Through the Prism

After passing through the prism, each refraction contains some pure essence of the light, but only an incomplete part. We will always experience some aspect of reality, of the Truth, but only from our perspectives as they are colored by who and where we are. Others will know a different color and none will see the whole, complete light. These are my musings from my particular refraction.


Hobbit No More

"No!" said Thorin. "There is more in you of good than you know, child of the kindly West. Some courage and some wisdom, blended in measure. If more of us valued food and cheer and song above hoarded gold, it would be a merrier world."

I finished The Hobbit well before Christmas, just haven't taken the time to say anything about it. And I don't really have much commentary to share. It was enjoyable, but not quite magical, and didn't blow me away. LOTR is better, but even then Tolkien is not necessarily my favorite fantasy author. Excellent, but doesn't top the list.

Although I must say I was a bit disappointed with the reader, Rob Inglis. His bio is very impressive--Royal Shakespeare and Royal Court Theatre companies--but he worked a bit too hard trying to be just that: impressive. He's got a rich, deep, resonant voice that was fine when he was narrating, but his attempts to take it up a notch when reading dialogue was just distracting. He sounded like a Christopher Lee wannabe, using an Opera stage voice for each character that was stilted and unnatural sounding. He even gave Bilbo a deep, rumbly bass, so that by the time he got to Beorn, the bear-man who should have had the deepest, rumbliest voice of all, he had no option left except to use a higher tone than his narration to distinguish the character from the others. The other disadvantage of listening to the book is I couldn't skip over all the songs and poems like I would if reading it. I'd forgotten how much of that Tolkien put in there.

I'm only a third of the way into my next listen and don't have much to say about it yet, but it's Chasing Vermeer by Blue Balliett. I just checked to make sure and it turns out I'm wrong, but I thought for sure this was the same reader as The People of Sparks. It's Ellen Reilly for the former and Wendy Dillon for the later. Both do a decent enough job except for, like Inglis, trying too hard on the voices to the point of distraction. And both have a way of making their boy voices especially whiney and irritating. It's a really good book so far, though, and has been really popular.

I recently finished reading reading King Dork by Frank Portman (the singer/songwriter/guitarist of the Mr. T Experience), all about a semester of high school for a social misfit. It took me a bit to warm up to this one, but the further I got the more I liked it. It's one I highly recommend (echoing CDL, whose recommendation motivated me to read it). First a serious quote I like, then a few selections from his glossary:

Girls have all the same parts, basically, and so much of how they look depends on the attitude, expectations, and obsessions of those who are looking at them.

Boomers: the Most Annoying Generation.

D and D: a role-playing game played only by very cool guys.

The Doors: there is an extremely well-organized conspiracy among boomers to cultivate the fiction that this band doesn't totally suck. The worst thing in the history of the universe.

Dr. Who: a more sophisticated, English version of Star Trek.

Gifted and talented: gifted and talented students are those who have figured out that if you make a little effort to leave the right impression, very little will be expected of you in the end.

The Kinks: the third-greatest rock and roll band of all time.

Led Zeppelin: hey, gang! Let's all get stoned and head down to the Mississippi Delta and watch four goofy-ass English guys in wizards' hats and girls' blouses play "the blues" and teach us everything there is to know about elfin princesses; gossamer wings; the tooth fairy; the land of Winken, Blinken, and Nod; the wise and dark and mystic pilgrim brooding in the mist; and Puff the Magic Dragon. Come on, it'll be magical.

Monty Python: short for Monty Python's Flying Circus. A documentary series on everyday life in Great Britain.

Normal: lacking in taste, compassion, understanding, kindness, and ordinary human decency.

Veganism: a religion for people who never feel particularly hungry.

The Who: the greatest rock and roll band of all time.


At 12/29/2006 7:30 PM, Blogger CDL said...

Glad you finally saw the light - so to speak. I so loved the glossary but didn't want to mention it because it was just so fun to discover it at the end.


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