The Czech science fiction comedy I Killed Einstein, Gentlemen (Zabil jsem Einsteina, panove) starts off with a fairly shocking scene, even by the standards of today: two bearded men locked in the throes of a passionate kiss. It’s a fake-out, we soon learn, a way to introduce both the central premise of the plot — the future has been ravaged by radioactive fallout that has caused women to grow beards — and the fact that this movie is going to have a grand time tweaking its nose at gender expectations, stereotypes, and comfort zones. The comedy is a mix of subtle and slapstick, something like Monty Python meets Charlie Chaplin meets the Marx Brothers, with a bit of Benny Hill-esque sex farce thrown in. Sadly, no one ever pats an old man on the head, though I’m sure Karel Effa (who should have teamed up with HK comedy actor Richard Ng) would have been up for it. Continue reading…
I love to read. I love the act of reading, the sensation of sinking mind-first into a story. I need a certain amount of reading if I’m to function at full capacity. I consider it a physiological necessity, like sleep, or chocolate. Sure, I can get not-quite-enough for a few days, but sooner or later […]
Sherwood Smith over at Book View Cafe has a great piece about why Austen is not romance (comparing her books to Heyer).
I always get a boost of industrious energy this time of year, and a renewed sense of purpose. All those years of back-to-school excitement have left me with a nigh-Pavlovian response to Labour Day. I’m one of those (apparently rare) few who actually liked school from kindergarten onwards, so the beginning of a new school […]
AbeBooks has a nice profile of Georgette Heyer, a writer of all kinds of fiction, but most influential as an author of Regency romances. The profile includes a gallery of covers from her books.
There are lots of great modern romance novels out there. And there are plenty of wonderfully romantic movies. Oddly enough, the latter aren’t usually based on the former (modern romance novels; in this one instance, Jane Austen doesn’t count). Which is not to say there aren’t any at all, but Twilight aside, most of them […]
One of the many criticisms levelled at romance novels is that they’re a poor model for women when it comes to real-life relationships. All that fairy tale nonsense, detractors say, will make women want the wrong things from their partners. I could list a dozen things wrong with that assumption, but I’ll limit myself to […]
Britain and France have a long history together. Okay, much of that history consists of having wars with one another. But if you look at the past as a whole, having wars is pretty much what Britain did. First, it fought at home, its various tribes jockeying for position, struggling with invaders, taking over other […]
If I had a dime for every time I’ve heard that writing is a lonely profession I would (to misquote Stephen Colbert) have a hell of a lot of hypothetical money. But phrases don’t become cliches without reason, and the truth is that many writers spend a great deal of their time inside their own […]
I always enjoy the ‘Best Of’ lists that come out this time of year. Seems to me that kind of potted commentary, however limited, offers a great starting place. So in the spirit of year-end helpfulness, here’s a list of ten romances worth reading. Historical and modern; sexy and mild: they run the gamut. I’m […]
Despite being a rapacious reader of just about everything, during my formative years I managed to miss any number of writers who are the bedrock of their particular genres. For instance, I read Terry Brooks long before Tolkien (and yes, I’m aware of the gravity of that mistake). I didn’t discover Diana Wynne Jones until […]