The Long Goodbye

(Raymond Chandler) I shaved and made some coffee and then parked on the settee to start reading this thing and then I got up and went back to the bathroom and stripped off my tie and shirt and sloshed cold water in my face with both hands and then went on reading and then fixed some more coffee and cooled it down with a slug of scotch and then I went out on the back porch and smoked a cigarette and that’s more or less where I got to.

Continue Reading →

Human Accomplishment

(Charles Murray) A subversive book which purports to rank the top 20 men and women (mostly men) in the arts and sciences on the basis of historiometry. Awash with Bell curves, Lotka curves, and arbitrary methodology, it fascinates but does not convince: one imagines  oneself drawing a silly graph on the blackboard and quoting J. Evans Pritchard.      

Continue Reading →

The Minoans

Image courtesy of Eric Gaba

( by J. Lesley Fitton) For over 40 years Sir Arthur Evans had a patent on “Minoan” civilisation on Crete and tended to make it up as he went, albeit subconsciously. This rather sober book puts the pots and pans and ‘restored’ frescoes in a slightly less romantic context.

Continue Reading →

The Lost One – A life of Peter Lorre

(Stephen Youngkin) Standard, almost obsessively detailed reference book on the whispering menace. Peter (born: Lazlo Loewenstein) was perfect in the film roles of the 1930s and 1940s, the smartest person in the room but always with a touch of sadness. Peter gets to stroll the green lanes of Paradise for his work in M, Mad Love, Crime and Punishment, Strange Cargo, The Maltese Falcon, Casablanca  The Beast with Five Fingers, The Mask of Dimitrios, and Beat the Devil. He gets censured for taking work away from actors of certain nations and ethnicities, e.g., Japanese (the Mr Moto films), Chinese (They…

Continue Reading →

Darkness at Noon

November 17, 2014 | Posted by Peter Jakobsen | Fiction, THUMBNAIL REVIEWS, WRITING & LITERATURE |

(Arthur Koestler) Koestler, like Solzhenitsyn, managed to humanise the Gulag and here he almost manages to explain the insanity of the Great Terror in this short but brilliant novel, in which a now discarded architect of the revolution decides to abandon his duty not to perish.  This writer has had a somewhat chequered past, but with this book he desreves substantial absolution.

Continue Reading →

© Copyright 2014 The Varnished Culture All Rights Reserved. TVC Disclaimer. Site by KWD&D.