Monday, August 30, 2004

More Coelho, Gaiman, Kurosawa and Olympic action

Glad to see Brazil men's volleyball team win gold again after 12 years. Also happy to see the Cuban women's team cop bronze and prove the naysayers wrong. Had to contend with Channel 4's poor signal and if it weren't for the quality of the games, would've slept through the matches. The Brazil team's match vs. Italy was particularly nail-biting even though I know they would win, what with so many play options and spectacular players, including Godoy Filho (suddenly, I'm proud my middle name is Godoy, hehehe).

GAIMAN'S NEVERWHERE - Anyway, finished Neil Gaiman's "Neverwhere," and I have to agree, it's a great, no, splendid, first novel.  In fact, I liked it even more than the lengthier "American gods." Magical, witty, twisting. a great adventure and a ghost train of a ride (all puns intended). It's such a great read, I regret finishing it in under 4 days, certainly one of those books that make you miss the characters immediately after completion. It's my 3rd Gaiman novel in 2 weeks and I must say, I'm a big fan now. Now I'm wondering where to get more of his books apart from the Sandman collection (which he didn't really wrote anyway).

COELHO'S FIFTH MOUNTAIN - Read this short novel in 3 hours and it's a highly-inspirational and inspired piece. Wonderful and life-affirming. Coelho is indeed a master in his own right when it comes to delivering novels that uplift the soul. It's my 4th coelho novel in 3 weeks and like Gaiman, I'm already a big fan. I wonder if I should read "Eleven Minutes" next. Learned a lot of lessons from the prophet Elijah and the lessons somehow jibe with Sunday's gospel which is all about humility.S omehow, the most important lesson is that we should all be so humble as to accept the fact that God knows what's best for us. The next precious lesson is that it is just human to doubt God and His ways because it is in the process of doubting that we can understand what faith is all about.

KUROSAWA'S RASHOMON - The good thing about bootlegs is the availability of film titles which would otherwise be relegated to some little known-collector's archive, never to be appreciated by a new generation of film fans. "Rashomon" is Kurosawa's intriguing take on perspectives, of how different people will tell a story his or her own way. I remember seeing it a looong time ago, and while the film quality and filmmaking techniques have aged, the lessons have not even one bit. This master really has an interesting take on human nature and frailty. His films remain timeless and fascinating even up to now.

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