Small House of Everything

Small House of Everything

Sunday, January 20, 2019

BALDACCI, CONNELLY, PELECANOS, & TUROW -- INSIDE THE MYSTERY WRITERS STUDIO

Hosted by Marcia Clark, these four best-selling mystery writers speak at BookExpoAmerica, May 31, 2013.

Enjoy.


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tP5FijTtP-A

HYMN TIME

From 1968, The Staples Singers.


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UMc-IaOOwqM

Saturday, January 19, 2019

MUSIC FROM THE PAST: BUNGLE IN THE JUNGLE

Jethro Tull.


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0frSN92mTGo

BOYS' AND GIRLS' MARCH OF COMICS #187 -- INDIAN CHIEF (APRIL 1957)

Boys' and Girls' March of Comics was a give-away publication from Dell Comics/Western Publishing distributed freely to various stores around the country with the store's name printed on the back page.  The link below shows that this particular comic book was distributed by the I. Sabel Agency of the Maxwell Shoe Company, with offices in Pittsburg, Youngstown, and St. Louis.

Indian Chief was a comic book which lasted for 30 issues, from July 1951 (issue #3) to March 1959 (issue #33).  What are now considered non-PC comics featuring American Indians were very popular in the 1950s.

Boys' and Girls' March of Comics featured Indian Chief in at least four of their issues.  Issue 187 contains just a single story featuring the Indian Chief White Eagle in "The Night Raider."  I'm not sure if this is a reprint or if it is a story leftover from the earlier cancellation of Indian Chief as a separate title.

In either case, enjoy.  (And while you're at it, stock up on Maxwell shoes.)


https://comicbookplus.com/?dlid=72996&b=i

Friday, January 18, 2019

MUSIC FROM THE PAST: HEY BABY (THEY"RE PLAYING OUR SONG)

Get your groove on with The Buckinghams, circa 1967.


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ic2N-Gb6J3E

FORGOTTEN BOOK: FLUKE

Fluke by Jame Herbert  (1977)


James Herbert burst onto the horror scene with his first novel The Rats (1974), about intelligent rats attacking the denizens of London.  It sold 100,000 copies in its first three weeks and spawned three sequels.  Herbert's second novel, The Fog (1975), was about a chemical weapon that is accidentally releaced among the populace.  His third book, The Survivor (1976) brought him squarely into the supernatural territory where he was best known. 

One of Britain's best-selling authors, Herbert was presented with the Grand Master Award from the World Horror Convention in 2010 and was awarded an OBE that same year.  In all, he published 23 novels, two nonfiction works, a graphic novel, and a scattering of short stories, in addition to various scripts and essays,  before his death in 2013 at age 69.

It's Herbert's fourth novel that concerns us today, a true outlier in his body of work.  Fluke is a man-into-dog novel.  It is also a comic novel, an animal fantasy, a bildungsroman, a quest novel, and perhaps a murder mystery.  The narrator is a dog, whom we follow from birth to adulthood in a series of adventures, including living with various families (something that never turned out well) to his partnership with an older dog -- Rumbo -- as they plot to steal food on the streets of London.  As the narrator grows, he is dimly haunted by strange memories of being a two-legger.  These memories strengthen until he realizes that he was once a man, slowly remembering his wife, daughter,and his mysterious death.

It's not until the middle of the book that the narrator gets a name -- Fluke -- given to him by a gang of crooks operating out of a junkyard where Fluke and Rumbo are occasional guard dogs.  And it's not until the very last part of the book that Fluke finds his human family and the truth about his death.  Indeed, most of the book is about Fluke's life as a dog and his slow learning of how to be a dog.  Fluke and Rumbo are smarter than most dogs, something which strengthens Fluke's conviction that he was once human.  And did I mention that dogs and other animals can talk to each other telepathically?  Well, it certainly makes it easier for Fluke to learn about his environment, not to mention to narrate this novel.

Fluke ends on what some may consider upbeat.  Others, perhaps not so much.

Basically, what we have hear is an afterlife, talking animal book, one that takes a huge suspension of disbelief to get through.  It is entertaining enough to keep you reading, though, and Herbert's observations of animal behavior -- however skewed -- keeps you turning pages.

Fluke is either a very good book or a very bad book.  I haven't decided.

(The book was filmed in 1995 with Matthew Modine, Nancy Travis, Samuel L. Jackson, Eric Stoltz, Ron Perlman, and Jon Polito.  The movie altered some of the background in the novel and flubbed at the box office, yet it remains very popular and highly rated by most who have seen it.  [The dog who played Fluke went on to become Air Bud.]  An earlier movie, Oh Heavenly Dog, which came out three years after the novel and starred Chevy Chase, to my mind is an uncredited rip-off of Herbert's book.  The man-becomes-dog-who-must-solve-the mystery-of-his-own-death plot has been around for a long time so I may be wrong about this.)

Thursday, January 17, 2019

MUSIC FROM THE PAST: CHERISH

The Association in 1966, showing us how vocal harmony is really done.


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DD94tZgPuvc