin hides out in Italy for one last assignment. American Beauty Lester Burnham, a depressed suburban father in a mid-life crisis, decides to turn his hectic life around after developing an infatuation for his daughter's attractive friend.
The local union, P-9 of the Food and Commercial Workers American Gangster In s America, a detective works to bring down the drug empire of Frank Lucas, a heroin kingpin from Manhattan, who is smuggling the drug into the country from the Far East. American Graffiti A couple of high school grads spend one final night cruising the strip with their buddies before they go off to college.
American History X A former neo-nazi skinhead tries to prevent his younger brother from going down the same wrong path that he did. An American in Paris Jerry Mulligan, a struggling American painter in Paris, is ''discovered'' by an influential heiress with an interest in more than Jerry's art American Movie Documentary about an aspiring filmmaker's attempts to finance his dream project by finally completing the low-budget horror film he abandoned years before.
American Pie Four teenage boys enter a pact to lose their virginity by prom night. American Pie 2 The continuing bawdy adventures of a group of friends reuniting after their first year of college. The American President Comedy-drama about a widowed US president and a lobbyist who fall in love. It's all aboveboard, but ''politics is perception'' and sparks fly anyway.
American Psycho A wealthy New York investment banking executive hides his alternate psychopathic ego from his co-workers and friends as he escalates deeper into his illogical, gratuitous fantasies. American Splendor An original mix of fiction and reality illuminates the life of comic book hero everyman Harvey Pekar. An American Warewolf in London Two American tourists in England are attacked by a werewolf that none of the locals will admit exists.
American Wedding The third film in the American Pie series deals with the wedding of Jim and Michelle and the gathering of their families and friends, including Jim's old friends from high school and Michelle's little sister. The Amityville Horror Newlyweds move into a house where a murder was committed, and experience strange manifestations which drive them away. Amores perros A horrific car accident connects three stories, each involving characters dealing with loss, regret, and life's harsh realities, all in the name of love. Amour Georges and Anne are in their eighties. They are cultivated, retired music teachers.
Their daughter, who is also a musician, lives abroad with her family. One day, Anne has an attack. The couple's bond of love is severely tested. Analyze This A comedy about a psychiatrist whose number one-patient is an insecure mob boss. Anastasia The only surviving child of the Russian Royal Family hooks up with two con men while the undead Rasputin seeks her death. Anatomy of a Murder In a murder trial, the defendant says he suffered temporary insanity after the victim raped his wife.
What is the truth, and will he win his case? Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgandy Ron Burgundy is San Diego's top rated newsman in the male dominated broadcasting of the 's, but that's all about to change when a new female employee with ambition to burn arrives in his office. Tropez, a young sexpot loves one brother but marries the other.
And Justice for All An ethical Baltimore defense lawyer disgusted with rampant legal corruption is asked to defend a judge he despises in a rape trial. But if he doesn't do it, the judge will have him disbarred. The boat is filled with her friends Andrei Rublev Andreiv Rublev charts the life of the great icon painter through a turbulent period of 15th Century Russian history The Andromeda Strain A group of scientists investigate a deadly new alien virus before it can spread.
Already at an early age she is different from the other kids Angel Eyes A mysterious man is drawn to a feisty female police officer and a unusual relationship ensues, as not everything is as it seems. Except things aren't quite that simple, and Johnny doesn't want to be found. Let's just say that, amongst the period The Angel's Share Narrowly avoiding jail, new dad Robbie vows to turn over a new leaf. A visit to a whisky distillery inspires him and his mates to seek a way out of their hopeless lives.
Angels with Dirty Faces A priest tries to stop a gangster from corrupting a group of street kids. Anger Management Sandler plays a businessman who is wrongly sentenced to an anger-management program, where he meets an aggressive instructor. Animal Crackers Mayhem and zaniness ensue when a valuable painting goes missing during a party in honor of famed African explorer Captain Spaulding. Animal Farm The animals of a farm successfully revolt against its human owner, only to slide into a more brutal tyranny among themselves.
Animal Kingdom Tells the story of seventeen year-old J Josh as he navigates his survival amongst an explosive criminal family and the detective who thinks he can save him. The Animatrix The Animatrix is a collection of several animated short films, detailing the backstory of the ''Matrix'' universe, and the original war between man and machines which led to the creation of the Matrix. Anna Karenina The married Anna Karenina falls in love with Count Vronsky despite her husband's refusal to grant a divorce, and both must contend with the social repercussions.
Anna Karenina Set in lateth-century Russia high-society, the aristocrat Anna Karenina enters into a life-changing affair with the affluent Count Vronsky. Anne Frank Remembered Using previously unreleased archival material in addition to contemporary interviews, this academy award-winning Anne of Green Gables An orphan girl, sent to an elderly brother and sister by mistake, charms her new home and community with her firey spirit and imagination. Anne of Green Gables: The Sequel Anne Shirley accepts a teaching position at a girls boarding school in a town dominated by a rich and belligerant family determined to make her life miserable.
Annie Broadway musical based on the Little Orphan Annie comic strip. A young orphan girls adventures in finding a family that will take her. Set against the backdrop of the succession of Queen Elizabeth I and the Essex rebellion against her. Another Earth On the night of the discovery of a duplicate Earth in the Solar system, an ambitious young student and an accomplished composer cross paths in a tragic accident.
Another Thin Man An explosives manufacturer suspects a young man is out to kill him. He calls in Nick and Nora with new baby to sort things out. Another Year A look at four seasons in the lives of a happily married couple and their relationships with their family and friends. Antonia's Line A Dutch matron establishes and, for several generations, oversees a close-knit, matriarchal community where feminism and liberalism thrive. ANTZ A rather neurotic ant tries to break from his totalitarian society while trying to win the affection of the princess he loves.
Their band, Anvil, hailed as the ''demi-gods of Canadian metal Any Which Way You Can Philo takes part in a bare knuckle fight - as he does - to make some more money than he can earn from his car repair business Aparajito A boy leaves home to study in Calcutta, while his mother must face a life alone. The Apartment A man tries to rise in his company by letting its executives use his apartment for trysts, but complications and a romance of his own ensue. Apocalypse Now During the on-going Vietnam War, Captain Willard is sent on a dangerous mission into Cambodia to assassinate a renegade Green Beret who has set himself up as a God among a local tribe.
Apocalypto As the Mayan kingdom faces its decline, the rulers insist the key to prosperity is to build more temples and offer human sacrifices. Jaguar Paw, a young man captured for sacrifice, flees to avoid his fate. Apollo 13 True story of the moon-bound mission that developed severe trouble and the men that rescued it with skill and dedication.
Apollo 18 Decades-old found footage from NASA's abandoned Apollo 18 mission, where two American astronauts were sent on a secret expedition, reveals the reason the U. The Apostle After his happy life spins out of control, a preacher from Texas changes his name, goes to Louisiana and starts preaching on the radio.
Appalachian Spring A filmed version of Aaron Copland's most famous ballet, with its original star, who also choreographed. Arabian Nights In this film inspired by the ancient erotic and mysterious tales of the Middle East, the main story concerns an innocent young man who comes to fall in love with a slave who selected him as Arbitrage A troubled hedge fund magnate desperate to complete the sale of his trading empire makes an error that forces him to turn to an unlikely person for help.
Arcadia Greta's dad Tom is moving the family cross-country in a dented station wagon, promising a California paradise to his kids. All that's missing is Mom. Argo A dramatization of the joint CIA-Canadian secret operation to extract six fugitive American diplomatic personnel out of revolutionary Iran. Aristocats Upon Madame Adelaide Bonfamille's passing her cat Duchess and 3 kittens stand to inherit her fortune. But not if Edgar the butler can help it. Arlington Road A college professor begins to suspect that his neighbour is a terrorist.
Armageddon When an asteroid the size of Texas is headed for Earth the world's best deep core drilling team is sent to nuke the rock from the inside. But a wrinkle in their supposedly foolproof plan divides the group, leading to a potentially deadly resolution. Army Of Darkness A man is accidentally transported to A. Army of Shadows France, , during the occupation.
Philippe Gerbier, a civil engineer, is one of the French Resistance's chiefs Around the World in Eighty Days Adaptation of Jules Verne's novel about a Victorian Englishman who bets that with the new steamships and railways he can do what the title says. The Arrival Zane, an astronomer discovers intelligent alien life. But the aliens are keeping a deadly secret, and will do anything to stop Zane from learning it. Arsenic and Old Lace A drama critic learns on his wedding day that his beloved maiden aunts are homicidal maniacs, and that insanity runs in his family.
The Art of the Steal Documentary that follows the struggle for control of Dr. Albert C. Barnes' 25 billion dollar collection of modern and post-impressionist art. Arthur Arthur is a happy drunk with no pretensions at any ambition. He is also the heir to a vast fortune which he is told will only be his if he marries Susan Arthur A drunken playboy stands to lose a wealthy inheritance when he falls for a woman his family doesn't like.
Arthur Christmas On Christmas night at the North Pole, Santa's youngest son looks to use his father's high-tech operation for an urgent mission. Artificial Intelligence: AI A highly advanced robotic boy longs to become ''real'' so that he can regain the love of his human mother. The Artist A silent movie star meets a young dancer, but the arrival of talking pictures sends their careers in opposite directions. Ask Father The young couple have decided to marry and it is time to ask the father for the hand of his daughter The Asphalt Jungle A major heist goes off as planned, until bad luck and double crosses cause everything to unravel.
The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford Robert Ford, who's idolized Jesse James since childhood, tries hard to join the reforming gang of the Missouri outlaw, but gradually becomes resentful of the bandit leader. Astro Boy Set in futuristic Metro City, Astro Boy is about a young robot with incredible powers created by a brilliant At the Circus The Marx Brothers try to help the owner of a circus recover some stolen funds before he finds himself out of a job.
Atanarjuat: The Fast Runner The telling of an Inuit legend of an evil spirit causing strife in the community and one warrior's endurance and battle of its menace. Atlantic City Lou is a small time gangster, who thinks he used to be something big. He meets up with a younger girl Atlantis: The Lost Empire A young adventurer named Milo Thatch joins an intrepid group of explorers to find the mysterious lost continent of Atlantis. Atlas Shrugged - Part 1 A powerful railroad executive, Dagny Taggart, struggles to keep her business alive while society is crumbling around her.
Based on the novel by Ayn Rand. Atlas Shrugged - Part 2 With the global economy on the brink of collapse, Dagny Taggart discovers what might be the answer to a mounting energy crisis and races against the clock to prevent the motor of the World from being stopped for good. The Atomic Submarine Ships mysteriously disappear on route across the Arctic Sea, and a specially-equipped submarine is sent to investigate. Atonement Fledgling writer Briony Tallis, as a year-old, irrevocably changes the course of several lives when she accuses her older sister's lover of a crime he did not commit.
Based on the British romance novel by Ian McEwan. Attack the Block A teen gang in South London defend their block from an alien invasion. Au hasard Balthazar The story of a mistreated donkey and the people around him. A study on saintliness and a sister piece to Bresson's Mouchette. Audition Widower takes an offer to screen girls at a special audition, arranged for him by a friend to find him a new wife.
The one he fancies is not who she appears to be after all August Rush A drama with fairy tale elements, where an orphaned musical prodigy uses his gift as a clue to finding his birth parents. August: Osage County A look at the lives of the strong-willed women of the Weston family, whose paths have diverged until a family crisis brings them back to the Oklahoma house they grew up in, and to the dysfunctional woman who raised them.
Auntie Mame An orphan goes to live with his free-spirited aunt. Conflict ensues when the executor of his father's estate objects to the aunt's lifestyle. Austenland Obsessed with Pride and Prejudice , a woman travels to a Jane Austen theme park in search for her perfect gentleman. Austin Powers: Goldmemeber Upon learning that his father has been kidnapped, Austin Powers must travel to and defeat the aptly-named villain Goldmember - who is working with Dr.
Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery A 's hipster secret agent is brought out of cryofreeze to oppose his greatest enemy into the 's where his social attitudes are glaringly out of place. Evil is back Australia Set in northern Australia before World War II, an English aristocrat who inherits a sprawling ranch reluctantly pacts with a stock-man in order to protect her new property from a takeover plot. As the pair drive 2, head of cattle over unforgiving landscape, they experience the bombing of Darwin, Australia, by Japanese forces firsthand. An Autumn Afternoon An aging widower arranges a marriage for his only daughter.
Autumn Sonata After having neglected her children for many years, world famous pianist Charlotte visits her daughter Eva in her home Avatar A paraplegic marine dispatched to the moon Pandora on a unique mission becomes torn between following his orders and protecting the world he feels is his home. The Avengers Nick Fury of S. Aviator A biopic depicting the early years of legendary director and aviator Howard Hughes' career, from the late s to the mids. AVP: Alien vs. Soon, the team realize that only one species can win. Awake The story focuses on a man who suffers ''anesthetic awareness'' and finds himself awake and aware, but paralyzed, during heart surgery.
His mother must wrestle with her own demons as a drama unfolds around them, while trying to unfold the story hidden behind her son's young wife. Awakenings The victims of an encephalitis epidemic many years ago have been catatonic ever since, but now a new drug offers the prospect of reviving them. Away from Her A man coping with the institutionalization of his wife because of Alzheimer's disease faces an epiphany when she transfers her affections to another man, Aubrey, a wheelchair-bound mute who also is a patient at the nursing home.
Away We Go A couple who is expecting their first child travel around the U. Along the way, they have misadventures and find fresh connections with an assortment of relatives and old friends who just might help them discover ''home'' on their own terms for the first time. The Awful Truth Unfounded suspicions lead a married couple to begin divorce proceedings, whereupon they start undermining each other's attempts to find new romance.
Babe Babe, a pig raised by sheepdogs, learns to herd sheep with a little help from Farmer Hoggett. Babe: Pig in the City Babe, fresh from his victory in the sheepherding contest, returns to Farmer Hoggett's farm, but after Farmer Hoggett is injured and unable to work, Babe has to go to the big city to save the farm. Babel Tragedy strikes a married couple on vacation in the Moroccan desert, touching off an interlocking story involving four different families. Babette's Feast In 19th century Denmark, two adult sisters live in an isolated village with their father, who is the honored pastor of a small Protestant church that is almost a sect unto itself Babies A look at one year in the life of four babies from around the world, from Mongolia to Namibia to San Francisco to Tokyo.
Baby Face A young woman uses her body and her sexuality to help her climb the social ladder, but soon begins to wonder if her new status will ever bring her happiness. Baby Mama A successful, single businesswoman who dreams of having a baby discovers she is infertile and hires a working class woman to be her unlikely surrogate. Baby On Board Life for a successful power couple get thrown for a loop when the wife finds out she's pregnant. The Babysitters A teenager turns her babysitting service into a call-girl service for married guys after fooling around with one of her customers.
Bachelor Party A soon-to-be-married man's friends throw him the ultimate bachelor party. Bachelorette Three friends are asked to be bridesmaids at a wedding of a woman they used to ridicule back in high school. Back To School To help his discouraged son get through college, a funloving and obnoxious rich businessman decides to enter the school as a student himself. Back to the Future In , Doc Brown invents time travel; in , Marty McFly accidentally prevents his parents from meeting, putting his own existence at stake.
Marty McFly travels back in time to save his friend. Backdraft Two Chicago firefighter brothers who don't get along have to work together while a dangerous arsonist is on the loose.
Bad Boy Bubby Bubby's buxom mother tricked him to stay locked at home for thirty years, during which she mounts and abuses him. Buddy ends up in the streets groping random women until finding a nurse who is even more buxom than his late mother. Bad Boys Two hip detectives protect a murder witness while investigating a case of stolen heroin. Bad Day at Black Rock A one handed stranger comes to a tiny town possessing a terrible past they want to keep secret, by violent means if necessary. Bad Education An examination on the effect of Franco-era religious schooling and sexual abuse on the lives of two longtime friends.
Bad Grandpa year-old Irving Zisman takes a trip from Nebraska to North Carolina to take his 8 year-old grandson, Billy, back to his real father. The Bad News Bears An aging, down-on-his-luck ex-minor leaguer coaches a team of misfits in an ultra-competitive California little league. Now the only reason to give a character a serious hang-up is to give him the chance to get over it.
He may fail, but he gets the chance. We know immediately that our man has to overcome disliking everyone who is different. And by the end he does, when he and the blind man sit together to draw a cathedral so the blind man can get a sense of what one looks like. The answer is food.
Every coach I ever had would say, when we faced a superior opposing team, that they put on their pants one leg at a time, just like everybody else. What those coaches could have said, in all accuracy, is that those supermen shovel in the pasta just like the rest of us. When the narrator watches the blind man eating—competent, busy, hungry, and, well, normal—he begins to gain a new respect for him. The three of them, husband, wife, and visitor, ravenously consume the cube steak, potatoes, and vegetables, and in the course of that experience our narrator finds his antipathy toward the blind man beginning to break down.
He discovers he has something in common with this stranger—eating as a fundamental element of life—that there is a bond between them. What about the dope they smoke afterward? Please note, I am not suggesting that illicit drugs are required to break down social barriers. On the other hand, here is a substance they take into their bodies in a shared, almost ritualistic experience. In any case, the alcohol at supper and the marijuana after combine to relax the narrator so he can receive the full force of his insight, so he can share in the drawing of a cathedral which, incidentally, is a place of communion.
A different outcome, but the same logic, I think. If a well-run meal or snack portends good things for community and understanding, then the failed meal stands as a bad sign. It happens all the time on television shows. Two people are at dinner and a third comes up, quite unwished for, and one or more of the first two refuse to eat. They place their napkins on their plates, or say something about losing their appetite, or simply get up and walk away. Immediately we know what they think about the interloper. Think of all those movies where a soldier shares his C rations with a comrade, or a boy his sandwich with a stray dog; from the overwhelming message of loyalty, kinship, and generosity, you get a sense of how strong a value we place on the comradeship of the table.
What if we see two people having dinner, then, but one of them is plotting, or bringing about the demise of the other? The mother tries and tries to have a family dinner, and every time she fails. Not until her death can her children assemble around a table at the restaurant and achieve dinner; at that point, of course, the body and blood they symbolically share are hers. Her life—and her death—become part of their common experience. This wonderful story is centered around a dinner party on the Feast of the Epiphany, the twelfth day of Christmas.
All kinds of disparate drives and desires enact themselves during the dancing and dinner, and hostilities and alliances are revealed. The main character, Gabriel Conroy, must learn that he is not superior to everyone else; during the course of the evening he receives a series of small shocks to his ego that collectively demonstrate that he is very much part of the more general social fabric.
The table and dishes of food themselves are lavishly described as Joyce lures us into the atmosphere: A fat brown goose lay at one end of the table and at the other end, on a bed of creased paper strewn with sprigs of parsley, lay a great ham, stripped of its outer skin and peppered over with crust crumbs, a neat paper frill round its shin and beside this was a round of spiced beef Between these rival ends ran parallel lines of side-dishes: two little minsters ofjelly, red and yellow; a shallow dish full of blocks of blancmange and red jam, a large green leaf-shaped dish with a stalk-shaped handle, on which lay bunches of purple raisins and peeled almonds, a companion dish on which lay a solid rectangle of Smyrna figs, a dish of custard topped with grated nutmeg, a small bowl full of chocolates and sweets wrapped in gold and silver papers and a glass vase in which stood some tall celery stalks.
In the centre of the table there stood, as sentries to a fruit-stand which upheld a pyramid of oranges and American apples, two squat old-fashioned decanters of cut glass, one containing port and the other dark sherry. On the closed square piano a pudding in a huge yellow dish lay in waiting and behind it were three squads of bottles of stout and ale and minerals, drawn up according to the colours of their uniforms, the first two black, with brown and red labels, the third and smallest squad white, with transverse green sashes. Such a paragraph would not be created without having some purpose, some ulterior motive.
Now, Joyce being Joyce, he has about five different purposes, one not being enough for genius. His main goal, though, is to draw us into that moment, to pull our chairs up to that table so that we are utterly convinced of the reality of the meal. At the same time, he wants to convey the sense of tension and conflict that has been running through the evening—there are a host of us-against-them and you- against-me moments earlier and even during the meal—and this tension will stand at odds with the sharing of this sumptuous and, given the holiday, unifying meal.
He does this for a very simple, very profound reason: we need to be part of that communion. The thing we share is our death. Everyone in that room, from old and frail Aunt Julia to the youngest music student, will die. Not tonight, but someday. Next to our mortality, which comes to great and small equally, all the differences in our lives are mere surface details. Of life.
Less wholesome. More creepy. It just goes to show that not all eating that happens in literature is friendly. Beyond here there be monsters. Vampires in literature, you say. Big deal. And Anne Rice. Good for you.
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Everyone deserves a good scare. After all, you can at least recognize them. You know how in all those Dracula movies, or almost all, the count always has this weird attractiveness to him? And when he gets them, he grows younger, more alive if we can say this of the undead , more virile even. Meanwhile, his victims become like him and begin to seek out their own victims.
In fact, we might conclude it has something to do with sex. Well, of course it has to do with sex. Evil has had to do with sex since the serpent seduced Eve. What was the upshot there? Body shame and unwholesome lust, seduction, temptation, danger, among other ills. Oh, it is. It is.
This principle also applies to other scary favorites, such as ghosts and doppelgangers ghost doubles or evil twins. We can take it almost as an act of faith that ghosts are about something besides themselves. That may not be true in naive ghost stories, but most literary ghosts—the kind that occur in stories of lasting interest—have to do with things beyond themselves. Or take Dr. The hideous Edward Hyde exists to demonstrate to readers that even a respectable man has a dark side; like many Victorians, Robert Louis Stevenson believed in the dual nature of humans, and in more than one work he finds ways of showing that duality quite literally.
In The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde he has Dr. Le Fanu, Henry James. The Victorians were masters of sublimation. But even today, when there are no limits on subject matter or treatment, writers still use ghosts, vampires, werewolves, and all manner of scary things to symbolize various aspects of our more common reality.
The last decade of the twentieth century and the first decade and counting of the twenty-first could be dubbed the teen vampire era. For a number of years Rice was a one-woman industry, but slowly other names came forward. Vampires even made it to weekly television with the unlikely hit Buffy the Vampire Slayer , which debuted in Much has been made of the element of the bloodsucking and therefore sexual restraint of the novels, notable in a genre where traditionally the main figures have had no self-control at all.
What turned out to be unrestrained was the reading appetite of teenagers; Meyer was the top-selling American author in and Try this for a dictum: ghosts and vampires are never only about ghosts and vampires. Sometimes the really scary bloodsuckers are entirely human. James is known, of course, as a master, perhaps the master, of psychological realism; if you want massive novels with sentences as long and convoluted as the Missouri River, James is your man. At the same time, though, he has some shorter works that feature ghosts and demonic possession, and those are fun in their own way, as well as a good deal more accessible.
Or possibly. Those two thematic elements are encoded into the plot of the novella. The particulars of the encoding are carried by the details of the ghost story. Daisy is a young American woman who does as she pleases, thus upsetting the rigid social customs of the European society she desperately wants to approve of her. Winterbourne, the man whose attention she desires, while both attracted to and repulsed by her, ultimately proves too fearful of the disapproval of his established expatriate American community to pursue her further.
After numerous misadventures, Daisy dies, ostensibly by contracting malaria on her midnight jaunt. But you know what really kills her? No, really. The essentials of the vampire story, as we discussed earlier: an older figure representing corrupt, outworn values; a young, preferably virginal female; a stripping away of her youth, energy, virtue; a continuance of the life force of the old male; the death or destruction of the young woman.
He is considerably older than she, closely associated with the stifling Euro-Anglo-American society. He and his aunt and her circle watch Daisy and disapprove, but because of a hunger to disapprove of someone, they never cut her loose entirely. They play with her yearning to become one of them, taxing her energies until she begins to wane. Winterbourne mixes voyeurism, vicarious thrills, and stiff-necked disapproval, all of which culminate when he finds her with a male friend at the Colosseum and chooses to ignore her.
Even then she asks after him. But having destroyed and consumed her, he moves on, not sufficiently touched, it seems to me, by the pathetic spectacle he has caused. So how does all this tie in with vampires? Is James a believer in ghosts and spooks? Probably not. I believe what happens here and in other stories and novels The Sacred Fount  comes to mind is that he deems the figure of the consuming spirit or vampiric personality a useful narrative vehicle.
We find this figure appearing in different guises, even under nearly opposite circumstances, from one story to another. On the one hand, in The Turn of the Screw, he uses the literal vampire or the possessing spook to examine a certain sort of psychosocial imbalance. Nor is James the only one. The nineteenth century was filled with writers showing the thin line between the ordinary and the monstrous. Edgar Allan Poe.
Le Fanu, whose ghost stories made him the Stephen King of his day. Or virtually any novel of the naturalistic movement of the late nineteenth century, where the law of the jungle and survival of the fittest reign. Of course, the twentieth century also provided plenty of instances of social vampirism and cannibalism. Iris Murdoch—pick a novel, any novel. Not for nothing did she call one of her books A Severed Head , although The Unicorn would work splendidly here, with its wealth of faux gothic creepiness. In those works that continue to haunt us, however, the figure of the cannibal, the vampire, the succubus, the spook announces itself again and again where someone grows in strength by weakening someone else.
Using other people to get what we want. Placing our desires, particularly our uglier ones, above the needs of another. My guess is that as long as people act toward their fellows in exploitative and selfish ways, the vampire will be with us. One of the great things about being a professor of English is that you get to keep meeting old friends. For beginning readers, though, every story may seem new, and the resulting experience of reading is highly disjointed. Think of reading, on one level, as one of those papers from elementary school where you connect the dots.
Same with literature. Part of pattern recognition is talent, but a whole lot of it is practice: if you read enough and give what you read enough thought, you begin to see patterns, archetypes, recurrences. Not just to look but where to look, and how to look. Literature, as the great Canadian critic Northrop Frye observed, grows out of other literature; we should not be surprised to find, then, that it also looks like other literature. Lay readers and students generally like it, too, which explains why it has become a perennial strong seller.
Although the violence of the Vietnam War scenes may turn some readers off, many find themselves totally engrossed by something they initially figured would just be gross. The novel divides into three interwoven parts: one, the actual story of the war experience of the main character, Paul Berlin, up to the point where his fellow soldier Cacciato runs away from the war; two, the imagined trip on which the squad follows Cacciato to Paris; and three, the long night watch on a tower near the South China Sea where Berlin manages these two very impressive mental feats of memory on the one hand and invention on the other.
Oh, he gets some facts wrong and some events out of order, but mostly, reality has imposed a certain structure on memory. The trip to Paris, though, is another story. He creates events and people out of the novels, stories, histories he knows, his own included, all of which is quite unwitting on his part, the pieces just appearing out of his memory. Not only that, one of the characters subsequently says that the way to get out is to fall back up. Falling through a hole is like Alice in Wonderland And the world the squad discovers below the road, the network of Vietcong tunnels although nothing like the real ones , complete with an officer condemned to stay there for his crimes, is every bit as much an alternative world as the one Alice encounters in her adventure.
So with that in mind, readers must reconsider characters, situations, events in the novel. She is Vietnamese and knows about tunnels but is not Vietcong. Then who is she? Where does she come from? Think generically. Taking them west. No, not Pocahontas. She never led anyone anywhere, whatever the popular culture may suggest.
Somehow Pocahontas has received better PR, but we want the other one. He could have used Tolkien rather than Carroll, and while the surface features would have been different, the principle would have remained the same. Although the story would go in different directions with a change of literary model, in either case it gains a kind of resonance from these different levels of narrative that begin to emerge; the story is no longer all on the surface but begins to have depth.
You say stories grow out of other stories. But Sacajawea was real. History is story, too. She is a literary as well as a historical character, as much a piece of the American myth as Huck Finn or Jay Gatsby, and very nearly as unreal. And what all this is about, finally, is myth. Which brings us to the big secret.
There is only one story. The Thousand and One Nights. The Story of O. The Simpsons. Eliot said that when a new work is created, it is set among the monuments, adding to and altering the order. That always sounds to me a bit too much like a graveyard. To me, literature is something much more alive. More like a barrel of eels. When a writer creates a new eel, it wriggles its way into the barrel, muscles a path into the great teeming mass from which it came in the first place.
But the point is this: stories grow out of other stories, poems out of other poems. Poems can learn from plays, songs from novels. Sometimes i nfl uence is direct and obvious, as when the twentieth-century American writer T. It may be vague, the shape of a novel generally reminding readers of some earlier novel, or a modern-day miser recalling Scrooge. These similarities—and they may be straight or ironic or comic or tragic—begin to reveal themselves to readers after much practice of reading.
All this resembling other literature is all well and good, but what does it mean for our reading? Excellent question. From there, anything that happens is a bonus. A small part of what transpires is what I call the aha! That moment of pleasure, wonderful as it is, is not enough, so that awareness of similarity leads us forward. What typically takes place is that we recognize elements from some prior text and begin drawing comparisons and parallels that may be fantastic, parodic, tragic, anything.
When the squad falls through the hole in the road in language that recalls Alice in Wonderland, we quite reasonably expect that the place they fall into will be a wonderland in its own way. Indeed, right from the beginning, this is true. The episode allows Paul Berlin to see a Vietcong tunnel, which his inherent terror will never allow him to do in real life, and this fantastic tunnel proves both more elaborate and more harrowing than the real ones. The enemy officer who is condemned to spend the remainder of the war down there accepts his sentence with a weird illogic that would do Lewis Carroll proud.
The tunnel even has a periscope through which Berlin can look back at a scene from the real war, his past. Obviously the episode could have these features without invoking Carroll, but the wonderland analogy enriches our understanding of what Berlin has created, furthering our sense of the outlandishness of this portion of his fantasy. This dialogue between old texts and new is always going on at one level or another. Critics speak of this dialogue as intertextuality, the ongoing interaction between poems or stories.
This intertextual dialogue deepens and enriches the reading experience, bringing multiple layers of meaning to the text, some of which readers may not even consciously notice. The more we become aware of the possibility that our text is speaking to other texts, the more similarities and correspondences we begin to notice, and the more alive the text becomes. Once writers know that we know how this game is played, the rules can get very tricky.
The late Angela Carter, in her novel Wise Children , gives us a theatrical family whose fame rests on Shakespearean performance. The apparently dead Tiffany shows up later, to the discomfort of her faithless lover. Carter employs not only materials from earlier texts but also her knowledge of our responses to them in order to double-cross us, to set us up for a certain kind of thinking so that she can play a larger trick in the narrative.
No knowledge of Shakespeare is required to believe Tiffany has died or to be astonished at her return, but the more we know of his plays, the more solidly our responses are locked in. Her new novel is telling a very old story, which in turn is part of the one big story. The characters have to work as characters, as themselves. Sarkin Aung Wan needs to be a great character, which she is, before we worry about her resemblance to a famous character of our acquaintance.
Neither have I. Nor has anyone, not even Harold Bloom Beginning readers, of course, are at a slight disadvantage, which is why professors are useful in providing a broader context. But you definitely can get there on your own. When I was a kid, I used to go mushroom hunting with my father. In a few moments I would begin seeing them myself, not all of them, but some. What a literature professor does is very similar: he tells you when you get near mushrooms. Once you know that, though and you generally are near them , you can hunt for mushrooms on your own.
The truly odd duck here is Death Valley Days, which was an anthology show from the s and s sometimes hosted by a future president, Ronald Reagan, and sponsored by Twenty Mule Team Borax. Their retelling was set in the Old West and completely free of Elizabethan English. For a lot of us, that particular show was either our first encounter with the Bard or our first intimation that he could actually be fun, since in public school, you may recall, they only teach his tragedies. These examples represent only the tip of the iceberg for the perennially abused Shrew: its plot seems to be permanently available to be moved in time and space, adapted, altered, updated, set to music, reimagined in myriad ways.
Try this. In Paul Mazursky directed an interesting modern version of The Tempest. The BBC series Masterpiece Theatre has recast Othello as a contemporary story of black police commissioner John Othello, his lovely white wife Dessie, and his friend Ben Jago, deeply resentful at being passed over for promotion. The action will surprise no one familiar with the original. Add that production to a nineteenth-century opera of some note based on the play. West Side Story famously reworks Romeo and Juliet , which resurfaces again in the s, in a movie featuring contemporary teen culture and automatic pistols.
Hamlet comes out as a new film every couple of years, it seems. Tom Stoppard considers the role and fate of minor characters from Hamlet in his play Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead. Nor is the Shakespeare adaptation phenomenon restricted to the stage and screen. Different time, different place, same meditation upon greed, gratitude, miscalculation, and love. William Faulkner liked The Sound and the Fury. Aldous Huxley decided on Brave New World.
The children of the title are twins, illegitimate daughters of the most famous Shakespearean actor of his age, who is the son of the most famous Shakespearean of his age. Her grandfather kills his unfaithful wife and himself in a manner strongly reminiscent of Othello. As we saw in the previous chapter, a woman seems to drown like Ophelia, only to turn up in a hugely surprising way very late in the book like Hero in Much Ado About Nothing.
The novel is full of astonishing disappearances and reappearances, characters in disguise, women dressed as men, and the two most spiteful daughters since Regan and Goneril brought ruin to Lear and his kingdom. Oh, and lest I forget, To be, or not to be, that is the question.
Ever heard any of those? This week? I heard one of them in a news broadcast the morning I started composing this chapter. I will admit that not every one of the citations is all that familiar, but enough of them are. In fact, the hardest part of compiling my list of quotations was stopping. I could have gone on all day expanding the list without getting into anything too obscure. My first guess is that you probably have not read most of the plays from which these quotations are taken; my second guess is that you know the phrases anyway. All right, so the Bard is always with us.
What does it mean? He means something to us as readers in part because he means so much to our writers. It makes them sound smarter? Smarter than what? Still, I take your point. Almost all of them, in fact. Not inevitably. My father was a great fan of that play and loved to recount the desperation of that scene, so I began hearing it in the early grades.
He was a factory worker with a high school education and not particularly interested in impressing anybody with his fancy learning. He was pleased, however, to be able to talk about these great stories, these plays he had read and loved. We love the plays, the great characters, the fabulous speeches, the witty repartee even in times of duress. I mean, to be dying and clever at the same time, how can you not love that? Except Bugs Bunny, of course. As a sacred text confers authority? Or as something exquisitely said confers authority?
Yes, there is definitely a sacred-text quality at work here. When pioneer families went west in their prairie schooners, space was at a premium, so they generally carried only two books: the Bible and Shakespeare. Name another writer to whom high schoolers are subjected in each of four years. If you live in a medium-sized theater market, there is precisely one writer you can count on being in production somewhere in your area every year, and it is neither August Wilson nor Aristophanes. There is a kind of authority lent by something being almost universally known, where one has only to utter certain lines and people nod their heads in recognition.
Shakespeare also provides a figure against whom writers can struggle, a source of texts against which other texts can bounce ideas. Writers find themselves engaged in a relationship with older writers; of course, that relationship plays itself out through the texts, the new one emerging in part through earlier texts that exert influence on the writer in one way or another.
This relationship contains considerable potential for struggle, which as we mentioned in the previous chapter is called intertextuality. Naturally, none of this is exclusive to Shakespeare, who just happens to be such a towering figure that a great many writers find themselves influenced by him. On intertextuality, more later.
For now, an example. It also opens up a conversation with its famous predecessor.
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This is not an age of tragic grandeur, Prufrock suggests, but an age of hapless ditherers. More commonly there is this kind of dialogue going on in which the new work, while taking bits from the older, is also having its say. The author may be reworking a message, exploring changes or continuities in attitudes from one era to another, recalling parts of an earlier work to highlight features of the newly created one, drawing on associations the reader holds in order to fashion something new and, ironically, original. Irony features fairly prominently in the use not only of Shakespeare but of any prior writer.
The new writer has his own agenda, her own slant to put on things. Try this for slant. In creating this play Fugard turns to you-know-who. Your first instinct might be that he would grasp one of the tragedies, Othello, say, where race is already at issue. In Shakespeare, Prince Hal must put his hard-partying ways behind him, stop his carousing with Falstaff, and become Henry, the king who in Henry V is capable of leading an army and inspiring the kind of passion that will allow the English to be victorious at Agincourt.
He must learn, in other words, to wear the mantle of adult responsibility. Fike his famous predecessor, Hally must grow up and become Master Harold, worthy successor to his father in the family business. What does it mean, though, to become a worthy successor in an unworthy enterprise? Is it a mark of growing up that one becomes capable, as Harold does, of spitting in the face of a friend?
I think not. Fugard reminds us, of course, even if he does not mention it directly, that the grown-up King Henry must, in Henry V, have his old friend Falstaff banished. Do the values endorsed by Shakespeare lead directly to the horrors of apartheid? For Fugard they do, and his play leads us back to a reconsideration of those values and the play that contains them. Of course, they can do it with other writers as well, and they do, if somewhat less frequently. You know why. The stories are great, the characters compelling, the language fabulous. And we know him.
As the Fugard example suggests, when we recognize the interplay between these dramas, we become partners with the new dramatist in creating meaning. Fugard relies on our awareness of the Shakespearean text as he constructs his play, and that reliance allows him to say more with fewer direct statements. Moreover, our understanding of both works becomes richer and deeper as we hear this dialogue playing out; we see the implications for the new work, while at the same time we reconfigure our thinking, if only slightly, about the earlier one.
The rest, dear friends, is silence. Or the Bible Connect these dots: garden, serpent, plagues, flood, parting of waters, loaves, fishes, forty days, betrayal, denial, slavery and escape, fatted calves, milk and honey Ever read a book with all these things in them?
Guess what? So have your writers. Samuel L. His linguistic behavior suggests that at some time Quentin Tarantino, the writer-director, was in contact with the Good Book, despite all his Bad Language. Why is that James Dean film called East of Eden? Because the author of the novel on which the film is based, John Steinbeck, knew his Book of Genesis. To be east of Eden, as we shall see, is to be in a fallen world, which is the only kind we know and certainly the only kind there could be in a James Dean film. Or a Steinbeck novel. The devil, as the old saying goes, can quote Scripture.
So can writers. That may explain all those gardens, serpents, tongues of flame, and voices from whirlwinds. No one, neither ex-slave nor free white, can believe or understand her action, and that incomprehension saves her life and rescues her remaining children from slavery. Does her violent frenzy make sense? They all agree on that.
The characters all see four white men from slave country riding up the road. Moreover, one of them stays mounted with a rifle slung across his lap. That looks a lot like the fourth horseman, the one who in Revelation rides the pale or green horse and whose name is Death. When the Apocalypse comes riding up your lane, what will you do?
And that is why Sethe reacts as she does. Morrison is American, of course, and raised in the Protestant tradition, but the Bible is nonsectarian. James Joyce, an Irish Catholic, uses biblical parallels with considerable frequency. Neither the sister nor our young hero has a name, so his situation is made slightly generic, which is useful. Being in early adolescence, the narrator has no way of dealing with the object of his desire, or even the wherewithal to recognize what he feels as desire.
After all, his culture does all it can to keep boys and girls separate and pure, and his reading has described relations between the sexes in only the most general and chaste of terms. Most of the stalls are closed, but he finally finds one where a young woman and two young men are flirting in ways that are not very appealing to our young swain, and she can scarcely be bothered to ask what he wants. Daunted, he says he wants nothing, then turns away, his eyes blinded by tears of frustration and humiliation. Wait a minute. Innocence maybe.
But the Fall? Innocence, then its loss. What more do you need? Something biblical. A serpent, an apple, at least a garden. Sorry, no garden, no apple. The bazaar takes place inside. But there are two great jars standing by the booth, Joyce says, like Eastern guards. You can never go back. The Bible is lull of possible titles. I mentioned East of Eden before. Tim Parks has a novel called Tongues of Flame.
Faulkner has Absalom, Absalom! You might turn to Ecclesiastes for a passage that reminds us that every night is followed by a new day, that life is an endless cycle of life, death, and renewal, in which one generation succeeds another until the end of time. You might regard that outlook with a certain irony and borrow a phrase from it to express that irony—how the certainty that the earth and humanity will renew themselves, a certainty that has governed human assumptions since earliest times, has just been shredded by four years in which Western civilization tried with some success to destroy itself.
You just might if you were a modernist and had lived through the horror that was the Great War. Great book, perfect title. More common than titles are situations and quotations. Poetry is absolutely full of Scripture. Some of that is perfectly obvious. John Milton took most of his subject matter and a great deal of material for his great works from you-know-where: Paradise Lost, Paradise Regained, Samson Agonistes.
Moreover, our early literature in English is frequently about, and nearly always informed by, religion. Those questing knights in Sir Gawain and the Green Knight and The Faerie Queen are searching on behalf of their religion whether they know it or not and they generally do know. Beowulf is largely about the coming of Christianity into the old paganism of northern Germanic society—after being about a hero overcoming a villain.
One can barely read Donne or Malory or Hawthorne or Rossetti without running into quotations, plots, characters, whole stories drawn from the Bible. Suffice it to say that every writer prior to sometime in the middle of the twentieth century was solidly instructed in religion. Even today a great many writers have more than a nodding acquaintance with the faith of their ancestors. In the century just ended, there are modern religious and spiritual poets like T.
Eliot and Geoffrey Hill or Adrienne Rich and Allen Ginsberg, whose work is shot through with biblical language and imagery. Not all uses of religion are straight, of course. Many modern and postmodern texts are essentially ironic, in which the allusions to biblical sources are used not to heighten continuities between the religious tradition and the contemporary moment but to illustrate a disparity or disruption.
But Crime is different. Crime is the one part of human nature that we all refuse to talk about. The part that is bu I can't write an honest review for this book without mentioning that this is by far the most disturbing work of literature I've ever read. The part that is buried deep within layers of civility, manners, morality and such imposed upon us by the society. When you strip it all away, we are what we truly are - apex predators who understand our own power and will wield it ruthlessly, if necessary. That is why we inflict mindless cruelty towards others - simply because it is fucking possible.
Crime follows fallen from grace cop Ray Lennox as he tries to escape his demons in Scotland through a Florida vacation with his fiancee Trudi.
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He sees redemption in the form of a 12 year old abuse victim, Tianna and does everything under his power to make things right. The characters are solid and three-dimensional, their goodness and flaws very convincing. The writing is beautiful, narrative is gripping. Every minute of spare time I got, I'd reach for the book. That good. The transformation of Ray Lennox seems a little far-fetched. Tianna also finds temporary sanctuary at a random nice couple's house, which is b.
But I am going to let these things pass. Because any book that etches itself in my head to this extent deserves a few passes. Jul 29, JK rated it really liked it. This Irvine Welsh novel is just as gritty and harrowing as the rest of them. It's extremely dark, at times a lot darker than Welsh's other novels. It's also very obviously well-researched, tackling the difficult issue of child abuse.
I feel like Welsh has attempted to break a few boundaries with Crime. His novels are usually set in Scotland, particularly Edinburgh, but this time he takes us over to Miami, Florida, and unravels his story across the pond. The characters are strikingly realistic, an This Irvine Welsh novel is just as gritty and harrowing as the rest of them. The characters are strikingly realistic, and Welsh shifts between narratives and tenses in such a complex way that it's extremely effective. As is typical with Welsh, the subject matter is tough in places.
I wouldn't recommend it to many people for these reasons, but for people who can handle it, it's good. I'm a huge Irvine Welsh fan, I'll read anything he can throw at me.
He's a grotesque kind of genius, and this is what is so appealing to me. However, I felt that he has done better with past novels, this one seemed almost like a shadow of Filth. Nov 10, Andy Mcgrath rated it liked it. Fairly predictable plot but very well told. Some good minor unexpected deviations in the plot and Welsh's style make it a worth while yarn. Feb 03, Stephanie Jane Literary Flits rated it liked it Shelves: fiction-europe , fiction-crime.
See more of my book reviews on my blog, Literary Flits. Jun 27, Dane Cobain rated it it was amazing. Put simply, Detective Inspector Ray Lennox is on holiday in Florida, trying to take a rest and recouperation break from a child abuse case which threatened to derail his sanity. Unfortunately, things are never that simple in an Irvine Welsh book, and he ends up getting himself mixed up with a bunch of paedophiles, who he quite rightly wants to bring to rights. Detective Inspector Lennox is probably one of my favourite Irvine Welsh protagonists, particularly after this novel, and all of the characters that he uses are well thought out and well developed.
Welsh is a bit like Marmite, for some people. But not me! Feb 23, Kaita rated it it was ok Shelves: fiction. And it's not because it's almost exclusively about pedophilia. I've realized something about Irvine Welsh. He has two types of stories.
He has the believable ones that are firmly rooted in a realistic world with realistic reactions and consequences. I love these stories of his. Then he has a second type, which are similar to the other category, but are a little Blade Artist. Seemed like fanfiction because it was just depressingly uncharacteristic of Begbie and the situations, which aren't exactly unrealistic, are just too manufactured. I can't even go into all the problems I have with that book. Crime is in the category of fantastically dramatic versions of something that ends up not that believable.
It also runs on and on! Oh my god, I get it! I get what image you're trying to paint! Stop using the word ubiquitous and adding flourish to something that is meh at best! Don't get me wrong. I love some of Irvine Welsh's work. Glue is my most favourite book ever. But I'm probably not going to buy another book by the man. Blade Artist killed any drive for that and Crime Crime was just the nail in the coffin for me. Rest in piece another ruined series. This is technically the sequel to Filth. It's not as good as Filth. I found the characters tedious, the story bounced around a lot from one location or perspective to another, and I found myself indifferent through very nearly the entire book.
Jul 09, Jim rated it did not like it Recommends it for: Anyone who likes over-rated fiction. Shelves: fiction , weep-for-the-trees-it-took. Truly dreadful! If you're expecting the brilliance of Trainspotting , forget it. It was more like a really bad parody of Ian Rankin. Lennox is emotionally shredded by his failure to save a young girl from a paedophile and, like most of Welsh's characters, Lennox is on the booze and drugs.
Lennox fights with Trudi, who is intent on marriage. Eventually he gets involved with a young girl being menaced by paedophiles and h Truly dreadful! Eventually he gets involved with a young girl being menaced by paedophiles and has to negotiate through dangers both physical and emotional. I've long felt that Welsh hasn't written a really good book since Filth , and this book seemed to confirm that. Reading this, I wondered whether Welsh can write a character who's compelling, nuanced and sober. The character of Trudi would argue no; she is a stereotype of a weak, clinging woman, a cliche really.
This book is long on cliches and short on suspense. I figured out the "big secret" of Lennox's past about fifty pages before Welsh revealed it. The rest of it - the pre-fab phoniness of modern America, the corruption of the police, the detective with the inner demons - it all felt like it had been done before and better. I took this on vacation and was stuck with it until I could get to a bookstore. I kept hoping it would get better, but it didn't. I found myself thinking evil thoughts about Irving Welsh, wondering how many better books were displaced on bookshop shelves by this dreck.
Mar 27, Bryan Wood rated it liked it. This was the 2nd Irvine Welsh book that I had read which I thought was perfect being that it is the sudo-sequel to Irvine Welsh's Filth. I enjoyed this book but it wasn't what I was expecting. After reading Filth, I expected Crime to be, well This book was PG compared to Filth, which was shocking and somewhat disappointing due to my high expectations. But at the same time, I wasn't entirely sure how this book would compare to Filth. Reading Filth, you found out Ray Lennox the main character in Crime wasn't as crazy as Bruce Robertson the main character of Filth so I didn't think Irvine Welsh would be able to deliver the way he did with Bruce Robertson and his crazy drug filled adventures.
Crime was still a good read but I'd be lying if I said my mind didn't drift off a couple times. I would still reccomend this book to anyone who is an Irvine Welsh fan and you don't have to read Filth in order to follow along with Crime but there's a few things you'd catch if you did. I have only read Filth and Crime by Irvine Welsh so please do not let this review tarnish your image of him, it hasn't for me and I will still be looking into his other works.
Aug 21, Demetrelli rated it really liked it. So this was a change from the type of books I normally read and I can't say I regret it. Initially I thought it'd be the typical cop-goes-on-holidays-and-stumbles-onto-horrible-crime and I might say I was rather disappointed since the main character, Ray Lenox, seemed follow the tormented lonely cop stereotype.
As the story evolves though, it really delves into the deeper darker corners of the human adult and childrens' alike psyche, showing you surprising -and perhaps for some readers disturb So this was a change from the type of books I normally read and I can't say I regret it. As the story evolves though, it really delves into the deeper darker corners of the human adult and childrens' alike psyche, showing you surprising -and perhaps for some readers disturbing- truths.
For me it's a book about sexuality, the many ways it can be perversed as a combined result of insticts and culture, the ways it can define you, shape your childhood and ways you can face and come to terms with it. It really made me think on how we view and shape children as sexual beings. The writing has a nice steady pace, including relevant flashbacks from Ray's past life events and also occasional changes in pov where they are exactly needed. May 13, Paul rated it it was ok. I just could not get into this book. It started off with all of the standards of an Irvine Welsh book, but it got, boring.
Not something I expected from the author. The subject matter was also a little too disturbing.