Red Koi Reviews

See what I've seen, hear what I've heard

Archive for August, 2006

“The lovely bones” by Alice Sebold

Posted by redkoireviews on 31/08/2006

The Lovely Bones bookcoverI’m having a good run of books at the moment. “The lovely bones” is one of those rare books that takes a grim plot and somehow manages to weave golden threads through it.

It tells the story of 14 year old Susie Salmon, who is raped and murdered by a local man. She finds herself in her very own heaven, able to watch the aftermath of her death. There is something very human about the struggles of her friends and family as they try to remember her, forget her or re-build lives cracked open by her.

Sebold doesn’t hide the grim nature of Susie’s death, but she doesn’t make it the central premise of the book either. In a similar fashion, the grief and pain in those who loved Susie is brought right into the heart of the reader, but so are the small flowers that grow in amongst the cracks of broken lives.

“The Lovely Bones” is most definately a compelling read. The sort of book you’ll want to read in one sitting, or well into the night.

My Rating: 4.5 Stars


Posted in 4 Stars, Books, Reviews | 1 Comment »

Dirt Music

Posted by redkoireviews on 24/08/2006

Dirt Music BookcoverThe night before last stayed up late into the night re-reading “Dirt Music” by Tim Winton. It was even better than the first read. Set in a rough fishing town on the West Australian coast, it tells the story of Georgie, her husband Jim, and the mystery that is Lu Fox. Georgie is a passionate woman stuck in an apathetic relationship with Jim Buckridge, a widower trying to escape his violent past. Lu Fox has lost his whole family to deaths. Now he hides out on a disheveled property, scratching out a living smuggling fish and abalone.

When Georgie and Lu they find things in each other they didn’t know they needed so badly – they fit together. But their tryst is discovered in the small town, and retribution comes quickly and violently. Lu heads north – a very, very long way north. Up past Broome and into truly wild territory, and lives by his own hand, wrestling and dancing with the wild country of the far north.

Jim and Georgie head north to find Lu, and the three meet in a vortex that may make or break the personal trials of each person. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in 5 Stars, Books, Reviews | Leave a Comment »

Wyrd Sisters by Terry Pratchett

Posted by redkoireviews on 17/08/2006

Wyrd Sisters bookcoverI’ve given up on reading all the Guards series of discworld novels, but am still enjoying re-reading lot’s of other books by Terry Pratchett. Wyrd Sisters is a kind of Parody of Macbeth. King Verence of Lancre is killed by his cousin Duke Felmet. Verenece’s son (Tomjon) is given to Lancre’s three witches, who send him off with a troupe of theatre performers to keep him out of harms way. Everyone hates Duke Felmet and so the witches take destiny into their own hands and re-arrange things to speed up the progress of the Tomjon to the throne.

The plot is not one of Terry’s best, but that’s made up for by the witches themselves. Their personalities are larger than life, very funny, and at times rather dark.

If, like me, your life is a just a bit to real, Wyrd Sister will help you escape for a little while.

My Rating: 2.5 Stars

Posted in 2 Stars, Books, Reviews | Tagged: | Leave a Comment »

Varekai by Cirque du Soleil

Posted by redkoireviews on 13/08/2006

VarekaiA couple of years ago, my partner and I went to see Quidam by Cirque du Soleil, and loved it. So when we heard that they were back out here in the land of Oz with Varekai, we booked early.

Cirque du Soleil always perform in their own tent, with the stage and seating arranged ‘in the round’. This makes it a lovely, festival feel, where the performers never feel too far away.

Varekai means ‘wherever’ in the Romany language, capturing the sense of being taken away, perhaps somewhere magical and unknown. The plot is (very) loosely based on the Greek myth of the fall of Icarus, but the format is largely a series of acts.

In any other book, play, theatre or performance, a series of acts with a thin plot would spell a disaster – but it’s the performers and their acts that make Varekai truly magical. Many of the acts make your jaw drop through the sheer physical feats and risky stunts, but the performers and costumes take it to another level. I think the two men on the aerial straps best captured just how beautiful and mystical Cirque du Soleil can be. At times their combined shapes and movement reminded me of the multi-armed Hindu god Ganesha, at other times their lives were entrusted completely in each other and their symmetry – the ultimate ying yang. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in 5 Stars, Festivals, Reviews, Theatre | 1 Comment »

Memoirs of a Geisha (The Movie)

Posted by redkoireviews on 08/08/2006

Memior of a gesiha 2I watched this film on DVD over the weekend, and wished I’d seen it on the big screen. The film is loosely based on a book by the same name. It follows the life of Chiyo, a nine year old girl from a fishing village, sold into a Geisha house.

Her childhood is scared first by separation from her family and sister, then by torment from rivals and others in the Geisha house. Amongst this struggle comes a simple gesture of kindness from ‘the chairman’ – a gentleman and factory owner. Chiyo becomes fixated on this man, making it her purpose in all things to become closer to him. It gives her purpose in a world without any other guiding star.

It’s a visually beautiful movie, shot like someone creating a bonsai – there’s attention to detail that many hollywood films just can’t achieve. This beauty sits uncomfortably next to the fact that these women live have been sold into a life of prostitution, albeit a more glamorous one than in the western world.

The plot and acting supports the visual experience well, creating a wonderful film. I just wish I had seen it in it’s full glory on the big screen.

My Rating: 4 Stars

Posted in 4 Stars, Movies, Reviews | 1 Comment »

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